Just as fashion seems to be cyclical, so are trends in baby names. Today’s parents are beginning to eschew designer spellings and outlandish names in favor of more solid, traditional names that have classic, cultured connotations. The Social Security Administration’s names data shows that vintage names are making a comeback in major way. The Hundred-Year Rule, a theory that states most names require a full century before coming back into fashion, seems to be holding true. These twenty names were among the most popular between 1910-1920, and are making a comeback today.
- Anna – “Anna” is one of the girls’ names that never seems to go completely out of style. Originating from the Greek or Latin version of the Hebrew name “Hannah,” Anna means “grace” and came in at number thirty-eight on the list of most popular girls’ names in 2011.
- Charlotte – The French feminine diminutive of “Charles,” Charlotte’s meaning, “free man,” has masculine connotations. Still, Charlotte was the twenty-seventh most popular name in 2011 and is the name of Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze, Jr.’s daughter.
- Ella – At number twelve on the list of most popular girls’ names for 2011 is “Ella,” which is of Germanic origination and means “all, completely; fairy maiden.” Mark Wahlberg, Ben Stiller, Eric Clapton and John Travolta all have daughters with this old-fashioned moniker.
- Eva – The Latin form of the Hebrew name “Eve,” meaning “life,” Eva is eighty-third on the list of most popular girls’ names for 2011. Derivations Ava and Eve are also very popular.
- Grace – A virtue name meaning exactly what it says, “Grace” is number sixteen on the list of most popular girls’ names for 2011 with notable choices by celebrity parents Lance Armstrong and Christy Turlington.
- Julia – Derived from Latin and meaning “youthful,” Julia was the fifty-seventh most popular name for baby girls in 2011.
- Lucy – The English feminine variation of “Lucius,” Lucy was the seventy-second most popular name for girls born in 2011. While it may be most memorably connected to a certain flame-haired comedienne, “Lucy” was also chosen by country crooner Zac Brown for his daughter.
- Rose – Latin for “rose, a flower,” Rose is an old-fashioned name that has enjoyed something of a revival. At number two-hundred and ninety-one in 2011, “Rose” was the final selection of Jennifer Garner & Ben Affleck, Jon Stewart and Ewan McGregor. The presence of the boys’ name “Jack” also calls into question the influence of the re-release a certain epic film about a doomed romance on new parents.
- Stella – From the Latin for “star,” Stella is the seventy-third most popular name on the 2011 list. Chosen by both Paul McCartney and, more recently, Matt Damon, Tori Spelling and Dave Matthews, Stella’s popularity is still rising.
- Violet – Latin for the color and the flower, Violet comes in at number one-hundred and one for 2011 and was also chosen by Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck for their eldest daughter.
- Andrew – Meaning “strong and manly,” the name “Andrew” is of Greek derivation and enjoys a perennial popularity. At number sixteen on the list of most popular names for baby boys in 2011, one Harvard study claims that it is the most popular name for boys born to highly educated parents.
- Benjamin – From Hebrew meaning “son of the right hand,” Benjamin was the nineteenth most popular name for baby boys in 2011. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen and her quarterback husband Tom Brady chose “Benjamin” for their son, as did John Travolta and Kelly Preston.
- Charles – French from German, “Charles” means “free man” and was the sixty-second most popular name for boys in 2011. Celebrities Jodie Foster and Russell Crowe both named their sons Charles, with the shortened “Charlie” also quite popular.
- Harry – A diminutive of Henry meaning “estate ruler,” Harry is becoming more popular than ever due to the choices of Princess Diana, David Letterman and Billy Bob Thornton as a name for their sons, along with the immense popularity of the Harry Potter series.
- Henry – Enjoying it’s highest spot on the list of popular boys’ names since 1956, “Henry,” also meaning “estate ruler” came in at number fifty-seven in 2011. Julia Roberts, Minnie Driver, Heidi Klum and Colin Farrell all have sons named Henry.
- Jack – A diminutive of “John” meaning “God is gracious,” Jack was the forty-fifth most popular name for boys born in 2011. Matt Lauer, Luke Perry and Meg Ryan are just a few of the celebrities who chose this name for their sons.
- Leo – From Latin for “lion,” Leo came in at number one-hundred and sixty-seven in 2011 for popular boy’s names, and was chosen by NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon as a name for his son.
- Jacob – From Hebrew meaning “He grasps the heel. Supplanter,” “Jacob” was the most popular name for little boys born in 2011. Bob Dylan named his son Jakob, with Stephenie Meyer dubbing her leading werewolf “Jacob” in her phenomenally popular Twilight books.
- Eli – Moving from number two-hundred and thirty-five in 2000 to number sixty-five in 2010, Eli is a Hebrew name meaning “uplifted.”
- William – The third most popular name for boys in 2011, William is of English from German derivation and means “resolute protection.” With the marriage of Britain’s Prince William, the name has become even more high-profile.
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