Fashionably Old-Fashioned Girls Names

Hello everyone! I've been on a bit of a break lately but I'm excited to be back sharing more names with  you today! A trend that has really taken off recently is old-fashioned names. While there are some that have not quite caught on yet, there are plenty that are on the rise and some that have found themselves fully in the spotlight again.

Let's get started!

"Beautiful grace" or "loving
Ranked #57 in 2014

Annabelle is a gorgeous name that has made leaps and bounds in popularity in recent years. It's close to the top 50 in 2014 but it spent 40 years off the top 1000 list, from 1951-1994. Before dropping off the list in 1951, it was most popular in 1923 at #260. Since coming back into the top 1000 in 1995, it has skyrocketed and is now more popular than it's ever been. Annabelle is such a sweet name with so much going for it. I can totally understand why it came back into fashion.

"bright" or"clear"
Ranked #108 in 2014

Clara is a lovely little name filled with history. I've talked about the name Claire before and I have to say I prefer Claire to Clara, but Clara does have a sweet lilting sound to it. I think Clara does sound more grandma-chic than Claire and it reminds me of a strong woman on the prairie.

Ranked #78 in 2014

Eleanor is a beautiful old-fashioned name that has come back into popularity big-time. It was most popular in 1920, ranking at #25 and I can see it reaching that ranking again. It has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. Eleanor is an important historical name in the United States and it is a literary name as well (used by Jane Austen in Northanger Abbey). I like the meaning of light with Eleanor. I also like Eleanor's unique sound. It's not the typical sound for a girls name but it's still distinctly feminine. Legitimate alternate spelling Elinor hasn't been in the top 1000 in 60 years but it has strong literary ties as well (used by Jane Austen in Sense and Sensibility and used by J.R.R. Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings trilogy). 

Ranked #103 in 2014

Cora is a simple, sweet little name that first appears in print in James Fennimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans. It's generally accepted that he coined the name. He might have based it on the Greek word "kore", meaning maiden. Cora was most popular in 1900 at #55.

"hazel nut tree"
Ranked #107 in 2014

Hazel is a lovely nature and color name that I like quite a bit. It was most popular in 1907 at #23. It dropped off the top 1000 in 1975 but when in came back in 1998, it came with some power behind it! Hazel has launched up the charts rapidly, going from obscurity to just outside the top 100 in under 20 years.  It doesn't show any signs of slowing down either. 

Ranked #62 in 2014

Lucy definitely sounds like an old-lady name to me but it never became as unpopular as I thought it had. It was least popular in 1978 at #588, which is only just a little more than halfway down the popularity charts. Lucy was most popular in 1901 at #61 and it may very well surpass that next year. Lucy is an all-around sweet name and I'm glad that it's come back in style.

"bright shining one"
Ranked #17 in 2014

Ella is such a sweet, simple little name that's so popular today. it feels more like a modern name than an old-fashioned name. In fact, the year that Ella was the most popular was 2012. It's gone down about 5 spots since then. In 1900 Ella was #42 and it dropped off the top 1000 list in 1989 but it came back the very next year. Ella is so short, sweet, and lovely, it's no wonder that it's stuck around in our naming culture and has become wildly popular again!

Ranked #628

Pearl is such a gorgeous little word name! Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you prefer less popular names), Pearl has not yet regained it's former popularity but it has found it's way back on the top 1000 in 2007. Pearl was most popular in 1900 at #24. I think Pearl will continue to rise for the next several years but I don't really see it rising past the 300 range or so.

Ranked #669 in 2014

Mabel is one that surprised me and it's comeback is very recent. It came back onto the top 1000 two years ago (after nearly 50 years off) but it's made tremendous gains! Related names like Amabel and even Annabelle are gaining popularity as well. Mabel was most popular in 1902 at #24. I don't see Mabel getting that popular again in the near future but I think it will continue to gain popularity for awhile.

"free man"
Ranked #10

Charlotte has really taken off in recent years but it never got as unpopular as you might think. It's lowest ranking was #309 in 1982. Even though it never became very unpopular, Charlotte does strike me as an old lady name, but like the title says it's fashionably old-fashioned. Before its recent rise, Charlotte's most popular ranking was #50 in 1944. I anticipate that Charlotte will continue to rise and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see Charlotte in the top spot in the next few years. 

Ranked #943 in 2014

I wrote an article about uncommon vintage names that are not in the top 1000 and included Clementine on that list. Low and behold, in March I discovered that plenty of other people were loving Clementine too and it made it to the 900 range. Clementine dropped off the top 1000 list in  I don't know exactly where Clementine will go from here but I'm glad to see that it did find some favor! 

Ranked #67 in 2014

Violet is a gorgeous flower and color name that was fairly popular at the turn of the 20th century, reaching #74 in 1919. Despite it's beauty, Violet dropped off the top 1000 list completely from 1983-1997. Since its return in 1998 Violet has rocketed up the charts to #67 in 2014, more popular than its ever been! Violet is still going up in popularity but a little more slowly now.  Violet is my favorite color, so I've always had a bit of a soft spot for the name Violet. I marked it off my list because I didn't think it flowed with my last name but I was thrilled when a family member used this name for their baby girl!

Latin or Celtic
"heart" or "daughter of the sea"
Ranked #993

Cordelia has never enjoyed extreme popularity. It peaked in the 1880s in the 200-300 range. It dropped off the list completely in 1951. This seems to be a favorite in the naming community, but it still surprised me to see Cordelia in the top 1000 again. It's a very regal and elaborate name and princessy names are certainly in style. Cordelia is a more old-fashioned sounding alternative to the equally frilly Isabella (though Isabella itself has plenty of history behind it).

Ranked #97 in 2014

Alice really feels like an old lady name to me (albeit a very pretty one) so I was surprised to see that it never completely fell out of favor. It's lowest place on the top 1000 list was in 2002 at #444. Alice was most popular in 1906 at #8. Alice has made a steady gains since its low in the early 2000s and is now back in the top 100!

"daisy" or "pearl"
Ranked #180 in 2014

I have never met anyone of any age named Daisy so I was a bit surprised to see it at #180. Daisy is simple, sweet, and cute so I'm glad to know that it's being used. Daisy has actually been in the top 200 since 1990, another surprise for me. Daisy's lowest point in the top 1000 was in 1978 at #606 and its highest point was in 1900 at #81. Daisy rose in popularity from 2013 to 2014 but before that it was going down a bit. What I want to know is where are all these Daisys? I'd love to meet one!

"renowned warrior"
Ranked #973 in 2014

Louisa is a lovely old-fashioned name with a powerful meaning that  made its way back in the top 1000 in 2014. I featured Louisa in my Vintage Uncommon Girls Names last year because it was outside the top 1000. Little did I know, that people were beginning to remember Louisa's sweet charm. Louisa was most popular in 1900 at #271 and it dropped off the list in 1970. I'm not sure where Louisa is going to go but I hope it goes up!

Ranked #1 in 2014

Emma made it back to the #1 spot in 2014! It was also #1 for just one year in 2008. My prediction is that Emma will be a one-hit wonder in 2014 too, overshadowed by Olivia in 2015. In 1900, Emma was #13 and it's lowest point on the top 1000 list was in 1976 at #461. Emma is a simple, sweet, old-fashioned name that I imagine will stay in-style (if not at #1) for quite some time.

The fashionably old-fashioned trend is in full swing and there are plenty of other names that could have been included on this list. Maybe sometime I'll do a part two, but first I have to do fashionably old-fashioned boys names! Some might surprise you! Be on the look out for that article and for some more articles about yet-to-be-rediscovered vintage names! God bless you and thank you so much for reading!

Remember, if you like a name, put a pin on it!

What's your favorite fashionably old-fashioned name from this list (mine's Violet)? What suggestions do you have for part two?

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  1. I really like Mabel and think it's a very sweet name. A close friend called her youngest daughter Mabel so that's probably why I like it :)

  2. I love Cora and I'm sad that it's becoming so popular! Cora actually more closely means "heart" in Greek which is why so many languages have similar sounding words for heart like couer in French.


  3. Love these names so beautiful. I have been so broody it would be hard to pick a name to go with my two now that I have one of each a girl and a boy. Love Mabel. Thank you ever so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  4. Almost 20 years ago, I named my daughter Allison. Not too many of them.

    1. Allison is my grandmother's maiden name and my grandparents named their youngest daughter Alison. I like Allison because of all my family ties to it.

  5. I love this post. All of the names are cute. I named my youngest daughter Daisy May as her first name.

    1. Daisy May is adorable! Thanks for stopping by!


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