When it comes to naming their child parents often have a hard time figuring out what name they want to choose, and what name suits the child best. Of course, there are endless options out there, so how does one even pick? Well, why not recycle old names? It's 2019 for god's sake, recycling is a lifestyle nowadays. Okay, we're just kidding... well kind of. No one is forced to give their little bundle of joy a vintage name, but if anyone out there wants to, we've got 'em covered!
We decided to go through the alphabet and find a classic name for every letter, one that hasn't been as popular for at least the past half a century, and honestly, it took quite a while because there are so many beautiful vintage names out there that totally deserve some 2019 exposure. Finally, after hours of picking and switching, the list was satisfactory and ready for sharing. Hopefully, it gets to at least inspire some new parents out there to go a bit a retro instead of super modern with their child's name because honestly, these names are timeless!
Here they are, 26 vintage names we believe should make a comeback, all listed in alphabetical order:
Let's kick the list off with Arthur, a very classic name that became immensely popular in England in the Middle Ages and it remained just as popular until around the 19th century. The meaning of the name itself is still quite unknown, with potential Celtic and Roman heritage. Arthur has that classic, royal note to it, and any kid named Arthur is bound to be respected. Anyways, not many kids are named Arthur nowadays, and we honestly just don't understand why.
For the letter B we opted for the name Betty, because even though kids aren't named that as much as they used to, the name is still totally adorable and bound to be loved! Betty is usually a nickname for Elizabeth, but honestly, it is so good that it can definitely stand as a name on its own! Just think of legendary Hollywood actresses like Betty Grable and Betty White, any little lady named after them can be proud of her name!
Claude is yet another one of those great old-timey names that people have just stopped using. It is of French heritage and the great thing about it is that it can be used as a gender-neutral name, as it works just as well as a male as it does as a female. And of course, it has that French chicness to it, especially since it immediately reminds us of the French impressionist painter Claude Monet. Yup, more kids should be named Claude nowadays!
Darlene is a beautiful female name that people have slowly stopped using as much, and frankly it makes no sense they did! It just sounds so loving and caring, mainly because it is a combination of the English word darling combined with the popular name suffix lene. The name itself got very popular at the beginning of the 20th century, and we are hoping more people start naming their kids this again, because who wouldn't want to be named a darling?
Another great baby girl name is Edith, it sounds super old-school but also very sophisticated and smart. The name comes from Old English and was immensely popular Anglo-Saxon royalty, all the way up until the 19th century, when it became used less and less. The name also rose to fame in Nordic and Germanic language speaking countries, and it is still quite popular in those. Naming a baby girl Edith will for sure please the older generations but also make her seem unique and retro amongst younger ones.
Another vintage name that can be used in a gender-neutral manner is the name Francis. According to Behind The Name it is the English form of the Late Latin name Franciscus which meant "Frenchman". It became popular in the 13th century, but it only spread out to Britain in the 16th, and has been used quite a bit there up until the 20th century. The name has plenty of variations but this one is our fave, and honestly, we believe the name needs to have a comeback asap!
Gladys was a very popular Welsh name, in fact, it is actually the Welsh form of the name Claudia and it gained quite a bit of popularity back in the 19th as well as early 20th century. However, after that period, the name's popularity went down, and we definitely think that isn't justified, aka we hope it soon regains it's title of coolest Welsh name one can give their daughter. Seriously guys, start naming your kid Gladys because Gladys is amazing!
Definitely a name this list couldn't have been done without is Henry. Yup, if something screams old school and sophisticated it is Henry. The world's history is full of Henry's and usually our first association is a king or two. Henry has been a very popular male name ever since it entered the scene roughly around the 10th century, and it has been slaying it's way amongst English, German and French royalty ever since. However, once the early 20th century rolled around, it also made the name less popular, and frankly, we really didn't get why.
Irene is an ancient Greek name, making it one of the oldest and may we dare say "most vintage" names on this list. According to Behind The Name, it was the name of the Greek goddess who personified peace, and the word itself means... guess what... yup, peace. The name has since had a lot of popularity in the Eastern Christian world, and it only became popular for a short time in the English speaking part of the world, mainly around the 19th century.
Now if you haven't started singing Dolly Parton's "Joanne" after reading this name, who are you and what have you been doing with your life. Seriously, Joanne is such a gorgeous female name, and it deserves to be used a lot more than it currently is. It gained popularity in English and French-speaking countries, and we honestly believe it might be one of the prettiest female names on this list. It has some other variations such as Joan or Johanne, but if you ask us, Joanne is the classiest one!
Kenneth is a male name whose heritage is English and Nordic, and it is still somewhat used in those countries. The name first became notable because of the Scottish king Kenneth who united the Scots and Picts in the 9th century, and the name only gained popularity ever since. Well ever since but only up to around the early 20th century, which is when it started to be used less and less often. So if you want your boy to have a nice, retro-sounding yet kinda also contemporary (due to the nickname Kenny) name, this one is it.
Another classic male name right up there with Henry is Leonard. It's just one of those Vintage names that everyone has heard of, and everyone associates with someone whether its Leonardo Da Vinci or DiCaprio. And granted, while the name is still used here and there, we believe that it should definitely be used more. The name itself is of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese descent and it became a staple somewhere around the 13th century. We would like for it to become a staple again!
Marcia, the feminine version of Marcius, has been a name widely used in the English-speaking world since the 18th century. But as you've guessed it, the name hasn't been too popular lately, and we believe it definitely deserves a comeback. It's seems like one of those pretty and girly names, yet it also somehow gives us independence and strength vibes, and if that isn't something you want in your baby girl's name than you're doing this whole parenting thing wrong.
Nanette, the diminutive of Anne, is another one of those names that has a couple of variations and frankly, all of them are super pretty. There's Annie, there's Nan, Nancy, or Nannie and while we do love all of them, we opted for Nanette because, well, it gave us that slight vintage feel, and it made our hearts warm up. Now a lot of us don't really know any Nanette's which is a clear sign that the name deserves to be more popular.
Okay, let's break the name Oswald down. According to Behind The Name, it is composed out of "os" which stands for God in Old English, and " weald" which means power. The name became popular around the 7th century, with Saint Oswald, who was a king of Northumbria and introduced Christianity to northeast England. A funny thing about the name is that it was almost extinct by the end of the Middle Ages, but luckily it was revived in the 19th century. And we believe it deserves another revival.
Peaches is a quite unique vintage name, as it sort of has that modern day hipster vibe to it. It first got popular in the Late Middle Ages and the name comes from the Old French pesche, from the medieval Latin persica, and from the Latin persicum, which literally means "Persian apple." If you want your daughter to have a more unique and slightly more modern but still quite vintage name, definitely go fro this one! Yup, Bob Geldof did well!
Quincy is a quite rare English male name, on that isn't used nearly as much as it used to be nowadays. The name itself comes from the Roman name Quintus, making this one another really old name that made our list. When it comes to famous people bearing this name, one immediately thinks of Quincy Jones, the record producer, musician, composer, and film producer also known as just "Q". Anyways, if you're looking for a rare yet retro male name, look no longer!
Randall is another quite old school name that kids just aren't named as much anymore. The name itself is derived from the medieval English given name Randel, and we don't really understand why it went down in popularity the past century. Randall sounds sophisticated yet cool, it seems like a boss name but also kinda cute and loving at the same time. Besides, the nickname is Randy, and doesn't that one just sound super adorable? Yeah as you can tell, Randall is for sure one of our personal faves.
What other name could we have picked for letter "S". Shirley obviously had to be our number one choice, and frankly Shirley Temple was definitely the main reason why. But let's put her cuteness aside for a second, according to Behind The Name, Shirley was originally derived from a place name meaning "bright clearing" in Old English. The name was quite popular in the 19th and early 20th century, due to Charlotte Brontë's semi-autobiographical novel 'Shirley', and we definitely think it deserves a comeback.
Theodore is another very old name on our list, finding its origin in the Greek name Theodoros, which meant "gift of God" from Greek Theos "god" and Doron which means "gift". Besides the wonderful etymology of the name, it also just sounds very vintage and classy. And obviously, to modern it up if necessary, the nickname would be Theo. Oh, an fun fact: the name Dorothea has the exact same word roots, just in reverse order! So if you're by any chance planning on having a boy and a girl this name combo would be wonderful!
Okay, we admit it, The Little Mermaid may have had a slight impact on the name Ursula, but we are here to fight for justice and try to help it regain some popularity because once you let go of that sea witch image in your head, you'll realize the name is actually very pretty. According to Behind The Name, Ursula originally means "little bear", derived from a diminutive form of the Latin word Ursa which means "she-bear". The name was quite popular during the Middle Ages, and we believe it deserves a second shot!
Here's another one of those super old names, this one finding its origin in the Roman name Vincentius, which was derived from the Latin verb vincere, meaning "to conquer". As with most names derived from Latin, it was a very popular English name during the Middle Ages, only to go down in popularity later on. It once again became quite trendy in the 19th century, and as you've guessed it, we clearly think it deserves a third round at fame!
For "W" we chose the name Wesley, originating in the Old English name meaning "west meadow". The name was at it's peak in the 18th century, and has been still used ever since. And while we may know or have heard of a Wesley here and there, we also think the name deserves more exposure, and more people carrying it. Besides, having your nickname being Wes is super short and cute and just sounds smart and cool, which is why this is a great name choice.
Names starting with an "X" are quite unique and unusual, which is why an vintage one is even more beautiful. We went for the name Xavier, which has its origin in the Basque place name Etxeberria meaning "the new house". The name itself has a couple of other English variations such as Xzavier, Zavier, and Xavior, but we think Xavier still sounds (and looks) the best. And with a name like this you can bet your little one will grow up to be a unique and independent individual.
For "Y" we opted for a female name, one that finds its origin in the French feminine form of Yves, which was a common name for French Medieval priests and saints. We simply picked it because it sounds like a slightly more vintage version of Yvonne, which is a beautiful name as well and has the exact same origin. Yvette sounds cute and adorable while still giving us those chic French vibes. It's the perfect name for a little baby girl!
Fair enough, Zack or Zac is a quite common name, but a lot of times those people are actually named that. However, we would like for the old school version of that name to have a full comeback, as we believe the name Zachary deserves more full pronunciation! It just sounds so much better and more classy, doesn't it? And with Zachary we wrap up our alphabetical list of vintage names we hope get a revival, because they surely deserve it!