Tag Archives: old fashioned girls names

Little Old Lady Names

oldlady.jpg

Are these names too old or too cute? You be the judge!

Agnes
Agnes is a polarizing name that you’ll either feel is dusty and way-too-dated or darling and dainty. Agnes is a Greek name meaning virginal that does lend herself to the soft nickname “Aggie.” Fans of the Bronte sisters may associate this name with the novel Agnes Grey as I do.

Dorothea
Believe it or not I’m seeing Dorothy pop up on lots of instagram and Youtube favorites list! The Greek Dorothea has a similar but different vibe and the wonderful meaning of gift of God. Perhaps the best part of Dorothea is the nickname potential she brings, a few of which include; Dori, Dot, Dottie, and Thea.

Frances
A family name for me, Frances is a Latin name meaning from France or free man. Frances has a very classic and grounded vibe. Less vibrant than her sisters Francesca and Francine, Frances ranks at Number 439. An infant named Frances may be hard to picture but Francie, Franny, or Frankie are fun and youthful vintage nicknames for her.

Gertrude
Gertrude may be one of the first names people come up with when asked to pick an old-timey Grandma name. Trudy is adorable and Gertie has her charm (Drew Barrymore in E.T. anyone?), but Gertrude like many old German names isn’t quite catching favor for modern American babies. Gertrude means spear of strength and hasn’t ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000 since the 1960s.

Ida
Could Ida be the next Ava? It may follow a similar sound pattern though it does have a stronger beginning sound which isn’t as well-received in girls names. Ida screams sweet little Granny at a deli to me. A German name meaning industrious one that hasn’t been in the US Top 1,000 since the 1980s.

Mildred
As delightful as the first syllable is, the second syllable in Mildred does have a much heavier sound. Millie is rising on its own but can Mildred come out of the attic to play too? Mildred is an English name meaning gentle strength.

Opal
Opal is a rarely used gemstone name, currently ranked at Number 859, that means gem in Sanskrit. Opal is October’s gemstone and is considered a symbol of good fortune. Opal’s vintage sister Pearl is on the rise, so perhaps Opal will be the next come-back gemstone.

Selma
Emma aside, many names ending in “ma” like Irma, Thelma, Wilma, and Selma have an older vibe to them. Selma is a German name meaning godly helmet. Actress Selma Blair makes this name feel much more youthful and usable. Selma may have a dated stigma but she does have a soft sweet sound.

Weigh-in below and let me know which of these names are too old and which are too cute!

Sweet Vintage Nickname Names

tulipbabyvintagenames

My love of everything old-fashioned extends of course to baby names.  Lately we’re seeing a rise in sweet old-timey diminutive names. Of course many of these could also work as nicknames if you prefer your little lady to have a longer full name.  Here are a few of my favorite short and sweet vintage nickname names!

Edie
By far one of my favorite nicknames, Edie has a bit of an edge coupled with a soft sweet girl-next-door vibe. It may be too Grey Gardens for some and stems from Edith, though I’d use it in a heartbeat for Eden if I could. Edie is plenty cute on its own but could also work for Edeline, Elodie, or Enid.

Elsie
Elsie is one of the many adorable nicknames that derives from Elizabeth – that could seriously be its own post! Elspeth, Elsa, Estelle would make lovely longer names for this one. Elsie has shed her “Victorian maid” image and the quirky Zooey Deschanel recently named her daughter Elsie Otter.

Kitty
When I hear the name Kitty I immediately think of 1950’s TV shows. I’m just waiting for a celeb to scoop up this vintage diminutive of Katherine to use on his or her little girl. You may also opt for the unisex and spunky Kit.

Tilly
I adore Tilly as a nickname for Matilda, which is stems from, but its also a pretty cute little name all on her own! Former Big Brother contest Brittany Haynes is Mom to Minnie, Tilly, and Rhue – clearly she loves this style in naming!

Lottie
Fans of Phantom of the Opera will associate this name with the line, “little Lotte let’s her mind wander..” Lottie may be bursting on the scene as Charlotte climbs the charts. Lottie could also work for Ottilie, Loretta, Charlotta, or my favorite, Colette.

Maggie
Maggie seems to be a name people have polarizing feelings toward. Perhaps so many pets named Maggie have detured people a bit. Maggie is one of the many great diminutives of Margaret. Maggie would be a fun nickname for Margot or Magdalene, but my pick would be Magnolia.

Minnie
Not just for Minnie Mouse – I’m thinking of the lovely actress Minnie Driver, born Amelia. Harry Potter fans may choose Minnie as a nickname for Hermione or Minerva. Wilhelmina would be another fun full name for the sweet Minnie.

Nellie
An old name once used for Helen or Eleanor, today she stands all on her own. I think Nellie would be adorable on a little Cornelia if you’re as gah-gah for vintage names as I am. Nellie would also be a fun nickname to Penelope which people are loving lately!

Rosie
I love Rosie just all on her own and of course it comes from Rose. There are tons of Rose names though, a few lovely ones include – Rosa, Rosalie, Rosette, Roseanne, Rosario, Rosalyn, and Rosaline.

Winnie
Winnie is one cutesy nickname that I see many other fellow name lover’s obsess over. I was pleasantly surprised to see Jimmy Fallon use the name Winnie for his eldest daughter. Fallon’s second daughter’s name Franny (Frances), could’ve also made this list! If you like old fashioned longer names Winnie works for Edwina and Winifred, though I’d love to use Winnie for Elowen, Gwendolen, or Winter.

What are your favorite names from this list?
 

Lightly Vintage Girls Names

lightlyvintage

Love the feel of a vintage name but don’t want your little girl to sound like a stuffy old lady? Lose the frump but keep the charm with 20 these lightly vintage names that would suit a beautiful baby born today.

Ada
If you love Ava, which has been a Top 10 name for the past 10 years, you may like the similar sounding Ada.  Currently ranked at Number 357, Ada comes from the German name Adelaide meaning noble. Simple, strong, and sweet, Ada also gets cool points for being a palindrome name.

Bonnie
Bonnie is a wholesome Scottish name meaning beautiful. Currently ranked at Number 871, Bonnie peaked in the late 1940s after the release of Gone with the Wind in which Bonnie was the nickname of Scarlett and Rhett’s sweet little girl.

Cora
Cora is just one of the lovely vintage names that Downtown Abbey helped revitalize.Cora is derived from a Greek name meaning maiden. Currently at spot Number 88, Cora hasn’t been this popular since 1910.

Della
Della ends in the same lovely sound as sisters Isabella and Gabriella, though it is not nearly as popular.  A diminutive of the German name Adela, Della means noble. Only 213 girls were named Della last year.

Estelle
Estelle is a French name meaning star, and what little girl wouldn’t love that meaning? Currently ranked at Number 823, Estelle lends its self to the sweet old-timey nicknames Essie and Estee.

Etta
Fans of musician Etta James, who was born Jamesetta, may enjoy this sweet vintage name. Etta began as a diminutive of the name Henrietta meaning estate ruler. A great Ella or Emma alternative, Etta was only given to 242 little girls last year.

Flora
Flora is a Latin name meaning flower that has been getting more recognition in recent years. Still less common than its sisters Cora and Nora, Flora was only used by 173 girls last year. Flora peaked in 1902 when it reached Number 100.

Hattie
A diminutive of Harriet, meaning estate ruler, Hattie is an old-timey name that’s undergone a huge revival. Currently Number 488, Hattie hasn’t been this popular since the late 1950s and now outranks Harriet.

Iris
If you want a less frilly flower name, you may consider Iris. Iris is a Greek name meaning rainbow currently ranked at Number 217. In Greek mythology Iris was the goddess of the rainbow. Iris may also refer to the colored part of the eye.

June
June is a month name derived from the Roman goddess Juno. June is rising in the charts, currently ranked at Number 280, it hasn’t been this popular since 1966. Other attractive June names include Junia, Juniper, and Juno.

Lavinia
Lavinia is one of my favorite Olivia alternatives. A Latin name meaning from Lavinium, Lavinia is packed full of Victorian charm and hasn’t been in the Top 1,000 since 1929. Lavinia was only given to 63 baby girls last year.

Mabel
Mabel was the then rare name that Paul and Jamie gave their daughter in the 1990s sitcom Mad About You. Derived from the named Amabel, meaning loveable, Mabel is now ranked at Number 578, the highest it has ranked since the early 1950s.

Ottilie
If you love the sound of Natalie but are more drawn to rare vintage names then Ottilie is the name for you. Pronounced o-TEE-lee or ot-till-ee, Ottilie comes from the name Odilia meaning fortune. Ottilie is so rare that it was only given to 12 girls last year.

Pearl
The gemstone of June, Pearl is a granny-chic name making quite the comeback. Pearl ranked at 628 for the past two years, the highest it has been since the mid-1960s.  Pearl is a name I’m seeing more and more as a middle name as well.

Poppy
Poppy is the name of the sweet, cheery, red little flower. Poppy has never ranked in the US Top 1,000 and is definitely more used across the pond in the UK. Last year Poppy was used here by 257 little girls.

Sylvie
Sylvie is a sweet French variation of Silvia, meaning of the forest. Sylvie has a chic yet friendly air to it. Never before ranked in the Top 1,000, Sylvie was only given to 212 girls last year. Sylvie would also be a nice alternative to Sophie.

Rosalie
Whether or not you’re a fan of the Twilight saga, there sure were some beautiful names in the series, including Rosalie. A French form of Rosalia, meaning rose, Rosalie currently ranks at Number 266, the highest it has been since the early 1950s.

Tillie
Tillie is a cutesy little name that began as a nickname for Matilda meaning strength in battle. Vintage nicknames like Millie, Tillie, and Winnie do stand alone well as given names. 70 little girls were given the first name Tillie last year.

Vera
Vera has a very posh sound perhaps because of the elegant designer namesake Vera Wang. Vera is a Russian name meaning faith or true that ranks at Number 312. Vera peaked in 1919 when it reached Number 65.

Willa
If you’re looking for a Willow alternative or a way to honor a William than you may love the name Willa. Willa is a feminine form of William meaning resolute protection. Currently ranked at 481, Willa hasn’t been this popular in over 60 years.

What lightly vintage girls names do you love?

You can hear me chat about a few of these names here: