Think of this like antique shopping—except in this case, the prize finds are vintage baby girl names. Old-fashioned names for girls bring with them a wealth of history and meaning. Plus, because many of them have been out of circulation for a bit, they offer something distinctively refreshing.
So what are some truly unique vintage girl names? Let’s take a look.
What are some old-fashioned girl names?
Ready to go back in time and dive into the list of old-fashioned names for girls? These are our favorites.
What are some retro girl names?
Here are some vintage baby girl names that have made a comeback of late:
- Abigail: Meaning “bringer of joy” or “father’s joy,” Abigail can be shortened to the adorable “Abby” or the esteemed “Gail.”
- Alice: Meaning “noble,” the name Alice has appeared in various literary works—most notably as a little girl who goes to Wonderland.
- Audrey: Meaning “noble strength,” the name Audrey can be shortened to the cute names Addie and Drea.
- Beatrix: Likely derived from Viatrix, meaning “traveler”—and a favorite children’s book author.
- Catherine: A name of French origin meaning “pure,” Catherine with all its variations (Kate, Cat, Kath, Caty) never seems to go out of style.
- Charlotte: Meaning “free woman,” Charlotte also comes with some great built-in nicknames: Lottie, Charlie, Lotte, Char—to name a few.
- Chloe: Meaning “blooming” and “fertility”
- Dorothy: With its cute shortened form of Dotty, Dorothy means “God’s gift.” And, um, The Wizard of Oz, anyone?
- Edith: Meaning “riches and blessings,” this sweet name is dying to burst back on the scene.
- Edna: Meaning “pleasure” and “rejuvenation”
- Elena: Deriving from the classic name Helen, it means “shining light.” ✨
- Elsa: Elsa is a short form of Elizabeth, meaning “oath of God”—and has recently made quite a comeback with the popularity of Frozen.
- Genevieve: This name means “woman of the people.” Fun fact? St Genevieve is the patron saint of Paris.
- Grace: Goodness, charm, generosity, joy—what’s not to like about this simple beauty of a name.
- Josephine: Meaning “God shall grow,” Josephine has all sorts of cute variations (Josie, Jo, Jos…)
- Joy: Yep, exactly as the name suggests. This ever-popular name goes back to the middle ages.
- Leah: Of Hebrew origin, Leah means “pretty girl.”
- Lily: A gorgeous flower that symbolizes purity
- Selena: A name of Greek origin meaning “moon”
- Skyler: From the Dutch “Schuler,” Skyler means “scholar.”
What were popular girl names in the 1700s?
And now for vintage girl names you don’t hear anymore. Opting for antique baby girl names will help you find something truly unique.
- Ada: This simple name has a huge meaning—”nobility.” It’s also been around for millennia, with records of it from Ancient Greece.
- Agatha: Agatha means “goodness and virtue.”
- Agnes: An admired name since medieval times, Agnes means “pure.”
- Ann: An ever-popular middle name, Ann means “Grace.”
- Arabella: Meaning “given to prayer”
- Babette: Of French origin, the name Babette interestingly means “foreigner.” Plus, it’s one of the lesser known nicknames for Elizabeth and the name of the feather duster in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (For more Disney girls’ names, head here.)
- Beatrice: Meaning “she who brings happiness”, Beatrice is the name of actresses and princesses alike. For fans of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Beatrice is one sharp-witted, sharp-tongued character.
- Berenice: “Bearer of victory”—that’s the meaning of this powerful name that has been in circulation since Ancient Greek times.
- Briar: A name for a bush of roses, Briar Rose is one name of Sleeping Beauty.
- Bridget: This powerful name has been worn by saints and actresses alike. It means “power,” “strength” and “virtue.”
- Cecilia: “Blind to one’s own beauty”—that’s what this name means. How modest.
- Christabella: Christabella translates to “beautiful Christian” and comes with many built-in short forms: Christa, Bella, Belle, Chris…
- Clara: A version of the Latin “Clarus,” this sweet name means “clear and bright.”
- Cora: A version of Persephone, the Greek goddess, Cora means “maiden.” It may also have Gaelic roots, meaning “virtuous” and “just.”
- Cordelia: Meaning “heart,” Cordelia was King Lear’s honest daughter.
- Desdemona: Although the name means “misery,” Desdemona is the ultimately virtuous heroine in Othello.
- Emmeline: Meaning “gentle and brave,” it shortens to the more contemporary Emma.
- Esther: The Jewish queen who saves her people, Esther means “to hide or conceal.”
- Evadne: Of ancient Greek origins, Evadne means “well” or “good.”
- Evelyn: “The wished for child,” Evelyn and its various forms (Evelina, Avelin, Eveleen) have been through surges of popularity for centuries.
- Faith: Nuff said. Never goes out of style.
- Felicity: “Happiness,” “luck,” “good fortune.” This name goes back to the 16th century.
- Fleur: It simply means “flower” in French. 🌼
- Florence: “Flourishing,” “blossoming.” Florence was a martyr in ancient Rome.
- Gertrude: It means “strength” and “spear.” Also, if you’re a cat person, St. Gertrude was the patron saint of them.
- Gretchen: Meaning “pearl”
- Gwendolyn: Meaning “white ring,” fans of Oscar Wilde will like this one.
- Harriet: “Ruler of the home”—perhaps the perfect name for your new tiny houseguest.
- Isolde: This one’s a serious blast from the past. It likely means “she who is gazed upon.”
- Ismenia: “Great treasure”
- Jemima: This biblical name means “dove.” 🕊️
- Lucia: Meaning “light,” Lucia is an interesting alternative to Lucy.
- Lydia: Derived from an ancient name “Lydus,” Lydia means “beautiful one.”
- Mabel: Simply means “lovable”.
- Mary: With all its biblical connotations, Mary means “beloved.” It’s an oldie but always a goodie.
- Matilda: Meaning “strength in battle,” fans of Roald Dahl’s little character who loves to read might find this one particularly pleasing.
- Millicent: “Work” and “Strength”
- Mercy: “Compassion.” Always an asset in our world.
- Myrtle: A plant associated with love and youth. Myrtle’s cute and quirky sound should make a comeback on our contemporary scene.
- Ophelia: This Greek name means “to aid or benefit.” She’s also Hamlet’s heroine.
- Orinda: “Gold” 🥇
- Patience: Exactly as the name suggests
- Petronella: Meaning “stone” or “rock,” Petronella is one of the female versions of Peter.
- Phoebe: Meaning “shining and bright,” there have been many hilarious Phoebes throughout history, from Twelfth Night to Friends.
- Rosamund: “Horse protector” 🐎
- Sibella: “The prophetess or oracle.” No pressure, little one.
- Tace: This vintage name means “silence.”
- Temperance: Meaning moderation and self-control. Temperance is the main character in the hit show Bones.
- Thomasina: A female version of the name Thomas, Thomasina means “twin.”
- Viola: Likely deriving from the string instrument, Viola is also the main character in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
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