These 11 Vintage Baby Names Are Becoming Popular Again

It’s the age-old phenomenon, the bated breath while friends and family await the reveal of the baby’s name. And we are loving vintage baby names right now.

Popular Baby Names

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In the 2000s, the most common reveal in the United States was Jacob. In the 2010s, it was Emma.

Choosing a name can be difficult, and today’s parents are making the job easier by turning to history for inspiration. Here are a handful of vintage baby names that are making their way into the current popularity charts.

#1 Henry

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The name Henry was first recorded as far back as the 17th century but only started rising in the popularity ranks within the last two decades. In 2021, Henry was recorded as being the ninth most popular name in the United States.

#2 Evelyn

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Derived from the French language, the name Evelyn emerged throughout the 17th century, though it was first used primarily for a male name. Meaning ‘wished-for-child,’ it is easy to see how the name moved into the popularity charts, rising into the top ten and remaining there since 2017.

#3 Owen

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With the meaning of ‘young warrior,’ the name Owen has been progressively moving up in popularity for years. It returned to regular use in the 1880s and is slowly moving toward a comeback. In 2022, over 8,000 babies were given the name.

#4 Ella

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A popular name throughout the ages, Ella was regularly used up until 1984, when it fell off the charts completely before returning in fits and starts.  

While the name itself is derived from others of Germanic origin, it is said to mean ‘fairy maiden’ or ‘goddess.’ 8 Who wouldn’t want a child with a name so magical?

#5 Theodore

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The president Theodore Roosevelt was instrumental in the popularity of this name in the early 1900s, and while it dropped in favor over the years, the last decade has seen a great rise in popularity. The name is often shortened to Ted, or Teddy, and means ‘gift of God.’

#6 Nora

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Fast rising to popularity, the name Nora holds roots in Irish culture and means ‘honor,’ or ‘shining light.’ It peaked in 2021 with over 6000 babies, and with namesakes like Nora Jones or Nora Ephron, it definitely seems to be a firm favorite going forward.

#7 Everett

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Derived from the ancient Germanic name Everard, meaning ‘brave as a wild boar,’ Everett is a name that seems to be gripping parents all around America today. With nicknames like Ev and Rhett, it’s no wonder that the last decade has witnessed more and more children with this namesake.

#8 Lucy

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An age-old favorite, Lucy has been portrayed throughout history, whether that be in Jane Austen’s novel ‘Sense and Sensibility,’ the comic strip, ‘Peanuts,’ and even on the screen, ‘I Love Lucy’ in the 1950s. Lucy comes from the French name ‘Lucia’, which means ‘light’.

#9 Wesley

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Entering history as a surname, the name Wesley gained traction as a first name during the 1700s, as John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, rose to popularity.

Today, we have filmmakers Wes Craven and Wes Anderson keeping the name alive. It’s a calming name that means ‘western meadow,’ 11 and spiked in popularity between 1977 and 2022. 

#10 Violet

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Inspired by the delicate purple flower, Violet actually vanished from the Top 100 names throughout the late 1900s. Hard to believe now, since the name has been rising steadily within the last years as parents all over the world choose it for their precious babies.

The name is repeated constantly throughout entertainment media, with Violet Beauregard from ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ Violet Parr of The Incredibles, and even Violet Sorrengail of the hit novel ‘Fourth Wing’.

#11 Silas

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The name appears in religious history, with one of Paul’s apostles carrying the name in the New Testament. The name itself means ‘wood’ or ‘forest,’ coming from ‘Silvanus,’ the Roman god of trees. It’s an earthy and stable name that remained relatively uncommon until the 2000s when it has slowly risen in popularity.


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With so many tried-and-tested names resurfacing, the only trouble a prospective parent may have is simply to choose just one. 

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This article was produced by TPR Teaching. Source.

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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