We are a society overrun with nostalgia. People pay hundreds of dollars to rent storage units full of family heirlooms they can’t part with. Today’s fashion is nearly identical to fashion from 30 years ago. There are multiple Facebook groups dedicated to various interior design styles and antique collecting. Whoever first said, “Whatever’s old is new, again” hit the nail right on the head. They could give Einstein and Nostradamus both a run for their money. Collecting old crap and swooning over even older, more expensive stuff is certainly popular. Nothing, though, seems as popular as the revival of older baby names. Gone are the days of made-up names. Now your toddler’s friend-group is made up of kids with names like Opal, Ruth, and Arlo.
No matter what kind of life you lead or style you love, there’s an old lady name to fit that vibe. Ruth, for instance, is Biblical. (It truly doesn’t get any older.) A name like Opal might be perfect for someone who knows the importance of charging their crystals. And June? Well, maybe you like June Carter Cash, or maybe you just like the name. It doesn’t matter. Vintage names are chic. And we’re about it.
Not that any of this makes naming your baby any easier. It’s still a tough decision. There are traditional names that will always be somewhat popular, like Elizabeth or Katherine. They’re gorgeous names. Everyone has a grandma or great-grandma with that name. But everyone also probably has a sister or a cousin with that name. Disney characters also have a classic feel to their names as well. Sometimes picking an “old lady name” means using their nicknames. How many Betsys or Kittys do you know now? Both names are steeped in tradition, have their roots with more popular names but offer a decidedly vintage twist. Then, of course, there are names that people have genuinely stopped using for the last 60 to 100 years — names like Agnes, Mabel, or Naomi.
One of the best ways to pick an old lady name for your precious baby girl is to sit down with a family tree and examine the names of actual old ladies. You can also just ask your mama or grandma to list the relatives they remember. If, however, you want a traditional name but aren’t (or don’t want to be) tied to your actual family, we’d like to help. We scraped the database and these are the best old lady names we could find for your precious baby.
And if you don’t find your oh-so-perfect name here? That’s okay, too! This list is gigantic, but it’s also just a sampling of the amazing names that exist in the world. And maybe an “old lady name” isn’t what you wanted, after all. Another option might be to draw from your own heritage, whether that means picking a Hawaiian name or something with Mexican roots. All you English majors out there? You might want to take a look at the names of your favorite poets and writers. If you’re a big fan of simple, cute names, another way to go might be to look for three-letter names or one-syllable names. If all you care about is raising a badass baby? We have you covered there, too, with strong names for your determined little girl. What can we say? Naming our kids is a hard job to do — anyone who says otherwise is lying. But, ScaryMommy is here to help.
Oldest Female Name in History
In the context of this article, “old lady names” refers largely to names from the past 100 years. But what about much, much older ladies? Per Oldest.org, Neithhotep is the earliest named woman in history. A queen consort of Pharoah Narmer in Ancient Egypt, Neithhotep had her name recorded between circa 3150 and 3125 BCE.
Looking for more ancient names for girls. Here are just a few:
Sassy “Old Lady Names”
Sure, we’re giving you a comprehensive list of old-fashioned names for females here. But our research shows that some of you are looking for sassy old lady names in particular — so we wanted to highlight a few favorites, along with their inspiration.
- Amelia — Fearless and outspoken, Amelia Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
- Eliza — Many abolitionists and suffragists share this name, including Eliza Lee Cabot Follen, Eliza D. Keith, and Eliza Read Sunderland.
Quotes By Fierce Females With “Old Lady Names”
“There’s only one of you, so why would you want to look like everyone else? Why would you want to have the same hairstyle as everyone else and have the same opinions as everybody else?” — Adele
“Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself.” — Alice Walker
“You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it.” — Goldie Hawn
“I’d rather regret the things I have done than the things that I haven’t.” — Lucille Ball
“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.” — Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“We all require and want respect, man or woman, black or white. It’s our basic human right.” — Aretha Franklin
“We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it as not as dreadful as it appears, discovering that we have the strength to stare it down.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable.” — from Matilda, by Roald Dahl
“The American dream is a term that is often used but often misunderstood. It isn’t really about becoming rich or famous. It is about things much simpler and more fundamental than that.” — Dorothy Dandridge
“When I look out at the people and they look at me and they’re smiling, then I know that I’m loved. That is the time when I have no worries, no problems.” — Etta James
“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.” — Georgia O’Keeffe
“As you grow up, always tell the truth, do no harm to others, and don’t think you are the most important being on earth. Rich or poor, you then can look anyone in the eye and say, ‘I’m probably no better than you, but I’m certainly your equal.’” — Harper Lee
Need more baby name ideas for your little tot? We’ve got comprehensive lists for middle names for boys, middle names for girls, one-syllable names, unique names for boys, unique names for girls, last names as first names, nicknames as first names for your little Ace, even nicknames to call your girlfriend (or a boyfriend), and so much more!
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