50 Vintage Baby Names

Learn the meaning and origins of popular vintage baby names

vintage photo of mom and baby

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When it comes to choosing the perfect baby name, something with a bit of history and charm might be just what you're looking for. If you decide to go retro, you may find inspiration with literary, biblical, and royal names.

Consider researching the names of your ancestors. There might be some real gems already in your family. You can also check out this list of some of the cutest, sharpest, most wearable vintage names.

Popular Vintage Names for Girls


  • Origin: Nigerian, Igbo
  • Meaning: First daughter 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Adanna, Adaugo, Adaobi 
  • Famous Namesakes: Nigerian gospel singer Ada Ehi; Nigerian artist and poet Ada Uchechukwu; English writer and computer programmer Ada Lovelace
  • Peak Popularity: Ada is the 184th most popular girl's name of 2020. It hit peak popularity in the year 1901, ranking 66th.


  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Noble, exalted
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Alyce
  • Famous Namesakes: Canadian writer Alice Munro; American suffragist Alice Paul
  • Peak Popularity: Alice was most popular at the turn of the 20th century, ranking in the top 10 every year from 1905 to 1910. In 2020, Alice was the 76th most popular name for baby girls, slightly down from a recent peak of 70th in 2017.


  • Origin: Dutch, English, German, French
  • Meaning: Delivers joy, blessed, traveler
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Bea, Beatrix, Beata, Trixie, Viatrix
  • Famous Namesakes: Princess Beatrice of England, daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson; Beatrix Potter, English author; Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard, Queen of the Netherlands
  • Peak Popularity: The name Beatrice spent years as one of the most popular in the U.S., remaining in the top 100 through 1934 and peaking at 36 in 1910. It ranked 550th in 2020.

Fun Fact: Princess Beatrice has dyslexia and speaks openly to raise awareness and fight stigma.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: God is my oath
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Beth, Bethia, Betsey, Betty, Elizabeth
  • Famous Namesakes: American actress Betsy Ann Brandt; American fashion designer Betsey Johnson
  • Peak Popularity: Betsy was most popular in 1959, ranking 227th. After dropping out of the top 1,000 in 1995, Betsy has re-appeared once since, in 2006.


  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: White, fair
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Blanchette, Blanch, Blanca, Bianca
  • Famous Namesakes: Queen-consort of Lous VII of France, Blanche of Castile; mother of King Henry IV of England, Blanche of Lancaster; American actress Blanche Bates; American actress and poet Blanche Marie Louise Oelrichs
  • Peak Popularity: Blanche was a top 100 name in the early 1900s (peaking at number 58 in 1902) but it slowly declined in use from 1920 to 1960. It was no longer a top 1,000 name by 1965.


  • Origin: Latin, Welsh
  • Meaning: Blind
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cecelia, Cicilia, Sicilia, Sicelia, Cecile, Cecily, Celia, Ceil, Ceci, Cece, Sissy
  • Famous Namesakes: Norwegian boxer Cecilia Braekhus; Spanish actress Cecilia Freire; American portraitist Cecilia Beaux
  • Peak Popularity: Cecilia has been in the top 500 for more than a century. It was number 199 in 1900 and number 147 in 2020.


  • Origin: French, Greek
  • Meaning: Victorious, triumphant
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kollette, Kolette, Collette, Colletta, Collett, Collete, Collet, Coletta, Coleta, Nicolette
  • Famous Namesakes: American pair skater Colette Appel; American artist Colette Calascione; American singer-songwriter Colette Carr
  • Peak Popularity: Colette was a constant on the top 1,000 list from 1928 until 1986, when it disappeared. It re-emerged in 2012 and was number 529 in 2020.


  • Origin: British
  • Meaning: Day's eye
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Daisee, Daizy, Dasie, Daysi
  • Famous Namesakes: Model, actor, and MTV's first Latina video host, Daisy Fuentes; English actress Daisy Ridley
  • Peak Popularity: Daisy peaked in the top 1,000 names in 1900 at number 81. It has been in the top 200 since 1990.

Fun Fact: Kathleen Kelly, the protagonist in the classic romantic comedy "You've Got Mail," loved daisies. In the film, she says, "They're so friendly. Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?"


  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Gift of God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Dorothea, Dorathy, Dorthie, Dora, Dorothee, Dorothia, Dolly, Dory, Dori, Dot, Dotty
  • Famous Namesakes: American figure skater Dorothy Hamill; Hungarian singer Dorothy Martin
  • Peak Popularity: Dorothy spent many years in the top 10, reaching number 2 in the 1920s. It was much more popular in the early part of the 20th century. In 2020, it ranked number 534, having risen steadily from 2005 when it briefly dropped out of the top 1,000.


  • Origin: French, Greek, English
  • Meaning: Bright, shining light
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Eilanie, Elaene, Elain, Elainia, Elan, Elanna, Elauna, Elayn, Elayna, Elayne, Elena, Laine, Laney, Lanie
  • Famous Namesakes: Elaine Hendrix, American actress; Elaine May, American director and actress; Elaine Hamilton-O’Neal, American painter; Elaine Miles, American actress; Elaine Stritch, American actress and singer
  • Peak Popularity: Elaine has been popular for well over 100 years. It was in the top 100 from 1923 to 1957. In the past decade, it has risen from 797 (in 2010) to 519 (in 2020).

Fun Fact: Elaine Benes, famous for her dance called "The Elaine," is one of Jerry’s best friends on the television comedy series Seinfeld.


  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Light-hearted or a shining light
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Eleanora, Elynore, Elanore, Eleonor, Elinor, Ellinore, Lenore, Nora
  • Famous Namesakes: First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; British actress Eleanor Tomlinson; American actress Eleanor Parker
  • Peak Popularity: Eleanor was a top 100 name for many years, especially in the early to mid-1900s. After a few decades of declining use, it is making a huge comeback. It ranked number 22 in 2020.


  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: Healthy; wide
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Elle, Ellie, Eloisa, Loisa
  • Famous Namesakes: American actress Eloise Mumford; children's book character Eloise, who lives at the Plaza Hotel
  • Peak Popularity: Eloise has boomed in popularity in recent years. The name dropped off the top 1,000 list from 1966 to 2007, but has climbed quickly since its return in 2008. Eloise reached its highest rank yet, 138, in 2020.


  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Bringing good news
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Evangelina, Evangelica, Evangelyne, Eva, Lina
  • Famous Namesakes: Canadian actress Evangeline Lilly; American author Evangeline Walton
  • Peak Popularity: Evangeline was a top 1,000 name until 1967 when it fell off the list. Then, nearly 40 years later in 2006, it reemerged as a top 1,000 name. In 2016, it had its most popular year in over 100 years when it reached 241st place.


  • Origin: British (Old English)
  • Meaning: Stems from the word ‘fae’, which means fairy
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Fay, Faie
  • Famous Namesakes: American actress Faye Dunaway; rodeo star Faye Blackstone; blues singer Faye Adams; snowboarder Faye Gulini
  • Peak Popularity: The name Faye was at its peak of popularity in 1934, when it ranked 146th. In 2020, 409 babies were named Faye in the U.S., putting it in 687th place.


  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: From Mount Ida, the Mountain of the Goddess; diligent and hardworking
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Idaea, Idaa, Iida, Ieda, Idalie, Idette, Idetta, Idella
  • Famous Namesakes: Civil rights leader Ida Wells; First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley; American painter Ida Applebroog; British actress Ida Lupino
  • Peak Popularity: Ida was ranked at number 30 in 1900 and was a top 100 name until 1931. It fell off the top 1,000 list in 1987.


  • Origin: French, Hebrew
  • Meaning: The one who comes after, the replacement
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jacalin, Jacalyn, Jackaline, Jackalinne, Jackelyn, Jackette, Jacki, Jackie, Jackie, Jacklin, Jacklyn, Jacklynn, Jacklynne
  • Famous Namesakes: Former First Lady Jacqueline “Jackie” Kennedy Onassis; American singer and actress Jacqueline Emerson; American Olympic heptathlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee; American author Jacqueline Carey
  • Peak Popularity: Jacqueline has been a top 1,000 name for over 100 years. It was number 843 in 1900 and made the top 100 in 1928. It spent most of the last century in the top 100, reaching its highest rank of 37 in 1961 and 1964. It was number 442 in 2020.


  • Origin: French, Latin
  • Meaning: From the province of Lorraine
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Laraine, Larayne, Lareine, Lareyne, Larraine, Lauraine, Lorain, Loraine, Lorane, Lorayne, Lorena, Lorette
  • Famous Namesakes: American actress Lorraine Bracco; American ice dancer Lorraine McNamara; American playwright Lorraine Vivian Hansberry; American soccer player Lorraine Ming “Lorrie” Fair
  • Peak Popularity: Lorraine was a top 100 name in the U.S. from 1918 to 1948. After that, it saw a slow decline in popularity until it fell off the top 1,000 list in 1996.

Fun Fact: Lorraine is an area in the northeast part of France. Ever tried "quiche Lorraine"? Now you know where the name came from.


  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Great; the best; superior
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Loes, Loise, Louise, Louis
  • Famous Namesakes: American actress Lois Chiles, American writer Lois Lowry
  • Peak Popularity: Lois was a top 100 name from 1902 to 1953, then it declined in popularity. It last ranked in the top 1,000 in 1983.


  • Origin: Dutch, Hebrew, French, English
  • Meaning: Drop of the sea, grace and mercy
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Marien, Marie, Mariam, Mariana, Mariane, Marion, Maryann, Maryanne
  • Famous Namesakes: Marian Ellina Stamp Dawkins, British biologist and professor of ethology at the University of Oxford; American activist Marian Wright Edelman
  • Peak Popularity: Marian was a top-100 name in the U.S. from 1912 to 1934, but has since seen its popularity wane. It most recently appeared in the top 1,000 in 2000.


  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Pearl
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Margret, Marguerite, Margarita, Maggie, Meg, Peg, Peggy, Margo, Margaux, Marge, Margie
  • Famous Namesakes: Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher; American comedian Margaret Cho; former Canadian First Lady and mother of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Margaret Trudeau
  • Peak Popularity: A hundred years ago, Margaret was a top-5 name, and it spent many years in the top 5. It is still quite a popular name, ranking 126th in 2020.


  • Origin: Arabic, Irish, French, German, English
  • Meaning: Light, honor
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Noor, Noora, Noortje, Nore, Nori, Nóri, Noralee
  • Famous Namesakes: Nora Ephron, American film director and producer; Norah Jones, American singer-songwriter
  • Peak Popularity: Nora was a popular name in the U.S. in the early 1900s. After falling out of favor for several decades, it has seen a strong resurgence and returned to the top 100 in 2013. The highest it has climbed since then is number 28, in 2017.


  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Help
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ofelia, Ofilia, Ophelie, Ophelya
  • Famous Namesakes: Ophelia Dahl, co-founder of Partners in Health and daughter of author Roald Dahl; Ophelia Saint Grohl, daughter of musician Dave Grohl
  • Peak Popularity: Ophelia dropped out of the top 1,000 from 1959 to 2014. Recently, it has jumped from 979th place (2015) to 391st (2020).

Fun Fact: According to the Lumineers' lead singer Wesley Schultz, the band's single entitled "Ophelia" is a vague reference to people falling in love with fame. Ophelia is also a tragic character in Shakespeare's "Hamlet."


  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Weaver
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Nelly, Pen, Penn, Penny, Pennie, Peneli, Penelopi, Pennelope
  • Famous Namesakes: Spanish actress Penelope Cruz; English actress Penelope Wilton
  • Peak Popularity: In the 1920s Penelope broke into the top 1,000 names in the U.S. It made it to the top 200 names in 2010, and rose to number 25 in 2020.


  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: Wise protector
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ramonna, Ramonha, Ramonah, Romona, Remona, Raymona, Raimona, Ramonda, Ray
  • Famous Namesakes: English actress Ramona Marquez; American reality TV star Ramona Singer; Swiss soccer player Ramona Bachmann 
  • Peak Popularity: Ramona has been a popular name for girls for more than a century. It reached its highest rank in 1928 at 117. In 1989, it dropped off the top 1,000 list, but it popped back up again in 2016 and was number 816 in 2020.

Fun Fact: Ramona Quimby is the main character of the "Ramona" series of children’s books written by Beverly Cleary. Her sister's name is also a vintage favorite: Beatrice (although Ramona calls her "Beezus").


  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Forest
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Silvie, Silvia, Sylvie
  • Famous Namesakes: Queen Silvia of Sweden; Italian tennis player Silvia Farina Elia; Governor-General of New Zealand Silvia Cartwright; American author and poet Sylvia Plath; Rhea Silvia, mother of Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome
  • Peak Popularity: Sylvia peaked at number 50 in 1937. Since 1999, it's hovered around the halfway point of the top 1,000 list.

Popular Vintage Baby Names for Boys


  • Origin: Celtic
  • Meaning: Noble one; bear
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Art, Arth, Artair, Arte, Artus
  • Famous Namesakes: Scottish physician and novelist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; American tennis player Arthur Ashe; American playwright Arthur Miller, Canadian-American TV presenter Art Linkletter
  • Peak Popularity: Arthur was number 15 in the U.S. in 1900 and a staple in the top 100 until 1970. After declining to 390th place in 2010, Arthur is rebounding in popularity and ranked 162nd in 2020.


  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: From Attica, an area in Greece that includes Athens
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Aticus, Addicus, Attikus, Attickus, Atti
  • Famous Namesakes: American actor Atticus Shaffer; English musician Atticus Ross
  • Peak Popularity: Atticus hit the top 1,000 list in 2004 and is rising in the ranks. It was number 300 in 2020.

Fun Fact: Atticus Finch is the fictional attorney and main character in Harper Lee’s classic novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird."


  • Origin: Irish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: A sharp spear; fair-headed 
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Báire, Baire, Barrie, Barie, Bairre
  • Famous Namesakes: American singer Barry Manilow; American singer Barry White
  • Peak Popularity: Barry was a top 100 name from 1941 through 1969, reaching a high rank of 61 in 1962. It began to drop its position in the 1990s and eventually fell off the top 1,000 list in 2005.


  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Son of the farmer
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Bartolomeo, Bartolo, Bartol, Bart, Bartlett, Mees, Mies
  • Famous Namesakes: Fictional character Bart Simpson; American football player, Bart Starr
  • Peak Popularity: Bartholomew appeared as a top 1,000 name 11 times between 1902 and 1971 with a peak rank of 800 (back in 1906).


  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Masterful; from the Lord
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cyryl, Cyrill, Ciril, Cyral, Cyrell, Kyril, Kyrill, Kyrillos, Cyrillus, Cirillo, Cy
  • Famous Namesakes: American magician of French, Moroccan and Japanese descent, Cyril Takayama; American professional skateboarder, Cyril Jackson
  • Peak Popularity: Cyril was number 263 in 1902. It hung on as a top 1,000 name until 1967, when it dropped off the list.


  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Festive; fun; a follower of Dionysos
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Denis, Dennes, Denes, Denny, Dennie, Denzel, Dennison, Denys, Den
  • Famous Namesakes: American comedian Dennis Miller; American actor Dennis Quaid; American actor and singer Dennis Day
  • Peak Popularity: Dennis is an established name with lasting popularity for well over 100 years. It was most popular in 1949, when it reached number 16. It has seen a decline in the last 20 years and in 2020 dropped out of the top 500 (to number 646).


  • Origin: English, Welsh
  • Meaning: Benevolent
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Elis, Ellys
  • Famous Namesakes: British director and actor Ellis Jones; British speedway rider Ellis Perks; American talk show host Ellis Cannon
  • Peak Popularity: The name has been a top 100 boy's name in England and Wales since 2014. In the U.S., Ellis has been a popular name since 1900, peaking in 1902, and was featured in the top 500 boy names for many of those years. Currently, it sits at number 325.

Fun Fact: British author Emily Bronte used Ellis Bell as her male pseudonym when she wrote "Wuthering Heights."


  • Origin: Irish, English, French
  • Meaning: The king, a young person with red hair
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Elroye, Kilroy, Ilroy, Leroy, Gilroy, Elry, Roy
  • Famous Namesakes: American football player Elroy Hirsch; American television comedy writer Elroy Schwartz
  • Peak Popularity: Elroy was most popular during the first half of the 20th century. Its best year was 1922 with a rank of 438. It dropped off the top 1,000 list in 1970 and is now quite a rare name.


  • Origin: Old English, German
  • Meaning: Brave as a wild boar
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Everette, Everitt, Everet, Everrett, Evert, Evrett, Everard, Rhett
  • Famous Namesakes: American baseball player Everett Scott; American actor Everett McGill
  • Peak Popularity: In the U.S. Everett has been a popular name since 1900, with peak popularity in 1906. Since 2018 it has featured in the top 100 boy names.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: God will strengthen
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ezequiel, Zeke
  • Famous Namesakes: American football players Ezekiel Elliott and Ezekiel Ansah
  • Peak Popularity: Ezekiel ranked 562 in 1900 but started to gain ground in the 1990s. It became a top 100 name in 2017 and was number 65 in 2020.


  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Fortunate
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Feliks, Felics, Phelix, Felice
  • Famous Namesakes: Composer Felix Mendelssohn; daredevil Felix Baumgartner; Nobel laureate physicist Felix Bloch
  • Peak Popularity: Felix has consistently ranked in the top 400 for over 120 years. It ranked 170 in 1900 and 225 in 2020.


  • Origin: English, Scottish, Irish
  • Meaning: Arrow maker
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Fletch
  • Famous Namesakes: British artist Fletcher Sibthorp; American landscape architect Fletcher Steele; American sculptor and painter Fletcher Benton
  • Peak Popularity: Fletcher was most popular in the U.S. back in 1900. It dropped off the top 1,000 in 1987, but returned in the early 2000s. Its most popular year recently was 2018, when it ranked 606th.


  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Frenchman, freeman
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Francois, Frank, Frankie, Franklin
  • Famous Namesakes: American singer Frank Sinatra; 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis; American film director Francis Ford Coppola
  • Peak Popularity: Throughout the early 1900s, Francis was a top 100 name. It declined steadily until 2009, when it ranked 676th, but has since returned to the top 500 and ranked 481st in 2020.


  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: Pledge, promise
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Bert, Bertie, Gibbon, Gibby, Gil, Gilber, Gilbert, Gilberto, Gilburt, Gill
  • Famous Namesakes: American basketball player Gilbert Jay Arenas Jr.; English writer Gilbert Keith Chesterton; American actor/comedian Gilbert Gottfried; Mexican-born American actor Gilbert Roland
  • Peak Popularity: Gilbert was number 146 in 1900 and a top 200 name until 1969. It has since fallen in the ranks and dropped out of the top 1,000 in 2017.


  • Origin: Irish, Scottish, Gaelic
  • Meaning: From the small valley
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Glen, Gleann, Glyn, Glinn
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Glenn Frey, musician Glenn Miller
  • Peak Popularity: The name Glenn was popular in the U.S. in 1900 with a rank of 118. It was a top 200 name until 1978. After that, it slowly faded in use and dropped out of the top 1,000 in 2009.


  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Illustrious warrior
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Herb, Herbie, Bert
  • Famous Namesakes: American president Herbert Hoover; American pianist and composer Herbie Hancock; American jazz musician, Herb Alpert
  • Peak Popularity: From the 1880s until the 1980s, Herbert was a top 500 name. It fell off the top 1,000 list in 2003.

Fun Fact: Herbie was the name of the white Volkswagen Beetle in the 1969 Disney movie "The Love Bug."


  • Origin: Scandinavian, English
  • Meaning: Noble watchman
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Howie, Ward
  • Famous Namesakes: Canadian comedian, Howie Mandel; American radio host, Howard Stern
  • Peak Popularity: Howard was at its most popular back in 1920. In recent years, it has hovered around the very bottom of the top 1,000.


  • Origin: Latin; Greek
  • Meaning: Praised
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Judah, Judd
  • Famous Namesakes: British actor Jude Law; British actor Jude Wright
  • Peak Popularity: Jude entered the top 1,000 in 1954, staying on the bottom half of the list until 2002. After that, it rose to a high of 152nd place in 2019.

Fun Fact: "Hey Jude," by the Beatles, gives this name retro charm. Jude was a nickname for John Lennon's son Julian.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: From the narrow road or one who takes the narrow path
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Laen, Lain, Laine, Layne
  • Famous Namesakes: American singer Lane Brody; American actor/producer Lane Carlson; American actor Lane Davies; American actor Lane Edward Garrison; American football coach Lane Monte Kiffin
  • Peak Popularity: Lane has been a top 1,000 boys name since 1929 with a peak in 1995. It is not on the top 1,000 list for girls, although the spelling Layne is, along with Lainey and Laney.


  • Origin: French, German
  • Meaning: Brave warrior
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Lew, Lewis, Lou, Luis
  • Famous Namesakes: American jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong; American baseball player Lou Boudreau; French inventor Louis Braille; American baseball player Lou Brock
  • Peak Popularity: Louis is a centuries-old name that was number 26 in 1900 and number 260 in 2020. The Spanish spelling, Luis, is more popular at number 137, while Lewis ranks lower, at 498.


  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Like Myrrh and the aroma of a fragrant oil or spice
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Miron, Myren, Miren, Myreon
  • Famous Namesakes: American chef Myron Mixon; American animator Myron Waldman
  • Peak Popularity: Myron had its most popular year in 1931 when it reached 192. It has slowly gone out of fashion and fell off the top 1,000 list in 2001.


  • Origin: Old English, Gaelic, Old Norse
  • Meaning: Friend to the deer; Spear of the gods
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Óscar, Oskar
  • Famous Namesakes: Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde; Guatemalan-American actor Oscar Isaac
  • Peak Popularity: Oscar has maintained popularity in the U.S. since 1900. In 2020, it ranked 215th.

Fun Fact: Oscar the Grouch was one of the original "Sesame Street" Muppets, first appearing when the show debuted in 1969.


  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Wealthy
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ottis, Otys, Otto
  • Famous Namesakes: American singer Otis Redding
  • Peak Popularity: Otis was out of the top 1,000 names from 1995 to 2014 and now sounds like a fresh choice. It returned to the top 1,000 in 2015, and in 2020 it was 649th.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Behold a son
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ruben, Reuven
  • Famous Namesakes: American author and chess player Reuben Fine; American leader of organized labor Reuben G. Soderstrom
  • Peak Popularity: Reuben was more common at the beginning of the 20th century than at the beginning of the 21st century. It ranked 212 in 1900 but has slowly declined over the years to a rank of 919 in 2020.

Fun Fact: The renowned Reuben sandwich (corned beef, swiss cheese, and sauerkraut on rye bread) has many origin stories. One theory says the sandwich was invented by German-Jewish immigrant Arnold Reuben, who sold them at his deli in New York City. 


  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Of the wood
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Silvanus, Silvano, Si, Sylis
  • Famous Namesakes: American actor Silas Weir Mitchell; American author Silas House
  • Peak Popularity: Silas ranked 249 in 1900 but slowly declined in use to a rank of 975 in 1970. However, its popularity began to rise in the 2000s, and by 2020 it ranked 100th.
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By Shannon Day
Shannon Day is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, lifestyle, and women's humor. She has been published in several online parenting and lifestyle sites as well as in print. Shannon is also the co-author of Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?!