From Eleanor to Chester, These Vintage Baby Names Are Making a Comeback

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Looking for a timeless classic for the bun in your oven? You’re not alone. According to Mia Bardot, the editor-in-chief at Random Names, vintage baby names are on the rise. Just ask Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds; the stars are parents to James, Betty and Inez (three names on our list). Without further ado, here’s a list of charming nostalgic monikers that Bardot predicts will make a comeback this year.

100 Uncommon Baby Names That Aren’t Totally Bizarre

Vintage Baby Names Comeback Eleanor Holding a baseball bat
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1. Eleanor

This vintage gem of Greek origin means “sun ray” or “shining light.” It was also the given name of a badass first lady (i.e., Eleanor Roosevelt) and prolific humanitarian who was known for her sharp wit and passionate, outspoken personality.

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2. Julia

This Latin moniker has a rich history—it has roots as an Ancient Roman imperial name given during Julius Caesar’s reign—and a simple, elegant sound that suits a modern lady as well (think: Julia Child, Julia Roberts and Julia Stiles). Its meaning is “youthful” or “Jove’s child.”

Vintage Baby Names Comeback Betty Horizontal Ideal
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3. Betty

Betty, a shortened form of Elizabeth that doubles as a stand-alone name, has a decidedly retro vibe and a meaning of “oath of God.”

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4. Dorothy

The Wizard of Oz comes to mind, but this name of Greek origin meaning “gift from God” goes back much further, having been a popular choice across the pond as early as the 16th century. It boasts some cute nickname potential, too—Dot, Dotty and Dolly, to name a few.

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5. Florence

This melodic feminine name of Latin origin has a dignified sound and a fitting meaning of “blossoming,” “flourishing” and “prospering.”

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6. Henry

A true classic that has been given to kings, diplomats and successful folk from all walks of life—Henry is a masculine name with German roots and a meaning of “house ruler.”

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7. Oliver

This sweet and humble boy name means “ancestor’s descendants” in Old Norse, but it also has Latin roots and ties to the olive tree, which is a universal symbol of peace.

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8. Vincent

This ancient Latin name has a strong, masculine sound to match its meaning of “victorious.”

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9. Abraham

This masculine moniker of Hebrew origin has a meaning of “father of nations” and major Old Testament significance as the name of the founder of the Jewish people.

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10. Noah

Noah is another Old Testament name (remember the ark?) with a soft sound and a gentle meaning of “rest” and “repose.”

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11. Margaret

This feminine name of Greek origin is a beloved European classic that boasts a beautiful meaning of “pearl.”

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12. Adelaide

Fun to say and full of charm, this moniker has Germanic roots and ties to a beloved British monarch, Queen Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, who lived up to her name’s meaning of “noble” and “kind.”

Vintage Baby Names Comeback Inez Horizontal Ideal
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13. Inez

This soft and melodic name has Portuguese roots and a meaning of “pure and chaste” that belies its sultry sound.

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14. Evelyn

Evelyn is a gender-neutral name (though most commonly given to girls) with mixed origins and multiple meanings, including “island” and “wished for.”

Vintage Baby Names Comeback Estelle Horizontal Ideal
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15. Estelle

This pretty feminine moniker of French origin is believed to date back to a third century martyr. The name has Latin roots and a meaning of “little star.”

Vintage Baby Names Comeback James Horizontal Ideal
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16. James

Here, a biblical heavy-hitter (James was one of the 12 apostles) with a traditional feel and a meaning of “supplanter.”

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17. Leo

This centuries-old name stems from the Latin word for lion and has a corresponding meaning of “brave people” and “lion-hearted.” It can be used as a stand-alone name or a shortened version of Leopold, Leonard and Leonardo.

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18. Louis

Louis, the French version of Ludwig, is a prestigious name meaning “famous warrior” that’s been given to a whole slew of kings.

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19. Edwin

This masculine name of British origin has bookish vibes and a meaning of “wealthy friend.”

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20. Chester

Chester is a place name—it’s a city in the U.K. and you’ll find ‘em all over the states, too—and an Old World masculine moniker with Latin roots and a meaning of “camp of soldiers.”

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Emma Singer is a freelance contributing editor and writer at PureWow who has over 7 years of professional proofreading, copyediting and writing experience. At PureWow, she covers...