12 Old-Fashioned Girl Names That Are Ready for a Comeback
When it comes to baby names, we're firm believers that everything old is new again. With that in mind, here are twelve vintage-inspired girls baby names that we'd love to see come back in style.
The name Alice, which means "of the nobility" or "noble born," consistently ranked in the top 20 girls names during the early part of the 19th century, but its popularity began to wane during the '40s and '50s, dropping down to the 112th by the end of the decade. However, in recent years, it's begun to experience something of a revival and was ranked the 76th most popular baby name for girls in 2016 by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
While sometimes used as a nickname for Elizabeth, Betty is a beautiful name all on its own. Meaning "oath" or "God is my oath," Betty was most prevalent back in 1934 when it ranked as the second most popular girls name in the country. We think it's time for a comeback.
Charlotte, the feminized form of Charles, has long been a name associated with British royalty. Though somewhat widely used during the 1940s, its popularity peaked at the rank of 47 on the US baby name charts and didn't crack the top ten until Will and Kate's little princess arrived in 2015. Charlotte ranked ninth that year and seventh in 2016, according to the SSA.
Perhaps bringing to mind the Nutcracker ballet, Clara means "bright," or "light," or "illustrious," and much like Alice, the old-school name is experiencing something of a surge in popularity right now. In 1890, it was the 9th most popular girl baby name in the country; 100 years later in 1990, it had fallen to a rank of 515, and just last year, it cracked the top 100 names yet again, coming in at 99 on the SSA charts.
Interested in old-fashioned baby names? Keep Dorothy on your list. Even if you don't like the full Wizard of Oz-
If you're going to name your daughter after a Jane Austen heroine, might we suggest Emma? Meaning "whole" or "universal," Emma was an extremely popular name in the United States during the late 1800s, but slowly fell out of favor; however, it's steadily been climbing the ranks since the late '80s and found itself at the top of the SSA data in 2016.
A sweet nickname for Harriet, Hattie means "ruler of the house." It was quite common during the late 1800s and is slowly climbing the popularity charts yet again. In 2009, it held the position of 1,764 in the SSA's rankings; last year, Hattie almost broke into the top 500 girls names, holding steady at number 503.
The female version of the name Joseph, Josephine means the name means "God will increase" or "God will add." At one point, Josephine was the 21st most common baby name in the country, and it is steadily making its way back up the charts after a decades-long decline in popularity. In 1987, for example, it ranked as the 498th most popular
Margaret is another name associated with the British royal family—specifically, the Queen's late sister, Princess Margaret. It has multiple meanings: "pearl" and "flower," and could be found in the top ten baby names in the country for years, during the from the late 1800s through the 1930s. In recent years, it has fallen slightly in the SSA rankings, coming in at 139 in 2016.
It started to pick up steam in 2010 and has been growing steadily for the past few years (perhaps in part due to Lily James's character on Downton Abbey). In 2016, it was ranked the 154th most popular
Another flower name (and another Downton Abbey character), currently ranks at number 47 on the U.S. charts after years of decline from its turn-of-the-century popularity.
Sharing your name with a manic literary icon could be seen as both a blessing and a curse, but we prefer to look on the bright side. It means "strong woman," and despite essentially falling off the SSA charts back in 1995 (it ranks at 13,385), the name has steadily been making a slight comeback, ranking at 689 in 2016.
All data pulled from the Social Security Administration's baby names tracker.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.