Old-Fashioned
23 Edwardian-Era Baby Names Full Of Hope & Progression

While still being majorly vintage and unique, obvi.

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Baby name inspiration is everywhere, whether you want a unique moniker for your little one or a tried-and-true name — but looking into the past can give you both. The Edwardian era, which corresponds to the reign of King Edward VII in England, was from 1901 to 1914 (even though the king died in 1910), and while the time was short, it was full of progression and change and some seriously good baby names. Edwardian-era baby names give a vintage, old-fashioned vibe, a style that continues to trend upward. However, since some of these dramatically dropped off in popularity once the 1930s and ‘40s came into play, they can also be considered unique baby names. (Looking at you, Mildred and Harold.)

Edwardian-era baby names also pay homage to a time in both America and the United Kingdom when things were happening. Women’s suffrage, child labor laws, social activism — all of that was going on while, at the same time, a whole lot of glamour was happening in parties and fashion. This is a time before the World Wars, before the Great Depression, and it almost feels like a different world entirely than other moments of history do. There was just so much going on and so much change to come, and giving your kid an Edwardian-era baby name can honor all that progression beautifully.

01

Florence

Florence just sounds like a little Edwardian-era child, and for good reason — the name was in the top 20 in the United States for the duration of the era and in the top 10 for the United Kingdom. The name Florence means “flourishing, blossoming,” and with nicknames like Flo or Flora, you can really get a vintage, unique vibe.

02

John

Sturdy, solid, classic — John was the No. 1 baby name pretty much everywhere for a long time, especially during the Edwardian era. You honestly don’t hear it that much anymore (despite it still being on the popular lists), and I think it’s such a sweet choice for your little one. John also means “graced by God,” which is a lovely sentiment.

03

Gladys

I never thought about all the older women named Gladys once being babies named Gladys, but now it's all I want — a world of baby Gladyses. This name is an extremely popular one for the Edwardian era, and it's just darling. Gladys means "princess" or "ruler," which is pretty perfect. Plus, you can call her Glad!

04

Edward

An obvious choice if you’re a fan of the Edwardian era, Edward is such a traditional, classic choice for a baby boy. This name, which means “wealthy guard,” stayed in the top 10 during this era in the United States and the top 20 in the United Kingdom (despite there being a whole king with the name).

05

Arthur

While Arthur has gained some popularity over the past few years, it has yet to reach the status it held during the Edwardian era, where it was in the top 20 baby boy names in the United States and the top 10 in the United Kingdom. Whether it makes you think of a certain PBS anteater or King Arthur, it’s a fun, vintage choice. The name Arthur means “strong as a bear.”

06

Mildred

Just stop right now and imagine introducing your sweet little baby bundle as Mildred. It’s perfection, right? It was in the top 10 baby names during the Edwardian era in the United States and the top 100 in the United Kingdom, but it has obviously fallen off in the last few years. Millie is a great option for a nickname if you’re not wild about always calling her Mildred, but I think it’s just the cutest.

07

Alfred

Alfred is a perfect baby name if you're into this era. It was in the top 50-ish names in the United States and the top 20 in the United Kingdom during Edwardian times, and it has honestly stayed in the top 1000 ever since. The name Alfred means "sage, wise" or "elven." (Surprisingly, Alfie has been supremely popular in the United Kingdom, but as a standalone name from Alfred.)

08

Dorothy

Dorothy is so darling, and I love the idea of Dottie as a nickname. It’s definitely unique these days — it used to be in the top five during the Edwardian era in both the United States and the United Kingdom — and has a really lovely, fun vibe.

09

William

A name fit for a king (you know, other than Edward), William has always been super popular and is an excellent choice if you want a baby name from the Edwardian era. It’s strong, it’s steady, and it has lots of cute nicknames like Will, Willy, and Liam.

10

Frances

Frances is just precious! In the Edwardian era, it was in the top 10 for girls in the United States and the top 50 in the United Kingdom. It’s much less popular these days, so it’s a great option if you find this era romantic and want a unique moniker for your little one. Besides, isn’t Franny the absolute cutest nickname?

11

Thomas

Thomas isn’t a name that has really fallen off of the popularity lists thanks to a comeback in the ‘70s and ‘80s, but during the Edwardian era, it truly shined. It was steadily in the top 10, and it has such a sweet, vintage vibe to it. You can try Tom, Thom, or Tommy for nicknames, too.

12

James

Of course the name James had to be on a list of Edwardian-era baby names. A favorite of royal families and literature, it stayed within the top five baby names of this time period in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

13

Harold

Talk about a unique option — Harold was once a very popular Edwardian-era name, consistently ranking in the top 20 in both the United States and the United Kingdom during this time. Harold means “army ruler” or “heroic leader” and is one you never hear anymore. Imagine a preschooler named Harold? Just adorable.

14

Frederick

This is a classic boy name from the Edwardian era, and doesn't a sweet little boy named Frederick sound so cute? You can go with Freddy, Fred, Rick, or even Derick if you want, but I really enjoy the full name. Frederick means "peaceful ruler."

15

Mary

Mary was literally the No. 1 baby name for girls in the United States from 1900 to 1946. That is some serious power. It dropped down to No. 2 for a couple of years before going back up in the '50s, and to this day, it remains in the top 200 baby names for girls. It's classic, traditional, and definitely has that Edwardian-era feel.

16

Ralph

Just the thought of a baby named Ralph makes my ovaries hurt. It’s never been incredibly popular in recent years but was a mainstay in the top 50 of the Edwardian era, so I think it deserves some recognition. Meaning “counsel” and “wolf,” Ralph works so well as a man's name and a name for a little boy.

17

Doris

Come on, how adorable is Doris? This one has certainly gone down in popularity with baby girls since the Edwardian era, when you were likely to meet a few of them. The name completely tanked in England by 1950, and in the United States, it hasn’t been in the top 1000 since 1992. The name Doris means “gift” or “bounty.”

18

Albert

I just adore the name Albert. It feels like a royal name, or at least one of a boy who lives in a home with a secret garden and horses to jump on when he wants to go out for a “good gallop.” It’s definitely Edwardian and was incredibly popular during the era. The name Albert means “noble” or “bright.”

19

Edith

A trendy name in England during the Edwardian era, Edith stayed in the top 50-ish until about 1940. I personally adore the name and think it's high time we brought it back. You can try Edie as a nickname, but the name Edith itself means "wealth, prosperity."

20

Margaret

You had to know Margaret was coming, right? Margaret is a great vintage baby girl name choice, and it’s steeped in royalty. You can try a bunch of cute nicknames like Maggie, Meg, or even Peggy, but the full name is beautiful and honestly pretty original these days.

21

Clarence

I’m willing to bet you’ve never met a baby Clarence, which makes this Edwardian-era gem super unique. The adorable name means “bright, shining.”

22

Willie

Yes, this Edwardian baby name is different than the name William. In the United States in 1904, both Willie and William topped the baby boy name charts, and I think it’s such a sweet little throwback of a name. A little guy named Willie just has that charm, you know?

23

Samantha

Take a peek into your old American Girl books for this inspiration: Samantha. It’s actually a bit of an outlier — Samantha was not exactly a super popular name during the Edwardian era in the United States (it was only in the top 1000 in 1902 and 1907 and then dropped off until the 1950s), nor was it popular in the United Kingdom (didn’t really track there until the 1970s). But I’ve thrown it on this list because while Samantha Parkington was born during the Victorian era (and born in America), her stories are set in 1904, during the Edwardian era. A classic choice meaning "God has heard," Samantha gives a nice royal vibe with lots of sweet nicknames.

The Edwardian era is known for its activism and progressiveness, so why not honor that with one of these sweet baby names?