Looking for the unique and cool vintage baby name for your daughter? You may want to look back through your family tree for inspiration, because just as fashion gets recycled, so do baby names – Choosing a retro name can bring your daughter the best all worlds, drawing on classic inspiration with modern style. Check out these worthy choices for your daughter, pulled from the Social Security Administration’s top name lists from the early 20th century.
Vintage Baby Names For Girls
Amelia, an elegant Victorian name, with a heroic relation to aviatrix Amelia Earhart, is one the best girls’ names as an alternative to the overused Emily and Amanda. Amelia appeared as the top British name in 2011 and maintains the Number 1 spot, is in the Top 10 in Australia, Scotland, Poland and Ireland, and has now risen to Number 11 in the U.S. While kids might associate Amelia with the weird children’s book character Amelia Bedelia, adults could appreciate its Shakespearean cred as a character in A Comedy of Errors – spelled Aemilia.
Amelia became a British royal name via the daughters of Kings George II and III. An American hero is feminist Amelia Bloomer.
This classic Latin name, beloved by authors like Shakespeare and Dante, has a beautiful meaning — she who brings happiness — and a new lease on life, heading slowly back up from the top 1000 after nearly dropping off the list in the year 2000.
The Italian and French form of Beatrix used in literature as Dante Alighieri’s guide in his novel “The Divine Comedy” and the name of a character in William Shakespeare’s play, “Much Ado About Nothing.” It was popular in England during the Middle Ages and became a royally known for the daughter of Queen Victoria and the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Beatrice of York. It dropped off the chart in 2002 and reemerged in 2006 with other retro names.
Clara is a lovely name and it has been a popularity list stalwart, now at Number 99, its highest point since the 1940s. Clara was a Top 10 name in the 1880’s, at one time associated with the silent screen ‘It Girl’, Clara Bow, and before that with German musician and composer Clara Schumann and Red Cross founder Clara Barton, who was born Clarissa.
Cora is a cool and classic girl’s name. Cora was a daughter of Zeus and Cora Munro is the heroine of The Last of the Mohicans – that has been recently rejuvenated and strengthened by its contemporary-feeling simplicity. Cora is now among the 100 most popular baby names for girls in the US.
In classical mythology, Cora–or Kore– was a euphemistic name of Persephone, goddess of fertility and the underworld.
A sleek, sophisticated French name that means ‘dolphin’ and evokes pictures of the sea, Delphine is found in the fiction of Balzac and Madame de Stael, and recently seen in both “American Horror Story” and “Orphan Black” But though it may be Number 271 on Nameberry, Delphine was given to fewer than five girls in 2013.
Florence, which has been neglected for decades, has a lot going for it, both for its floral feel and as a place name relation to the lovely Italian city (after which Florence Nightingale was named—it was her birthplace). The association to the city seems to be helping Florence stir back to life, along with cousin Flora.
Florence has a various mixture of namesakes and references—a character in Dickens’s Dombey & Sons, a US First Lady (Harding), one of the Supremes, the Brady Bunch’s Henderson, track and field star Florence Griffith Joyner, and several TV characters.
Florence has some particularly lively nicknames—Flo, Flossie, and Florrie.
Gillian is a name in common usage in Great Britain (where it’s often pronounced with a hard “G.) but until recently had not crossed the Atlantic in significant numbers, except in the short form Jill.
In medieval England, the name Gillian was so common that it was used as a collective name for a girl, just as Jack was for a boy, thus the nursery rhyme Jack and J(G)ill and the expression “every Jack has his Jill.” The high profile of actress Gillian The X Files Anderson did a lot to make public the name in the US — where it is more often spelled the phonetic Jillian.
An ancient Roman treasure, Lelia is one double-l name that hasn’t been discovered, though it fairly rolls off the tongue. It emerged in the UK in the mid-nineteenth century, following the publication of George Sand’s popular romantic novel eponymously titled Lélia 1833.
The energetic botanical name Ivy is enjoying a deserved revival, sure to be propelled even higher by its choice by high-profile parents Beyonce and Jay-Z for baby Blue Ivy.
British novelist Ivy Compton-Burnett is a special namesake and Ivy Baker Priest served as U.S Secretary of Treasury. Another association is the prestigious Ivy League.
Another stone-related name, this cool and appealing Greek feminine version of Peter, which is now wildly popular in several Slavic countries, has been attached internationally to some high-profile supermodels and athletes. Before it dropped off the US list in 1951, it had been on for seven decades.
A sweet name that dozed quietly for decades, Violet was popular and beloved a hundred years ago, then began its steep descent by 1920, bottoming out in the early 1980s. However, it started rising again about a decade ago and climbed even more sharply after Garner and Affleck chose it for their daughter.
Today, Violet is at Number 47, joining other such popular flower names as Lily, Daisy, and Rose. Viola is the Italian and Scandinavian version, used by Shakespeare in Twelfth Night.Violetta is the frillier, more operatic version.