20 Old-Fashioned Baby Names For Parents Who Want a Classic Name

These vintage names are making a comeback.

old fashioned baby names
Emma KimGetty Images

Over the years, it has become increasingly common for new parents to choose unique names for their babies. Some moms and dads opt for an unusual spelling of a popular name, or will select a name from another country or culture. In some cases they will name their children after objects or places, or make up a new name altogether.

If your naming style is a little more conventional, you might be leaning toward an old-fashioned name. Monikers like John, Emma, James, Grace, and William have always been popular, if somewhat overused. To find a traditional name that is still fairly uncommon, all you have to do is look back in time.

There are numerous names that were trendy 80 or 100 years ago that came to be thought of as old-fashioned. Because they spent such a long time being out-of-style, these names are now considered “classically vintage.” Check out these old-fashioned baby names that are making a comeback.

old fashioned baby names - edith
Granger WootzGetty Images
Edith

An English name meaning “prosperous in war,” Edith was the name of two First Ladies of the United States – Edith Wilson and Edith Roosevelt. It was one of the top 100 names for female babies through the 1930s, according to the Social Security Administration, and has stayed in the top 1000 names for over 100 years.

1 of 20
old fashioned baby names - bertram
Mike KempGetty Images
Bertram

If you’re looking for a name that sounds classic and posh, consider Bertram. Your little guy may need to grow into this German name meaning “bright raven,” but in the meantime he can go by “Bert” like the character on Sesame Street.

2 of 20
old fashioned baby names - harriet
Suriyapong ThongsawangGetty Images
Harriet

The name Harriet peaked in popularity in 1917 and remained as one of the top 1,000 baby names until 1970. Famous Harriets include Civil Rights leader Harriet Tubman, author Harriet Beecher-Stowe, and TV mom Harriet Nelson.

3 of 20
old fashioned baby names - cornelius
Tetra Images - Jamie GrillGetty Images
Cornelius

American railroad and shipping magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt helped popularize the moniker in the late 19th century. A named derived from Latin word for “horn,” nicknames for Cornelius include Cory, Corny, Neil, and Neely.

4 of 20
old fashioned baby names - bernice
PeopleImagesGetty Images
Bernice

A Greek name meaning “she who brings victory,” Bernice was the 39th most popular name in the U.S. in 1921. Originally spelled “Berenice,” this classic name appears in the Bible, as a variation of the name Pherenice.

5 of 20
old fashioned baby names - walter
Donald Iain SmithGetty Images
Walter

The name Walter has been one of the 400 most popular baby names in the U.S. for nearly 120 years. Famous Americans who have donned this German name meaning “army ruler” include entrepreneur Walt Disney, journalist Walter Cronkite, and poet Walt Whitman.

6 of 20
old fashioned baby names - gertrude
JGI/Jamie GrillGetty Images
Getrude

Gertrude might seem a little old-fashioned for a baby born in the 21st century. But with adorable nicknames like Trudy and Gertie, your little one can easily grow into her adult name.

7 of 20
old fashioned baby names - barnaby
Yiu Yu HoiGetty Images
Barnaby

An English variation of the Aramaic “Barnabas,” the name Barnaby has been used in several works of fiction including the title character of the 1970s TV show Barnaby Jones and Barnaby Tucker, the young clerk in the Broadway musical Hello, Dolly! The name meaning “son of consolation” has never landed in the Social Security Administration’s list of the top 1,000 baby names.

8 of 20
old fashioned baby names - hortense
greenapertureGetty Images
Hortense

A classic name that has become less common in recent years is Hortense. Derived from Latin, the name meaning “of the garden” reached its peak popularity in 1903. Variations of the name include Ortense, Hortensia and Ortensia.

9 of 20
old fashioned baby names - herbert
PeopleImagesGetty Images
Herbert

Herbert was one of the top 100 baby names in the U.S. from 1900 to 1946. The name meaning “bright army” was most popular in 1929 when Herbet Hoover took office as the 31st President of the United States. Nicknames for Herbert include Herb, Herbie, Bert, and Bertie.

10 of 20
old fashioned baby names - blanche
Daniela SolomonGetty Images
Blanche

Fans of the Golden Girls might think of Blanche as the name of an older Southern woman. But in the early 1900s this French name meaning “white” was one of the 100 most popular names for baby girls. If Blanche is a little too old-fashioned, consider variations such as Blanca, Bianca, and Branca.

11 of 20
old fashioned baby names - ernest
PeopleImagesGetty Images
Ernest

A German name meaning “serious” or “resolute,” Ernest has been one of the top 1,000 baby names for boys for over 100 years. The moniker was at its peak at the turn of the 20th century, around the time of the birth of American novelist Ernest Hemingway.

12 of 20
old fashioned baby names - florence
Eleonora_osGetty Images
Florence

In 1902, the name Florence was the seventh most popular girls name in the U.S. By the early 1980s, it no longer ranked in the Social Security Administration’s 1000 most popular baby names list. The Latin name meaning “flourishing” or “prosperous” has regained popularity with new parents thanks, in part, to the indie rock band Florence + The Machine.

13 of 20
old fashioned baby names - rudolph
Lesley MagnoGetty Images
Rudolph

Before becoming synonymous with Christmas, Rudolph was a popular name for baby boys. This German name meaning “famous wolf” was most popular in 1927, just after the sudden death of silent film star Rudolph Valentino.

14 of 20
old fashioned baby names - agnes
Insung JeonGetty Images
Agnes

A name that spent nearly 30 years as one of the top 100 baby names for girls, Agnes fell off of the charts after 1972. This classic moniker meaning "pure” or “virginal" regained some popularity in 2010 thanks to the adorable character of Agnes Gru from the Despicable Me movie franchise.

15 of 20
old fashioned baby names - wilfred
wundervisualsGetty Images
Wilfred

An English name that means “desires peace,” Wilfred is one of those names that may sound a little grown up for a brand new baby. It also offers a variety of nicknames such as “Will,” “Willy,” “Fred,” or “Freddie” that can be used until your little guy is ready for the boardroom or country club.

16 of 20
old fashioned baby names - june
Tom MertonGetty Images
June

June has come in and out of fashion over the last 120 years. Its popularity soared in the 1920s and ‘30s, staying steadily in vogue until it fell off of the charts in 1986. June made a comeback in 2008, and is as popular a baby name today as it was at the turn of the 20th century.

17 of 20
old fashioned baby names - lloyd
Catherine DelahayeGetty Images
Lloyd

This Welsh name meaning “gray” is not very common for babies today, but it remained in the top 500 most popular names for boys until the 1990s. If you’re looking for a classic moniker and aren’t a fan of nicknames, Lloyd is the perfect choice.

18 of 20
old fashioned baby names - margot
kate_sept2004Getty Images
Margot

Margot is another name whose popularity has varied in the last century. It first made the charts in 1914, then disappeared again until 1929. It fell off of the top 1,000 baby names completely after 1966, only to make a comeback in 2013. Today, the name Margot is more popular than ever.

19 of 20
old fashioned baby names - stanley
Kevin LiuGetty Images
Stanley

The English name, Stanley, means “near the stony clearing.” It may sound old-fashioned, but Stanley has remained a classic name choice for baby boys. Famous Stanleys include comic book writer Stan Lee, who was born Stanley Martin Lieber, director Stanley Kubrick, actor Stanley Tucci, and rapper Stanley Kirk Burrell, better known as M.C. Hammer.

20 of 20
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Family + Friends