1930s Girl Names: Ready for Revival

1930s Girl Names

If the 100-year rule holds true, then 1930s girl names should be on the upswing right about now. It’s been a solid nine decades since most of those names were last in fashion – plenty of time for them to fall out of favor, hibernate, and feel fresh and interesting once more.

The first part of this list looked at the classic names that never really fall out of favor, as well as the 1930s girl names that are already back, in a big way.

Now it’s time for some fun: the 1930s girl names on the upswing! These are the names that are gaining in use, but haven’t quite reached the same heights they enjoyed way back then.

Don’t forget to check out the first half of the list here.

And now, on to the comeback kids!

1930S GIRL NAMES: ANNIE

1930s Girl Names: Annie

2018 US popularity rank: #308
2017 US popularity rank: #297
2012 US popularity rank: #375
1935 US popularity rank: #38

Thanks to Broadway, Annie shines with sunny optimism, a cheerful name that fits right in with Sadie and her sisters. It’s got gumption, too, a name for a pioneer or a celebrated sharpshooter. You might be better off to choose Anne, Anna, or any of the many longer Ann- names for your daughter’s birth certificate, but history tells us that just Annie has made it to the Top 100 plenty of times before.

I’ve yet to write about Annie, but check back and I’ll update when I do.

1930S GIRL NAMES: BONNIE

1930s Girl Names: Bonnie

2018 US popularity rank: #691
2017 US popularity rank: #697
2012 US popularity rank: unranked
1935 US popularity rank: #62

Not so long ago, Bonnie felt decidedly out-of-favor. But it’s doubled in use over the last decade, bringing the Scottish word name back into favor. It literally means pretty, from the French word bon – good. With Sadie in the Top 100, Bonnie might be prime for revival.

Read more about Bonnie here.

1930S GIRL NAMES: DOROTHY

1930s Girl Names: Dorothy

2018 US popularity rank: #586
2017 US popularity rank: #601
2012 US popularity rank: #924
1935 US popularity rank: #6

Dorothy takes us over the rainbow, a storybook hero name, complete with the ruby slippers to prove it. It’s among the hottest of the 1930s girl names. Dorothy bounded up over 300 places in just five years. We love a good three-syllable, ends-in-y choice. Dorothy is both heir to Avery and Emily, and their ancestor, too.

Read more about Dorothy here.

1930S GIRL NAMES: EDITH

1930s Girl Names: Edith

2018 US popularity rank: #518
2017 US popularity rank: #476
2012 US popularity rank: #762
1935 US popularity rank: #87

An Anglo-Saxon favorite revived in the nineteenth century, literary and historic Edith might be ready for another day in the sun. The name benefits from Lady Edith of Downton Abbey fame, as well as sweet built-in nickname Edie. It’s a strong name for a woman, but nicely wearable for a child, too.

Read more about Edith here.

1930S GIRL NAMES: ESTHER

1930s Girl Names: Esther

2018 US popularity rank: #153
2017 US popularity rank: #165
2012 US popularity rank: #240
1935 US popularity rank: #94

Once a fashionable favorite, Esther had started slipping by the 1930s. But the name never fell that far. In 1944, Judy Garland played Esther in hit musical Meet Me in St. Louis. Esther today reminds me of Abigail circa 1978 or so – a rising traditional favorite.

Read more about Esther here.

1930S GIRL NAMES: FLORENCE

1930s Girl Names: Florence

2018 US popularity rank: #971
2017 US popularity rank: #980
2012 US popularity rank: #unranked
1935 US popularity rank: #74

Big in the UK, Florence lingered in obscurity until very recently in the US. It’s one of the names that re-entered the US Top 1000 with the May 2018 data release. Classic and refined, shared with a legendary city, with plenty of notable namesakes and nicknames galore, Florence feels like a logical revival choice.

Read more about Florence here.

1930S GIRL NAMES: FRANCES

1930s Girl Names: Frances

2018 US popularity rank: #445
2017 US popularity rank: #438
2012 US popularity rank: #763
1935 US popularity rank: #19

Lady-like Frances lagged behind energetic, Italian Francesca for a while. But now, it’s the short, sweet, and slightly more classic Frances on the rise. It’s a sister name for Alice, an alternative to Eleanor. Nicknames range from boyish Frankie to retro Frannie, both used by high profile parents in recent years.

Read more about Frances here.

1930S GIRL NAMES: JOSEPHINE

1930s Girl Names: Josephine

2018 US popularity rank: #91
2017 US popularity rank in 2017: #107
2012 US popularity rank in 2012: #160
1935 US popularity rank in 1935: #75

Romantic, elaborate, and oh so very French, Josephine continues to rise. Maybe it’s all of the nicknames, from Josie to less-expected options. Or maybe it’s the name in full, spunky and sophisticated at the same time. Josephine Baker became a star in the era – and then a World War II spy, tying it to the era.

Read more about Josephine here.

1930S GIRL NAMES: JUDITH

1930s Girl Names: Judith

2018 US popularity rank: #850
2017 US popularity rank: #846
2012 US popularity rank: #898
1935 US popularity rank: #54

Judy is a Jetson, but Judith is an Old Testament heroine, capable and rather fierce. Like Charlie and Alex, Jude might be a possible unisex nickname.  If you love strong, traditional girl names in the key of Eleanor and Katherine, but want something less expected, Judith could be exactly what you seek.

Read more about Judith here.

1930S GIRL NAMES: JUNE

1930s Girl Names: June

2018 US popularity rank: #241
2017 US popularity rank: #244
2012 US popularity rank: #435
1935 US popularity rank: #55

Sweet and summery, June belongs with so many ecovintage names in favor today, from Lily to Hazel. It’s as compact as classic Jane, but somehow less expected. Longer June names, like Juniper, are rising in use, too, but it’s June that belongs with the 1930s girl names.

Read more about June here.

1930S GIRL NAMES: LOUISE

1930s Girl Names: Louise

2018 US popularity rank: #800
2017 US popularity rank: #805
2012 US popularity rank: unranked
1935 US popularity rank: #44

After years in style limbo, Louise is back. And why not? Lucy and Luna are Top 100 favorites. It shortens to Lulu, Lou, and Lula, but requires no nickname. Louise Brooks remains a style icon, and it sounds serious enough for a chemist or a Congresswoman, too.

Read more about Louise here.

1930S GIRL NAMES: LUCILLE

1930s Girl Names: Lucille

2018 US popularity rank: #295
2017 US popularity rank: #264
2012 US popularity rank: #391
1935 US popularity rank: #85

Lucia became Lucilla, and then, in French, Lucille. It all goes back to the Latin lux, light. Legendary comic Lucille Ball lends it plenty of spirit. After many years in limbo, Lucille returned to the US Top 1000 in 2003. Lucy remains far more common. That’s been the case for over 120 years.

I’ve yet to write about Lucille, but check back and I’ll update when I do.

1930S GIRL NAMES: MARJORIE

1930s Girl Names: Marjorie

2018 US popularity rank: unranked
2017 US popularity rank: #946
2012 US popularity rank: unranked
1935 US popularity rank: #46

Medieval English added a -y to everything: Cecilia became Cecily, Maria became Mary, and Margaret became Margery. Then it was re-spelled to resemble marjoram, the herb. Marjoram was long considered a symbol of happiness, from the ancient world into the Victorian era.

Read more about Marjorie here.

1930S GIRL NAMES: ROSE

1930s Girl Names: Rose

2018 US popularity rank: #123
2017 US popularity rank: #141
2012 US popularity rank: #258
1935 US popularity rank: #37

Spare and elegant, Rose has become the go-to middle name for a generation. But it really deserves a promotion to the first spot, which it occupied in big numbers way back in the 1930s. It’s climbing once more, a feminine, restrained name at home in the modern world. Longer Rose names abound, but this is the classic.

I’ve yet to write about Rose, but check back and I’ll update when I do.

1930S GIRL NAMES: ROSEMARY

1930s Girl Names: Rosemary

2018 US popularity rank: #454
2017 US popularity rank: #457
2012 US popularity rank: #601
1935 US popularity rank: #97

Speaking of longer Rose names, Rosemary might be one of the most promising of the bunch. It’s a spice name like Saffron, and a three-syllable, ends-with-y choice like Dorothy. While some smooshes of classic names, like Marianne or Annabeth, feel like combinations, Rosemary feels like something distinctive and different.

Read more about Rosemary here.

1930S GIRL NAMES: RUTH

1930s Girl Names: Ruth

2018 US popularity rank: #265
2017 US popularity rank: #265
2012 US popularity rank: #343
1935 US popularity rank: #15

We love Lucy and Ruby, Cooper and Jude. That same ‘oo’ sound gives us Ruth, a Biblical favorite from the decade. It’s gained steadily in use over the last five years, and is poised to continue to rise. While Ruth sounds intelligent and strong-willed, nickname Ruthie is all kinds of darling.

Read more about Ruth here.

1930S GIRL NAMES: SYLVIA

1930s Girl Name: Sylvia

2018 US popularity rank: #490
2017 US popularity rank: #488
2012 US popularity rank: #525
1935 US popularity rank: #60

Take the chart-topping, wildly popular Sophia, add the equally compelling middle ‘v’ sound, and you have Sylvia. An ancient name with a woodsy meaning – it comes from silva, forest – Sylvia peaked a little later than Sophia, which might explain why it’s only beginning to rise now.

Read more about Sylvia here.

Do you have any favorite 1930s girl names? Are you hearing any of these? I’m just about ready to declare Josephine back …

1930s Girl Names

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7 Comments

My tastes normally run into the more unusual side of names, ones that are far from popular and some that may even be a bit surprising (though not overboard or yooneek). Generally if a name is too familiar or popular I get bored of the sound of them and they lose all luster to me. However, no matter how many times I hear Eleanor and Sylvia, I still ADORE them. I don’t know what it is about them, but they just have this timeless, elegant but spunky quality to them that just gets me. I think they would make lovely sisters names. I also love Rose and June.

If we have another girl, our top names are Annette (nicknamed Annie) or Florence. Also love Sylvie (not Sylvia as much). These are great names. I’d love to meet a little Bonnie also.

Oh, I love so many of these! I guess the 1930s is my style. Edith is one of my favorite names with Dorothy nn Dottie and Rose close behind. I adore Virginia too. She seems to fit in with 1930s names.

So many of these are just darling! An acquaintance of mine has a 2 yo Edith called ‘Edie’, and it’s just the sweetest on a little girl!
I particularly love Esther and Rosemary myself. (Though I really hope Esther isn’t bound for the Top 50 in the next few years because it’s one of my top names for a daughter and I like it being in that familiar-but-not-too-common category.)

My daughters are Ann “Annie” and Ruth “Ruthie” so I guess I liked the 1930’s names! I’ve met quite a few little girls lately with their names and Frances, Josephine, Edith and Louise. These are definitely becoming popular where I live.

I love so many names on this list. Our eldest was almost Frances, nn Francie. And our youngest was almost Edie or June. I still mourn those names a bit. I have also loved Bonnie for ages but could never get my husband on board. Esther is gorgeous, too and I totally dig Marjorie. Wanted to use Rosemary, nn Romy, to honor some relatives but #3 ended up being a boy. And by the time we had our fourth we had adopted a dog that came with the name Romy. Seemed like kismet to me!

Great list!!