Baby Names

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Jane Austen Fans Will Love These Regency Baby Names

Till this moment I never knew myself.”

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Few eras spark imaginations like the Regency era in England. The Regency period is defined as the surprisingly brief time of 1811 to 1820 when George, Prince of Wales, governed the country as ‘Regent’ during the madness of his father George III. The irony is, this is often seen as one of the most romantic periods ever, thanks in large part to authors like Jane Austen who intimately documented the fashions, attitudes, and affairs of the day — and inspired generations of women to be named after her characters and other popular Regency era names.

Given the time period, Regency era names are naturally old timey. They may also sometimes sound like nicknames more than proper names. Think: Minney and Lizzy. You’ll also often see nods to Greek and Roman antiquity in Regency era names. That’s because the Regency era was a time of great exploration with many archeological findings in Greece, Rome, Pompeii and Egypt, according to the New York Public Library.

Regency era names also reflect their times, an era when status was very important and names were something that didn’t just reflect upon a person, but their whole family and it’s standing in society. So keep that in mind.



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Agnes was one of the most top 50 women’s names in the 1800s. We know this thanks to Parish records, according to Historical Romance UK. If you want to be totally authentic to your favorite time period, then Agnes is a smart choice.



The beauty of the name Henrietta is that you can shorten it to Hetty as well. Naturally, the name shows up in Jane Austen’s Persuasion. The character in question is Henrietta Musgrove who is only a minor player but with a great name nonetheless.



Biblical names also were very popular during the Regency era. And that makes sense. In British villages, the church was central to life and many activities revolved around it. So naming a child after a Bible character isn’t surprising.



Here’s a fun fact: Eliza was the name of Jane Austen’s real life first cousin. She was known for being quite a character. So there’s that little back story to share with your daughter should you choose this name.



The name Fanny shows up a lot in the 1800s, both in England and America. A shortened version of Frances, it means “free one.”



This one is pretty obvious. In fact, it’s the title of one of Jane Austen’s most popular novels. But it was also just a very common Regency era name.



Eleanor or Elinor, depending on your preferred spelling, is a beloved name thanks to the character Elinor Dashwood from Sense & Sensibility.



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If you want another name that sounds very Regency era, consider the charming Isabella. The name has Spanish and Italian variations and means “God is my oath.”



You don’t run into a lot of Lavinias these days, but maybe you should. The name sounds oh so Regency. You can practically see the little Lavinia wearing a tiny high waisted dress and bonnet.



Oh boy, careful with Regency era names. Lydia’s reputation precedes her. Lydia Bennet in the classic Pride & Prejudice manages to bring all kinds of shame upon her family with her flirtations and marriage to George Wickam.



Want your daughter’s name to sound like a true Regency era heroine? Consider Letitia, a favorite of pop Regency era writers to this day.



Martha was a favorite name of the 17 and 1800s. Just look at Martha Washington who passed in 1802. So naturally, it shows up often in U.K. records from that time as well.



It’s incredible to think about how long Sarah has endured as a popular name. In the 1800s, it was one of the top 10 names in Britain.



The name Liz might sound modern, but it has a Regency era past as Lizzy. A riff on Elizabeth, the cute name got bold name status in Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.



There’s something sort of sweet about the name Minney. It may bring to mind Minnie Mouse, but also mini as in small. A small little Regency era named darling? What could be better than that.



Remember how we said Regency era people were fascinated by antiquity? Well, that spilled over in the naming of children with titles like Aurelia. Of Latin origin, it means “the golden one.”



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Octavia is a decidedly Roman name. The female version of Octavius, it means eight. But it also has a certain romantic edge that lends itself to the Regency era name canon.



Some may think Jane Austen just came up with the name Kitty for her book Pride and Prejudice, but it actually was a popular name of the era. It might have been more of a pet name for Katherine, but it makes a great proper name today.

Lean into your love of the Regency era by using a popular name from the time period for your child.

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