30 Beautiful but Forgotten Baby Girl Names From the Roaring '20s

Tanvier Peart | Nov 26, 2019 Pregnancy
30 Beautiful but Forgotten Baby Girl Names From the Roaring '20s
Image: iStock.com/LindaYolanda

Baby Girl by Antique Door

No matter how fast we try to make a mad dash for the future, there will always be a part of our past we simply cannot leave behind. After all, certain things -- like classic baby names from a particular decade -- are timeless and boast true staying power. Don't believe us? Take a look at the names from the 1920s. They are classic, a little antique-y sounding, and have an old-school charm to them. 

As Laura Wattenberg, Baby Name Wizard founder, notes, "Names of the early decades of the 20th century have renewed appeal as 'antiques'" -- particularly, titles from the roaring '20s that continue to dazzle today.

"1920s favorites in particular are finding a new life: names like Vivian, Iris, and Max have come charging back into style," Wattenberg adds.

More from CafeMom: 17 Throwback Baby Girl Names With Unique Vintage Cred

Wattenberg combed through historical data to find names that were big hits in the Roaring '20s, but weren't super popular during the latter half of the 1900s, and aren't among the top 500 baby names of today. She was able to identify the ones with the most style clout that have the potential to make a huge splash in the next several years -- the 21st century's roaring '20s.

Curious to see which girl baby names made the cut? Let's find out!

  • FERN

    cute baby with mom and dad

    Lovers of all things outdoors will likely circle the name Fern. Aside from having a woodsy feel to it, this classic title is associated with childhood memories -- like Fern Arable in Charlotte's WebWhere the Red Fern Grows; and FernGully: The Last Rainforest, a film that made it cool to think about the environment, fairies, and possibly recycling.

  • AVIS

    blonde child with vintage camera

    Though the name Avis might remind one to book a car rental during the next vacay, just know this baby name will have parents soaring to new heights. A French variant of the Germanic Aveza, Avis has ties to the Latin avis that means "bird." Fly, fly away, little Avis!


    super baby with sunglasses

    Not to be confused with Maleficent, the "Mistress of Evil" from Sleeping Beauty, Millicent is a completely different force that packs her own punch. This Old High German title comes from Amalswinth, meaning "work" (amal) and "strength" (swinth). Daughters named Millicent -- or Milli for short -- might just develop a strong work ethic that could mean little to no reminder to take out the trash, do the dishes, or clean their rooms.

  • OPAL

    red-headed child taking first steps

    Gemstone alert! For those who happen to be on the lookout for a semiprecious treasure that doubles as a sweet baby name, check out Opal. Baby Name Wizard notes Opal comes from the Sanskrit upala that means "precious stone" or "jewel" -- making this sweet title all the more lustrous for a little girl.

    More from CafeMom: 25 Precious Baby Names Inspired by Gemstones


    Adorable blonde toddler girl eating bread with butter

    Zenobia is one of those names that has the power to make a person stop and take pause. Rare in modern popularity, Zenobia honors Greek mythology as the title is thought to mean "life of Zeus." That's a pretty powerful namesake, we think.


    two little girls eat ice cream together

    No matter if a person enjoys Margery, or Marjorie, this baby name, pronounced MAHR-jə-ree, is a sophisticated '20s title that's all about the comeback. Plus, Margery/Majorie are variants of the classic Margaret, which comes from the Greek Margarītēs, meaning "pearl" -- which can score the parents a few cool points in the vintage department.


    cute girl in a chair reading a book

    What's not to love about Harriet? This is an elegant name one can dress up or keep casual with nicknames like Harry or Ettie. As a variant of the French Henri, Harriet means "rule of an enclosure" or "home ruler." Sounds like it could have a little girl calling the shots in the household.


    Baby girl standing while holding a blue wooden chair

    Expectant moms and dads in search of a baby name that's solid as a "rock" can look no further, as Petra is a title that will get the job done. The feminine form of Peter from the Late Latin Petrus, Petra finds her staying power in petros that means "rock."

    More from CafeMom: 15 Unique & Powerful Baby Girl Names Borrowed From Ancient Goddesses


    cute little girl watering tomato plants

    "Rumour Has It" expectant moms and dads who just love classic baby names should definitely say "Hello" to Adele. It's such a poised choice that takes a note from the Germanic Adelheid that's associated with "nobility." Seriously, one could "Set Fire to the Rain" and watch the "Skyfall" with this adorable title. 

    (... And yes, we're tipping our hats to the illustrious, Grammy award-winning songstress Adele. How could we not?!)


    newborn baby girl

    Whether the parents really enjoy flying on "The World's Most Trusted Airline," or have a thing for the Greek alphabet -- or mathematics -- Delta might be the name for a daughter. Greek for "the fourth," Delta can also having one dreaming of lowlands along the Mississippi River.


    vintage portrait of a kid with a big basket playing in the countryside

    We couldn't leave Bette off this list of '20s baby names making a comeback. A pet name for the ever-cute Elizabeth, Bette, which means "God is my oath" -- like, "God on my oath" this baby name is adorable! -- is a beautiful option for a little girl.


    Adorable little girl smiling at the camera

    Now here's a baby name that has the power to restore. Althea honors the Greek Althaia that hails from althainein which means "to heal." 

    More from CafeMom: 25 Gorgeous Greek Baby Names for Girls


    cute little girl in a swimming pool

    Helllllo, Clarice ...

    While the name Clarice might conjure up a few images of a certain protagonist in Silence of the Lambs, this adorable title was all the rage during the 1920s. Hailing from the Latin clārus that means "bright" or "famous," Clarice is a sweet option that knows how to hold her own.

  • IOLA

    Sweet curly-haired toddler girl

    Not to be confused with the name Lola is Iola, pronounced i-oh-lah. This delightful title brings the beauty, as Iola is Greek for "violet" -- which could inspire a trip to the nearest botanical garden to stop and smell the violets. 


    Curious toddler girl playing
    iStock.com/Steve Debenport

    Pronounced maid-ah -- which sounds super close to, "What do you think I am ... made-a money??" -- Maida is a throwback title parents might want to circle. With its popularity extending as far back as the 1880s, Maida is an Old English baby name that means "maiden," which is an old-fashioned way of saying "young girl" that represents the little bundle of joy.

  • ROMA

    Cute baby girl in the grass holding a flower

    Children have been known to inspire parents, and in Roman mythology, Evander named Italy's capital city Rome after his daughter, Roma. This Italian baby name is a winsome choice that can provoke wanderlust. Seriously, keep saying Roma a few times and one just might find oneself looking for flights to Italy. 

    More from CafeMom: 20 Gorgeous Italian Names for Baby Girls


    adorable baby girl sucking thumb on bed
    iStock.com/Suriyapong Thongsawang

    We're so happy to see another place-name make this list. Though Virginia officially became a state in 1788, this title was a top baby name choice during the 1920s. Inspired by the Latin Verginius, Virginia means "springlike" and "flourishing" and gives us super adorable nicknames like Ginny and Ginger.


    fat baby smiling

    While many of us would associate Josephine as being a top baby name option during the 1920s (we tip our hat to actress, singer, dancer, and activist Josephine Baker), the name Josefina is actually the one slated to make a serious comeback. The female form of Joseph that comes from the Hebrew Yosef, meaning "may he add" and "God shall add," Josefina will bring the pizzazz and flavor to that list of baby names.


    happy small girl

    Geneva is one of those baby names to make a person stop and say "Hmm." It's two parts mysterious and three parts fashionable -- making Geneva perfect for a cosmopolitan daughter. Plus, it's a location near the Swiss Alps, which makes it a must-see.

  • VITA

    happy young mother kissing baby

    Children are so full of "life," and my, does the name Vita reflect that. A sometimes nickname for Victoria, Vita is a title that's catchy, fashion-forward, and extremely adorable.

    More from CafeMom: 13 Baby Girl 'Nicknames' That Make Adorable First Names


    cute baby girl on her mother's arm

    Aww, Eloisa! Don't be fooled by this name: Eloisa might look sweet, but she knows a thing or two about combat. Thought to be a variant of Louis, Eloisa is associated with the Old High German Hluodowig that means "famous in war." So, yeah, it's probably not a very good idea to piss Eloisa off ... like, at all -- mmkay?

  • CLEO 

    girl with father

    There aren't a lot of girl names that end in -o, which makes Cleo seem fresh and surprisingly modern for a name that was popular a century ago. Cleo can be short for Cleopatra, if the parents want to go really old school! 


    baby in shoes

    Let's be real: Dorothy was always the funniest of The Golden Girls. Just like The Golden Girls are retro-cool, this name is more than ready for a comeback. Dorothy means "gift of God" and was a top 10 most popular name from 1904-1939. We love that one can go with super cute nicknames like Dot or Dottie or tweak it to be a more sophisticated name, like Dorothea. 

  • FAYE

    istock.com/Mariia Zotova

    Parents who want an older name with a slightly magical touch should consider Faye. The name Faye has English origins and is thought to come from the word "fairy." The name seems to be making a comeback, which would make any fairy pleased!


    girl in a hat

    This jewel name is unisex option with a fruity twist -- it comes from the French word for pomegranate! This name might be a great fit for parents who like names like Ruby or Pearl but want something more unusual. 



    Mavis is a French name that means "songbird," which makes it basically perfect for famed R&B singer Mavis Staples! It could also be a great fit for a music loving family looking for something in the classic but cool category. 



    Do the baby's parents love the ocean? If so, Rosemary might be a surprisingly old school way to honor that. The name Rosemary comes from the Latin for "dew of the sea." Beside the sea connection, we love that Rosemary is a name filled with nickname options: Rosie, Rose, Mary, or even Romy. Options are always good!


    istock.com/Taha Sayeh

    Downton Abbey fans have been helping the name Sybil get ready to make a comeback! While we'll all miss Lady Sybil (R.I.P), we can still appreciate this strong name. Coming from the Greek, the name Sybil means "prophetess" and we predict we'll be seeing more of it in the future!



    Yes, this name is the female version of Thor, so parents who are looking to raise a superhero girl might want to consider this time tested choice. This Scandinavian name comes from the words "thunder goddess," which is a pretty epic name meaning! 


    istock.com/Dobrila Vignjevic

    Parents hoping to raise a peace lover will love that the name Winfred is from the Welsh and means "blessed peacemaking". Winifred is cute on it's own but we are also big fans of the nickname options, including Winnie, Fred, and Freddie. Baby girl Freddie? So cute!

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