Old lady names: best old-fashioned names for girls

50 of the prettiest retro names for your daughter

Content Editor / November 16 2018

If you’re searching for a classic name for your baby daughter, consider choosing popular old lady names which will stand the test of time. Check back through your family tree and give a nod to your ancestors by picking a beautiful name that belonged to a beloved great-grandmother or cool aunt, or choose one of the common old lady names below. Here are 50 of our favourite old fashioned girl names.

1 ABIGAIL
Origin and meaning: The name Abigail is of Hebrew origin and means ‘my father is joyful’.
Famous namesakes: Actresses Abigail Breslin and Abigail Spencer.

2 ADA
Origin and meaning: Ada is of German origin meaning noble, nobility.
Famous namesakes: Actress Ada Nicodemou.

3 ADELAIDE
Origin and meaning: Adelaide is of German origin and like Ada also means noble or nobility.
Famous namesakes: Actresses Katherine Heigl and Rachel Griffith both named their daughters Adelaide.

4 AGNES
Origin and meaning: The name Agnes is a girl's name of Greek origin meaning ‘pure, virginal’.
Famous namesakes: Model Agness Deyn. Agnes is also one of the characters in the funny movie Minions, while Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany named their daughter Agnes Lark.

5 ANNABELLE
Origin and meaning: Annabelle is of French origin and means “loving”. It’s a combination of the names Anna and Belle and a variant of Amabel.
Famous namesakes: New Zealand chef Annabel Langbein, British socialite Lady Annabel Goldsmith.

6 ARLENE
Origin and meaning: Arleen or Arlene is an Irish female given name and variant of Carlene or Charlene and in the French derived from feminine diminutive of Charles.
Famous namesakes: Mountaineer Arlene Blum, 1950s actress Arlene Dahl.

7 BEATRIX
Origin and meaning: Beatrix is believed to be derived from the name Viator, which means ‘voyager, traveller.’
Famous namesakes: Children’s author Beatrix Potter, also French actress Beatrice Dalle. Beatrix Kiddo was the main character in Kill Bill, played by Uma Thurman.

8 BERNADETTE
Origin and meaning: Bernadette is of German origin and means ‘brave as a bear.’
Famous namesakes: St Bernadette was an Irish saint who saw a vision at Lourdes. Bernadette Peters in an American actress and singer.

9 CELESTE
Origin and meaning: This name is of Latin origin and means ‘heavenly’. Celeste has been in the top 1000 names every year since 1880. Well-known Celestes including comedian Celeste Barber and actress Celeste Holm.
Famous namesakes:

10 CHARLOTTE
Origin and meaning: This popular name is of French origin and means ‘free man’.
Famous namesakes: Well-known Charlottes include the Princess of Cambridge, English author Charlotte Bronte, and Charlotte York, a character in Sex and the City.

11 CLARA
Origin and meaning: This pretty name is of Latin origin and means ‘bright, clear.’
Famous namesakes: Famous Claras include actress Clara Bow and musician Clara Rockmore.

12 CLEMENTINE
Origin and meaning: From Latin and French origin, meaning ‘mild, merciful.’
Famous namesakes: Feminist author Clementine Ford. The name is also featured in the song “Oh, My Darlin'”. Claudia Schiffer and Ethan Hawke both chose this name for their daughters.

13 CONSTANCE
Origin and meaning: This name is of Latin origin and means ‘steadfastness’. 
Famous namesakes: Australian blogger and author Constance Hall, and American actress Connie Britton.

14 CORA
Origin and meaning: This name is of Greek origin and means ‘maiden’.
Famous namesakes: Cora was a daughter of Zeus and Cora Munro is the heroine of The Last of the Mohicans.

15 DAISY
Origin and meaning: Daisy comes from the phrase ‘day’s eye’, because the petals open at daybreak. It’s also a pet name for Margaret.
Famous namesakes: Fashion model Daisy Lowe, TV host Daisy Fuentes and British actress Daisy Ridley.

16 DOROTHY
Origin and meaning: A name of Greek origin meaning ‘gift of God’.
Famous namesakes: Essayist Dorothy Parker and actress Dorothy Dandridge. Perhaps the most famous Dorothy, however, is the main character in the Wizard of Oz.

17 EDITH
Origin and meaning: Of English origin, Edith means ‘prosperous in war.’
Famous namesakes: Famous Ediths include American novelist Edith Wharton and French singer Edith Piaf.

18 EDNA
Origin and meaning: While not as pretty-sounding as many other old-lady names, Edna has a pretty meaning: ‘rejuvenation, delight.’ It is Hebrew in origin.
Famous namesakes: Author Edna O’Brien and Barry Humphries wonderful character Dame Edna Everage.

19 ELIZA
Origin and meaning: Eliza is of Hebrew origin and means ‘pledged to God.’
Famous namesakes: My Fair Lady’s Eliza Doolittle, Australian actress Eliza Taylor.

20 ELSIE
Origin and meaning: This Scottish name means ‘my God is bountiful’ or God of Plenty.
Famous namesakes: Actors Ioan Gruffudd and Zooey Deschanel both named their daughters Elsie.

21 EVELYN
Origin and meaning: A beautiful unisex name, Evelyn means ‘wished-for child’.
Famous namesakes: Famous Evelyns include British author Evelyn Waugh, and Bruce Willis and Carey Mulligan both have daughters named Evelyn.

22 GERTRUDE
Origin and meaning: This strong name is of German origin and means ‘strength of a spear’.
Famous namesakes: Writer Gertrude Stein and British stage star Gertrude Lawrence.

23 GLADYS
Origin and meaning: This relatively uncommon but sweet Welsh name means ‘land, nation.
Famous namesakes: Singer Gladys Knight.

24 HARRIET
Origin and meaning: An English variation on Harriette, this name means ‘estate ruler.’
Famous namesakes: Author Harriet Beecher Stowe and political activist Harriet Tubman.

25 HAZEL
Origin and meaning: An English name meaning ‘the hazelnut tree.’
Famous namesakes: Actresses Emily Blunt and Julia Roberts both have daughters named Hazel.

26 ISADORA
Origin and meaning: Isadora is a Greek name meaning ‘gift of Isis’.
Famous namesakes: Dancer Isadora Duncan.

27 IVY
Origin and meaning: A British name after the popular climbing plant. In the language of flowers, Ivy represents fidelity.
Famous namesakes: British novelist Ivy Compton-Burnett.

 

28 JUNE
Origin and meaning: Of Latin origin. In Roman mythology Juno was a protector of women and marriage. In modern times June is known as the bridal month.
Famous namesakes: Actress June Squibb and singer June Carter Cash.

29 KATHERINE
Origin and meaning: Of Greek origin, meaning ‘pure.’
Famous namesakes: Actress Katherine Hepburn, Duchess of Cambridge Catherine Middleton and American dancer Katherine Dunham.

30 LILLIAN
Origin and meaning: Of English and Latin origin, Lillian is derived from Lily, meaning a flowers.
Famous namesakes: American actress Lillian Gish, singer Lily Allen.

31 LORETTA
Origin and meaning: Of English origin meaning ‘bay laurel’.
Famous namesakes: Country singer Loretta Lynn. Loretta was also immortalized in The Beatles song Get Back.

32 MARGARET
Origin and meaning: Of Greek origin meaning ‘pearl’.
Famous namesakes: Politician Margaret Thatcher, the first female prime minister of England. Author Margaret Atwood.

33 MAVIS
Origin and meaning: This pretty name of French origin means ‘songbird.’
Famous namesakes: Singer Mavis Staples and Canadian writer Mavis Gallant. Mavis is also the main female character in the Hotel Transylvania trilogy.

34 MYRTLE
Origin and meaning: Another floral name, of Greek origin. Myrtle is a plant associated with love, peace and fertility.
Famous namesakes: Actress Myrtle Sarrosa.

35 NANETTE
Origin and meaning: A diminutive of Ann or Nancy meaning ‘grace’.
Famous namesakes: Actress Nanette Newman. Hannah Gadsby also named her famous Netflix show Nanette, after a woman she had met.

36 PEARL
Origin and meaning: Derived from the English word pearl.
Famous namesakes: Fashion designer Pearl Lowe, actress Pearl Bailey.

37 PENELOPE
Origin and meaning: This feminine moniker is of Greek origin and means ‘weaver’.
Famous namesakes: Actress Penelope Cruz. Also a Harry Potter character.

38 PHYLLIS
Origin and meaning: Of Greek origin meaning ‘green bough’.
Famous namesakes: American actress Phyllis Diller.

39 QUEENIE
Origin and meaning: Of English origin meaning ‘Queen’.
Famous namesakes: Indigenous artist Queenie McKenzie.

40 ROSALIND
Origin and meaning: A lovely moniker of Spanish origin meaning ‘pretty rose’.
Famous namesakes: Movie star Rosalind Russell. Uma Thurman also named her youngest child Rosalind.

41 ROSEMARY
Origin and meaning: Of Latin origin and derived from the rosemary plant.
Famous namesakes: Singer Rosemary Clooney.

42 SELMA
Origin and meaning: Of German origin meaning ‘Godly helmet.’
Famous namesakes: Actresses Selma Blair and Selma Hayek.

43 SYLVIA
Origin and meaning: A Latin name meaning ‘from the forest.’
Famous namesakes: Author Sylvia Plath.

44 THEODORA
Origin and meaning: The female version of Theodore, meaning ‘gift from God.’
Famous namesakes: Keith Richards and Robbie Williams both have daughters named Theodora.

45 URSULA
Origin and meaning: A sweet name of Latin origin meaning ‘little bear.’
Famous namesakes: Writer Ursula Le Guin and actress Ursula Andress.

46 VIOLA
Origin and meaning: Of Latin origin meaning ‘violet’ (see below).
Famous namesakes: Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis.

47 VIOLET
Origin and meaning: Of Latin origin, after the flower and also meaning purple.
Famous namesakes: English actress Violet Farebrother, Violet Affleck, daughter of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner.

48 WANDA
Origin and meaning: Of Slavic origin meaning ‘shepherdess; wanderer’.
Famous namesakes: Actress and comedian Wanda Sykes.

49 WINIFRED
Origin and meaning: A cute Welsh name meaning ‘blessed peacemaking’.
Famous namesakes: Winnie Mandela. Winnie was also one of the female characters on the TV show The Wonder Years.

50 ZADIE
Origin and meaning: Zadie is a variation of Sadie and means Princess in Hebrew.
Famous namesakes: British author Zadie Smith.