For lovers of timeless classics, vintage baby names are making a comeback.
There’s a reason vintage names never go out of style.
Or why they always come back around.
Classic literature and films, vintage fashion, historic dramas – the muses are many.
And when everyone is leaning towards babe name trends like maximalism, gold-themed, or the latest pop culture phenomenon (we’re looking at you Game of Thrones), old baby names remain constant.
From Aurelia to Winston, old-fashioned names are once again making a comeback.
And we’re not mad about it.
So what are good classic names for your new arrival?
We thought you’d never ask.
In this article: 📝
- What are unique vintage baby names?
- What names never go out of style?
- What are some cool retro names?
What are unique vintage baby names?
As any fashion lover knows, often the most unique finds come from the vintage store.
Likewise, sometimes answering the question of what is the rarest child name? doesn’t mean diving into the future — it means traveling back into the past.
Here are our favorites:
What is a pretty vintage girl’s name?
Vintage names for girls are all about nobility, natural beauty, and yes a little edge too.
These may look pretty, but we can tell you there is so much more than meets the eye.
Take a look:
- Adeline: A noble name for a noble baby.
- Adelaide: A name of queens, this old German name means “noble natured”.
- Agatha: It’s no mystery that this name means “honorable”.
- Agnes: Meaning “pure”.
- Alice: Straight from beyond the looking glass, this genteel name never goes out of style. 🐇
- Alma: Meaning “nourishing”.
- Amara: A name that has a home in many countries throughout the world, Amara has all sorts of meanings – “grace”, “immortal”, and “bitter”.
- Amelia: Meaning “work”
- Aurelia: Meaning “golden one”.
- Aurora: Meaning “dawn”, Aurora is one of the OG Disney girl’s name.
- Beatrix: Meaning “voyager”.
- Bernadette: With its French origins, Bernadette means “brave bear”. 🐻
- Bessie: A shortened form of both Elizabeth and Beatrice, Bessie means “God is my oath”.
- Birdie: 🐦
- Blythe: This sweet name means “cheerful person”.
- Bonnie: From Scottish roots, this ever-popular name means “beautiful” and “cheerful”.
- Calliope: A combination of “Kallos” meaning “beauty” and “ops” meaning “voice”, this is a name for a person with a sweet song to sing. 🎶
- Carol: This name has various connections (to Charles, to Carl, to Carolyn). Our favorite meaning for it? “Joyful song”.
- Colette: Meaning “people of victory”.
- Connie: From Constance, this is a name for a person you can rely on.
- Cora: A version of the ancient Greek goddess, Persephone.
- Cecilia: Meaning “blind”.
- Charlotte: Meaning “free person”.
- Clara: Meaning “clear” and “bright”. 🔆
- Dahlia: As in the flower.
- Daisy: An ever-popular name, Daisy may find specific resonance with fans of The Great Gatsby.
- Dessie: A short form of Desiré, Dessie means “the desired one”.
- Dora: Meaning “gift”, this name has now been made famous by a certain explorer.
- Doris: The name of famous Hollywood star Doris Day, this classic name means “gift”.
- Dorothy: Click your heels together three times for this “gift from God”.
- Edith: Meaning “blessed”.
- Elaine: Meaning “shining light”. 🌟
- Eleanor: Meaning “bright” and “shining”.
- Eloise: This real classic means “healthy”.
- Emma: Meaning “whole”.
- Emily: From Greek origins, this timeless name likely means “persuasive”.
- Enid: Meaning “spirit”.
- Esme: Meaning “esteemed”.
- Ethel: Meaning “noble”
- Eugenie: Meaning “noble”.
- Evelyn: Meaning “wished for child”.
- Faye: Meaning “fairy”. 🧚
- Freya: A Nordic name meaning “noblewoman”.
- Genevieve: Meaning “woman of the tribe”, Genevieve is the patron saint of Paris.
- Georgia: If this name’s on your mind, you’re not alone. It means “farmer”.
- Gertrude: Meaning “spear” and “strength”, the shortened form Greta is a sweet alternative.
- Harriet: Meaning “ruler of the household”.
- Hazel: Meaning “from the hazelnut tree”. 🌳
- Hilda: A strong name meaning “battle”.
- Irene: Meaning “peace”. 🕊️
- Imogen: Meaning “maiden”
- Iris: Meaning “rainbow”. 🌈
- Ivy: Meaning “a climbing vine”.
- Josephine: Meaning “God shall increase”.
- Joyce: Meaning “lord”.
- Katherine: Meaning “pure”.
- Lucille: Meaning “the light”.💡
- Luisa: Meaning “famous warrior”.
- Lydia: Meaning “beautiful one”.
- Mabel: Meaning “lovable”.
- Margaret: Meaning “pearl”, this timeless name has a variety of shortened forms—Maggie, Mady, Daisy and Peggy, to name a few.
- Martha: Meaning “the lady”.
- Mathilda: Meaning “strength in battle”, this is also the name of Roald Dahl’s famous little reader.
- Maxine: Meaning “greatest”. 🏆
- Miriam: Meaning “beloved”.
- Minnie: More than a beloved mouse, this name means “wished for child”.
- Nora: Meaning “light”.
- Octavia: This Ancient Roman name means “born eighth”. If sci-fi is your jam, this name is the perfect nod to Ms. Butler.
- Olive: Meaning “peace”.
- Opal: As in the exquisite jewel.
- Ophelia: Hamlet’s love, her name means “help”.
- Pearl: 🦪
- Penelope: The weaver from Homer’s The Odyssey.
- Phoebe: Meaning “bright”. 🔆
- Polly: Meaning “humble”.
- Posey: A bunch of flowers. 💐
- Rosemary: As in the fragrant herb.
- Ruth: Meaning “friend”.
- Sadie: Meaning “princess”. 👸🏻
- Sandra: Meaning “protector of humankind”.
- Selma: Meaning “peaceful”.
- Shirley: Meaning “a bright meadow”.
- Stella: Meaning “star”. ⭐
- Sylvia: Meaning “forest”.
- Trudy: Meaning “universal strength”.
- Una: Meaning “truth”, “beauty”, and “unity”.
- Willa: Meaning “brave protector”.
What is a vintage baby boy’s name?
There are plenty of classic names for boys that have made their mark in history.
Some of our favorites happen to be creatives (or even their very creations).
From historical pages to fictional worlds, here are our top picks:
- Abraham: Meaning “father of many”.
- Albert: Meaning “noble”, “bright”, and “famous”.
- Ambrose: Meaning “immortal”.
- Amos: This biblical name likely has two meanings—”to carry” and “borne by God”.
- Ansel: Meaning “with divine protection”. Think of the famous photographer, Ansel Adams.
- Aron: Meaning “mountaineer”. ⛰️
- Archer: 🏹
- Arthur: Meaning “bear”. 🐻
- Asher: A biblical name meaning “happy” and “blessed”.
- Atlas: For a baby that can hold up the whole world. 🌎
- Atticus: Any lovers of To Kill a Mockingbird out there?
- August: From the Roman Augustus, this powerful name comes from the Latin word augere, meaning “to increase”.
- Beau: Meaning “handsome”.
- Bernard: Meaning “brave bear”. 🐻❄️
- Blaine: Meaning “yellow”. 💛
- Caleb: A proud Hebrew name meaning “faithful”, “bold”, and “brave”.
- Caspian: The name of both a sea and a prince, Caspian means “white.”
- Clarence: Meaning “bright” and “clear”.
- Cornelius: This bold name likely stems from the Latin cornu, meaning “horn”.
- Cyrus: Meaning “sun”. ☀️
- Desmond: Meaning “gracious protector”.
- Earl: A name for a noble warrior
- Edison: This name might just give you a real light bulb moment. 💡
- Edmund: Meaning “protecting the fortune”.
- Erwin: Meaning “friend of the boar”. 🐗
- Elijah: Meaning “the Lord is my God”.
- Elliot: Meaning “God on high”.
- Elon: Meaning “oak tree”, this name has a musky flavor.
- Emmett: Meaning “universal”.
- Ernest: Meaning “serious”. The importance of this name is clear for fans of Oscar Wilde.
- Ezra: Meaning “help” and “protect”.
- Felix: Meaning “lucky” and “fortunate”.
- Finn: Meaning “fair”.
- Frank: “Frenchman” or “free one”.
- George: Meaning “farmer”.
- Gerald: Meaning “spear”.
- Griffin: Meaning “strong in faith”.
- Gunther: Meaning “battle warrior”.
- Gus: This timeless name means “majestic”.
- Harold: With its Scandinavian roots, Harold means “army ruler”. Plus, the shortened form Harry never goes out of style.
- Harvey: Meaning “battle worthy”.
- Hector: From the Trojan prince of Greek mythology, Hector means “to hold”.
- Henry: Meaning “ruler of the house”.
- Howard: Meaning “brave heart”. 💖
- Hugh: Meaning “high” or “tall”.
- Jasper: Meaning “treasurer”
- Jarrett: Meaning “rules with the spear”.
- Jedediah: A Hebrew name meaning “beloved of the Lord”.
- Joel: Meaning “the Lord is God”.
- Jude: Meaning “praised”.
- Kenneth: Meaning “handsome”.
- Langston: Meaning “from the tall man’s town”. And the name of the famous poet, Langston Hughes.
- Lee: Meaning “meadow”.
- Levi: Meaning “united”.
- Lionel: Meaning “the little lion”.
- Louis: Meaning “famous warrior”.
- Marshall: Meaning “horsekeeper” 🐎
- Miles: A classic name for a proud “soldier”.
- Milo: A sweet name meaning “dear” or “beloved”.
- Nelson: An historic name meaning “son of the champion”.
- Neville: Meaning “from the new village”.
- Norman: The perfect name for a “Man from the North”.
- Oliver: From the Latin for “olive tree”, the old Norse meaning is “ancestors’ descendants”.
- Otis: Like the crooner Otis Redding.
- Otto: Meaning “wealth and prosperity”.
- Owen: A name for a young, noble warrior.
- Pierce: A variant of Peter, meaning “rock”.
- Presley: For fans of Elvis, this name means “the priest of the meadow”.
- Preston: Meaning “priest’s town”.
- Ralph: Meaning “famous wolf”. 🐺
- Raymond: Meaning “famous protector”.
- Reginald: Meaning “king”. 👑
- Richard: Meaning “strong ruler”.
- Roy: Meaning “king”.
- Rutherford: A Scottish surname, Rutherford means “cattle crossing”.
- Sebastian: More than a popular Disney crab, Sebastian means “revered”.
- Sherman: “Sheep shearer”. 🐑
- Spencer: Meaning “steward”.
- Stanley: Meaning “stoney meadow”.
- Sterling: Meaning “of high quality”.
- Theodore: Meaning “a gift from God”.
- Tobias: Meaning “God is good”.
- Waldo: Yay! You found him. This name means “powerful ruler”.
- Whitman: Meaning “white man”. A classic name forever connected to the poetic Walt.
- Wilber: Meaning “bright will”.
- Winston: The name of a famous British prime minister, Winston means “joyful stone”.
What names never go out of style?
We’re all for a comeback but what about the names that never fell out of favor in the first place?
Here are 10 ‘old’ names for boys and girls that stayed in the top spot for a cool century according to this [2021 survey)[https://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/decades/century.html] by the SSA:
- James: A classic Old English name meaning “supplanter”. Time will tell whether a worthy competitor will take this reigning title’s top spot.
- Robert: Meaning “bright fame” or “glory”. No wonder it’s still going strong.
- **Michael:” Meaning “who is like God?”. If you’re not feeling the humbling energy, you can always casually drop the question mark. We’re not judging.
- David: Meaning “beloved” or “favorite”.
- William: Ever dignified, this regal name means “resolute protector”.
- Mary: Come on, are you surprised? This name has been around a long time, which goes some way toward explaining its many meanings, including “bitter”, “rebellious”, “star of the sea”, and “wished-for child”. Phew!
- Patricia: An oldie but a goodie. It means “noble”.
- Jennifer: Meaning “fair one”. Before Jennifer became a pop culture staple, it was simply a variant of the Arthurian mythology name Guinevere. Now that’s vintage.
- Linda: Born a Medieval short form of old German names like Dietlinde, Linda means “soft” or “flexible”. It’s also closely linked to the Spanish word linda, meaning “pretty”.
- Elizabeth: Meaning “my God is my oath”. Elizabeth may boast major monarchy energy, but its roots extend far back into the Hebrew Bible.
What are some cool retro names?
What makes old baby names hip?
Does it depend on the meaning or the badass people rocking it through the ages?
We think it’s a bit of both.
Cool retro girl names
These classic names have been capturing imaginations for centuries, and for good reason:
- Arabella: Meaning “answered prayer”. 🙏🏼 If you’ve ever rocked out to the Arctic Monkeys, you know Arabella is one cool chick.
- Daphne: Meaning “laurel” in honor of the name’s Greek mythology roots but you may know Daphne best as the Scooby Doo crime-fighting heroine.
- Florence: Meaning “blossoming”. 🌸 If Florence Pugh hasn’t earned this name badass appeal, we don’t know what will. Blazing the trail for little Florences everywhere.
- Scarlett: From actresses to heroines of famous novels, Scarlett never goes out of style. It of course means “red”.
- Etta: Meaning “ruler of the household”. And for jazz lovers, this is a fitting tribute to Etta James.
- Seraphina: A Hebrew name meaning “fiery”.
Cool retro boy names:
We’re talking edge and lineage:
- Archie: Meaning “brave”. Made famous by princes and comic characters alike.
- Benedict: The name of a beloved Cumberbatch, Benedict means “blessed”.
- Darcy: Meaning “dark”. You might even say broody…
- Holden: What’s cooler than the icon of teenage rebellion? Holden means “from the valley”.
- Silas: Meaning “forest”, Silas has the energy of a baddie (and that’s not always a bad thing).
- Oscar: Meaning “spear of the gods”. Yep.
You can’t go wrong with any of these names.
And if you’re loving the old-fashioned route, check out our guide to cottagecore baby names – best believe it’s a thing.
Make sure to tap into Peanut for some rare vintage finds.
You’ll find some great modern ones too!