Daphne, Bessie and Sybil: The 100-year rule says baby names from the 1920s are coming back.


It’s the Roaring Twenties – again. So is it time to revive some 1920s names for 2020s babies?

There’s supposed to be a 100-year rule for baby naming, meaning that a name needs to be out of fashion for 100 years before it starts to sound appealing again. (In other words, don’t even talk to us about Cheryl and Wayne, because it’s way too soon.)

The theory is that we’re unlikely to choose baby names that already exist in our family, so it takes a few generations for a baby name to really be fresh again.

So what names were popular in the early 1920s that are ready to be revived?

Well, taking a look at the UK and US top 100s, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of inspiration at first. The lists are topped by names like John and Robert, Mary and Margaret – names that would stick around for another generation at least and so don’t feel nearly old enough.

Then there are some others that even a century’s distance can’t make look good. Doreen? Mildred? Cyril? Ernest? We’re trying, but… sorry.

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Video by Mamamia

Then there are some that have already been revived in recent years. Think Louis, Arthur, Harvey, and Theodore for boys, and Florence, Hazel, Olive and Violet for girls. Love them, but we already know them.

But keep going down, down, down in the top 100s and you’ll find a few little undiscovered gems. Here are 10 boys’ names and 10 girls’ names from the 1920s that haven’t yet been revived in any big way that somehow feel right for the 2020s. (Okay, some of them may not feel right till the late 2020s. Come back in a few years.)


1. Roy

2. Fred

3. Earl

4. Albert

5. Stanley

6. Calvin

7. Milton

8. Herbert

9. Reginald

10. Floyd


1. June

2. Viola

3. Lucille

4. Pearl

5. Bessie

6. Sybil

7. Peggy

8. Mabel

9. Daphne

10. Myrtle


Feature Image: Getty.