PARENTS

Vintage Baby Names: 10 Boys' Names Ready For A Comeback

01/12/2015 15:11 | Updated 01 December 2015

Vintage baby names are more in fashion than ever, with mums and dads-to-be going back in time to find the perfect name for their new arrival.

Just a decade or so ago, calling your son Stanley or Archie might have raised a few eyebrows, but now many parents are completely cuckoo for names with that Victorian/Edwardian ring to them.

But while many old-fashioned names have enjoyed a surge in popularity recently, there are still some neglected gems which we reckon are just begging to be brought back into use.

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So we've trawled the records to find our favourite vintage baby boy names. All of these were among the top 100 names given to boys back in 1914 - and who knows, they might soon be back in the top 100.

1. Ernest
A Victorian favourite with a solid, reliable ring to it, Ernest, or Ernie if you're brave enough to go down the Morecambe and Wise route, is a name on the rise (it's risen almost 1000 places in popularity since 1996) so get in before it takes off big time. It means 'serious', and like many popular 19th century names it comes from German (a result of Hanoverian influence in the previous century).

2. Frank
You'd trust a Frank, wouldn't you? British parents have already dipped their toe in the water with 'Frankie', which is currently the 62nd most popular name for baby boys. But why not go the whole way, with a classic masculine moniker borne by luminaries such as Mr Sinatra and Mr Lampard?

3. Ivor
Only 19 babies born last year were given the name Ivor, which comes from Old Norse and means 'bow warrior'. In the UK, the name is probably most associated with Welsh entertainer Ivor Novello and the songwriting awards named after him. It has always been most popular in Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Cornwall, so it's a great choice if you want to pay tribute to Gaelic heritage.

4. Edmund
Once a firm fixture in the top 100, Edmund has slid down to 837 over the years, but it would be a shame to lose one of the oldest and most venerable names in English history. It can also be shortened to the more ordinary Eddie, which is always an advantage for a child with an uncommon name as they reach the self-conscious adolescent years.

5. Arnold
Alfie and Archie have both proven so popular in recent years, and we think Arnie fits in with that trend perfectly. Mark our words, it's due for a comeback. Best of all, it comes from Germanic words meaning 'eagle power', which is an awesome anecdote for the playground.

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6. Edgar
Edgar, which means 'blessed spear', has already had one massive comeback in its time, so it can surely do it again. A common name in Anglo-Saxon England, it faded out after the Norman invasion, only to spring back to life in the 18th century and remain a firm favourite throughout the Victorian and Edwardian era. Famous bearers include authors Edgar Allan Poe and Edgar Rice Burroughs.

7. Douglas
One of the most powerful clans in Scottish history, Clan Douglas exerted tremendous power in the Lowlands for hundreds of years. The name, which means 'dark stream' has been given to boys as a first name since the 16th century, and was still the 57th most popular choice in 1914, although it has since fallen to 338th place.

8. Victor
Although ancient in origin (from the Latin meaning victor, unsurprisingly), Victor remained a rare name choice until the 19th century, when Queen Victoria's popularity sent parents scurrying in search of a masculine equivalent. When giving your baby boy a solid start in life, you can't do better than a name that literally means winner.

9. Edwin
Like Edgar, Edwin was a popular Anglo-Saxon name which faded from use after the Norman conquest, only to make a return in the 19th century, as in Charles Dickens' final novel 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood'. Pub quiz fact: it was the given name of Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon.

10. Clarence
Originating from the name of a royal dukedom, Clarence still carries an air of class and refinement, even if it has almost completely disappeared from use - only four boys were given the name last year. Perhaps these days it seems a bit of a mouthful, but in the 19th century friends and family frequently shortened it to Clare (pronounced klar), Clancy or Clarrie.

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