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Vintage baby names making a comeback

Someone’s name can be indicative of the era they were born. With the modern-day parent preferring the unusual and unique, the names we once thought old-fashioned are now deemed retro.

So which vintage names are leading the revival of the modern era? Lottie.org analysed data to discover which old-fashioned baby names are making a comeback.

Read: Most popular baby names in Australia since 1950

Baby name books only started to emerge in the 1980s, and they were the first-known baby name lists to be compiled. Prior to that, the only names people were given were those people were already aware of.

Today, we have so much more access to names and see or hear new names to consider every week so it may come as a surprise that these vintage baby names are back in fashion.

Here’s a chart of the top 20 baby names making a comeback.


Origin: Latin

Meaning: noble or patrician.

Patricia as a girl’s name is of Latin origin meaning ‘noble or patrician’. It is a feminine form of Patrick. The Romans once were divided socially and politically into two major classes, the plebeians and the patricians. To be patrician meant one was highly ranked, an aristocrat.

Read: World’s most common surnames


Origin: Spanish

Meaning: grace, favour.

The Spanish diminutive of Ana goes well with middle names such as Rose and May. In many countries though, the name Anita is a unisex name.


Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: heard of God.

In third place is Samuel, the first male given name in the rankings. With Hebrew and biblical origins meaning ‘heard of God’, this name is shared most notably by actor Samuel L. Jackson and playwright Samuel Beckett.


Origin: Hindu, Greek, Indian

Meaning: pearl.

Short form of Margarita, the Spanish form of Margaret, which comes from the Greek margarites, meaning ‘pearl’. Margarita also means ‘daisy’ in Spanish.


Origin: Mexican

Meaning: lady or mistress of the house.

Martha as a girl’s name is of Aramaic origin meaning ‘lady or mistress of the house’. Martha has been a royal name in Scandinavia, the subject of Beatles song Martha My Dear, and is also associated with the New England island Martha’s Vineyard. More modern forms that have been chosen include Marta, Martine, and Martina.

Read: What does your surname mean?

The next 10 most popular vintage girls names are:

  • Alice
  • Joyce
  • Vera
  • Janet
  • Jane
  • Helen
  • Norma
  • Betty
  • Agnes
  • Josephine.

The next 10 most popular vintage boys names are:

  • Roger
  • Joel
  • Henry
  • Bernard
  • Donald
  • Claude
  • Alfred
  • Louis
  • Arthur
  • Abraham.

It feels that Australian parents are much more imaginative when it comes to picking baby names today, but the classics still have their place.

Multiculturalism and parents’ desire for individuality saw the pool of baby names grow from 4252 in 1957 to 16,676 today. That’s 300 per cent more names for only 30 per cent more babies being born. The fact that these vintage names are still being chosen says a lot about the names.

Do you have any grandchildren with classic names? Is your name on any of these lists? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.
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