Tag Archives: old fashioned names

Little Old Lady Names

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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

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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?