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Old Fashioned Baby Names Are Back

Updated on April 24, 2018

Old-Fashioned Baby Names Back in Fashion

Old fashioned names are back! The latest trend in baby names are the vintage names of our Grandmothers and Grandfathers. We are calling our new babies by the old names and retro names - Ava and Jacob top the lists of the most popular baby names of 2013 along with Ruby, Noah, Amelia and Caleb. In 2014, depending on which site and which country, the most popular names are Liam, Emma, Noah, Olivia, Ethan, Sophia, Mason, Ava, Isabella and Jacob (UK and US). Most pretty traditional and old-Fasioned names!

Top baby names for 2017

It's official! According to data released by Mother and Baby in the UK the top baby girl name for 2017 is Olivia and top baby boy name is Noah .... Very old-fashioned baby names.

But is this true?

Baby name trends

Why do the trends in baby names change so quickly and why do certain names suddenly become popular? I can remember the reaction of my mother when I ran Ada past her as a possible name for our unborn child - like Queen Victoria she was not amused.

We all rack our brains for the best baby name and we check out all the babies names and meanings and when we've finally settled on that perfect, unique name we find that everyone else has had exactly the same idea. The only thing that can account for it is the Zeitgeist. Yes it"s the time ghost that decides which will be the most popular baby names this year.

The latest data shows the most popular baby names below - but is this really true? Find out here ...

What will Kate and William call the new little princes or prince?

What will Prince William and Kate Middleton's new baby, born on 23rd April 2018, be called? An old fashioned name for sure. The most popular ones in Britain at the moment are the betting is on Arthur.

Do you like old-fahioned baby names?

Are you a fan of the old names?

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Lord Freddie Windsor and Sophie Winkleman call new baby Maud

Lord Freddie Windsor and his wife Sophie Winkleman have called their new daughter Maud Elizabeth Daphne Marina Windsor. Now that is an old-fashioned baby name!

There are a good number of royals and princesses called Maud - Princess Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria of Wales and Princess Maud, Countess of Southesk whose full name wasMaud Alexandra Victoria Georgina Bertha to name but two.

Princess Alexandra of Denmark, later Princess of Wales in her youth Dated c. 1860
Princess Alexandra of Denmark, later Princess of Wales in her youth Dated c. 1860 | Source

Kate and William's First Baby is named George Alexander Louis

A right royal old-fashioned name

The little prince will be known as "His Royal Highness George of Cambridge".

Of course odds were that William and Kate would give their baby a traditional Royal name. According to BBC Radio 4 news on 14 July 2013 the public choice for the new royal baby name should be Victoria or James. It was a long shot that the UK Royal baby would be called Sharon, Lee, Brian, Tracy or Leanne. Not in a million years! The royal couple will go for a right royal baby name.

For a boy the betting was on George (after the little prince's great-great-grandfather on his father's side), James or Philip. There have been a lot of lucky winners then.

For girls people liked Elizabeth, but top betting favorites were Alexandra and Charlotte with odds at odds between five and six to one, but Diana was running at 8 to 1 (Friday 5th July 2013). When George's little sister was born she was called Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

Other names high in the betting order are girls names Eleanor and Mary together with boy names Benjamin, John and Louis.

I agree with the punters - Alexandra would be a perfect traditional baby name. If it's a boy they could choose Philip, Andrew, Edward or George. Interesting that the male form of Alexandra was chosen.

The real old-fashioned names like Ethel are not expected to be chosen - but you never really know, do you? (Remember Princess Eugenie?)

Ava is One of the Most Popular Vintage Names for a Girl

Ava Gardener is the most famous Ava that I can think of

Would you call your baby boy Stanley, Walter or Albert? What about Edith, Violet or Vera for your newborn little girl? Well plenty of people are looking back to the names of their Grandparents and even great Grandparents in their search for the perfect baby name - in fact has found in a poll that 40% of couples will be choosing old-fashioned baby names for their newborns.

Baby names for girls like Grace, Enid and Vera are right back in fashion and for boys the old-fashioned names like Oscar, Alfie or Jacob are popular.

One idea put forward to explain the trend to vintage names is the Downton Abbey effect. I this successful period drama all the names from the start of the century are paraded before us and so it's no wonder that we begin to think that Violet, Mabel or Ethel sound rather spiffing - is it?


Top Old Names For Boys

Vintage names for boys and the baby name meanings

These are the most popular old names for baby boys at the moment, but what do they mean? I thought I'd have a look at just my favourite top five. I've chosen my favorites because these lists are constantly changing and it also very much depends on who draws up the list and which country you are in as to which names come up at the top of the list at any given time.

  • Noah is topping the UK and American charts at the moment of writing (5th July 2013). In Hebrew it means to comfort. Noah is famously found in the bible where he builds an arc to save the creatures of the world during the great flood
  • Oscar - I like Oscar because it reminds me of Oscar Wilde. Oscar means spear
  • (We called our cat Oscar- he turned up on the door step - Oscar wild!)
  • Elija - Hebrew origin and means Lord is my God
  • Henry - German origin and means home ruler
  • Isaac Hebrew origin and means to laugh

Top Old Names For Girls

Vintage names for girls and the baby name meanings

I've made this list on the same basis of the list for boys - my own personal top five drawn from the UK and American lists:

  • Ava - the meaning of Ava depends on which language you look at. In Hebrew it means life, in Latin it means bird and in German it means Desired
  • Grace - Latin Origin and means simply grace
  • Lily - Origin Greek and comes from the flower name, Lillium, for the lily
  • Amelia - Origin Latin and it means Industrious
  • Olivia - Greek origin meaning Olive tree (Olive is a really old fashioned girl's name)

Flowers are Popular for Baby Girls Names - You can't beat old-fashioned flower names

Rose | Source

Daisy is an old-fashioned name that has come right back into fashion

"Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do...." Do you remember this charming little song? I always think the flower names for girls are so pretty and so very old-fashioned. Here are just a few of the ones I can think of:

Clary, Daisy, Hazel, Heather, Iris, Ivy, Lily, Marigold, Pansy, Primrose, Marjory, Marguerite, Marigold, Primrose, Rose, Rosemary, Violet and Viola.

Poppy I think is a modern flower name and Basil is the only usual boy's name that I can think of that comes from a flower.

The Downton Abbey Effect on Babies Names - Are you a fan of Violet, Cora or Robert?

With names like Robert, Cora, Mary, Edith, Sybil, Tom, Matthew (notice the double 'T' spelling), Elsie, Ethel, Thomas, Daisy, William, Alfred, Joseph, James and Isobel, there is a wealth of old-fashioned baby name inspiration for a generation or two. what about calling your baby after Downton Abbey's Thomas, Henry, George or May? Daphne, Rose, Daisy, Ivy, Violet and Marigold make a nice flower set of names. Lavinia or Horace are rather charming, or there's Vera, Martha, Harold or Jack to choose from. No wonder Downton Abbey is giving the old names a big boost.

Downton Abbey is bringing back good old English names

Catch a glimpse of what to expect in the new season of Downton Abbey. Pay attention to those old fashioned names.

Celebrities Choose Old Names for New Babies

What is it with celebrities that they call their children such daft names? While many are lovely - nothing wrong with Charlotte (Colin Hanks), Elizabeth (Samantha Brown), Lucy (Eli Manning) or George (Chely Wright), just take a look at what some of them have come up with for their new babies in 2017

Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott - Stormi

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West - Chicago

Jessica Alba and Cash Warren - Hayes

A Few Old Fashioned Celeb Baby Names ...

  • Colin Hanks's daughter - Charlotte
  • Rosemarie De Witt & Ron Livingston's daughter - Gracie
  • Chely Wright's son - George Samuel
  • Eva Herzigova's son - Edward
  • Poppy Montgomery's daughter - Violet Grace
  • Jack Huston & Shannan Click's daughter - Sage Lavinia (I'm not going to add Sage to my list of flower names)
  • Kerri Walsh & Casey Jennings's daughter - (Scout) Margery
  • Jeremy Renner's daughter - Ava Berlin
  • Elton John & David Furnish's son - Elija Joseph Daniel
  • Lily Allen's daughter - Marnie Rose

More Old Names Chosen by Celebrities

I'm fascinated by their baby name choices!

Björk & Matthew Barney called their daughter Isadora

Jane Danson & Robert Beck scored a triple whammy with Alfie Sam Robert

Jennifer Connelly & Paul Bettany - Agnes

Tom Cavanagh & Maureen Grise - James Joseph

Ashly Costa & Mike Costa - Enoch Daniel

Jon Cryer & Lisa Joyner - Daisy

Chris Daughtry & Deanna Daughtry - Noah Jones

Chris Deffenbaugh & Jo Dee Messina - Noah Roger

Moon Unit Zappa & Paul Doucette - Matilda

Karolina Kurkova & Archie Drury - Tobin Jack

BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour Inspired This Article - Join Jenni Murray for chat about baby names

Jenni Murray chats with Journalist Viv Groskop about why old-fashioned names are right back in fashion. Old names for boys and girls have made a come-back but what exactly dictates popular baby name choices and what will the next trend be?

What Do You Think About Old Names for Boys and Girls? - Are you all for the retro baby names revival or do you like something more modern?

Are you a fan of vintage babies names?

See results

© 2013 Barbara Walton

What's Your Fabourite Baby Name Just Now? - Leave me a message about your name loves and hates

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      6 years ago

      I love your new blog theme! It's very nice. Even i am working on that has amazing list of baby names of many origins. The baby names offered by babynology truly harmonize with the choice of parents.


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