Infographic Category Culture

Old Names for Girls (These NEED to make a comeback!)

By | source: Feb 14th, 2024

There is nothing cuter than a little girl with an old fashioned name. Here are 10 names that used to be super popular but are rarely seen these days…


Once a darling of the 1900s, the name Gladys, derived from the Welsh name Gladus, was considered synonymous with royalty. It even graced the headlines when Gladys Smith adopted the stage name Mary Pickford and became Hollywood’s highest-paid actress. However, as per the Social Security Administration’s data, the name’s popularity dwindled after the 1930s, and it’s no longer as commonly used.


Edna, meaning ‘rejuvenation’ in Hebrew, was a top choice for many parents during the 1880s-1920s. The name gained further prominence through Nobel Prize-winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Despite its rich history and meaning, Edna has seen a significant decline in use, with fewer than 100 baby girls named Edna in 2020.


Meaning ‘bright one’ in Old German, Bertha was once a legendary name associated with the likes of Bertha Benz, who undertook the first long-distance automobile trip. Despite such prestigious associations, the name’s popularity has been on a steady decline since the 1930s.


Meaning ‘industrious one’ in German, Ida was a common name during the 1880s and boasted illustrious bearers like Ida B. Wells, a renowned journalist and civil rights activist. Despite its historical significance, the name’s popularity has seen a sharp decline, with only a few instances recorded in recent years.


The name Mildred, meaning ‘gentle strength’ in Old English, was among the top 10 names for girls in the early 20th century. However, despite its gentle appeal, this name has seen a drastic drop in popularity over the years.


Ethel, derived from the Old English ‘æthel’, meaning ‘noble’, was a prominent name in the early 1900s. It was popularized by the likes of Ethel Barrymore, an American stage actress. Despite its noble origin, the name has faded into obscurity over the past century.


Once a popular diminutive of Elizabeth, Bessie, meaning ‘God’s promise’, was a common name in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, as per recent trends, the name has significantly dropped in popularity, taking a backseat to more contemporary names.


A diminutive of Wilhelmina, Minnie, meaning ‘resistant’, was a popular name during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Despite being the name of one of the most iconic cartoon characters, Minnie has seen a decline in use among new parents.


Meaning ‘spear of strength’ in German, Gertrude was once a top choice for parents. Despite notable bearers like Gertrude Stein, the name has been out of favor for several decades now.


Derived from the plant symbolizing love and immortality in Greek mythology, Myrtle was a popular name at the turn of the 20th century. But as per the Social Security Administration’s records, the name has seen a steady decline since the 1940s.

The Times They Are a-Changin’

The names popular today, like Olivia, Emma, and Ava, are a far cry from those that were popular in the early 20th century. However, as trends shift and time progresses, these names too might see a decline in popularity. After all, the charm of names often follows the ebb and flow of cultural shifts and societal trends. So, who knows? Maybe Gladys, Edna, or Bertha might just make a comeback!

Here is a list of old fashioned boys names.