Old People Names

9 11 2010

Over the past weekend, I had the opportunity to meet with some friends of friends of my mom. These people were in their 70s and quite old and also charming. What really stuck out to me though, was their unique names. No, their names weren’t anything I hadn’t heard before, but rather, they were names that were specific to their generation; their times. I thought about this. Are names really generational?

I thought that it could be neat to name my future children with what people in my generation perceive as “old people” names. If enough people brought back such older names, could they become popular again? Or were these names destined to be a thing of the past? To get a better idea of what I’m referring to, below is a list of names for both genders that I feel best represent that past, older generation.


  1. Cybil
  2. Gertrude
  3. Phyllis
  4. Agatha
  5. Cordelia
  6. Ethel
  7. Mildred
  8. Prudence
  9. Blanche
  10. Millicent
  11. Selma/Zelma


  1. Donald
  2. Horrace
  3. Wallace
  4. Clement
  5. Claude
  6. Eldridge
  7. Jasper
  8. Lyle
  9. Luther
  10. Wyatt
  11. Beryl

Chances are that you don’t know anyone with these names, or if you do, they are at least one generation older than you. Would you even want to name future offspring any of those names, or are they too antique for your tastes? Are the more bizarre-modern name choices that are in vogue these days (such as Apple, Rumor, Urban, or any of these odd choices) the new way of naming extremes? Which would you think is a more unique name or way to have your child stand out? Naming them a non-name like an object or adjective (as celebrities have taken to, these days) or by re-introducing an “old fashioned” name?




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