Baby Names From the '40s and '50s Making A Resurgence

Everything old is new again: like these old-fashioned baby names!


They say everything old is new again, so don't for one minute think that rule doesn't apply to baby names of today and yesteryear. (And I promise I will never say "yesteryear" again, seriously, I swear.)

However, to spare you the hours you could've spent sifting through names of the mid-20th century, we've rounded up ten of our favourites (and ten we seem to be seeing more -- whether it be in pop culture or amongst celebrities). And obviously, if you're in a position to, just name your baby "Bette Davis." Regardless of gender. 

1. James
Consider "James" the safe bet of baby names -- especially since it's withstood the test of time for thousands of years. However, while it's always been popular, it actually saw a spike of us in the '40s and '50s; one similar to the spike today that attests to the comeback of classic name. 

2. Judith
Another biblical name (one that means "she will be praised"), "Judith" was one of the most popular name of the 1950s, which explains the number of women named "Judy" you may have known growing up. And thanks to shows like The Walking Dead, it's back for 2013, though not necessarily shortened so much.

3. Anne
I swear I'm not including "Anne" because I'm biased, but yes, it is the greatest name ever on earth. However, in addition to being the name of Mary's mother, and Anne Bolelyn (who, okay fine, you may want to avoid the comparisons to), it's timeless and adaptable: Annie, Anna, Anne-Marie, and Ann are workable variations -- and have been applied from monarchy to movie star.  

4. Edward
We can pretend the popularity of this centuries-old name has nothing to do with Twilight aftermath, but we both know what's happening here. However, if you want nothing to do with the vampire novels (and thank goodness, if that's the case), take solace in knowing that "Edward" held its own in the '40s and '50s, which is as far from the supernatural franchise as you can get. (Since Edward was 100 years old, and the book was set in 2007. Whew.)

5. Henry
While the name means "home ruler" (which explains why it's been the name of so many kings), "Henry" was also a go-to boys' name in the 1940s and 1950s, as evidenced by Beverly Cleary's 'books, and the character, Henry Huggins. On the flip side, there's also the character of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, proving you don't necessarily need to be a British monarch to pay homage to a king's name. (Or a fictional little boy -- though he was fantastic.)

6. George
Are any of us really wondering why "George" has made a comeback? (No, because we've all been watching Seinfeld reruns.) But in addition to the summer of George, the Duke and Dutchess of Windsor's choice to grace their son with a name woven into British ancesty has cataputed it into the 2013 spotlight, which will explain why so many little kids will evoke majesty and Co-stanza.

7. Evelyn
If "Eveyln" didn't seem like the perfect name after watching A League of Their Own (set in the 1940s), I don't know what did. (Dottie, probably. Also, Kit or Mae.) But regardless of roster favourites, the name is on its way back thanks to how well it ages (a baby named "Evelyn" seems just as great as a grown-up named the same), and how it can be shortened: Eve is a great name on its own, and can also be an homage to the award-winning All About Eve (starring Bette Davis, obviously).

8. Lucy
Popular in the 1950s (see: Lucille Ball and I Love Lucy), "Lucy" or "Lucille" is back thanks to the likes of the fictional Lucille Bluth of Arrested Development, or Lucille "the other Lucille" Ostero. You can also chalk up your affinity for "Lucy" to The Beatles: though "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" takes us into the '60s, it's at least proof of the name's longevity.

9. Paul
And speaking of The Beatles, here's how you can pay tribute to the best one (in my books). A saintly name, yes, "Paul" was a go-to of the 1940s, but thanks to everyone from McCartney to Newman, it's a name that evokes timelessness. Because look at Paul McCartney -- he's still going (and is better than ever).

10. Carol
Blame it on The Walking Dead again, but "Carol" has once again crept up on a generation. But what's great is that it can double as a '40s/'50s name as well as a holiday homage: a Christmas Carol, or even if it's simply representative of a joyful song, "Carol" can age right along with your little girl -- or guy. (Let's not forget Matt Damon in 30 Rock, after all.)

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