One of the hardest jobs of a parent is the first one – naming your baby. Everyone has their own taste in which names are best, but a new overall trend we’re seeing is the rise of some classic baby names. Think 1920’s and earlier classic baby names. These names tend to have an elegant, retro vibe that’s unique (but not naming your child after a fruit unique) and fun. Check out 20 of these retro baby names that are back on the rise.

1. Hazel

The last time Hazel was in the Top 100 baby names list was at the turn of the century. The 20th century. Yeah, it’s been a while. But Hazel is making a definitive comeback, now listed at number 37 for girls! Some people equate the rise in popularity to John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, but it could also just be that this is a strong, beautiful name.

2. Adeline

Baby girl is sitting in a vintage pram

What I love about this name is that it doesn’t sound too frumpy, like many vintage names tend to. It still has that lovely, classic feel with a bit more of an energetic and spritely personality to the name. The name is a bit of a nickname in itself, deriving from the still OLDER name Adelaide.

3. Eli

This Biblical name, which means “uplifted” in Hebrew, easily straddles the old and the new. In the last decade, we have seen an upswing on this once popular name (no thanks, we’re sure, to a particular football player). It has recently hit number 65 on the list of most popular boy’s names.

4. Silas

Sleek and serious sounding, it’s no wonder the name Silas is on the rise. It sounds like the perfect name for a broodingly charming YA novel character…in a good way. The origins are Latin and mean “from the forest”, which is as mysterious as the name itself. However, Silas still has a ways to go as it’s only at number 222 on the baby names list.

5. Amelia

Considering when the one very famous Amelia we all know lived, it’s safe to say this name has fallen out of popularity for some time. Now it proudly claims the number 41 spot! A version of the always popular name Emily, Amelia is a fun and adventurous name for a little girl. Maybe it’s because of the famous American pioneer, Amelia Earhart, but I can’t help but imagine a very spunky baby with this name.

6. Jasper

baby boy traveller wearing a hat sitting in green checkered old-fashioned suitcase

This artistic-sounding name is still working it’s way up on the list – currently it only sits at number 286 – but the name has not seen a rise in popularity since the 1920’s. Meaning “precious stone”, I love the haunting, Southern-style feeling this name evokes.

7. Lillian

Okay, everyone needs to BACK OFF because this is my favorite baby name. I think it’s pretty easy to see why! This is a lovely name with an even lovelier nickname (Lily, of course), and has the power to be both refined and playful all at once. It was number 21 on the list for baby girl’s names in 2010, and continues to grow more popular every year.

8. Henry

This is a classic name that you rarely hear outside of your history textbooks. Regal and stately – it literally means “ruler of the household” – Henry is a classic name that doesn’t have that outdated feel to it. Parents worldwide agree, as Henry is number 67 on the list.

9. Naomi

The best thing about this name is the way it sounds when you say it. Most vintage names for girls sound so sweet and innocent – but when you say the name Naomi, you get this inherent feeling of power and determination. This intense name has finally broken the top 100 names (currently at 96) and is Hebrew for “pleasant”.

10. Charlie

pricey_babyDeposit Photos

Literally meaning “strong”, the name Charlie has an powerful, commanding presence to it, while also having the ability to sound a little quirky and fun, too. This ideal combination has made the name more popular in recent years, currently sitting at number 244.

11. Clara

There is something very graceful about the name Clara, which thankfully has come back from being a bit of a frumpier name in the last few decades. The name, meaning “clear, bright”, sits at number 167 making it just unpopular enough that your baby is guaranteed a beautifully unique name.

12. Olive

Although it sounds similar to Top 10 name Olivia, Olive has a elegant vintage vibe all its own. This particular name is nowhere even close to the Top 100 of popular girl names (it’s at number 546) but consider that it was number 998 in 2000. For a truly unique name, Olive is your go-to.

13. Felix

This fun and clever-sounding baby boy’s name hit it’s peak in America in 1910 and has been on the rise in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand in just the last few years. Currently at number 267, this (surprisingly) Biblical name means “happy and fortunate” which makes it all the more an adorable name for your future baby!

14. Ruby

I’m obsessed with this name, which literally means “jewel” after the stone the moniker is taken from. Although the name was in the Top 50 of popular girl’s name between 1900 and 1936, this spunky name fell out of style for a while. In the last few years it has started to rise and now sits at number 90.

15. Ava

This Top 10 baby name is a play on the Biblical name Eve and, appropriately enough, means “life”. This beautiful name has been around since the 800s, at least, as there was a nun named Saint Ava documented around 845. But choosing this lovely baby name would make your little girl one of the many, as this is an extremely popular moniker nowadays.

16. June

Quirky and sweet, the name June was the most popular name of the 1920s. However, after the Roaring Twenties, the name wasn’t even in the Top 1,000 of popular girls names. It broke through the Top 1,000 in 2008 and is currently at 317, steadily rising every year!

17. August


Another month of the year! Seeing a pattern here, people? This name was one of the Top 100 most popular names for boys in the 1800s, but hasn’t seen that popularity in over a century, until now. For both boys AND girls, this name has successfully become one of the Top 100 most popular baby names in the United States. I can see why – this name is perfectly unique without being too bizarre.

18. Emmett

Although this was once strictly a boys name (and the most popular boys name in the 1880s) this name is now a very popular girls name, especially this year. Emmett, which means “universal”, has an inherently cool sound to it – and just think of all the fun nicknames you can call your little girl or boy! I like Emi, personally.

19. Aurelia

This name is OLD. Like this was Julius Caesar’s mom’s name old. Yeah. Meaning “the golden one” this is an elegant name of goddess-like proportions saw a boom in popularity in 2013. It’s plateaued since, but still remains very popular.

20. Oliver

In 2010, this handsome, classic name was only at number 88 – and in 2000 it wasn’t even in the Top 500! But in the last 6 years, the name, meaning “olive tree”, has become INSANELY popular. In 2015 it came in at number 7…and it just bumped up another spot this year to number 6.


Do you have a retro name in mind for your baby (or one you’ve already named your child) that you love? Share them in the comments section below!

Curious about what names made the most popular baby names lists of the last few years? Take a peek!

Most Popular Baby Names of 2016
Most Popular Baby Names of 2015
Most Popular Baby Names of 2014