23 Retro Baby Names That are Making a Comeback
In 2016, we saw an overwhelming surge in the popularity of throwback baby names. Vintage names definitely reigned supreme in ’16, and shocker, they aren’t going anywhere come 2017. Baby name experts (which, yes, actually exist) have predicted that this year will go on to continue last years’ trend. The forecast calls for names that harken back decades but still have a modern, down-to-earth feel, like these 23 vintage monikers.
Following a year where biblical names were huge, Amos is prepped to be potentially more popular than the newly successful name Abel. Amos was one of the Twelve Minor Prophets in Judaism, who preached about social justice issues in the 8th century. The name means strong, carried, brave.
Some of us might think immediately of the popular video game, but the name actually harkens back to the roaring 20s and beyond. The wild, creative, and bold Zelda Fitzgerald made the name popular during the Prohibition Era, and modern parents have been loving the sleek name since 2015, when it became the fastest growing name of the year.
Unusual as it is, it’s that strangeness that’s been making this Presidential choice of name popular for boys and girls. The name is one of Latin descent meaning “estate of the fifth son” and definitely has a powerful even wealthy sound to it, while at the same time having a quirky quality.
There may not be a deep meaning associated with the increasingly popular name Booker (which literally means, “one who makes books”) but there is some incredible historical background that makes this name special. Namely, Booker T. Washington, the African-American hero who was a brilliant American author, educator, and adviser to several Presidents.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…one of the hottest vintage baby names of the year. Originally a 12th century English name meaning “clerk” or “secretary”, we now famously know this name as the moniker of the handsome, heroic Clark Kent a.k.a. Superman.
So if you want your kid to feel like Superman (and who doesn’t?!) this might be the perfect up-and-coming name for your little one.
As a newcomer to the Top 1,000 baby names, Thea is quickly gaining steam as one of the most popular vintage names of the year. We can certainly see why; the moniker feels both classic and modern, a combination which parents of today are constantly searching for, and has a strength to it without being too aggressive. The originally Greek name means “goddess”, which would explain the inherent strength the name brings to mind.
This Anglo-Saxon and Scottish name, originally from the English occupational surname meaning “baker,” from the early Middle English bakstere and the Old English bæcere. The form Bakster was originally feminine, with Baker as the masculine equivalent, but over time both names came to apply to both men and woman.
All we’re saying is…could Bax be the new Max?
This gorgeous name is a chic French twist on the original Greek name, Delphi. The direct meaning of the name is “dolphin” but we think the moniker brings a lot more power than that; it’s a elegant name that radiates beauty and grace, and also has some oracle associations thanks to its ancient origins.
Although this might be a female Old Testament name, this sleek and modern moniker is being considered a fabulous name for boys and girls alike. Keziah is famously one of the beautiful daughters of Job, a Biblical figure who was persecuted in the Old Testament, and the name certainly radiates that sense of power and beauty.
Hamilton fans worldwide have been hard at work making this one of the most rapidly growing names of the last year. This classic revived name is a shortened form of Elizabeth and means “pledged to God” in its original Hebrew. The name has so many charming and powerful associations from Eliza Doolittle to the heroine of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which is probably why the name jumped from the 175th most popular in 2015 to 66th most popular this year.
Full of curiosity and passion, the name Felicity is 112th in the U.S. as of 2017. Its direct translation is very accurate for the feel of the name, as it means “good fortune” and “happiness”. For an upbeat, bubbly moniker, Felicity is a great choice for any little girl.
This Old Testament name is grossly neglected for more popular options like Benjamin and Jacob. But in todays world of obscure monikers, this name is starting to see its heyday. To be fair, we can kind of understand why some parents might not be thrilled with this name, as its meaning is, “having a stump for a hand”…yeah.
But if you’re a parent who’s looking for something out-of-the-norm, then this intelligent, clever name is for you.
While Beatrix is a cool vintage name with just enough modern edge, you can also go with two other variations: Beatrice or Bea. Any of these names can stand alone or be shortened! The name Beatrix is a Latin baby name meaning “bringer of joy” or “brings joy”.
We’ve been going through several years of having names like Isabelle and Isabella reign supreme, but there’s a new “Isa-” girls’ name in town: the beautiful Isadora. This underappreciated name has some seriously regal and strong feminist implications, even its meaning: “gift of Isis”, the Egyptian goddess of the moon, sky, magic, motherhood and fertility.
We’re obsessed with this adorable, fun vintage girls’ name! Although there isn’t a documented meaning for this name, it is thought to be a variation of Talula, Lilly, Lila, or even the predominantly male name, Lou. Although this name is significantly less popular than other throwback names on this list (ranking 520th for 2017) this unique moniker is perfect for peculiar parents.
Cooler than Margaret, more classic than Margo, this zesty name brings to mind a feisty, fierce, and ravishing person. This classic French name meaning “daisy” or “pearl” is definitely experiencing a revival, but is still only at 490th for 2017.
This British favorite has a cool, fresh feel that is positioning itself for its first comeback since the WWII era. Although the name sounds inherently British, and is appropriate more popular in the U.K., this is actually a name of French origin meaning, “mountain” or “belonging to the ruler”.
Feminine and strong, Emilia comes from the Latin name Emil, which is traditional a male name. This female version means “rival” which probably explains why we get such an intense feel from the name. This moniker is enjoy a worldwide renaissance, landing as the 53rd most popular girls name in the U.S. this year.
This cutting edge “O” name is gaining major popularity in 2017, being the newest vintage name to make a comeback. This German name meaning “wealthy” is sure to beat out other vintage names like Oscar and Otis for the most popular boy name of the year.
The most stylish middle name of the moment also works as a fashionable first name, too! The Latin gem name (similar to monikers like Ruby and even Rose) literally means “pearl” and simply exudes elegant, delicate beauty, and lavishness. This is certainly not your great-grandma’s name anymore.
This simple, edgy name is perfect for either sex and means “oarsman”. Although this French moniker has been used since the 5th century, there’s something distinctively modern and attractive about this one-of-a-kind name.
Before 2017, the name Sadie sounded kind of humdrum, but now? It’s the fastest-rising girl name on Nameberry, currently ranking at 52th in the U.S. Meaning “princess”, this regal name brings to mind feminine connotations while also having a clever, powerful feel to it as well.
While famous British leader Winston Churchill may have made this a heroic name, Winston hasn’t gotten its due since the 1950s. Now, ranking at 144th in the U.S., the name Winston is being acknowledge for its firm yet whimsical nature. Side note: we also love the feminine version of this, Winnie, for a little girl!
What do you think of these retro names? Do any of these soon-to-be popular monikers catch your eye? Share your favorites in the comments section below.