When you’re trying to pick a baby name, you look everywhere for inspiration. Nature, pop culture, your family tree, even just random internet searches! But maybe it’s time you start looking in the past? Turns out, some of the most popular baby names from the olden days have withstood the test of time. And going with something classic and tried and true is always a safe bet when naming your new baby. The Social Security Administration’s database tracks names going all the way back to the 1800s, and as it turns out, 1918 was a really good year for baby names.
Some of the most popular baby names from 1918 are ones we still see a lot of today! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Take Frances, for example.
Now, Frances is one of my favorite names. I love names that can be shortened to cool nicknames, and I happen to know a Frances/Frankie. Nowadays we see plenty of kids named Frances on both sides of the aisle, proving that even hundred-year-old names are versatile.
Henry was one of the most popular baby names in 1918, but is there a year that Henry isn’t popular?
I get it! It’s a great name. I have two girls so I never had the pleasure of naming a boy, but I think Henry would’ve probably topped my list of contenders if I had.
A Rose by any other name, and in any other century, would smell as sweet.
I went with Rose as a middle name, but it’s still such a beauty anyway you choose to use it. And really, when you think about it, it’s almost the perfect name for a kid and describes them to a tee: beautiful and lovely but covered in thorns and probably little bugs.
James is another 1918 standout, and another one that can go either way!
What’s funny about the name James is that while I know a few male James’, these days, I know far more female James’. It’s one of those great androgynous names, and James as a girl’s name is catching steam.
Florence needs to be used more, tbh.
It’s such a great name! The only drawback is nickname potential. While Florence is beautiful, Flo can be … an issue.
George is one of the most popular baby names from 1918, and still pretty popular with the Royal Family.
Prince George ushered in a whole new generation of tiny Georges, I’m sure. Thank god they didn’t go with something like Buford or something, right?
Louise was on my list in 2010 and 2014.
People in 1918 knew what was up. Louise/Louisa is still incredibly popular (I loved it because of The Sound of Music).
Another Royal name that is as popular now as it was in 1918: Harry!
Now, if it wasn’t for Prince Harry (the best prince, don’t @ me) and Harry Styles, I’m not entirely sure how popular a name like Harry would be. So thank you, Royal Family and One Direction.
A couple of girl’s names that you don’t see much anymore: Doris and Gladys.
Super popular in 1918 (#19 and #22, respectively), but they didn’t seem to carry-over as well as some of the other names on the list.
And where are all the Clarences and Donalds nowadays?
I fear that the name Donald is ruined forever, thanks in no small part to the president. Some names are best left in the good ol’ days.
You can see the entire list of the 25 most popular baby names for girls and boys in 1918 here. Any of your favorites on the list? Or even better, did any of your kid’s names pop up? Let us know in the comments!
(Image: iStock / Pirotehnik)