Some might go controversial, others may opt for pop culture characters or smartphone assistants. The newest trend in baby naming, however, seems to be choosing vintage baby names. Of the 1,000 most popular baby names of the past few years, many of those moving fastest up the charts were last popular during the turn of the 20th century. This includes Hazel (No. 28 for girls) and Oliver (No. 3 for boys), both of which were all the rage in the early 1900s before losing prominence for the majority of the century. Even Louisa (No. 688) and Harvey (No. 420), vintage baby names that have not yet busted back into the mainstream like Hazel and Oliver, have risen in the ranks for consecutive years.
Evelyn, which first took its place in the top 20 most popular baby names in 1910, is back. Charlotte, Victoria, and Addison are also creeping up in popularity. For boys, there’s less variation. Names that were popular in the early 1900s don’t necessarily sound vintage because they’re still popular today. (Think Charles, Robert, George, Richard, James, and John.) For more unique, old-timey names, try Ray, Theodore, Leo, or Clarence.
READ MORE: The Fatherly Guide to Baby Names
Ruth was also one of the most popular vintage girl names in the first few decades of the 1900s, before losing steam and falling out of the spotlight. Now, however, it’s seeing a resurgence (maybe thanks to a certain judge?) and has found its way back into the top 300 newborn girl names (specifically No. 293). So for parents looking to be ahead of the name curve, it might make sense to look to the past.
Hot tip: While word may be out on Oliver and Hazel, Milton and Effie are still flying under the radar. Lower down on the list there are even more vintage baby names, like Edgar, Oscar, Everett, Marion, Clayton, Angelo, Hugh, Claude, or Wesley. For girls, there’s Violet, Nellie, Minnie, Sylvia, Rosemary, Stella, Mabel, Arlene, Opal, Laverne, Blanche, Billie, Hattie, Cora, Ada, Georgia, Lena, Carolyn … the list goes on! If you’re thinking about vintage baby names, you’re not alone. So search low on the list, or be prepared to see your baby’s name rise in popularity once more.
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