Vintage names: 78 of the Best Vintage Baby Names

When you are looking for a unique name for your baby, consider something vintage. Many of these are funny names that highlight the past. Some of these are even coming back in style, and by using one of them, you can be part of the vintage names movement. 

Check out these fun vintage names and their meanings to help pick the right fit for your baby. These are the best ones for both boys and girls. 

1. Abraham

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “father of multitudes.”
  • Description: According to the Old Testament, Abraham was the founding father of the Jewish people. The most famous Abraham is President Lincoln, and the name lends itself well to the nicknames Abe and Bram.

2. Adelaide

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: “noble, nobility.”
  • Description: Adelaide gained popularity from “Good Queen Adelaide,” a noble German princess who married British King William IV. She inspired the name for the Australian city as well. Others may recognize the name from the character in the play Guys and Dolls

3. Adeline

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: “noble, nobility.”
  • Description: The name Adeline is another excellent vintage name choice for your baby girl. It is one of the more famous names but still has that old-fashioned charm. The song “Sweet Adeline” is a favorite of barbershop quartets. 

4. Agatha

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: “good woman.”
  • Description: The name Agatha was popular in the Middle Ages and is also the name of a third-century tortured saint who rejected the advances of a Roman official. You could use the nickname Agie for your little girl. 

5. Albert

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: “noble, bright.”
  • Description: Albert’s name used a more serious image but has now transitioned into one of the top royal baby boy names. You could use the nickname Bert or Al for this one. 

6. Alice

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: “noble”
  • Description: Alice comes from the Old French name Aalis, and it became popular due to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. This literary name is both strong and sweet, and it can be the perfect name for a baby girl. 

7. Amos

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “carried by God.”
  • Description: The name Amos is a great biblical name that has experienced a resurgence recently. It is also the name of an eighth-century prophet and was popular among Puritans. 

8. Arthur

  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: “bear”
  • Description: The name Arthur connects most often with the head of the Knights of the Round Table. It has gained in popularity recently and is a common consideration for a royal name. There are other notable Arthurs, including Arthur Schopenhauer, Arthur C. Clarke, and Arthur Conan Doyle. 

9. Asher

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “fortuate, blessed, happy.”
  • Description: According to the Bible, Jacob’s son Asher gave his name to one of the tribes of Israel. The name comes from the Hebrew word osher, which means happiness, and the nickname Ash is excellent for this one.

10. Atticus

  • Origin: Latin, Greek
  • Meaning: “from Attica”
  • Description: The name Atticus comes from the Greek Attikos and is a great literary name. The most well-known literary character is Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. Gregory Peck brings the character to life in the 1962 film of the same name, and his portrayal is inspiring to many. 
Cute baby photos

(Cute baby photos)

11. Barbara

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: “foreign woman.”
  • Description: The name Barbara is a classic choice for a little girl. Even though the name has gained a middle-aged image from Barbara Bush, it is also the name of literary characters by both Dickens and Thackeray. You could use the nicknames Bobbie, Babs, Bebe, or Barbie. 

12. Beatrice

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: “She who brings happiness, blessed.”
  • Description: The name Beatrice comes from the name Beatrix and is also the name of Queen Victoria’s youngest child. You can use the nicknames Betty, Bea, Birdie, Bess, Bebe, or Tris for this once. 

13. Beau

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: “handsome”
  • Description: Since the middle of the 20th century, Beau’s name has been steadily moving back up in popularity. In the past, it mainly was a nickname, but now it stands on its own. It also has a dapper image due to the Beau Brummell.

14. Bernadette

  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: “brave bear.”
  • Description: The name Bernadette is the female equivalent of the boy named Bernard. This name is both strong and feminine. A well-known Bernadette is actress Bernadette Peters. Nicknames include Bernie, Benny, Etta, Birdie, and Betty.

15. Bernard

  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: “strong, brave bear.”
  • Description: There are several saints named Bernard, including Saint Bernard of Menthon and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. The Normans also brought this name to England, and it replaced the Old English Beornheard, and Bernie is a great nickname for this one. 

16. Calliope

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: “beautiful-voiced” 
  • Description: The name Calliope is a beautiful one taken from one of the most prominent of the Muses. She is the muse of epic poetry. This one is a creative and bold name that would be an excellent choice for a little girl. It showed up in the US Top 1000 in 2006. Callie, Cal, Popi, and Lia are fun nicknames.  

17. Cassius

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: “vain”
  • Description: The most famous Cassius is Cassius Marcellus Clay, also known as boxer Muhammad Ali. Gaius Cassius Longinus led the assassination plot against Julius Caesar, and Cassius Dio would write an impressive 80-volume history of Rome. You could use the nickname Cass.

18. Catherine

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: “pure”
  • Description: Catherine’s name has many variants, such as Katherine, Caitlin, Cathleen, and Katerina. This one is a classic name that peaked in popularity in 1909 and has been declining ever since, and Cathy and Cat are common nicknames for this one.

19. Claire

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: “ clear, bright or light-colored.”
  • Description: The name Claire is a beautiful choice that could be great for your little girl. It has been in the top 500 girl names in the United States since 1973 but has not been as popular in the last 20 years. 

20. Clifford

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: “cliff-side ford” or a ford near a slope
  • Description: Clifford came from Old English and was the first name since the late nineteenth century, and cliffs are a popular nickname for this one.
The newborn baby wore a Santa hat

The newborn baby wore a Santa hat)

21. Constance

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: “steadfastness”
  • Description: The name Constance is an English version of the Latin name Constantia. It has a prim and proper image but is still a strong name. A common nickname is Connie. Puritans in the seventeenth century used the name Constance widely. Although babies don’t have this name often, it remains at number 120 in France. 

22. Cornelius

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: “strong-willed or wise.”
  • Description: The name Cornelius is sometimes a translation of Conchubhar, which means “high desire.” According to the New Testament, Cornelius is also a centurion who seeks out Peter based on a directive from an angel. Eli and Corny are nicknames for this name.

23. Daisy

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: “day’s eye.”
  • Description: The name Daisy is a flower name and a diminutive of the name Margaret. If you are interested in nature-related names, this one is a great choice. 

24. Darcy

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: “dark one.”
  • Description: Darcy is a fun choice for your little girl. It is a variant of the Irish/Gaelic form of Darcie. This name came to chrome the Normans, who called people who owned Arcy in La Manche D’Arcy. 

25. Doris

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: “gift”
  • Description: According to Greek mythology, Doris was the daughter of the sea-nymph Nereids and Oceanus. The most famous Doris to this day is the classic actress Doris Day. 

26. Dorothy

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: “gift of God.”
  • Description: The name Dorothy is the English variation of the Greek name Dorothea. One of the most well-known characters is Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, and the name is having a comeback. It came back into the Top 1000 in 2011 after almost dropping out, and it was in the Top 10 from 1904 to 1939. Dottie is a great nickname for this one. 

27. Earl

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: “warrior or nobleman.”
  • Description” The name Earl comes from the British title, which designated a nobleman ranking between a viscount and a marquess. It is not currently in the Top 100, so it is an excellent choice for something different for your baby boy.

28. Edith

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: “riches or blessed.”
  • Description: About 100 years ago, the name Edith was very popular. It is coming back into popularity in both London and Stockholm and beginning to gain some traction in the United States. Edith is the name of a few early English queens and two First Ladies. Nicknames for Edith include Idy, Edi, and Edee. 

29. Edmund

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: “fortunate protector.”
  • Description: Since Twilight came out, Edward’s name has gained popularity along with variants such as Edmund and Edmond. Famous Edmunds includes astronomer Edmund Halley, poet Edmund Spenser, and actor Edmund Kean.

30. Edwin

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: “rich or prosperous friend.”
  • Description: Although it may not seem like it, Edwin’s name has been on the popular names list since the statistics have been available. Nicknames include Ed, Eddie, and Ted.
Cute baby is sleeping

( Newborn baby boy wears a hat)

31. Eloise

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: “healthy, wide.”
  • Description” The name Eloise is the French and English version of Heloise, which comes from the German Helewidis. It is also the title character’s name in Kay Thompson’s book Eloise about a girl who lives at the Plaza Hotel in New York. Lolly, Ellie, and Lola are great nicknames for this one. 

32. Emile

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: “rival or eager.”
  • Description: Edwin’s name Emile is a great name to bring back for your baby boy, and it comes from the Roman family name Aemilius. You can use the nicknames Milo, Emil, and Liliem for this one. 

33. Esme

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: “esteemed or loved.”
  • Description: Esme comes from the Old French verb esmer,  which means “to esteem” or “to love.” It started as a masculine name, but this has changed throughout time and is now a girl’s name. Esme got a lot of attention with the character in Twilight.

34. Esther

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: “star”
  • Description: The name Esther comes from the Old Persian word stara. It is also popular with girls born around the holiday of Purim because, according to the Old Testament, Esther risked her life to save her exiled people. The popularity of the name is on the rise. 

35. Florence

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: “flourishing, prosperous.”
  • Description: Florence came back into the United States Top 1000 girl names in 2017 after being off the list for 40 years. It is an excellent name with a floral feel and connection to the Italian city. Some fun nicknames are Flo, Florrie, and Flossie. 

36. George

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: “farmer”
  • Description: George comes from the Greek name Georgios, and George was also a saint and a 3rd-century martyred Roman soldier. Other famous Georges include President George Washington, composer George Frideric Handel, and explorer George Vancouver. Georgie is a common nickname. 

37. Gerald

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: “spear ruler.” 
  • Description: The name Gerald may be old-fashioned, but it has also stayed on the popularity charts. It has always been popular in Ireland. It is also the name of a saint and a president, and Jerry is a good nickname. 

38. Grace

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: “God’s grace, goodness, generosity, beauty, joy, and blossom.”
  • Description: Grace is a beautiful name for your little girl. The most famous Grace is actress and princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, and it comes from the Latin word gratia and references divine grace. 

39. Harold

  • Origin: Scandinavian, English
  • Meaning: “army commander.”
  • Description: The name Harold comes from the Old English name Hereweald, and it is also connected to the Old Norse cognate Haraldr, and five Norwegian kings and three kings of Denmark were named Harold. You could use the nicknames Hal and Harry. 

40. Harriet

  • Origin: German, French, English
  • Meaning: “home-ruler”
  • Description: The name Harriet is a feminine form of the masculine name Harry, and it is an English variation on the French name Henriette. The name has been stylish and popular in England but pretty dormant in the United States. The most famous Harriets include author Harriet Beecher Stowe and abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Great nicknames for this one include Hetty, Hattie, and Hatsy. 
Baby boy and retro camera

(Cute baby is sleeping)

41. Harvey

  • Origin: French, English
  • Meaning: “eager for battle, strong, worthy.”
  • Description: The name Harvey is a great vintage choice for your baby boy. It is a strong name that may be due for a comeback. The most well-known fictional Harvey comes from the movie of the same time starring James Stewart. Harvey is an invisible rabbit. Nicknames for this one include Harv and Har. 

42. Hazel

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: “from the hazel tree.”
  • Description: The name Hazel is a beautiful choice for a baby girl. A wand of hazel symbolizes authority and protection. You could use the nicknames Azie, Haze, Zelly, or Zella for this one.

43. Henry

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: “ruler of the home.”
  • Description: The name Henry will give your baby boy a royal air about him. Many royals have been named Henry, and variations of the name include Henri and Henrik. For nicknames, you can consider Hen, Harry, and Henny. 

44. Hilda

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: “battle woman.” 
  • Description: The name Hilda can stand on its own, but it also connects with Brunhilda, the Valkyrie of Teutonic legend. There is also St. Hilda, who was the patron saint of culture, learning, and poetry. The name is still popular in Sweden but dropped off the Top 100 list in 1986, and Hilde is a good nickname. 

45. Howard

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: “high guardian or brave heart.”
  • Description: The name Howard was in the Top 50 from the 1870s to the early 1950s. It usually connects with dads and grandads but may be due for a comeback. Ward and Howie are fun nicknames for this one. 

46. Hugh

  • Origin: English, German, Irish
  • Meaning: “mind, intellect.”
  • Description: The name Hugh is rooted in a variety of cultures. It was in the Top 100 up until 1903 and has remained in the Top 1000 since then. It is very popular with the Irish, as evidenced by their 20 Saint Hughs. Famous actors who share this name include Hugh Jackman, Hugh Grant, and Hugh Laurie. 

47. Jarrett

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: “he descends.”
  • Description: The name Jarrett is an English variant of the name Garrett. If you are looking for something unique and vintage for your baby boy, this one is a great choice. It is also an alternative to the name Jared. 

48. Jasper

  • Origin: Persian
  • Meaning: “bringer of treasure.”
  • Description: The name Jasper is a variation of the Latin name Gasper, which comes from the Persian word ganzabara. It is also the English form for one of the Three Wise Men and has gained popularity in the United States since Twilight came out. 

49. Joyce

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: “merry, joyous.”
  • Description: Joyce is an excellent choice for a baby girl. It used to be a boy name but became popular with girls during the mid-twentieth century. It was in the Top 20 from 1930 to 1947, and joy is an appropriate nickname. 

50. Jude

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: “praised”
  • Description: Even though the name Jude used to connect with the traitor Judas Iscariot, it has improved. Both actors Jude Law and the Beatles’ song “Hey Jude,” thank for this improvement. 
Little girl and retro phone

(Baby boy and retro camera)

51. Kenneth

  • Origin: Scottish, Irish
  • Meaning: “born of fire, handsome.”
  • Description: The name Kenneth has great meaning for a baby boy. While it has lost popularity, it was a Top 20 name from the 1920s through the 1950s. Many girls also identify the name with Barbie’s boyfriend. The first king of Scotland was named Kenneth as well. 

52. Lorraine

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: “from the province of Lorraine.”
  • Description: The name Lorraine moved in and out of fashion over the last few hundred years. It was very popular in the 1920s through the 1950s but has not regained its popularity since. Lorraine’s most well-known fictional character is Marty McFly’s mom from the Back to the Future movies, and Lori, Reina, and Rainey are common nicknames.

53. Louis

  • Origin: German, French
  • Meaning: “renowned warrior.”
  • Description: The name Louis is both classic and vintage. It is gaining popularity, especially in Britain, because of Prince Louis Arthur Charles, and Louie is a cute nickname. 

54. Lucille

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: “light”
  • Description: The name Lucille connects Lucille Ball. Her zany antics are well-known, but the name was first popular with Christians of the Roman Empire. It was in the Top 40 from 1906 through 1924. It then fell off the list but returned in 2003. Lucy is the most common nickname. 

55. Margaret

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: “pearl”
  • Description: The name Margaret comes from the French name Marguerite, which came from the Latin form of the Greek Margarites. It connects with the patron saint of women in childbirth and princesses and queens in Austria, England, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia. Maggie, Madge, Daisy, Marge, Margo, Meg, Rita, and Daisy are possible nicknames.

56. Martha

  • Origin: Aramaic
  • Meaning: “lady”
  • Description: Martha is a great traditional and tasteful name for a baby girl, and it connects with Martha Washington and Martha Stewart. Marty, Mattie, Patsy, and Patty are fun nicknames for this vintage name. 

57. Maxine

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: “greatest” 
  • Description: While the name Max seems to be more popular for boys, Maxine is due for a comeback. It was in the Top 100 from 1915 to 1930, and it re-entered the United States Top 1000 in 2016. This one is a fun name and so cute.

58. Miles

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: “soldier or merciful.”
  • Description: Jazz legend Miles Davis made the name Miles famous, and it was also the name of the first translator, Miles Coverdale, of the Bible into English. This boy’s name is a fun choice to bring back a classic.

59. Milton

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: “settlement with a mill.”
  • Description: The name Milton comes from Old English, and it is the name of famous comedian Milton Berle and the surname of seventeenth-century poet John Milton. Miltie or Milt are good nicknames for this one. 

60. Minnie

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “wished-for child” or “of the mind, intellect.”
  • Description: The name Minnie was very popular throughout the 1880s but not used often anymore. This decline is probably due to the cartoon character mouse. It is a great nickname for a variety of names, including Mary, Minerva, and Margaret. 
Little boy and movie board

(Little girl and retro phone)

61. Nathaniel

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “gift of God.”
  • Description: The name Nathaniel comes from the Hebrew name Netan’el. It is also in both the Old and New Testaments but as Nathanael. It was in the Top 100 between 1977 and 2016. The name has many namesakes, including writers Nathaniel Hawthorne and Nathanael West. For nicknames, you can use Nate, Nat, and Natty. 

62. Nelson

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: “son of Neil.” 
  • Description: The name Nelson was most popular in the 1930s and 1940s. During that time, it was in the Top 200. People use it to honor activist Nelson Mandela. 

63. Neville

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: “new town.”
  • Description: The name Neville is more commonly present in Britain than in the United States. It is a unique choice with literary character connections in The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Harry Potter, and Nev and Nevi are good nicknames.

64. Nora

  • Origin: Irish
  • Meaning: “light”
  • Description: The name Nora is an Irish diminutive of Honora and Eleanor. It is a refined name that is an excellent choice for a baby girl. The name has been making its way up in popularity. It can also be spelled Norah, as in Norah Jones. 

65. Oliver

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: “olive tree.”
  • Description: Oliver’s name comes from Olivier, a Norman French variation on the Germanic name Alfihar. It is a popular name in Australia, England, and New Zealand but didn’t enter the United States Top 100 baby boy names until 2009. Olly is a fun nickname for this one. 

66. Opal

  • Origin: Sanskrit
  • Meaning: “gem”
  • Description: The name Opal can be old-fashioned, but it is beginning to increase in popularity. From 1910 to 1930, it was a Top 100 name. If your little girl is due in October, it is an excellent choice because it is the birthstone of the month as well. 

67. Orville

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: “gold town.”
  • Description: The name Orville is considered old-fashioned but might be due for a resurgence. The most famous Orville is aviator Orville Wright, who, along with his brother Wilbur, created the first airplane. 

68. Oscar

  • Origin: English, Irish
  • Meaning: “God spear, deer-lover, or champion warrior.”
  • Description: The name Oscar is popular in Sweden due to its royal connection and is also popular in France and Spain. It has both Norse and Irish roots. In an Irish legend, he was a mighty warrior. Your baby boy would be in the company of Oscar Wilde and Oscar Hammerstein.

69. Patricia

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: “noble, patrician.”
  • Description: Patricia was very popular in the 1940s through the 1960s but has been on the decline. It was popular in Britain due to Princess Patricia of Connaught. There are many nicknames, including Patsy, Patti, Tricia, Trish, Tisha, and Tish. 

70. Penelope

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: “weaver”
  • Description: Penelope has strong roots in Greek mythology as the wife of Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey. The name has been increasing in popularity due to actress Penelope Cruz entering the Top 100 in 2013. Penny, Poppy, and Nell are fun nicknames for this one.
Little boy and movie board

(Little boy and movie board)

71. Rosemary

  • Origin: Latin or English
  • Meaning: “dew of the sea, or rosemary.”
  • Description: Rosemary is a classic vintage name. It comes from ros, meaning dew, and Marinus, meaning sea. It is also a plant with pretty flowers. A variation of this name is Rosemarie. You could use the nicknames Rose, Mary, or Marie. 

72. Ruth

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “compassionate friend.”
  • Description: The name Ruth was in the Top 10 from the 1890s through the 1920s. According to the Old Testament, Ruth was Naomi’s daughter. This name is classic and has many namesakes, including Ruth Ginsburg, Ruth Rendell, and Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

73. Shirley

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: “bright meadow.”
  • Description: Because of Shirley Temple’s success, many people named their little girls Shirley in the 1930s. There were 42,000 babies named Shirley in 1935 alone, which made it the second most popular name that year. Before this time, Shirley was primarily a boy’s name. 

74. Tobias

  • Origin: Hebrew, Greek
  • Meaning: “God is good.”
  • Description: The Hebrew Tobiah influenced the Greek form, Tobias. There are various people named Tobias in the Bible. This one is a great vintage name for your baby boy, and Toby’s nickname is too cute. 

75. Vera

  • Origin: Russian
  • Meaning: “faith”
  • Description: Vera is a great and straightforward old-fashioned name that would be great for a baby girl. The famous Veras include designer Vera Wang, actress Vera Miles, and dancer/actress Vera-Ellen.

78. Windsor

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: “riverbank with a winch.”
  • Description: The name Windsor is used equally for both boys and girls at this point so that you could consider it regardless of the gender of your child. Fun nicknames for this one include Wind, Win, Windy, and Winnie. 


The names above are great choices if you look for something classic, unique, and vintage for your baby. We hope that these names inspire you as you search for the perfect one for your new baby! If you have any questions, please get in touch with us. 

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