Searching for a baby name that roars as loudly as the ‘20s? We’ve got you covered. Read on for our list of 55 timelessly inspiring 1920s baby names.
Jazz jingles, flapper fashion, and bootlegged booze — when you think of 1920s names, it’s hard not to conjure the delightful debauchery of this decade’s wild abandon.
The roaring twenties in the United States was a time of growth and change, economic prosperity, and new freedom.
And there was a significant population increase.
So what about the names that were born from this era?
What was popular?
And are these names still around a century later?
Read on to find out!
In this article: 📝
- 1920s names
- Popular names in the 1920s
- What were popular girl names in the 1920s?
- What are popular 1920s boy names?
- What names were popular in the 1920s in the UK?
- What were popular French names in the 1920s?
- What were popular German names in the 1920s?
- What are flapper names?
- What are some unique names from the 1920s?
What is a common name for the 1920s?
The top three most common 1920s girls’ names in the United States were:
- Mary: This name has Hebrew origins and means “drop of the sea,” “bitterness,” and “beloved.”
- Dorothy: Of Greek origin, Dorothy means “gift of God.”
- Helen: This English name means “bright,” “shining light,” “torch,” or “moon.” It comes from the Greek name Helene. Other variations are Ellen and Helena.
The top three most common boys’ 1920s names were:
- Robert: Meaning “bright flame,” Robert has its roots in England.
- John: John is a Hebrew name meaning “God is gracious.”
- James: This Hebrew name means “supplanter.” James has definitely maintained its popularity and is now a gender-neutral name.
Popular names in the 1920s
Here are some of the other names that were top picks.
What were popular girl names in the 1920s?
- Alice: This Old German name means “noble.” As well as being popular in the 1920s, Alice is currently in the top 100 names in America and France.
- Elizabeth: This timeless name has Greek origins and means “God is my oath.”
- Evelyn: With Norman-French origins, Evelyn means “desired” or “water/island.” Interestingly, Evelyn was once a masculine name, whereas now it’s primarily a feminine name.
- Rose: This name has both French and English origins and refers to the gorgeous flower.
- Ruth: Meaning “compassionate friend,” Ruth is a Hebrew name that has been in the top 100 names for the past century and a half.
- Margaret: This classic Greek name means “pearl.”
- Norma: An English name, Norma means “from the north” or “the pattern.”
- Shirley: Meaning “bright meadow,” Shirley is an English name.
- Vivian: This timeless name meaning “life, alive” comes from the English version of the Latin vivianus.
What are popular 1920s boy names?
- Alfred: Alfred is an English name meaning “wise counselor” or (adorably) “elf counsel.” It’s popular not only in England and Wales but also in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Alfred has some great nicknames, like Alfie, Fred, and Alf.
- Charles: Meaning “free man,” this name has Germanic roots and has been popularized by not only English but also French royalty.
- Donald: This name has Scottish roots and means “world ruler.” It has remained popular for over a century.
- Floyd: This Welsh name means “gray-haired.”
- Jack: Meaning “God is gracious,” “man,” or “supplanter,” Jack is an English name that has been popular throughout history.
- George: Of Greek origin, George means “farmer” and can be used for a boy or girl.
- Gerald: Gerald means “ruler with a spear.” Although originally a German name, Gerald is now popular in various countries, including England, Ireland, and the Netherlands.
- Kenneth: Whether you go with the Irish meaning (“handsome”) or the Scottish meaning (“born of fire”), Kenneth is a great name that was popular in the 1920s.
- Oscar: This name has two potential origins. The Scandinavian version means “God’s spear,” and the Irish version means “friend of deer” or “someone who loves deer.”
- Richard: This German name means “brave and powerful ruler.” It has been (and still is) popular worldwide.
- Vincent: This Latin name means “victorious, conquering.”
- Walter: This German name means “army ruler” and was in the top 20 names in America until 1931.
What names were popular in the 1920s in the UK?
Popular British girls’ names from the 1920s
- Lillian: Meaning “lily,” this name has English and Latin origins.
- Nancy: This English name, which is a version of the names Anne and Annis, means “grace.”
- Mildred: This Old English name meaning “gentle strength” has stood the test of time. A popular nickname for it is Millie.
Popular British boys’ names from the 1920s
- Edward: Meaning “wealthy guardian,” this English name originated centuries ago yet still remains popular.
- Elmer: This English name, meaning “noble and famous,” has been popular in America for decades.
- Harold: An Old English name, Harold means “military ruler.”
What were popular French names in the 1920s?
Popular French girls’ names from the 1920s
- Josephine: This beautiful French name means “God will increase” or “Jehovah increases.”
- Marie: Definitely one of the most popular French names in the 1920s, this name means “star of the sea.” It’s still in the top 100 names a century later.
- Yvonne: Meaning “yew tree,” this name is popular not only in France but in many English-speaking countries too.
Popular French boys’ names from the 1920s
- André: Meaning “man” and “warrior,” this name comes from the Greek name Andreas.
- Jean: This name, meaning “God is gracious,” was one of the top-ranking names in France. The female version Jeanne is also very popular.
- Lewis: Meaning “famous warrior,” this name is derived from the French name Louis, which in turn comes from Ludwig.
- Pierre: The French form of Peter, this name means “rock” or “stone.”
What were popular German names in the 1920s?
Popular German girls’ names from the 1920s
- Ilse: This German name means “oath of God.”
- Edith: With Old English origins, this name means “rich,” “happy,” and “war.”
- Ursula: Meaning “little bear,” Ursula has Latin origins. Ursula is also the name of a 4th-century saint who was martyred by the Huns.
Popular German boys’ names from the 1920s
- Albert: Meaning “noble” and “bright,” the name has German origins. Its popularity in Britain increased after Queen Victoria married German Prince Albert in 1840.
- Frank: This name comes from Germany and means “free man.” Other popular variations are Franklin and Francis.
- Gunter/ Guenther: This Old German name means “war” or “battle.”
What are flapper names?
What’s a list of 1920s names without some classic flapper names?
Known for their energy and freedom, these young women pushed the economic, political, and social barriers for women.
- Bette: Pronounced either Bet or Betty, this Hebrew name means “God’s promise.”
- Anna: Meaning “grace,” Anna is a Hebrew name and the Latin form of Hannah.
- Joyce: Actually a gender-neutral name, Joyce is a Latin name that means “lord.”
- Sally: This Hebrew name means “princess.”
- Jennie: This shortened version of Jennifer means “white fairy” or “fair one.” It has British roots.
What are some unique names from the 1920s?
If you’re looking for a 1920s-inspired name that’s unique but has retro appeal, what about these?
- Gwendoline: This Welsh name means “fair bow” or “blessed ring.”
- Ruby: A bit more literal in its meaning, this Latin name means “precious red stone.”
- Hugh: This British name means “soul,” “mind,” and “intellect.” Some German boy equivalents are Hugo and Uwe.
- Malcolm: Meaning “devotee of St. Colomba,” this Scottish name was very popular in the 1920s. Malcolm was the name of four Scottish kings.
And that’s it — our list of 1920s names.
If you’re looking for some more inspiration, have a look at our lists of vintage baby names and old English baby names.
Or join our baby names group to help you find the perfect name.
All the best with your search!