11 Vintage Baby Girl Names From 100 Years Ago

Parents draw baby name inspiration from a variety of eras throughout history, but some names get lost over time. Nameberry looked back at the Social Security Administration's list of most popular names for girls in 1916 and found some highlights that could make a revival.


Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet and the brightest star in every constellation. On the popularity list until 1944, Alpha was Number 451 in 1916.


Bethel is a Biblical place name, giving it spiritual overtones, and leading to the obvious short form Beth. Bethel ranked in the list from 1891 to 1940, and was at Number 667 a hundred years ago.


This Spanish name has long had a sophisticated vibe, thanks to heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt. It was Number 602 in 1916 -- as high as 339 in 1930, but it has been off the list now for three decades. Another import is Vincenza, which was Number 720 in 1916.


A once popular nickname for the once popular Euphemia, Effie has an adorable vibe, and Hunger Games cred. Effie was Number 201 in 1926 and stayed around till 1959. Cousin Essie (short for Esther) was a Top 100 name in 1900. Other cute lost nickname names from 1916: Flossie, Tillie, Polly, Kitty, Patsy, Betsy, Mamie.


This was an era when gem names, along with flower names, were all the rage. We’ve reclaimed Ruby and Pearl, but not yet Garnet, another red gemstone, which was Number 436 in 1916. The name has been used in the past for both girls and boys, including Garnet Carter, one of the inventors of miniature golf.


This place name was way up at Number 112 in 1916, and had a very long run, through 1995. It's conducive to nicknames like Jen and Gen. Three more geographical names on the map a century ago were Odessa, Trinidad and Palma.


This typical Victorian name and its nickname Vinnie have been off the radar since 1929. Lavinia’s name-cousins Minerva, Elvira, Philomena and Winifred are also ripe for revival.


Lola, Lila, Luna -- how about Lula? 1676 girls were given the name in 1916, after being in the double digits in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Now Lula might more likely be a nickname for Tallulah, but it can stand on its own. Bryan Adams used it for his second daughter.


With its miraculous, super-hero vibe, Marvel could make her way back into the modern world, along with other aspirational word names -- especially since her appearance (as a male character name) in The Hunger Games series. Marvel ranked at 592 in 1916, and remained on the list until 1941.


This O name has a rich Roman and Shakespearean pedigree, highlighted recently by Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer (and yet another Hunger Games character.) Octavia made it Number 130 on Nameberry, though it’s still not on the national list. Octavia was 645 in 1916.


Here’s another Th-name to add to the Theodore/Theo/Thea trends. A Norse name with a strong meaning (think Thor), Thora was 808 in 1916, but disappeared from the list in 1923.

Literary Baby Names