There’s nothing wrong with picking a contemporary name like Bella or Finn for your baby, but there are plenty of traditional baby names out there that deserve to make a comeback.
Unfortunately the term “vintage” gets thrown around so often these days, it’s hard to know what it truly means anymore. So just to clarify, the Oxford Dictionary explains that vintage refers to “something from the past of high quality, especially something representing the best of its kind.” So we aren’t talking about just any old names from the past here. These are some of the very best history has to offer.
Vintage baby names for girls
Elizabeth has floated into the background in recent years and been replaced by some of its diminutives, such as Ella and Eliza. But the longer version of the name has a whole lot of history, considering its Hebrew form dates back to the Old Testament and the Greek form dates back to the New Testament. And let’s face it: With Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Elizabeth II and Elizabeth Taylor answering to it, it’s definitely a name with character.
It’s rather surprising to note that from the fifth century through to the Middle Ages, Vivian was considered a masculine name. But today it makes for quite a striking, elegant option for baby girls.
The name was first introduced to England by the Normans in the medieval era. Its beautiful simplicity is rare and lovely.
Though Evelyn first appeared in the 17th century as a name for boys, it now makes a graceful and angelic name for a beautiful baby girl.
Margaret, or its French form, Marguerite, if you prefer, comes from a Greek word meaning “pearl.” A variety of great female figures — from Queen Margaret I of Denmark, who united Denmark, Sweden and Norway in the 14th century, to Canada’s own Margaret Atwood — have worn the name well. So your daughter will certainly be in good company.
Vintage baby names for boys
Jasper actually means “treasurer” in Persian, and the name was traditionally assigned to one of the three wise men who visited Jesus at his birth. But despite its long history, it has a crisp, fresh ring to it that makes it perfect for today.
Leo, meaning “lion,” is derived from the name Leon, which was held by several Roman bishops, Byzantine emperors and Armenian kings throughout the years. It also happens to be a zodiac sign and the name of one of the world’s greatest writers, Leo Tolstoy. This is certainly a name that inspires strength and confidence.
This is undoubtedly a powerful name, considering it is derived from the Greek Theodoros, meaning “gift of God.” But when you want to call your little one something a little cuter, Theo makes for a great nickname!
It’s no surprise so many British kings bore this name, considering it’s derived from a Germanic name meaning “home ruler.” And since your baby boy is going to be somewhat ruling your home for the next few years, the name certainly fits!
Noah is derived from a Hebrew name meaning “rest” and “comfort.” Although your little one may not give you a whole lot of those in the first few months, the joy he’ll bring you in the long run makes this vintage name very appropriate.
To find out about the history of all the names you’re considering bestowing upon your baby, check out the website Behind the Name.