'Vintage' baby names parents think are due for a comeback

Must See 22/05/2019

After the list of 2018's most popular baby names were released earlier in the year, it seems that classrooms around NZ will soon be filling up with Oliver's, Charlotte's, Jack's and Isla's.

But some mums believe that name trends are about to change and are predicting the comeback of some names that have been heading to the brink of extinction.

Popular parents website Mumsnet blew up with mothers suggesting their predictions for retro names that we might all be seeing climbing the popularity charts in the next few years.

"I think Rachel, Amanda and Clare may make their way back around soon," said the woman who started the online discussion. "I met a two-year-old Hilary the other day and somehow it didn't seem quite 'right'.

"What others do you think may start to appear soon? Looking for inspiration." she wrote.

Here are some of the suggestions from mumsnet users, as well as their meanings.


Miriam: From the Old English ethel, meaning "noble".

Maud: A short form of Matilda, from the Germanic Mahthilt, a composite of the words for "might, strength" and "battle" i.e. "might in battle".

Mavis: From the type of bird, Song Thrush.

Karen: A form of Katherine, which is from the Greek katharos, meaning "pure".

Melanie: From the Greek Melaina, "dark, black".

Blythe: From the old English word blithe, meaning "carefree" or "cheerful".

Martha:  An Aramaic name, meaning "lady", or "mistress of the house".

Sybil: The word sibyl comes from the Greek word sibylla, meaning "prophetess".

Ethel: From the Old English ethel, meaning "noble".

Mabel: A short form of the mediaeval Old English name Amabel, from the Latin amabilis, "loveable".


BrianFrom the Irish bre, meaning "hill" or "high".

Graham: From a Scottish surname, which is taken from the a place name for Grantham, Lincolnshire, originally taken from the Old English grand, meaning "gravel" and ham meaning "homestead".

Ian: Scottish form of John, from the Greek name Ioannes, originally from the Hebrew name Yochanan meaning "God is gracious".

Curtis: Originally an English surname, from the French courtois, meaning "courteous".

ElmerFrom the English surname which is from the Old English æðel meaning "noble" and mær meaning "famous".

QuentinThe fifth one.

BarryFrom the Gaelic barra which is a short form of Fionnbharr. This is composed of the elements fionn, meaning "white, fair" and barr, meaning "head".

NormanA Germanic term, meaning northman referring to the Vikings. The Normans were Vikings who settled on the part of the French coast called Normandie.

NevilleFrom the new town.

TrevorThe name given to a large village. Derived from Trefor in Welsh, which is comprised of tref, meaning "settlement" and fôr meaning "large".