Rare 1915 girl names range from oddities – what inspired the 46 girls named Dimple? – to names that sound completely at home today.

Why look to the past for baby naming inspiration? If you love Evelyn and Amelia, but feel they’re too common, the past is rich with fresh vintage choices. Or if you’re simply looking for something different, there’s no harm in seeing what worked for our grandparents – or great-great-grandparents – generation!

For other blasts from the past, see these lists:

All of the lists share a few things in common. First, these names were all above the 500 mark on the US popularity list for the given year. As of today, they have never cracked the US 100 Most Popular Name list, even if some of them eventually did become slightly more common. 

They’re not especially popular by today’s standards, but they feel on-trend and could catch on – if only parents were aware of them!

So if you’re looking for a name with history, but still nicely underused, check out these great 1915 girl names.

But first, which names did top the charts in 1915?

  1. Mary
  2. Helen
  3. Dorothy
  4. Margaret
  5. Ruth
  6. Mildred
  7. Anna
  8. Elizabeth
  9. Frances
  10. Evelyn
  11. Marie
  12. Virginia
  13. Alice
  14. Florence
  15. Lillian
  16. Rose
  17. Irene
  18. Louise
  19. Catherine
  20. Edna
  21. Gladys
  22. Josephine
  23. Ethel
  24. Ruby
  25. Martha
  26. Hazel
  27. Grace
  28. Eleanor
  29. Lucille
  30. Thelma
  31. Edith
  32. Pauline
  33. Esther
  34. Doris
  35. Gertrude
  36. Annie
  37. Beatrice
  38. Clara
  39. Marjorie
  40. Emma
  41. Elsie
  42. Bernice
  43. Ann
  44. Julia
  45. Agnes
  46. Bertha
  47. Lois
  48. Jean
  49. Katherine
  50. Marion
  51. Sarah
  52. Anne
  53. Betty
  54. Ida
  55. Eva
  56. Pearl
  57. Bessie
  58. Myrtle
  59. Viola
  60. Kathryn
  61. Laura
  62. Mabel
  63. Nellie
  64. Stella
  65. Vera
  66. Jessie
  67. Sylvia
  68. Minnie
  69. Jane
  70. Alma
  71. Rita
  72. Willie
  73. Jennie
  74. Leona
  75. Ella
  76. Genevieve
  77. Lena
  78. Vivian
  79. Lucy
  80. Wilma
  81. Charlotte
  82. Violet
  83. Barbara
  84. Lillie
  85. Marguerite
  86. Marian
  87. Blanche
  88. Ellen
  89. Mae
  90. Opal
  91. Mattie
  92. Juanita
  93. Theresa
  94. Velma
  95. Beulah
  96. June
  97. Sophie
  98. Maxine
  99. Emily
  100. Phyllis

It’s a mix of the obvious – Elizabeth, Anne, and Mary – along with some surprisingly popular names, like  Gladys and Ethel.

Other names we think of as blasts from the past hadn’t caught on yet. Shirley’s heyday was the 1930s; that’s the same decade Nancy neared the top of the charts. Linda and Patricia peaked in the 1940s and Susan in the 1950s. Amy took until the 1970s to really catch on, with Rebecca following in the 1980s and Rachel in the 90s. 

The boys’ list is every bit as interesting. The expected John, William, and James are at the top of the list. But names like Raymond, Harold, Howard, Albert, and Ralph also rank in the boys’ Top 100. 


1915 ranking: #13
2015 ranking: #87
2022 ranking: #64

A storybook name that mixes strength and whismy, Alice is the kind of grandma name that everyone loves to find waiting on their family tree. This generation of parents grew up with girls named Alicia and Alyssa, but it’s the more straightforward Alice that appeals to parents now.


1915 ranking: #81
2015 ranking: #9
2022 ranking: #3

This feminine form of Charles is more popular now than it was among 1915 girl names – but the name was fairly common then, too! Some credit the birth of Princess Charlotte for the name’s rise, but it actually debuted in the US Top Ten the year before her birth. While other feminine forms of Charles include Caroline and Carla, it’s Charlotte that we love best today – partially because it easily shares nickname Charlie.


1915 ranking: #28
2015 ranking: #60
2022 ranking: #16

A serious name for a woman of accomplishment, but also a flexible choice with plenty of nickname options, Eleanor is an all-of-the-above name, suiting any personality.


1915 ranking: #10
2015 ranking: #15
2022 ranking: #9

Tailored, elegant Evelyn is a surprisingly timeless choice. And yet those numbers obscure the fact that Evelyn had fallen pretty far – into the high 200s – in the 1970s, and didn’t begin to recover until the 1990s. That means today’s generation of parents didn’t grow up with many Evelyns, making it feel fresh and new today.


1915 ranking: #26
2015 ranking: #63
2022 ranking: #27

This colorful nature name looks like it has been perpetually popular, but, as with Evelyn, it masks the name’s up-and-down history. Hazel left the US Top 1000 entirely during the 1970s and didn’t begin to recover until the late 1990s. Today it feels like the best of everything: a word name with history aplenty, a vintage revival pick that’s streamlined but still feminine. Once again, it’s also probably a name that your grandmother might’ve recognized, but none of your classmates shared during your childhood.


1915 ranking: #22
2015 ranking: #131
2022 ranking: #70

Sturdy Joseph is a staple name for our sons, as reliable as Michael or Daniel. But Josephine? It  shimmers. The name combines the glamour of Jazz Age celebrity Josephine Baker and the romance of Napoleon’s Empress Josephine. Little Women gives us the widely-admired Jo March, another Josephine. Nicknames like Josie make the name even more flexible. No surprise it’s back in favor today, especially because it was so underused during the 1980s and 90s.


1915 ranking: #15
2015 ranking: #26
2022 ranking: #50

The story of Lillian is a little confusing. At #30 in 2022, Lily is more popular than Lillian today. But Lily ranked a relatively obscure #321 in 1915. That’s because Lillie came in at #84 back in the day – long the preferred spelling, closer to names like Millie than the straight-up floral Lily. It’s Lillian that has been the constant, trending upwards along with any spelling of the shorter form. As with many names in this section, Lillian hibernated in the 1970s, recovered in the 1990s, and today is a favorite vintage-meets-modern choice.


1915 ranking: #24
2015 ranking: #83
2022 ranking: #62

The 1910s marked peak usage for this sparkling gemstone name. Pearl and Opal also ranked in the 1915 Top 100 for girls. Today Ruby fits right in with names borrowed from the natural world, but might succeed even more as a color name. Maybe that’s partially because of Dorothy’s ruby slippers, immortalized by Judy Garland in the 1939 film adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. (Fun fact: in the original L. Frank Baum novel, the shoes were silver. But red made a bigger impact in Technicolor.) With names like Scarlett and Rowan in favor, this vibrant color is having a moment, and helping boost Ruby.


1915 ranking: #97
2015 ranking: #104
2022 ranking: #63

We tend to think of Sophia as the classic, and that’s fair. But Sophie – strictly speaking, the French form of the name – outpaced Sophia early in the twentieth century. Sophia ranked a relatively chilly #227 in 1915, while Sofia didn’t even make the Top 1000. For a while, Sophie lagged the other forms of this name. But lately, it’s the one to watch, a logical choice in our Sadie/Ellie moment.


1915 ranking: #82
2015 ranking: #50
2022 ranking: #22

Not only is Violet back today, it’s more popular than ever. We all see this lovely floral choice as traditional – look no further than Downton Abbey’s Dowager Countess. But it shares so many qualities with other 1915 girl names currently topping the charts.  It’s a colorful choice borrowed from the natural world, like Hazel and Ruby. It’s as tailored as Evelyn. And it’s spirited, too, a name with plenty of strength.



1915 ranking: #954
2015 ranking: unranked
2022 ranking: unranked

A Robert Burns poem transformed Afton from mere river name to occasional given name. (Though in the 1791 poem Sweet Afton, the sweetheart answered to Mary.) It was set to music many times, and it looks like a new version may have been released around 1905 or 1907. That explains the name’s use in the early twentieth century.


1915 ranking: #589
2015 ranking: unranked
2022 ranking: unranked

Evergreen Elizabeth never falls out of style. The name’s many short forms, on the other hand, come and go. Once quite common, Bess has retreated into the shadows. And yet, Tessa and Tess feel very much in favor today. If you love slim, trim names for girls, but want something less common, Bess deserves a look. Bessie charted in the Top 100 in 1915, while the sparer Bess followed farther up the charts. While Bess hasn’t ranked as an independent name since 1927, it’s always possible that some Elizabeths (or Bernadettes or Barbaras) answered to Bess, too.


1915 ranking: #560
2015 ranking: #818
2022 ranking: #558

Darling Clementine boasts plenty of history, from the folksy ballad to Mrs. Winston Churchill. Back in 1915, it ranked #560 – far from the top spot, but not unknown. After more than half a century of obscurity, Clementine has returned to the US Top 1000, and remains relatively underused – at least for now. Masculine equivalent Clement is stuck in the past with Clarence and Arnold, but Clementine feels fresh and new.


1915 ranking: #590
2015 ranking: unranked
2022 ranking: unranked

Love virtue names? Looking for an English-Spanish crossover less common than Isabella or Sophia/Sofia? Consider Consuelo. The name means consolation, and comes from a title for the Virgin Mary. But in 1915, it brought to mind American socialite Consuelo Vanderbilt.


1915 ranking: #908
2015 ranking: unranked
2022 ranking: unranked

Eugene seems stuck in style limbo, but Eugenie might show promise. Pronounced differently in French, as well as British and American English, the name can take a long EE or AY sound. Back in 1915, Eugenie sat just inside the US Top 1000. Today the name feels much rarer. Of course, the British princess keeps the name in the spotlight.


1915 ranking: #959
2015 ranking: unranked
2022 ranking: unranked

Everybody loves Georgia, the feminine form of George. A traditional, feminine choice and a modern place name, too, Georgia reached the Top 100 in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Today Georgia is climbing again. Meanwhile, Georgette remains neglected. One notable use? Melissa McCarthy named her younger daughter Georgette in 2010. If Juliette can climb high, why not Georgette?


1915 ranking: #686
2015 ranking: #747
2022 ranking: #850

Gwen shortens long and lovely names, like the medieval Guinevere and Gwendolen. It also feels minimalist, just like Bess, but maybe even more modern. Back in 1915, Gwen ranked #686. Gwendolyn – with the y spelling – came in twice as high. Despite the popularity of Spiderman and Gwen Stacy, this name seems to be slipping, at least for now.


1915 ranking: #596
2015 ranking: #635
2022 ranking: #151

The musical Show Boat includes a character called Magnolia, but it debuted in 1927 – too late to explain the name’s burst of popularity in 1915. In fact, that’s around the peak year for the name’s use. Nature names like Hazel, Violet, Opal, Ruby, and June ranked in the Top 100 back then, so maybe it’s no surprise that other nature names found favor, too. Today, Magnolia is rising fast, buoyed by our love of ecovintage girl names, and the long, elaborate sound, especially that -lia ending.


1915 ranking: #897
2015 ranking: #564
2022 ranking: #570

Don’t mistake Mariam for sunny Mary Anne. While they’re both forms of the enduring Mary-Maria family, this spelling is familiar in Arabic, as well as the Greek version of the Old Testament. It’s just the tiniest bit dramatic, a twist on the traditional. Today, it’s actually more popular – but still relatively rare.


1915 ranking: #751
2015 ranking: unranked
2022 ranking: unranked

Ancient and international, Sabina fits right in with plenty of favorites for girls. Think of Sophia and Savannah. The unrelated Sabrina has fared reasonably well, but Sabine and Sabina remain overlooked. Back in 1915, Sabina ranked a respectable – but rare – #751. Today it fails to chart at all. One use from recent years: Kristen Stewart played Sabina in the 2019 Charlie’s Angels reboot.


1915 ranking: #967
2015 ranking: unranked
2022 ranking: unranked

Quick – think of a Scandinavian heritage name! There’s Ingrid and Astrid, of course, but how about Sigrid? The formal version of Siri, Sigrid is seldom heard in the US today. Back in 1915, though, Sigrid came in at #967 – the very last year it would appear in the US Top 1000.


1915 ranking: #568
2015 ranking: unranked
2022 ranking: #694

Theodore is trending for boys, and Thea feels quite stylish for girls. So why not Theodora? This feminine form of the name ranked #568 back in 1915. This lovely antique is attracting more attention today, but remains uncommon enough to surprise and delight. And oh, the nickname possibilities are grand!

Do you have any of these 1915 girl names on your shortlist?

First published on March 27, 2017, this post was revised on July 7, 2020 and again on June 3, 2021.

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About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. Recently met a little Sabina (1) this year. Cute name but it’s often misheard as Sabrina.

  2. I love Sigrid. I’ve had my eye on the German name Sigrun for a while (I’m not sure if their different variations of the same name?) But my husband says it reminds him of cigarettes..

  3. I love Bess. You could affectionately call her “Good Queen Bess” when she’s well-behaved. She’s even got backbone with the old musket reference of a “Brown Bess”. And Bess sounds a lot like ‘best’, so that association is positive, too!

    Gwen feels like a classic (but fresh!) update on Jen. I like Wren very much for the same reason. Gwen is dignified and utterly lady-like. What’s not to love?

  4. Dimples is a variant of Dmphyna and Dimity.. I know women by both names and both answered to Dimples.

  5. Ooh…I wonder if Mariam could work to get Amma? I’ve been trying to think of a name that ends this way.