As we know, popular names come and go. Sometimes they get quirkier, and sometimes names that once seemed dowdy feel fresh again.
Looking at the data from the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) list of top names, we’ve found some popular names from the 1910s that are popping up again on the list of most popular names from 2010-2015. Here are some old-fashioned girl names that are making a comeback.
Emma has had a spike in popularity, going from the 41st most popular name in the 1910s to the 2nd most popular name today. Originally, Emma was a short form of Germanic names that began with “ermen,” such as Ermentraud. Ermen means “whole” or “universal.” Emma was made popular by Emma of Normandy, the mother of Edward the Confessor, one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings to rule England back in the 11th century.
Once the 7th most popular name in the 1910s, Anna is now ranked 33rd in modern day. During the middle of the 20th century, it had fallen to almost 100 on the list. Anna is the Latin form of the Greek name Ἅννα, and the Hebrew version of Anna is Hannah.
Nora was consistently in the top 150 in the early part of the 20th century. By the end of the century, it had dropped out of the top rankings. Now, Nora is coming on strong and ranks 87th overall.
Now at number 20, Evelyn was the the 12th most popular name in the 1910s. The name first started appearing in the 17th century and was used more as a boy’s name before it transitioned to a girl’s name.
Lillian is back in style. It was the 15th most popular name in the 1910s, and it now ranks 25th. The name is believed to be either a shortened form of Elizabeth or a longer version of Lily.
Once the 26th most popular name, Grace is even more popular today, coming in at 19. Grace was one of the virtue names created by the Puritans in the 17th century.
In the 1910s, Stella was ranked 64th. In the 1980s and 1990s, the name dropped out of the top 200 altogether. Now it’s back and ranks 60th. Stella means “star” in Latin, and is also used as a short form for the name Estelle.
Julia was the 48th most popular name a century ago and now comes in as the 66th most popular name. Julia means “youthful,” and Shakespeare used the name in his comedy “The Two Gentlemen of Verona.”
Alice grew in popularity in the late 1800s thanks to Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and was the 13th most popular name in 1910s. It dropped completely out of the top 200 by the 1990s and now is back at 118.
Ella has gained popularity, coming in from the 72nd most popular name a century ago to currently ranking at number 12. According to SheKnows, Ella means “beautiful fairy.”
In the 1910s Eleanor was the 31st most popular name. By the 1980s it had dropped out of the top 200. Now, it’s on the rise again and is currently at 107. Eleanor is Greek for “bright, shining one,” according to Baby Center.
Boys Names On The Rise
View the boy names that are also on the rise.