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Retro baby names

In today’s fast-paced world, giving your girl or boy a retro baby name is a great way to reconnect to a more innocent time. These classic baby names will stand the test of time. Check out our picks for the best retro baby names for girls and boys.

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Photo credit: PNC / Digital Vision / Getty Images

Retro names for boys

Biblical baby names have dominated the charts from the 1800s to modern times but these other names for boys used to be really popular.

Here’s our list of the top retro boys’ names:

  1. Hubert
  2. Clayton
  3. Wilson
  4. Harley
  5. Curtis
  6. Cleveland
  7. Cecil
  8. Eli
  9. Wiley
  10. Nicholas
  11. Reuben
  12. Owen
  13. Max
  14. Silas
  15. Fredrick
  16. Sylvester
  17. Marshall
  18. Emmett
  19. Ross
  20. Levi
  21. Otis
  22. Wallace
  23. Russell
  24. Gus
  25. Everett

Check out these spring-inspired baby names >>

Retro names for girls

These retro girls’ names, straight from the list of top baby girl names from the 1800s, are full of classic yet surprisingly modern-sounding baby names.

Here’s our list of the top retro girls’ names:

  1. Mary
  2. Elizabeth
  3. Margaret
  4. Ida
  5. Clara
  6. Alicia
  7. Florence
  8. Ethel
  9. Nellie
  10. Mabel
  11. Cora
  12. Helen
  13. Lilian
  14. Gertrude
  15. Rose
  16. Pearl
  17. Edith
  18. Hattie
  19. Mattie
  20. Julia
  21. Maggie
  22. Rosa
  23. Daisy
  24. Nettie
  25. Lizzie

Find out the trends in celebrity baby names >>

Old Hollywood baby names

We can also find great retro baby names by looking at the popular celebrities in the 1930s. Here are some standouts:

Boy names:

  • Fred (Astaire)
  • Charlie (Chaplin)
  • Errol (Flynn)
  • Clark (Gable)
  • William (Powell)
  • Charles (Laughton)
  • Thomas (Mitchell)

Girl names:

  • Greta (Garbo)
  • Myrna (Loy)
  • Ginger (Rogers)
  • Shirley (Temple)
  • Mae (West)
  • Hattie (McDaniel)
  • Claudette (Colbert)

Baby names from literature

Take a look at classic books and their characters for some wonderful names with a retro feel. Names such as Atticus (To Kill a Mockingbird), Gatsby (The Great Gatsby), Holden (The Catcher in the Rye) and Phineas (A Separate Peace) for boys. For girls, consider Jane (Jane Austen), Ophelia (Shakespeare), Portia (Shakespeare), Lily (The House of Mirth) or Hester (The Scarlet Letter).

You can also take a look back at your own family tree. Not only might these names have a wonderful retro sound to them, but passing on a family name is a wonderful way to stay connected to the past while moving toward the future.

More baby name ideas

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British-inspired baby names

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