These Old-Fashioned Baby Names Still Have Serious Appeal Today

Don’t get us wrong: We’re definitely fans of modern, trendy baby names — especially the weird and wonderful monikers celebrities somehow keep coming up with these days. But there’s also definitely a place in the baby-name world for the old-fashioned gems. We don’t mean old-fashioned ie archaic; going too old-school can lead you to some very, um, interesting choices (hats off to the Zebediahs of the world, though, respect). Time-tested doesn’t have to mean out-of-date. There are plenty of old-fashioned baby names that work great in our postmodern era, too.

So we thumbed through the history books and gathered up the best classics from the Victorian era to the Roaring ’20s to the Rockin’ ’50s. Elegant and timeless, these are names you’re not going to forget anytime soon.

Pre-20th-century names

According to the Social Security Administration, these were the most popular classic baby names of the 1880s.

Top baby boy names of the 1880s

  1. John
  2. William
  3. James
  4. George
  5. Charles
  6. Frank
  7. Joseph
  8. Henry
  9. Robert
  10. Thomas
  11. Edward
  12. Harry
  13. Walter
  14. Arthur
  15. Fred
  16. Albert
  17. Samuel
  18. Clarence
  19. Louis
  20. David

Common baby names

Top girl names of the 1880s

  1. Mary
  2. Anna
  3. Emma
  4. Elizabeth
  5. Margaret
  6. Minnie
  7. Ida
  8. Bertha
  9. Clara
  10. Alice
  11. Annie
  12. Florence
  13. Bessie
  14. Grace
  15. Ethel
  16. Sarah
  17. Ella
  18. Martha
  19. Nellie
  20. Mabel

A version of this article was originally published in February 2016. 

Next page: Baby names of the ’20s.

Need more inspo? Here are our favorite names inspired by this year’s Oscars.

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