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

Tanvier Peart | May 5, 2017 Pregnancy

Baby Girl by Antique Door
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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, BabyNameWizard.com 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.

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


Katrina Elena/Shutterstock

  • Fern

    1

    Lovers of all things outdoor 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 Web; Where 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

    2

    Though the name Avis might remind you to book a car rental during your next vacay, just know this baby name will have you 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!

  • Millicent

    3

    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

    4

    Gemstone alert! If you happen to be on the lookout for a semiprecious treasure that doubles as a sweet baby name, do feast your eyes on Opal. BabyNameWizard.com notes Opal comes from the Sanskrit upala that means "precious stone" or "jewel" -- making this sweet title all the more lustrous for your little girl.

    More from CafeMom: 25 Precious Baby Names Inspired by Gemstones

  • Zenobia

    5

    Zenobia is one of those names that has the power to make you 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, if you ask us.

  • Margery/Marjorie

    6

    No matter if you enjoy 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 you a few cool points in the vintage department.

  • Harriet

    7

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

  • Petra

    8

    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, you guessed it, "rock."

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

  • Adele

    9

    "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, you can "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?!)

  • Delta

    10

    Whether you 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 your daughter. Greek for "the fourth," Delta can also having you dreaming of lowlands along the Mississippi River.

  • Bette

    11

    Bet you didn't think you were going to see Bette on this list of '20s baby names making a comeback? (Well, maybe you did.) 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 your little girl.

  • Althea

    12

    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

  • Clarice

    13

    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

    14

    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 roses violets. 

  • Maida

    15

    Pronounced maid-ah -- which sounds super close to, "What do you think I am ... made-a money??" -- Maida is a throwback title you 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 your little bundle of joy.

  • Roma

    16

    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 you just might find yourself looking for flights to Italy. (Hey, maybe you can score a deal if you link up with Delta on this list. Ba-dum-tss!)

    More from CafeMom: 20 Gorgeous Italian Names for Baby Girls

  • Virginia

    17

    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.

  • Josefina

    18

    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 lady 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 your list of baby names.

  • Geneva

    19

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

  • Vita

    20

    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

  • Eloisa

    21

    Aww, Eloisa! Don't let this name fool you: 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?

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