The Victorian era lasted from 1837 to 1901, during Queen Victoria's rule in the United Kingdom. There are many Victorian and 19th-century names to choose from, making it easy to find the perfect name for your baby. You can choose from soft and feminine names for girls or traditional and strong names for boys. These timeless baby names from the 1800s have already proven their popularity, and we believe it's time to revive them.
The popular male names during the Victorian era often reflected the values and trends of the time, drawing inspiration from literature, history, and religion. Here are some of the most popular names for boys during the Victorian era.
Derived from the Germanic name "Wilhelm," meaning "will" and "helmet," William was a consistently popular name throughout the Victorian era. By choosing the name William for their sons, families hoped to evoke a sense of tradition and heritage, aligning their children with the esteemed legacy of the British monarchy. The name William was seen as a mark of distinction, evoking images of chivalry, honor, and integrity. It exuded a sense of strength, dignity, and refinement, qualities highly valued during this era of strict social norms and rigid class distinctions.
The popularity of the name John during the Victorian era can be attributed to its versatility and adaptability. It was a name that transcended social status, being equally embraced by both the upper and lower classes of society. The name's widespread adoption can also be attributed to its simplicity and familiarity. John is a straightforward and easily recognizable name, which makes it accessible to people from all walks of life.
The name Thomas had a rich historical background that resonated with Victorian society. It was a name associated with several prominent figures throughout history, such as Thomas Aquinas, the renowned medieval theologian, and Thomas More, the influential statesman and author of "Utopia." These historical associations added a sense of prestige and intellectualism to the name, making it an attractive choice for parents who aspired to give their children a sense of heritage and cultural significance. Even today, the name Thomas continues to be a timeless name that evokes a sense of traditional appeal.
During the Victorian era, James was not only a popular name but also a commonly used one, primarily due to its biblical meaning and associations. The name James holds significant religious significance as it is derived from the Hebrew name Yaakov, which translates into "the one who follows." This biblical connection made it a favored choice among devout Victorian families who sought to instill religious values in their children.
Albert is a name that carries a rich history and conveys a sense of strength and tradition. Derived from the Old High German name Adalbert, it combines the elements "adal," meaning noble, and "beraht," meaning bright. During the Victorian era, Albert experienced a surge in popularity, becoming a favored choice among English parents. Its association with nobility and brightness made it an ideal name for families seeking to bestow a sense of grandeur upon their children. Notably, Albert was also the name of Queen Victoria's beloved husband, Prince Albert.
The popularity of the name George in Victorian England was influenced by the numerous notable figures who bore the name during this era. One such figure was Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, a member of the royal family and a prominent military leader. His reputation as a brave and honorable soldier further elevated the name's status. Moreover, the name George often appeared in Victorian plays and novels, further solidifying its popularity.
One of the primary reasons for the popularity of the name Henry during this era was its association with the illustrious English monarchs who bore the name. The most prominent figure was King Henry VIII, whose reign had a profound impact on the course of English history. Known for his larger-than-life personality and his tumultuous marital affairs, Henry VIII's reign was marked by significant political and religious changes, including the establishment of the Church of England. His name became synonymous with power, authority, and a certain regal charm, making it an appealing choice for parents who aspired to instill these qualities in their sons.
During the Old English Victorian times, the name Edgar held great significance and was associated with various desirable qualities. Derived from the Old English elements "ead," meaning 'wealth' or 'fortune,' and "gar," meaning 'spear,' Edgar embodied a sense of prosperity and strength. Additionally, Edgar is a popular choice for those seeking a Victorian gothic name due to the association with the American writer Edgar Allan Poe. Poe's dark and mysterious literary works, filled with themes of horror, death, and the macabre, captured the imagination of readers and became synonymous with the gothic genre.
During the Victorian era, the name Arthur held a special place in the hearts of parents seeking a strong and noble name for their sons. This popularity can be attributed to its deep-rooted connection to the legendary King Arthur and the enchanting medieval tales associated with him. The tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table were widely read and admired, capturing the imagination of both children and adults alike. The name Arthur, therefore, became a symbol of bravery, nobility, and virtue. Parents who named their sons Arthur hoped to instill these qualities in their children, aspiring for them to grow up to be courageous and honorable individuals.
Frederick, a name of German origin, gained immense popularity during the Victorian era and has managed to maintain its appeal as a favored choice for baby names even in modern times. One of the key reasons why Frederick has stood the test of time is its dual symbolism of peace and power. The name Frederick is derived from the Germanic elements "fridu," meaning peace, and "ric," meaning ruler or power. This combination of meanings creates a name that embodies a child who possesses a unique blend of tranquility and authority.
Various girl names from the Victorian era have endured the test of time. Here are the ten most common female names from the Victorian era.
Ada is a lovely Victorian name for girls that has different meanings in German and Hebrew. In German, it means 'nobility,' while in Hebrew, it means 'adornment'. Ada and its variations (such as Adelia and Adelaide) were quite popular among the upper class during the Victorian era. For example, Countess Ada Lovelace, who was the daughter of Lord Byron, had this beautiful name.
Elizabeth is a name of Victorian origin that carries a profound meaning - 'God is my oath.' This timeless name has gracefully stood the test of time, remaining popular and beloved throughout the years. One of the most popular variations of Elizabeth is Eliza, which exudes a sense of elegance and sophistication. With its refined sound, Eliza adds a touch of grace to the name, making it perfect for those seeking a more polished and sophisticated nickname. Lizzie, on the other hand, brings a sense of familiarity and warmth to the name.
During the Victorian era, the name Dorothy gained immense popularity and became a trendy choice for parents seeking a name that exuded elegance and grace. Derived from the Greek name "Dorothea," which translates to "gift of God." The name Dorothy was not only fashionable but also carried a sense of sophistication and refinement, making it a favored choice among the upper class. It embodied the ideals of femininity and gentility that were highly valued in Victorian society. The name's association with a divine gift further added to its appeal, as it symbolized the preciousness and significance of the child who bore it.
Emily is a name with a rich and fascinating history, originating from the Roman surname Aemilius. This ancient Roman name was derived from the Latin word "aemulus," meaning "striving" or "rival." The name Emily carries with it the beautiful meaning of being ambitious, determined, and hardworking. It is worth mentioning that Emily Brontë, a renowned Victorian author, shares this remarkable name. Known for her masterpiece "Wuthering Heights," Emily Brontë's literary contributions have left an immense mark on the world of literature.
Margaret is a lovely Victorian name for a baby girl that not only signifies the beauty and purity of a pearl but also represents the radiance and light that she brings into the world. Derived from the Greek word "margarites," meaning pearl, Margaret carries with it a sense of preciousness and beauty. Just like a pearl, this name symbolizes purity, innocence, and the potential for greatness. With its charming nicknames like Maggie, Marge, and Rita, this name offers a range of endearing options that can suit any personality.
If you're tired of the typical names from the 1800s, why not consider something a bit more distinctive? We've compiled a list of forgotten Victorian baby names that we believe deserve a comeback. Take a look at our top picks for unique Victorian names for baby girls.
These names may have fallen out of popularity over the years, but they possess a timeless charm and elegance that can make them stand out in a sea of more common names. Adelia, for example, has a delicate and feminine sound, while Beryl exudes a sense of strength and uniqueness. Ebba, on the other hand, has a soft and melodic quality that is both gentle and memorable.
Euphemia is a name that carries a sense of grandeur and sophistication, while Ida has a simplicity and sweetness that is hard to resist. Luella combines the classic sounds of both Louise and Ella, creating a name that is both familiar and distinctive. Zadie, with its zippy and energetic sound, is a perfect choice for parents looking for a name that is both modern and Victorian-inspired.
Amabel, with its old-world charm, is a name that exudes grace and elegance. Beatrix, with its strong and regal sound, is a name fit for a queen. Clementine, with its sweet and citrusy associations, is a name that is both refreshing and delightful. Elspeth, a Scottish variation of Elizabeth, has a lyrical and ethereal quality that is simply enchanting.
Genevieve, with its French flair and romantic sound, is a name that is both sophisticated and alluring. Isadora, with its Greek origins and dramatic sound, is a name that is both powerful and captivating. Lavinia, with its Shakespearean roots and elegant sound, is a name that is both timeless and refined.
Octavia, with its strong and dignified sound, is a name that commands attention and respect.
In the 18th century, posh names were often associated with the aristocracy and upper class. These names were often traditional and carried a sense of grandeur and sophistication. Therefore, the upper class chose them for their kids to reflect social status and to convey a sense of sophistication and refinement. This was a way to distinguish themselves from the lower classes and to maintain their privileged position in society.
Male names such as Percival, Reginald, and Montague were popular choices for the nobility and upper crust. These names carried a sense of grandeur and were often associated with power and authority. Augustus, Lysander, and Theophilus were also favored, as they evoked a sense of classical elegance and intellectualism.
Similarly, female names like Cordelia, Evangeline, and Seraphina were considered fashionable and sophisticated. These names were often associated with beauty, grace, and femininity. Octavia, Arabella, and Wilhelmina were also popular choices, as they exuded a sense of regality and refinement.
Georgiana, Emmeline, and Genevieve were names that were often chosen for their timeless elegance and aristocratic charm. Rosalind, Penelope, and Victoria were also favored, as they carried a sense of grace and poise. Anastasia, Gwendolyn, and Isabella were seen as names of distinction and were often associated with royalty and nobility. Clementine, with its delicate and whimsical sound, was also a trendy choice among the upper class.