The 1920s was a time of prohibition, short-skirt wearing flappers, industrial revolution and the birth of new babies. Parents who added progeny to the U.S. during this period most commonly selected names that were steeped in tradition. Many of the names that were most popular in this decade have held places on the most popular baby names lists for centuries and, in some cases, continue to fill these lists today.
Robert was the most popular choice for naming a baby boy in the 1920s, reports the Social Security Administration. This name and its nicknames, Bob, Rob, Robby and Bobby, have long been popular among U.S. parents; however, the name itself originates from Germanic origins. This seemingly American-as-apple-pie name is a derivative of a popular German name, Hrodebert.
Just as in the decade prior and the one that followed, Mary was the most popular baby girl’s name in the 1920s. This name, with decidedly biblical origins, can trace its roots back to a Hebrew word meaning “bitter.”
In the 1920s, Dorothy was the second most popular baby girl name choice, reports the Social Security Administration. This name originates from a Greek term and means “a gift from god,” making it an apt choice for parents who feel that their child was a present from above.
The boy’s name William fell several slots from the number-two position it held in the 1910s to become the fourth-most popular boy’s name in the 1920s. This name, of Germanic origins, means “protection” and is representative of the principle of free will.
A mass of new parents in the 1920s selected the name Betty for their new baby girls, making this name the fourth-most popular girls choice in the decade according the Social Security Administration. This name, which is often used as a shortened version of the name Elizabeth, carries that same meaning as this longer title, “God is a vow.”
Charles was the fifth-most popular baby boy’s name during the 1920s. This name is of Germanic origins and means “free man.”
The name Margaret was the fifth-most popular girl’s name during the 1920s. This name, which doesn’t seem to be related to gems, is actually from a Greek word meaning “pearl,” making it an appropriate choice for a beautiful new baby girl.