Search 30000 Baby Name Meanings

 And get more name ideas later on.

Baby names arrow Baby Names Book arrow Modern spins on old-fashioned names

Modern spins on old-fashioned names

User Rating: / 1

Looking for ways to refresh some family heirloom names that don't quite fit in 21st century classrooms? Updating them to please modern ears can be challenging. Check out these techniques for transforming old-fashioned baby names into contemporary beauties.

Choose an international variation of an old-fashioned baby name

As the perfect compromise for parents who come from different backgrounds, grab a favorite old-fashioned baby name and find its equivalent in another language. We picked out a few international variations of the baby names you're mostly like to blow past when digging through your family tree.

Choose a more modern nickname

Some names are classics — they never go out of style. This doesn't hold true for their nicknames, however. Instead of calling your Elizabeth "Liz," try something more this decade with Ellie or Eliza — or even Eli. Spunky boy nicknames hide in so many classic baby girl names. We love borrowing Finn for Fiona or Vic for Victoria.

For boy names, parents used to stick to the front of the name — Alex, Chris, Nick — but these days you're much more likely to meet a Xander, Topher, or Cole. Avoid the nicknames you remember from your own playground days. Bill and Will went out with the change of millennium, but Liam sits on its own — alongside parent name William — in the top 10 most popular names for baby boys. (In 1900, Willie did the same!)

Don't forget, diminutives can make fantastic standalone monikers. Skip the formality of a full first name, and go straight to Nan to honor your aunt Nancy or Hal for your great-grandfather Henry.

Or just use the name!

If you have a favorite old-fashioned baby name on your list — use it! Particularly in the United Kingdom, grandma and grandpa names have jumped back on the charts. Names that sounded frumpy to us as children suddenly feel brand-new. Sometimes the best way to update a 19th century baby name is to give it to a newborn.

More baby names

Atom vs. Adam and other fun baby name spins
Create your own baby name
The top baby names for every year since 1880

Photo credit: sean dreilinger/Flickr

More From SheKnows Explorer

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
You must be logged in to a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.


Weekly Poll

What is the hardest part about choosing a name?
Ask questions

Post a question about:
Baby names - Pregnancy
First Months - Parenting
Answer questions