20 Roaring '20s Names Making a Comeback

Laura Emerson | Oct 20, 2014 Pregnancy

Back then, booze was taboo, flappers flocked the dance floors, Model Ts ruled the roads, women won the vote, and gangsters were up to no good. Welcome to the Roaring '20s! There are so many things this spirited decade in American history gave us. To this day, we're crazy for jazz age music, sleek bobs, Chanel No. 5, even crossword puzzles. And now, along with debonair mustaches and cloche hats, we're becoming newly enamored with the names that flappers and their fellas wore proudly in that era.

20 names from the 20sParents of these "wild ones" must have had a little foresight when they chose names that included zippy letters like x, v, and z; they sound a little sassy and, well, ready to Charleston!

Some of these jazzy names are short and sweet and come complete with no-frills nickname like Jo. Others are inspired by flowers or lore from the careers of silent film stars and jazz artists who came before, but they're all ready to roar once again.

 

Would you use a classic '20s baby name?

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  • Beatrice

    1

    Once a classic, Beatrice was popular in the Middle Ages after Dante invoked the name in his Divine Comedy. Bea was very much in fashion near the turn of the century, making it a perfect prohibition name ready for revival. We also love its other short forms, including Tris, brought to us by the Divergent series.

  • Clara

    2

    Iconic '20s silent film star ClaraBow embodied the attitude of the flapper. Her simple, pretty name is back in style as parents look for names with a little retro kick.

  • Duke

    3

    What an interesting journey this royal title and nickname has taken—it's very rare, with a few modest blips on parents' radar in the 1890s, 1950s, and again today. It's Duke Ellington's fame as one of the most influential jazz artists and composers that give Duke a distinct '20s flair, and we think it's poised for a comeback.

  • Ellis

    4

    Likely inspired by Ellis Island, the gateway for millions of immigrants, this name reached a peak near the turn of the century. Now it's starting to garner attention again, with a nod to Elliott and feminine counterparts like Ella and Alice.

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  • Evelyn

    5

    One of the hottest names on the list, Evelyn is now a top-20 name! We fell in love with Evelyn because of her sound and vintage feel. It was also recently chosen by Bruce Willis and his wife for their daughter.

  • Everett

    6

    Everett seemed to make a perfect male complement to Evelyn, and its genteel sound is inspiring parents today just like it did in the early 20th century.

  • Felix

    7

    A wildly popular comic strip character (and later a movie star), Felix the Cat shared a name with lots of gents in the '20s. We're starting to rediscover this happy, energetic choice again today.

  • Hazel

    8

    Hazel embodies the flapper revival trend, perfect for a blues singer like Hazel Meyers, and also for a modern baby, like the daughter of John Krasinski and Emily Blunt.

  • Josephine

    9

    There were lots of little Jos running around at the turn of the century, and it made for a spot-on, '20s-era name, a la Josephine Baker. Once again this lovely name is making its way up the charts as parents look for spirited, fashionable names with a great history.

     

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  • Leo

    10

    A quintessential '20s name, Leo has a great sound that fits in perfectly with choices like Milo and Liam. Leo was chosen by Penelope Cruz, Roger Federer, and Brandon Routh.

  • Lillian

    11

    Lillian Gish was a silent film star known as The First Lady of American Cinema, and she made this name hot around the age of jazz. These days we have such a love affair with this name that it's (appropriately) ranked in the '20s.

  • Lola

    12

    Lola evokes vintage Hollywood glam, thanks to Lola Albright, and today's stars seem to love it almost as much as most Americans did in the early 20th century. Celebs like Kelly Ripa, Peter Facinelli, Lisa Bonet, Charlie Sheen, and Chris Rock all have a daughter named Lola.

  • Mae

    13

    A short and sassy flapper name, Mae owes a lot of its fame to '20s (and beyond) actress West, who gave it a sexy starlet image. We think it's time for this name to play a starring role and move up a notch from the dreaded middle-name spot.

  • Max

    14

    Shedding the formality of longer names like Maximilian and Maxwell, Max began coming into its own just in time for gangsters, gamblers, bootleggers, and stand-up gents to wear it in the '20s. This quick little name punctuated with an x is doing quite well again today, and celebrities love it too (just ask Christina Aguilera).

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  • Pearl

    15

    At the turn of the century, Americans considered Pearl a classic, and it was still doing quite well when future flappers were dancing in the womb. Even more fittingly, long strings of pearls were a flapper trademark, thanks to Coco Chanel.

  • Rose

    16

    A lovely flower name that bloomed in the late 19th century, Rose became a near classic choice, fighting its way through a mid-century slump. Today, we are rooting for Rose to keep climbing and (like Mae) emerge from the middle-name spot.

  • Sterling

    17

    This silvery name strikes us as both surprising and classy. It's gone through a few historical ups and downs, though it was never as popular as it was in the 1900s. Fit for a '20s gangster, a thoroughly modern punk rock star, or maybe even your little guy, Sterling has lots of potential.

  • Theodore

    18

    Today it feels gentlemanly and dashing, but during Roosevelt's presidency, Theodore had rugged cowboy appeal. As a result, there were lots of Teddys living it up in the '20s, and now we're swooning over this full name (and its short forms) again.

  • Vera

    19

    It doesn't get more flapper-worthy than the spirited name Vera. A true antiquated gem, Vera is becoming newly fashionable (quite literally), helped along by designers of the same name, like Vera Wang and that paisley-bedecked brand, Vera Bradley.

  • Violet

    20

    A glamorous old-fashioned floral name, we rediscovered Violet early in the 21st century and found its charming lilt worthy of today's top 100. Perhaps the most famous Violet in the '20s comes from Vaudeville, where a pair of now long-forgotten conjoined twins named Violet and Daisy starred in their own musical act.

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