Old fashioned names are certainly making a comeback, and it seems that the retro option is bang in fashion.
Today’s new parents aren’t naming their kids after their parents’ generation.
You won’t find many babies called Roger, Theresa, or Julie. But go a little further back (just another generation or two) and it’s clear that beloved traditional names are coming back into use.
So you’re more likely to name your daughter after your Great Grandma than your Mom.
Roughly speaking, names that were popular about 100 years ago are popular again today. It seems it takes a century for a name to travel through the cycle of fashionable to fading out to…fashionable again.
Interestingly, it’s not uncommon for your parents’ generation to dislike an old fashioned name choice at first.
If you choose a traditional name and are surprised to find that your Mom and Dad don’t like it, try not to be upset.
Think of it like this: to them, you choosing that name would be the same as your child giving her child a name that was popular among your parents generation.
In other words, an old fashioned name will be more familiar to your parents — and therefore might sound dull, or remind them of the stuffiness of the older people in their lives when they were kids.
Give them time and they’ll come round to it! Especially when they start to associate the name with their new, adorable grandchild.
If you need some inspiration, here are 100 old-fashioned English names to call your new baby girl.
Abigail – Can be shortened to ‘Abbey’ or ‘Abbie’ and means ‘father of exaltation’ A biblical name
Adele – Has links to France but means ‘feminine one’
Agatha – Means ‘good and honourable’
Agnes – Comes from the word ‘hagnos’ but means ‘good or honourable’
Alexandra – Can be shortened to ‘Alex’ and means ‘warrior’
Alice – Linked to the name ‘Adelaide’ and to the famous character Alice in Wonderland
Alison – Also linked to ‘Alice’ or ‘Adelaide’
Amber – Means the gemstone amber, a precious stone
Amelia – A mixture of ‘Emilia’ and ‘Amalia’ which are of original French origin, before being used in the English language
Anne – A derivative of the name Hanna, from the Hebrew language
Angela – Meaning ‘angelic’, or ‘angel’
Avril – Links to the name April, meaning the month
Ava – Meaning the Saint, St Ava
Audrey – Meaning ‘noble strength’
Barbara – Can be shortened to ‘Babs’ and means ‘foreign woman’
Beatrix – Meaning ‘blessed’, but can also mean ‘voyager’
Beryl – A precious stone, or gem
Bess – Comes from the name Elizabeth
Beth – Comes from the name Elizabeth
Bethany – ‘village outside Jerusalem’
Blanche – ‘white hair’ or ‘fair hair’
Bonnie – Meaning attractive or lovely
Bridget – Mainly known now for the Bridget Jones character but also comes from Bridhid
Brenda – ‘flaming sword’
Cara – Also linked to Ireland as well as England, but means ‘to be loved’
Carla – The feminine version of the classic male name, Charles
Carol – Comes from the latin ‘Carolus’
Carmel – ‘someone of Christian origins’
Christina – Can be shortened to ‘Chris’ but comes from the male name ‘Christopher’
Chelsea – Meaning ‘harbour’
Charlotte – Also comes from the male name ‘Charles’
Daisy – Meaning the flower
Darlene – A derivative of the word ‘darling’
Dawn – ‘daybreak’, or sunrise
Donna – A derivative of the biblical name ‘Madonna’
Dora – Meaning ‘a gift’
Doris – ‘of the sea’
Edith – Meaning ‘fortune’ or ‘riches’
Elizabeth – A classic name which can be shortened in many ways. Links to the Royal Family and the Queen
Elsa – A shortened version of ‘Elizabeth’
Faith – Meaning ‘belief in God’
Eve – A biblical name, from Adam and Eve
Flora – ‘goddess of flowers’
Fern – the ‘fern plant’
Gloria – Meaning ‘glorious’
Guinevere – Has links with King Arthur, and can be shortened to ‘Guin’ or ‘Guinnie’
Hilda – ‘to battle’
Heather – Meaning the plant, the ‘heather plant’
Hazel – Linked to the hazel nut
Hayley – Linked to geography and is also a place in Oxfordshire
Holly – A festive name and links to the holly bush
Imogen – A name with links to Shakespeare
Hope – Literally also means ‘hope’
Irene – Meaning ‘peace’
Iris – Meaning ‘rainbow’
Ivy – Linked to nature and the ivy plant
Jade – A precious stone, gemstone
Jasmine – Can be shortened to ‘Jazz’ in the modern day and is from the flower
Janet – Comes from the name ‘Jane’
Jane – Comes from the male name ‘John’, and is therefore biblical
Joy – Meaning ‘happiness’ or ‘delight’
Katherine – Links to the Saint Katherine and can be shortened to ‘Kath’, Kate’, or ‘Kathy’
Kayley – Meaning ‘slender’
Leona – Derives from the male name ‘Leon’
Lilly – Links to nature and the Lilly flower
Libby – A shortened version of Elizabeth
Mabel – Meaning ‘lovely’ or ‘pleasant’
Margaret – An English version of the French name ‘Marguerite’
Mavis – the thrush bird and has links to nature
Melissa – Meaning ‘bee’ and therefore nature
Melody – ‘musical’
Mirabelle – Meaning ‘beauty’ or ‘love’
Mercy – Meaning ‘forgiveness or compassion’
Mildred – Meaning ‘gentle and strong’
Myrtle – Links to nature and the myrtle plant
Nicola – Can be shortened to ‘Nic’ or any spelling of ‘Nicki’, and comes from the male name ‘Nicholas’
Olive – Links to nature and the olive plant
Opal – Precious stone, gem stone
Pandora – A name which stems from mythology
Patricia – The female version of the male name ‘Patrick’
Paula – The female version of the male name ‘Paul’
Phoebe – Meaning ‘moon goddess’
Rachel – A name from the Bible
Regina – Meaning ‘queen’
Rose – Links with nature and the flower
Rosemary – Meaning the rosemary herb and therefore nature
Scarlett – Links to the color red
Shirley – Links to geography and a town in England
Summer – Meaning the season and pleasant weather
Thelma – Meaning ‘wish’
Tiffany – Meaning ‘epiphany’ or ‘awakening’
Tara – Meaning ‘hill’
Valerie – Often shortened to ‘Val’ and means ‘healthy and strong’
Victoria – Meaning ‘victorious’ and can be shortened to ‘Vicky’
Verity – ‘truth’
Violet – Meaning the flower and therefore links to nature
Viola – Again linking to the violet flower
Winifred – Often shortened to ‘Winnie’ and means ‘joy and peace’
Willow – Linking to nature and the willow tree
Zoe – Meaning ‘life’, and can be spelled several ways, including ‘Zoey’
We love these elegant retro names. When you give your little girl an old fashioned name, you play a part in carrying our history forwards.
Your daughter will grow up and enter her adult life with a name that sings of classic chic and confidence; and her name will be a link between her and generations gone by.
Plus, she’ll stand out among the new age names of our time.
She won’t be a Peaches or an Apple.
She will feel a sense of steadiness as she speaks her name.
If you have a beloved great grandmother with a name you love, start there. But if not, all the the names on this list are gorgeous and grounding.
Trying to find the best possible name for your baby daughter can feel overwhelming.
Sometimes, simplicity is key.
Go for something that sounds good when you say it out loud; that fits your personality, but leaves room for your child to imprint her own self on it too.
Who could Edith become? What could Dora do? And where could Winifred go?
Full disclosure: we’re just a little bit jealous that you’re in the process of naming your child.
It’s such a joyful task, even in those moments when it all feels like too much pressure.
You’ve got this!