Baby Names From the 1900’s

While moms and dads in the 1900’s favored many of the same baby names that still prove popular today, some of the most common baby names of this decade are nowhere to be found on contemporary top 500 baby name lists. Many of the names most commonly selected by parents of this decade reflect a dedication to religion and possess that classic feel that one would expect of names popular in this long-ago time.


John

The most popular name for boys during the 1900’s was the classic-sounding John, reports the Social Security Administration. This biblical name also has a religious significance, coming from a Hebrew word that means “god is gracious.”

Mary

The also bible-inspired Mary proved the most popular name for girls during this time period. Along with being the name of the virgin mother of Jesus, this name comes from a Hebrew word that means “bitter.”

Helen

The Greek name Helen, a derivative of the name Helene, was the second most popular baby girls’ name in the 1900’s reports the Social Security Administration. This name was likely selected more for it’s aesthetic appeal than its meaning, as it translates to “wicker or reed.”

George

Farm-living was a common way of life in the 1900’s and it is perhaps due to this that George, a name that means “Earth worker,” was so popular. This name held the number four spot on the Social Security Administration’s list of most popular baby boy names during this time period.

Ruth

Ruth was the fifth most popular baby girl name in the 1900’s. This name comes from Hebrew roots and means “friend.”

Florence

Florence proved a popular girl’s name during the 1900’s. This name, which held the number nine spot for this decade, means “blossoming” and “charming,” making it an apt name for a little girl.

Walter

The powerful name, Walter, was the 12th most popular baby boy name during the 1900’s. This name translates to mean “ruler of the army,” making it a wise choice for parents who hope that their child possesses courage under pressure.

Ethel

Ethel, a name that in the 21st century is quite an uncommon selection for a baby girl, was the 12th most popular baby girl’s name during this decade. This name means “righteous” and “noble,” making it a reflection of the qualities that many parents likely hope their little girl possess.

Richard

Richard was the 22nd most popular baby boy name in the 1900’s. Although it may not sound it, this name is French in origin. The name means “strong power,” reflecting the commonly held desire for a son to be powerful and exhibit strength.

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