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Old Fashioned Names for Babies

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
Old Fashioned Names for Babies

When you are expecting a child, one of the most crucial moments is choosing your baby's name. You can search for hours for the meaning of names, according to their uniqueness, sound or even to the people who your baby will share their name with.

Sometimes, looking back at the past can bring some pleasant surprises, as fashionable names from the 1800's, twenties or forties become popular once more. If you want your baby to have a vintage beautiful name, then take a look at this OneHowTo list of the best old fashioned names for babies and their meanings.

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Old Fashioned baby names for girls

First of all, we'd like to give you a list of the best old fashioned names for baby girls, with an explanation of when each name was popular and the meaning of the name:

  • Arabella: This was a popular name during the Middle Ages and has been a popular in several novels throughout the XIXth and XXth century too. It is believed to have a Norman origin, though its meaning is uncertain.
  • Adelaide: This name comes from a Germanic background and means "Noble kind".
  • Bertha: This was a popular name in the 19th century, it has a Germanic origin too, deriving from the German world beraht which can be translated to bright or famous.
  • Brenda: Widely used in the 50s, this is supposedly a Celtic name and is believed to have a related meaning to swords, though its actual origin is pretty uncertain.
  • Clara: This name is derived from the more popular Claire. It comes from the Latin word clarus which is translated as bright or clear. It was also a popular name during early medieval times thanks to Saint Clare of Assisi.
  • Cynthia: Believe it or not, Cynthia or Kynthia is another name given to the Greek and Latin goddess of the moon and hunting Artemis. In turn, the Greek name comes from mount Kynthos in the island of Delos.
  • Dorothy: Another name with a Greek origin, Dorothy, or Dorothea in Greek, means "a gift from God".
  • Edith: This name is believed to have an Anglo-Saxon origin and is a mix of two words prosperity and war, which is why the name's meaning is "prosperous in war", making it a name for a very strong and courageous girl.
  • Florence: This name was highly popular during the XIXth century due to Florence Nightingale's fame. It comes from the Latin name Florentia, which means "blooming or flourishing".
  • Gwendolyn: Clearly, this name has a Welsh origin and is derived from the name Gwendolen. Its significance is fair-browed.
  • Nancy: This was a very popular name among baby boomers. It is a derivation of the name Ann,which in turn derived to Nan and its pet name Nancy. This name means Gracious.
  • Olivia: As you may have figured out, this name comes from Olive or olive tree. It became popular due to the character in Shakespeare's play "Twelfth Night".
  • Penelope: Most of you will know this is the name of Odysseus' patient wife who waited for her lover to return to Ithaca; which is why it's associated to loyalty very often. The origin of the name is uncertain, though it is believed to be linked to penelops, which is a type of duck.
  • Virginia: This name comes from ancient Rome and derives from the Latin word Verginius, which means flourishing or "from Spring".
  • Viola: Also from Latin origin, this name was highly popular both in the Middle Ages and during the 19th century, as it means Violet, a popular flower during these times.
Old Fashioned Names for Babies - Old Fashioned baby names for girls

Old Fashioned baby names for Boys

Are you expecting a boy and want to take a look at some great old fashioned names for boys? We've selected some of them so you can choose the one you prefer:

  • Amos: This was a very popular name during the 1920's and has a Hebrew origin, as this name means borne or burden, and was one of the twelve minor prophets of the Hebrew Bible.
  • Benedict: One of the names borne by many Christian saints and clergy, this name derives from the Latin Benedictus, which means blessed.
  • Bryce: Though this can be a name for both boy or girl, this was originally a surname during the Middle Ages, and it is believed to have a Celtic origin. The name's meaning is strength.
  • Cedric: It was actually Sir Walter Scott who invented this name in the XIXth century, by giving it to one of the characters from his novel Ivanhoe. However, it is believed that Scott was inspired by the founder of the West Saxon kingdom Cerdic.
  • Conrad: This name comes from the Germanic word Kuonrat, which means "wise counsel".
  • Ira: This name can also be acceptable for both boys and girls. It has a Hebrew origin and means watchful. This is also the name given to the wind-god in Sanskrit.
  • Easton: This name has an Anglo-Saxon origin, also known as Eastyn. Easton means from the East Town.
  • Eugene: A pretty popular name in France during the 20th century, Eugene has a Latin origin and means well-borne.
  • Harold: This name comes from the old English word Hereweald, which means army ruler, though the Scandinavians also used it with the same etymology.
  • Mason: Again, another name that can be appropriate for both girls and boys. Clearly this name comes from the profession of Mason, meaning stone worker.
  • Roy: Though many think that it's an abbreviation of Roger, the truth is that Roy is a Gaelic name that derives from the word ruadh, which means red and was usually given to children who were born red-headed.
  • Terrance: This name has a Latin origin, and comes from the Roman family name Terentius. It is believed that, in turn, this name derived from the word terenus which means soft.
  • Tristan: You may already know that Tristan is famous for the Medieval legend of Tristan and Isolde, where Tristan accidentally falls in love with Isolde, the wife of the king he served. The name comes from the Gaelic word Drystan which means riot.
  • Ulric: This name, that was borne most popularly by people from Germanic; origin actually has an ancient English significance, meaning Noble ruler or wolf ruler.
  • Walter: This name was very popular during the XIXth and XXth century. It has a Norman origin and means army ruler.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Old Fashioned Names for Babies, we recommend you visit our Family health category.

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