Top 39 baby names from 1880s that could make a comeback with parents

Baby names fall in and out of fashion more often than dress styles, and names that were hugely popular just 20 years ago may already seem quite rare and old-fashioned to the ears of 2022 parents. Now a self-professed ‘name nerd’ has come forward with a list of 39 baby names from the 1880s, all of which look set to make a comeback.

These names were in the top 200 most popular back in the 1880s, favoured by numerous excited parents-to-be before seeing a notable dip. However, it’s believed it won’t be long until some of these name choices are once again called out across playgrounds.

The baby name whizz, who goes by the username u/confidentialo, recently took to Reddit’s r/namenerds forum with the list of names, which they’ve compiled “based on name trends we’ve been seeing.” There are 22 girls’ names and 17 boys’ names on the list in total, many of which would make for a beautiful and meaningful choice for expectant parents.

The girls’ names are as follows:

  1. Martha: This means ‘mistress of the house’ or lady’, with St. Martha being the patron saint of housekeeping.
  2. Nellie or Nell: Literary buffs will perhaps associate this adorable name – which means ‘shining light’ – with Little Nell, a fictional character from Charles Dickens’ 1841 novel The Old Curiosity Shop.
  3. Mabel: Already starting to make a much-deserved comeback, Mabel, which means ‘lovable’ or ‘dearly’ is currently ranked at 68 out of 5493 names in the UK, according to the website ukbabynames
  4. Cora: Downton Abbey fans may well have fallen in love with the name, which means ‘maiden’ or ‘daughter’ after becoming attached to matriarch Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, played by Elizabeth McGovern
  5. Helen: Long associated with Greek mythology, Helen is a classically beautiful name that means ‘light’ or ‘bright’.
  6. Lula: Perfect for those looking for a strong name for their little girl, Lula means ‘famous warrior’.
  1. Alma: Meaning both ‘nourishing’ and ‘kind soul’, Alma is a sweet name with a lovely sound to it.
  2. Irene: Meaning ‘peace’, this long-neglected name also has mythological roots, with Eirene being the Greek goddess of peace.
  3. Olive: A pretty take on the far more popular Olivia, Olive means ‘olive tree’ and makes for the perfect choice for nature lovers.
  4. Pauline: Meaning ‘the little one’ or ‘small’, this French origin name featured in Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale, but has dropped in popularity in recent years.
  5. Ora: Meaning ‘prayer’, Ora is an excellent choice for those with religious or spiritual beliefs.
  6. Iva: Another name with religious connotations, Iva means ‘God is gracious’, and has a similar pleasing sound to current favourites Eva and Ava.
  1. Lulu: Not just for fans of ’60s pop music, the name Lulu means ‘pearl’ or ‘precious’, and is beloved the world over.
  2. Lola: Meaning ‘sorrowful’, this baby name holds the message that only by understanding life’s sorrows can we really experience true joy.
  3. Lela: Melodic in sound, Lela means ‘black beauty’ and could be a gorgeous choice for a baby in possession of a mane of black hair.
  4. Delia: Meaning ‘from Delos’, many of us will of course associate the name Delia with iconic chef and TV presenter, Delia Smith.

17: Alta: Meaning ‘high’ or ‘elevated’, this would be a suitable choice for parents who have great hopes for their little one’s future.

  1. Ina: Meaning ‘entertainer’ or ‘home’, this name also makes for a charming nickname for Kristina or Marina.
  1. Luella: Like Lula, Luella means ‘famous warrior’, and is as beautiful as it is strong.
  2. Rena: You couldn’t ask for a happier meaning than ‘joy’ or ‘joyful melody’ when naming your very own bundle of joy.
  3. Lucille: Meaning ‘light’, this name is perhaps best associated with legendary comedian Lucille Ball.
  4. Myra: Meaning ‘beloved, favorable, admirable’, Myra also means ‘myrrh’ or ‘sweet-smelling oil’, and has both Greek and English influences.

The boys’ names are as follows:

  1. Oscar: Meaning ‘friend of the deer’ or ‘champion warrior’, Oscar is a classic name with both Irish and Norse origins.
  2. Carl: The name of a number of Swedish kings, the meaning of Carl is ‘free man.’
  3. Martin: With the meaning ‘God of war’, this is a very strong name indeed to give your little boy.
  4. Eugene: Meaning ‘well-born’ or ‘noble’, Royal watchers will perhaps be better familiar with the feminine version, with the Queen’s granddaughter bearing the name Princess Eugenie.
  5. Francis: This name means ‘Frenchman’ or ‘free man’ and is also the name chosen by the current Catholic pope, Pope Francis.
  6. Raymond: Meaning ‘counselor’ or ‘protector’, the name Raymond can be traced back to ancient times.
  1. Harvey: Meaning ‘iron’, ‘battle worthy’ or ‘blaze’, Harvey is a powerful name for any young boy.
  2. Otto: This name means ‘wealth’ and ‘prosperity’, and those looking for career success in life couldn’t ask for a better name.
  3. Warren: Meaning ‘park keeper’, Warren is also one of the oldest English surnames.
  4. Emil: The name Emil means ‘excelling’ or ‘eager’, and many parents will of course hope for a child who is enthusiastic about the world around them.
  5. Victor: Meaning ‘winner’ or ‘conqueror’, Victor is one of the oldest Christian names.
  6. Calvin: Calvin means ‘little bald one’, and so could be a sweet choice for babies born without much hair.
  1. Dennis: Meaning ‘follower of Dionysus’, who was the son of Zeus and Semele in Greek mythology.
  2. Russell: Meaning ‘red-haired’, this could be perfect if your child is blessed with a head of red hair.
  3. Roscoe: Roscoe comes from the old Norse word for ‘doe wood’ or ‘deer forest’. An ideal choice for outdoorsy types.
  4. Ellis: The name Ellis means ‘kind’ and ‘benevolent’, attributes you’ll most likely want for your newborn.
  5. Wilson: Meaning ‘son of Will’, the name Wilson goes right back to the days of early Viking settlers in Scotland.