19 Old-Fashioned Baby Names People Avoid Today

Trends in baby names come and go over time, and once popular names can easily disappear from existence. While vintage names often see a resurgence in popularity, these 19 old-fashioned names have yet to increase in popularity in the U.S.


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According to BabyCenter, Bertha was the ninth most popular baby girl’s name in the United States in 1880. However, it has significantly plummeted to #6930 in 2023’s list, with just 12 babies per million being named Bertha.


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This name peaked in the early 20th century, but its popularity has steadily decreased since. The English name is rarely chosen by new parents today, with many parents preferring names that sound more modern or have a different cultural meaning.


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Popular in the early 1900s, Edna was a common name in English-speaking countries and was associated with youth and rejuvenation. The name fell out of favor throughout the mid-20th century, and today it is rarely used by parents.


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Fashionable in the Victorian era, the name symbolized the myrtle plant, which was associated with love and immortality. According to USA Today, the name Myrtle is at risk of going extinct. The name ranked 14,669 in popularity between 2012 and 2018, a drop of -14,624 from 1880–2011.


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English-speaking countries loved the name ‘Clarence’ in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but a lack of prominent figures going by the name in modern times has seen it lose its appeal. Although many vintage names have been revived by today’s parents, Clarence is still an uncommon choice.


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In Old English, the name Ethel meant ‘noble’, and this is what drove its popularity in the early 20th century. It began to be viewed as old-fashioned or out of touch with modern times and therefore started to decline in the mid-20th century.


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Notably popular in the early 1900s, particularly in the United States, the name was often associated with President Herbert Hoover. Over the last decades, however, the name has been associated with older generations and a formality that modern parents aren’t choosing.


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With roots in Roman history and literature, the name ‘Horace’ was once popular in English-speaking countries due to its classical heritage. The name’s popularity began to decline in the mid-20th century, and The Bump says, “Horace is currently #9997 in U.S. births.”


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Doris is a name that saw a huge surge in popularity during the 1920s and 1930s, influenced by its Greek roots and meanings related to the sea. Steadily decreasing in use since the mid-20th century, it is rarely used today.


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With medieval origins referring to Norsemen or Normans, the name was widely adopted in the early to mid-20th century. With an absence of contemporary figures or cultural references to the name, it has declined in popularity and is rare for newborns today.


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Peaking in popularity during the early 20th century, the name Gladys was especially popular in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has gradually fallen out of favor over the last decades and is rarely chosen for baby girls today.


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Ranking in the top 50 names in the early 1900s in the U.S., the name was popular due to its Germanic origins, meaning “strength” and “spear.” Gertrude is now unpopular among new parents, and Country Living says “this name hasn’t ranked since 1965.”


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The English origins of this name mean ‘alder tree grove,’ and this drove its popularity in the early 1900s. Today, the name is an uncommon choice for newborn baby boys, and parents generally prefer names with more current appeal.


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Irma has German origins and means ‘whole’ or ‘universal.’ It was a popular choice in the early 20th century, but its use declined significantly and is now infrequently used for newborn baby girls as modern parents have not yet rediscovered the vintage charm of the name.


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Reaching its peak in popularity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the name was particularly popular in the United States due to a famous cartoon character, Elmer Fudd. As it began to decline in the mid-20th century, the name became an uncommon choice for parents.


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According to Fox News, there were 17,300 Mildreds registered in 1919, but the name has not featured in the top 100 since 1946, and there were no baby Mildreds registered in 2021. Its earlier popularity was mostly influenced by the name’s use in literature and popular culture.


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Widely used during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Victorians loved the name ‘Mabel’ due to its Latin origins, meaning ‘lovable.’ Despite its charming meaning, it saw a decline in use as the 20th century progressed, being overshadowed by more modern names.


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Deriving from Germanic elements meaning ‘wild boar’ and ‘castle,’ Wilbur was a popular name in the early 20th century in the United States. Today, the name is rarely used for newborn baby boys and is seen as an older generation name.


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With roots in Norse mythology and the German language meaning ‘battle,’ the name Hilda was popular in the early and mid-20th century. Its appeal diminished over time, however, and is an uncommon choice for baby girls today.

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