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30 Retro baby names ready for a comeback

Naming your baby can be a pretty daunting decision – trendy, traditional, modern vintage? If you’re looking for something else entirely, the Netmums team has been digging around for some good old-fashioned names that we think should make a comeback.

1. Agnes Agnes instantly makes us think of the adorable little girl from Despicable Me, but the name is actually of Greek origin, meaning ‘pure’ and ‘virginal’. 2. Alma Originating from Latin, this sweet name means ‘nurturing’, while the Spanish translation is ‘soul’. Could this be the name of your new baby daughter?

3. Bernadette From German and French origin, Bernadette means ‘brave as a bear’. Perfect for strong and fearless little girls. 4. Bernard Just like the female equivalent Bernadette, Bernard means ‘brave as a bear’. If ‘Bernard’ sounds too formal, we love the cute diminutive Bernie. Could you have a little Bernie bear?

5. Bertha Meaning ‘bright’ and ‘glorious’, this girls’ name has German origins. Berchta was a goddess from Norse mythology who was regarded as a beautiful and benevolent spirit.
6. Betty Will your baby Betty have Bette Davis eyes? This girls’ name is of Hebrew origin meaning ‘pledged to God’. There are plenty of famous characters with this name, too – Betty White, Mad Men’s Betty Draper Francis and Betty Boop!

7. Chester The name Chester means ‘fortress’ in Latin. Tom Hanks gave his son this name, but he’s more commonly known as Chet. Will you take inspiration from the Hollywood star?
8. Clarence Meaning ‘bright’, this cute boy’s name has Latin origins. It’s also the name of the guardian angel in It’s a Wonderful Life, so ideal for any baby born in December!

9. Daisy Who doesn’t like a flower name? Daisy was originally a nickname for Margaret, because the French name Marguerite is the word for the flower. 10. Dennis Dennis the Menace might be a British-born troublemaker, but the name is widely used in France, where St Denis is the patron saint. The name can be traced even further back to Dionysius, the Greek god of wine and debauchery. Cheeky!

11. Dorothy Any darling daughter Dorothy just HAS to have a pair of red sparkly shoes. The name means ‘gift of God’ and can be shortened to Dot or Dotty. 12. Edna Edna is a favourite of cartoon makers – think Bart’s teacher in The Simpsons and the costume designer in The Incredibles. Meaning ‘rejuvenation’ and ‘delight’, Edna was a loving mother in the Bible. For a modern twist on the name, try the gender-neutral Eden.

13. Edward This classic English name means ‘wealthy guardian’.
And it’s a name with strong regal heritage. There have been 11 English kings named Edward (although only eight were numbered). It’s also the name chosen by Queen Elizabeth for her youngest son. Well, if it’s good enough for royals …
14. Edwin Of English origin, Edwin is a boy’s name meaning ‘wealthy friend’. Your baby Edwin could end up being a wealthy son, too!

15. Eric The name Simon Cowell chose for his son, Eric comes from Norse origin and means ‘eternal ruler’. Now is the perfect time to bring the name back, as the new live-action Ariel and Prince Eric will be coming to our screens soon in The Little Mermaid.
16. Ethel Ethel means ‘noble maiden’, but did you know it’s actually a modern version of some much older names? Originally it was a shorter alternative to the Old English monikers Ethelberta, Ethelreda and Ethelinda.

17. Floyd Originating from Welsh, Floyd means ‘grey-haired’ so it’s definitely a name your baby can grow into! It also has rock and roll connotations, will your little one be a Pink Floyd fan? 18. Francis Francis can be unisex, but is more commonly used as a boys’ name with Frances being the female spelling. It means ‘Frenchman’ or ‘free man’ – oh la la.
It’s also the name of the current Pope so your baby will be in good company.

19. George George might strike you as a very English name – Prince George is heir to the throne, after all, and Saint George is our patron saint. But, this boys’ name is actually of Greek origin, meaning ‘farmer’. 20. Gladys Meaning ‘land’ or ‘nation’ in Welsh, the name Gladys is also thought to originate from the Latin for ‘small sword’. Maybe your little one will be a soul sensation like their namesake Gladys Knight.

21. Hetty Usually used as a nickname for Henrietta or Harriet, Hetty is an adorable name in its own right. It can also be spelled Hettie if you prefer an ‘ie’ ending. 22. Irene Serene Irene was the name of the Greek goddess of peace, who also happened to be the daughter of Zeus. The name was massively popular in ancient Rome, where it was spelled Eirene.

23. Lois A Greek name meaning ‘most desirable’, Lois is another retro name worthy of a comeback. After all, who wouldn’t want to be named after Superman’s girlfriend?!
24. Louis A traditional name that’s recently been chosen by the royals, Louis means ‘renowned warrior’. After the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge called their youngest son Louis in 2018, we’re predicting a resurgence.

25. Marjorie Marjorie, or Marge for short, is of Scottish origin meaning ‘pearl’. Hopefully your daughter will follow in the pioneering footsteps of Marjorie Stinson, the first female airline pilot. 26. Martha Martha is the perfect name for a little lady – it literally means ‘lady’. In the New Testament, Martha was the sister of Lazarus who looked after Jesus when he was a guest in her home. The biblical connection gave the name associations with domesticity and cooking – apt then, for American chef Martha Stewart who was named after her mum.

27. Mildred An English name meaning ‘gentle strength’. If you fancy a modern twist on this retro name, try shortening to Mildie or Millie. 28. Milton It’s time to reclaim this traditional boys’ name. Of Old English origin, it means ‘settlement with a mill’. It’s commonly found as a surname too, like that of acclaimed poet John Milton, who wrote Paradise Lost.

29. Molly Molly has been considered a more casual version of Mary since the Middle Ages. From Gaelic origin, its meaning is ‘bitter’, we’re sure your baby Molly will prove just how sweet she really is though. 30. Norma It’s not too surprising to learn Norma means ‘from the north’. You could even take a leaf out of Kylie Jenner’s book and change it to Normi, rhyming with her baby’s name, Stormi.

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