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Choosing a Name for Your Baby: Popular Baby Names Today Compared to 100 Years Ago

Thelma is an award winning writer who enjoys researching and sharing interesting information with her readers.


It is interesting to note that baby names change with the time period and yet some remain timeless. Let's compare the most popular baby names of 2020 to those that were popular 100 years before in 1920. The following information was gathered from records of the Social Security Administration:

Popularity RankBoy NamesGirl Names































Popularity RankBoy NamesGirl Names































Baby Girl with White Bow in Old Fashioned Bathtub

Baby Girl with White Bow in Old Fashioned Bathtub

Naming Your Newborn for Presidents, Cities and Cowboys!

Recently there has been a trend to name children for presidents and even cities. Names like Lincoln, Kennedy, Carter, Reagan and Clinton have a presidential flair. Maybe folks are even choosing the names, Barack, Trump or Biden now.

Parents are sometimes inspired to name a child after a city that holds a fond remembrance. Charlotte was popular in the 1940's and is still chosen frequently today. Austin and Brooklyn are other great city names. Who wouldn't want to name their pretty little girl after the gentile and graceful town of Savannah?

Cody was a top pick in the 1990's and is still going strong today. People like the connection with the old, wild west town of Cody, Wyoming and the cowboy hero Buffalo Bill Cody. What little guy wouldn't be a tough dude with a name like Cody?

Middle Name Dilemma

Not only do you have the challenge of selecting a first name for your baby, most parents give their newborns a middle name also. There is no law that says your child must have two names, but almost everyone does. Some people even elect to be called by their middle name. Two famous examples are Henry Warren Beatty and Eldred Gregory Peck.

In the rare cases where a person does not have a middle name, legal documents use the letters "NMN" to indicate there is "no middle name" and that the missing name is not due to an oversight.

If you are having a hard time deciding on a first and middle name for your child, think about parents that decide to give their babies multiple middle names. Like famous baseball player Cal McLish. His parents named him Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish. Imagine Cal as a kindergarten age child trying to learn to spell his full name!

Baby Girl in White Dress, White Bow and Blue Flowers

Baby Girl in White Dress, White Bow and Blue Flowers

Flower Names are Beautiful for Your Girl Baby

People have been naming their baby girls floral names for ages. Some of the more old-fashioned names include Iris, Jasmine, Daisy and Rose. Violet was very popular in the 1940's and is experiencing a comeback. Ginger, Ivy and Heather were a part of the 1960's flower power hippie days. Poppy is a beautiful name that is moving back into the forefront while the most popular flower inspired name today is Lily.

Choosing the Right Name is Not Always Easy

Let's face it, choosing a name for your baby is generally not an easy task. If you have a family name that has been handed down for generations, and you are going to follow suit, then the name game is easy. But if you decide to break tradition, then you have to work harder to pick just the right name and you might have some very upset relatives on your hands.

There are so many things to consider when trying to choose the perfect name for your little bundle of joy. If you want to honor a special relative by naming your child after them, be prepared for hurt feelings on the part of some of your other "less special" relatives. You might even have to promise their name will be used for the next child!

Whether you select a family name, a name that is floral inspired, or you decide to name your child after a city or famous person, there is no guarantee as your child gets older they will agree with your choice! All you can do is pick a name that appeals to you and hope for the best.


  • The baby girl photos are used courtesy of Loveable Baby Boutique. They are copyrighted and used here by the permission of the owner.
  • Newborn name statistics furnished by the Social Security Administration

© 2012 Thelma Raker Coffone

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Please Share Your Comments and Tell Us Your Favorite Baby Names!

Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on August 23, 2014:

My name is old fashioned too ... Thelma. Your girls all have beautiful names! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Jeremy n Michelle from Texas on August 23, 2014:

I love old fashioned names. All my girls have those kinds of middle names. Ethel (my great grandmother), May, Elizabeth, Marie, and Claire. Love it!

Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on March 18, 2013:

torrilynn thanks for your comments. You will hear a name one day that you love and you will say that's it!! You will feel it. Thanks so much for sharing my hub.

torrilynn on March 17, 2013:

hi Thelma,

I think that choosing a name for your son or

daughter is a beautiful thing. I've always wanted a unique

name Im sure I will think of one when the time comes

Voted up and shared

Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on March 17, 2013:

Sunshine I just love the name Lily! Glad you liked the hub and the photos!!

Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on March 17, 2013:

Suzie HQ you will have to share the baby's name with us. It will be interesting to see if it is on the top 10 list. Thanks for you nice comments and for sharing my hub! I look forward to following you.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on March 17, 2013:

My 2 week old granddaughter is named Lily! I'm glad to read her name is the most popular flower name. Her older sister's name is Faith, which didn't make the cut. Yet, Faith has mentioned friends with each of the top ten girls names, with the exception of Abigail. Fun hub and gorgeous photos!

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on March 17, 2013:

Hi Thelma,

What an interesting article. I am presuming these are popular American names? Some would certainly feature this side of the pond as popular. My sister-in-law is due her 2nd baby any day and I am very curious to see what they will name the new baby. My brother is remaining tight-lipped on names they have shortlisted!

Thanks for this, voted up, interesting, shared!

Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on October 22, 2012:

innerspin you gave me such a good laugh. My middle name is Mildred which of course you didn't know! Can you imagine me being stuck with the name Thelma Mildred? It was the result of being named after two aunts.

Kim Kennedy from uk on October 14, 2012:

Cute babies! I can't imagaine a tiny baby named Mildred. We called our son Joshua just before the name had a huge revival. It's funny how things go in cycles.

Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on September 27, 2012:

You are right EuroNinila. In my family there has been a "Jacob" in every generation since the very early 1800s. I used to think it was such an old-fashioned name but it was #1 on the list of names for 2011. Thanks for taking the time to read my hub and for commenting.

Fotinoula Gypsyy from NYC BABY on September 26, 2012:

Old fashioned names aren't that old fashioned! They are still so common today, thanks for sharing this it was very interesting!

Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on September 08, 2012:

Lynn thanks for stopping by and your nice comments. I grew up hating my name (Thelma) but have now come to like old-fashioned names.

Lynn S. Murphy on September 07, 2012:

What a fun hub! I love names and I find it enlightening that oldfashioned names are making a comeback. I have also found that names I've always liked when I was younger have changed as well. The photos are terrific as well.

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