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Home > Parenting Information > Baby Products > Old Fashioned Baby Names Making a Comeback


Old Fashioned Baby Names Making a Comeback


When selecting a baby name, expectant parents will find there are an enormous amount of names to consider from family names, trendy names, unique names, and today’s most popular baby names. One of the most popular trends is selecting an old fashioned baby name. Since selecting a name from yesterday has increased in popularity, some names have made quite a comeback over recent years.

In the 1880’s, Isabelle ranked #176 of the most popular names and now Isabella, a form of Isabel or Isabelle, is one of the most popular names in the United States. From the 1920’s through the 1950’s, Isabelle continued to lose popularity and the name disappeared from the list in 1958. In the 1990’s, Isabella emerged as a popular name creeping into the top 100 by 1998. This name has steadily moved up the list throughout the 2000’s landing in the number one spot in 2009.

Jacob, meaning “supplanter or held by the heel”, has been a popular name throughout the last 120 years. From 1890 to 1916, it held a top 120 spot but dropped off in popularity throughout the majority of the 1900’s. It wasn’t until 1974 that Jacob returned to the top 100 and continued to rise up in ranking until it hit the number one spot in 1999 and has remained there.

Emma has continued to rank highly in the top 100 over recent years. The last time this name meaning “all containing or universal”, ranked highly was in the top five in 1891.

Names like William, Elizabeth, Anthony, and Michael have consistently ranked in popularity over the past 120 years. These names have a timeless appeal for many families. Many families will opt to name their baby after a beloved family member and with certain names having so much popularity it is easy to understand why some names have continued to endure through the decades.

Some old fashioned names have come back quickly like the baby name Ella. This name which is Greek for “torch or bright light” maintained a top 100 spot until the late 1920’s when it steadily sank in popularity. In 1999, it ranked #374 in popularity, but in just 10 years it hit the #14 spot.

There are other names that are starting to make a rise in popularity and are worth taking note. The name Charlotte which was quite popular in the first half of the 20th century has recently seen a place in the top 100 since 2008. Also, the name Oliver has moved into the top 100 for the first time since 1903.

As parents continue to select names that have stood the test of time, it will be interesting to see what other names begin to spike in popularity. Perhaps Ida and Harry are set to make a comeback?



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