There’s a lot of pressure that comes with picking out your baby’s name. After all, it’s a decision that lasts a lifetime (unless your kiddo decides to change their name later on, that is), and as such, you just don’t want to screw that up. But do you choose something that is cool right now, or a classic name? Well, these vintage baby names will ensure that your baby will always be in style.
Your baby’s name signifies so much more than the name itself. It should be a representation of your hopes and dreams for your little one, which can be a hard feat when you consider that you’re bestowing a name upon a newborn you just met. Of course, you could always go totally trendy and pick a popular name that’s hot this year (think Emma, Ava, or Aiden, for example), but chances are, you probably already know quite a few kids with the same name. And that’s when taking a trip back in time to vintage names can provide a source of inspiration for you.
So check out these 35 vintage baby names. Some are Biblical, some might even seem sweetly old-fashioned, but all are meaningful, timeless, beautiful, which is most likely exactly how you feel about your newborn baby.
1 Eloise Lee Ergulec, Getty images
Although the name Eloise is often associated with the character who lived at the Plaza Hotel, the name is a classic choice. Of French and English origin, Eloise means “healthy” which is just the kind of name you want to bestow upon your baby. Hopefully your little one isn’t as mischievous as the character so many have come to know and love.
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel brought it back, the name Silas has been around for a long time. Meaning “Man of the Forest”, Silas is typically a boy’s name that is of English and Latin origin. And in case you’re confused, it’s pronounced “Sye-lass”, and not “Sil-us”. 3 Theodore
You already feel like your baby is a gift, so the name Theodore is fitting, since it means “gift of God.” It’s of Greek origin, and with nicknames like Theo or (aww), Teddy, it’s a perfect pick for your little one.
The English version of Milo, Miles is a classic baby name that has become popular once again. It means “soldier” or “merciful”, and is of English origin.
Hey, Jude! Expect a lot of that (and more) when you name your baby Jude. It means “praised” and can be a gender-neutral name. It’s a shortened version of the Hebrew name Judah, one of the 12 apostles in the Bible.
Eleanor is one of those girl’s names that has several origins. It can be a derivative of Helen or Ellen, which is of English roots. But then, it also derives from the Provencal phrase alia Aenor, meaning “other Aenor.”
Having twins? Why not name one of them Thomas? The name literally means “twin”, and is usually a boy’s name. Thomas was one of the 12 apostles in the Bible and is of Greek origin.
Frances is a girl’s name that means, you guessed it “from France” or “free man”. It has Latin origins, and is the feminine version of the boys’ name Francis. Sweet nicknames for Frances can be Fran or Franny.
Maybe the name Alice reminds you of white rabbits and red queens. But Alice is an adorable name for a little girl, and it means “noble”. It has German origins, and is a derivative of Adelaide.
10 Oliver Tom Gautier, Getty images
Oliver is another one of those names that has multiple origins, from the English meaning “Descendant of the Ancestor” to a French derivative of Olivier. It’s a name that’s been around forever and has enduring appeal. And with nicknames like Ollie or Olive, it’s easy to see why.
Did you give birth to a little boss baby? Then Henry might be a fitting name, since it means “house ruler” in Old German. The name Henry is an uber popular French baby boy’s name, and is derived from the French name Henri, which is a cute spelling, too.
Michael is one of those vintage names that never seems to go out of style. It means “who is like God?” and was traditionally a boys’ name of Hebrew origin. But lately, Michael has become a gender-neutral name (kind of like Kyle), and can be for a boy or a girl.
Dating back nearly 1,000 years, William is a boy’s name that has English ties. It means “resolute protector” and is derived from Wilhelm, an Old Germanic name. Your “strong-willed warrior” just might grow into his name in the future.
Of course, the name Rose means, well, rose. This floral name is a classic, and is most often used as a girl’s first or middle name. And if you’re a Golden Girls fan, well, then Rose is a no-brainer — literally.
Sure, it might conjure up images of an ark, but Noah is a name that’s been around since forever. It means “peaceful” and is of Hebrew origins. It’s usually a boy’s name, but can be gender-neutral, too.
If your baby has brought some clarity to your life, Claire is a fitting name. With its meaning of “bright, clear,” Claire is a French name that is a version of the French name Clara. In the past, interestingly enough, Clair (without the e) was a traditional name for baby boys.
Deriving from Latin meaning “foreign woman” or “wild”, your little Barbara will be in good company with this truly vintage name. It’s pronounced “Bar-bra” as opposed to “Bar-ba-ra” and might be fitting for your spirited little sweetie.
Once a boys’ name, James has become a gender-neutral name that’s fitting for both boys and girls. It has Hebrew origins and means “supplanter”. Nicknames for James include Jim or Jimmy and is a name that just never goes out of style.
Grace is one of those names that means exactly what it says: grace. It’s a girl’s name with Latin origin and can also mean “grace of God”. It can also be spelled Grayce or Grayse, which gives it a cute Gray nickname.
20 Benedict George Marks, Getty images
Feeling blessed with your baby? Then you can name then Benedict. It means “blessed” and is of Latin origin. It has a slew of nicknames, like Ben, Benny, Benno, and more. The name has been around since the Middle Ages, and still remains timeless today.
Sometimes there’s more to a name than its meaning. And Cassius, which signifies “empty or hollow” doesn’t have the most inspirational significance, but it’s still a very vintage (and popular) name anyway. It’s pronounced “Cash-us” and not “Cas-i-us”, although you can technically pronounce it any way you want.
Meaning “wisdom”, Sophia is a girl’s name of Greek origin. It’s been popular since forever (dating back to the Middle Ages), and has different spellings, including Sofia, and derivatives like Sophie, Fifi, or Fia.
Once more common as a nickname, Betty has become popular in its own right. It’s a form of Elizabeth or Bethany, and can also be a nickname for Beatrice, too. It means “pledged to God” in Hebrew, and is one of those sweet, old-fashioned names that has seen a resurgence.
The meaning of the name Penelope might not be a seller (it means “weaver” in Greek), but there’s no denying how darling the name is. If you remember your high school English classes, the name Penelope might sound familiar, since she was the wife of Odysseus in Homer’s
Odyssey. 25 Owen
Had an easy birth? (Lucky duck.) If so, Owen might work as a boy’s name, since it means “well born”. It’s traditionally a Welsh name and can also mean “young warrior”. It was originally spelled Owain, which is also a cool twist to this vintage name.
For those who want a short and sweet name, you can’t beat Jack. It’s a derivative of John, and means “God is gracious”. It’s of English origin and dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was used as another term for “man”.
Esme has several meanings (like “esteemed or beloved”), but it has multiple origins. For example, it can be a derivative of Esmeralda, a Spanish name, or esmer, an Old French verb that means “to esteem”. Either way, your little Esme is someone to love.
Biblical names for babies are popular, and that’s what makes Samuel a timeless name. It means “told by God” and has Hebrew origins. It derives from the name Shemu’el, and is a beloved Biblical name.
When your newborn steals your heart, that’s when Vincent can be an ideal name. It means “conquering” and has been around since the Middle Ages name. The French took a liking to it, and then brought it to England and eventually the U.S., where it has become even more popular.
Meaning “gift of God”,
Nathaniel is a Hebrew name derived from Netan’el. It means “gift of God” and breaks down into natan, which means “to give” and ‘el, which references God, according to Nameberry.com. The name appears in both the Old and New Testaments, and has nicknames like Nate or Nathan. 31 Catherine
Catherine is as classic as they come when you’re considering baby names. It can be spelled with a K, and has a Greek origin. It means “pure” and is always a sophisticated name. It has a bunch of nicknames, too, like Cate, Cathy, Cat, Catie, Cath — it just goes on and on.
If you have a happy, sweet newborn, then Asher is the name for them. It literally means “happy one” and is Hebrew origin. It’s a Biblical name, too, and has become a gender-neutral name.
Walter is a strong name for your baby, meaning “army ruler” or “powerful warrior”. It has German origins and is typically a boy’s name. The name, which dates back over 100 years, has become popular again, and is often used as a middle name.
A boy’s name of Welsh origin, Arthur means “bear”. Of course, you might think of King Arthur when you hear the name, but with its cute nicknames, (think Art or Artie), it’s a vintage name that can be used for your little bear.
Sure, she’s the light of your life, which makes Nora so fitting. Meaning “light”, Nora is an Irish baby girl’s name that can simply be used as a full name, or as a nickname for Honora.
Naming your baby is no easy feat, but when you think about vintage names, it can make the process a little easier. And when your little one is born, you’ll look into their eyes and (hopefully) know exactly what their name should be.