The two vintage baby names that re-entered the 'most popular' list for the first time in 100 years

Catriona Harvey-Jenner
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan


Baby names trends roll in cycles, like many things. One of the most popular trends to have emerged in recent years is the recycling of old-fashioned names.

Recently, the Office for National Statistics released the most up-to-date data on baby names from all births that took place in the year 2018 – and it proves just how much the vintage baby naming trend has taken hold. Because two names have, for the first time in almost 100 years, re-entered the ‘most popular’ list.

The boys’ name Arthur was a firm fixture in the top 10 names for boys in the early 1900s, but after 1024 it dropped off. In 2018, however, 94 years since it was last listed – Arthur regained its spot in the top 10.

Ranking at number 7, with 3,644 babies having been called Arthur, the name was the only new entry in the top 10 names for boys in 2018. It replaced Jacob, which dropped down to 11 in the most recent data set.

Likewise, a vintage girls’ name also soared in popularity in 2018, for the first time in almost a century. Ada was last included in the top 100 girls’ names in 1924, but hasn’t ranked since. In 2018, the name made a comeback, being the 65th most used name for baby girls, with 811 babies given the name Ada.

It’s thought the newfound favour for the names Arthur and Ada may potentially have been inspired by the characters in Peaky Blinders, as the monikers Tommy and Esme have also risen in popularity since the BBC series debuted.

Photo credit: BBC

If you’re inspired a bit of the old-fashioned when it comes to naming your future child, baby naming website Nameberry drew up a list of names that all featured within the top 500 most popular back in 1918 - just over 100 years ago - but which haven't featured in any of the top 1,000 names in recent decades. These, Nameberry predicts, are likely to becoming increasingly selected by parents keen to call their children something unique.


You won't spot any Olivias or Olivers in this list...

Girl's names (in alphabetical order):

  1. Agatha
  2. Alpha
  3. Althea
  4. Augusta
  5. Avis
  6. Bernadette
  7. Beryl
  8. Bessie
  9. Birdie
  10. Carmella
  11. Cleo
  12. Delia
  13. Dixie
  14. Effie
  15. Etta
  16. Fay
  17. Geneva
  18. Gertie
  19. Ida
  20. Inez
  21. Ione
  22. Iva
  23. Lelia
  24. Loretta
  25. Lorna
  26. Lottie
  27. Louella
  28. Lucinda
  29. Lula
  30. Lulu
  31. Mamie
  32. Maude
  33. Merle
  34. Minerva
  35. Minnie
  36. Muriel
  37. Myrtle
  38. Odessa
  39. Olga
  40. Opal
  41. Pauline
  42. Philomena
  43. Polly
  44. Rosalind
  45. Rosella
  46. Roxie
  47. Sibyl
  48. Theda
  49. Winifred
  50. Yolanda

Boy's names (in alphabetical order):

  1. Abe
  2. Alphonse
  3. Ambrose
  4. Archie
  5. Barney
  6. Benedict
  7. Booker
  8. Burl
  9. Cecil
  10. Chester
  11. Claude
  12. Clement
  13. Cleveland
  14. Cornelius
  15. Dale
  16. Dewey
  17. Dorsey
  18. Doyle
  19. Dudley
  20. Edmund
  21. Ferdinand
  22. Floyd
  23. Forest
  24. Garland
  25. Grover
  26. Hiram
  27. Homer
  28. Isadore
  29. Kermit
  30. Lemuel
  31. Lowell
  32. Lucius
  33. Luther
  34. Ned
  35. Noble
  36. Norris
  37. Ollie
  38. Perry
  39. Pete
  40. Roscoe
  41. Rufus
  42. Sol
  43. Stuart
  44. Thaddeus
  45. Ulysses
  46. Vito
  47. Waldo
  48. Wallace
  49. Ward
  50. Wiley

I look forward to a future of retro-sounding Effies, Merles, and Wallaces.

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