mid-century names--ahead of the curve?

I’ve posted a couple of times as we search for a name for my daughter to be (now expected very soon, and still no name!) Her sister is [name]Beatrice[/name], obviously a vintage name, but I’m running into walls as I attempt to stick to a theme in that regard–it keeps feeling forced, and I’m wondering if perhaps it’s not vintage names I was drawn to in general, but rather that I loved that particular name for my daughter for assorted reasons. Inspired by the ‘[name]Susan[/name]’ thread, I’m just going to throw out some mid century names–these were all in the top 100 in 1950. I’ve chosen ones I like or that have family connections, just to get some opinions on them. Kind of curious if anyone thinks any of these names are usable currently, or could be ahead of the curve…feel free to suggest combinations if inspired. Thanks! Oh, if you have any other ‘mid century favorites’ to add, I’d be curious to hear those too.


I like [name]Constance[/name] the best from your list. [name]Constance[/name] [name]Marie[/name] is a good combo. I prefer the spelling of [name]Theresa[/name] with an “h”. [name]Theresa[/name] [name]Jane[/name] or [name]Theresa[/name] [name]June[/name]. Some other somewhat “old-fashioned” names.


Off the top of my head, here are a few that I think make a great set with [name]Beatrice[/name]:

[name]Dorothy[/name] (love [name]Doro[/name] or [name]Dottie[/name] as a nickname)
[name]Margo[/name] (my all-time favorite)
[name]Marion[/name] ([name]Marian[/name])
[name]Sylvia[/name] (how cute is [name]Sylvie[/name]?)
[name]Kathleen[/name] (maybe; but if you use [name]Katie[/name] it loses some mid-century cred)
[name]Anne[/name] (seems kind of hard to pin this to a specific era, but still a good fit)
[name]Mary[/name] (see above)
[name]Ellen[/name] (not [name]Ella[/name], not [name]Ellie[/name], not [name]Eliana[/name])
[name]Gloria[/name] (nn [name]Glory[/name]?)
[name]Theresa[/name] (always beautiful, I think, but hard to say with [name]Beatrice[/name])
[name]Susan[/name] (sigh . . . you’d be beating me to it)

Forgot [name]Jane[/name].

[name]Annette[/name] (loved this one always)
[name]Barbara[/name] (daring, I think, but cool with [name]Beatrice[/name])
[name]Frances[/name] (love)
[name]Patricia[/name] (can’t believe I didn’t list this one first)
[name]Betsy[/name] (storybook cute with [name]Beatrice[/name])

Great post, I’m partial to this type of name as well. Here are my favorites from those mentioned as well a few additional!

[name]Mildred[/name] ([name]Millie[/name])
[name]Winifred[/name] ([name]Winnie[/name])
[name]Margery[/name] ([name]Margie[/name])

If you feel too much pressure to choose a similar name in style, maybe consider having consistency in a different way, perhaps repeating the use of “B”

[name]Barbara[/name] ([name]Barbie[/name])

Here’s one that I like which has not been mentioned yet: [name]Nancy[/name].

I’m thinking of 50’s and 60’s songs:

[name]Donna[/name] (personally [name]LOVE[/name] this name)
[name]Jacqueline[/name] (again, love but can’t spell without looking it up)

[name]Hi[/name]! I too have been wondering about names like the below and when they’re going to come back around (because hey, most of them will). My opinions:

Some of them stand on their own as viable choices right now:

I think for a few of them nickname versions may be best:
[name]Teresa[/name] – [name]Tess[/name]
[name]Anne[/name] – [name]Annie[/name] (although [name]Anne[/name] is of course a completely respectable first name, just feels a little bland)
[name]Kathleen[/name] – [name]Kit[/name]

And I just can’t stand by these options right now (although [name]Marilyn[/name] is indeed pretty & I do like [name]Diana[/name], though not [name]Diane[/name]):

From your list, I think [name]Constance[/name] and [name]Mary[/name] sound great with [name]Beatrice[/name] (and not forced). The suggestion of [name]Judith[/name] from mischa’s list of suggestions stood out as a beautiful compliment to [name]Beatrice[/name]. Same vintage feel, not too popular, and ages well…[name]Judy[/name] on a little girl = adorable, [name]Judith[/name] on an adult = classy. Good luck!

I most definitely think a lot of these are “usuable”, in fact some of these are some of my favourite names!

[name]Mary[/name] - I adore this, I think it’s the sweetest sweetest name on a little girl and would sound so lovely with [name]Beatrice[/name]. This name definitely deserves a comeback but at the same time I don’t want it to get too popular so I kind of hope it doesn’t!
[name]Jane[/name] - love this too, it’s my middle name and I remember discussing this on your old thread. I think it’s so sweet and lovely and understated. [name]Love[/name] the nn [name]Janie[/name]/[name]Janey[/name] too.
[name]Deborah[/name] - this isn’t my style personally but I can see the appeal, this one still feels like someone my mum’s age to me, probably because I have relatives that ages with the name.
[name]Teresa[/name] - I love [name]Teresa[/name] and the nn [name]Tess[/name], though in reality I probably prefer [name]Tessa[/name]. Still it’s a stunning name.
[name]Anne[/name] - If I remember rightly [name]Anne[/name] was another of your favourites with [name]Jane[/name]. I like this too but it seems a little more serious and sober to me. I prefer [name]Anna[/name] but I remember it’s hugely popular in the US which I know you want to avoid. Nice name, but I prefer [name]Jane[/name].
[name]Kathleen[/name] - not my cup of tee, I’m not a fan of the leen ending even though I have relatives called [name]Kathleen[/name], [name]Colleen[/name] and Noleen! They’re all “of a certain age” so it seems dated to me.
[name]Marsha[/name] - cute but I’ll always think of the Bradie Bunch and “[name]Marsha[/name], [name]Marsha[/name], [name]Marsha[/name]!” Plus I much prefer [name]Martha[/name] which I see is coming up :slight_smile:
[name]Martha[/name] - yay [name]Martha[/name]! Oh I love this name so much. I can see why some people would find it dated but I don’t get that feel from it at all. I know one teenage [name]Martha[/name] in real life and also a 20 something year old character called [name]Martha[/name] on a show I watch who’s very beautiful so it’s all positive association for me! Beautiful choice with [name]Beatrice[/name] too :slight_smile:
[name]Marilyn[/name] - this is actually my [name]MIL[/name]'s name but she hates it so goes my Maz, though I can’t see what’s pretty about Maz?! [name]Marilyn[/name] is nice, but I don’t think I would ever use it myself. I prefer [name]Maribel[/name] actually. Or just [name]Mari[/name]. Though as use that, I much prefer [name]Mary[/name]!
[name]Laura[/name] - this is my name :slight_smile: And I do actually like it! I think I’d like it even if it wasn’t my name but it’s hard to tell. I love that it’s classic and never seems to date unlike [name]Lauren[/name] which seems a little 80s/90s. I know [name]Lauren[/name] took over [name]Laura[/name] in popularity for a long time but I think [name]Laura[/name] will last longer long-term. It’s a nice name to have I can vouch for that :slight_smile:
[name]Constance[/name] - I like this, not hugely fond of the [name]Connie[/name] nn though which is probably inevitable. It’s not bad though. Seems a little severe but for some reason I’m always drawn to it, maybe as more of a middle name though. It seems quite regal.
[name]Marie[/name] - cute but I still prefer [name]Mary[/name]!
[name]Donna[/name] - this is the first “no” for me. I really don’t like [name]Donna[/name]. I have an almost 50 year old relative named [name]Donna[/name], who was named after her father [name]Don[/name], so it seems very masculine and old fashioned to me.
[name]Cynthia[/name] - Nice but not my favourite and I would hate the nn [name]Cindy[/name]. The [name]Thia[/name] part is nice though as [name]Thea[/name] is one of my favourite names. I prefer [name]Sanchia[/name] but I know most people think it’s too exotic!
[name]Diane[/name] - I like this but I love [name]Diana[/name]! The meaning of both names is so lovely too, and I think either would go well with [name]Beatrice[/name]. Definitely a good choice and you get the “[name]Anne[/name]” sound in there too, but with a bit more oomph.

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Very interesting to hear all your opinions on these names. I realize these names are a bit of ‘tougher sells’ than some of the vintage ones that are so ready for a comeback, but that’s part of what’s nice about them too, I think. I find it particularly interesting I think, because both my sister and I (who grew up in the 80s) had mid-century names (both of which were on this list, just for kicks). They are not names any of you really liked, but we have actually liked having them for the most part, because no one our age has these names. I think I wondered as a KID why my mom gave us names that were popular for HER generation, rather than mine—they were definitely not ‘fashionable’ then, you can imagine, if they aren’t even QUITE fashionable by most standards even now! But as an adult I really like my name. I do find these mid century names really fun to think about–though for what it’s worth I hardly think any of the more vintagey choices we bat around on nameberry all the time are ‘no longer fresh’ by any standards that matter in the real world. We may talk about them a lot, but I don’t often actually meet real life children with most of these names, so still find it refreshing when I do, and suspect a lot of these (which are pretty classic solid names, actually), will be around for a long time.

ljandri–I’m glad to hear you’ve liked being a [name]Laura[/name]. This name has everything to me–it’s classic, literary, beautiful—and yes, I do think it will probably last longer than [name]Lauren[/name]. I probably can’t use it due to it being my husband’s ex’s name, but I really wish I could sometimes.

epij–So fun to meet someone who likes [name]Betsy[/name], [name]Barbara[/name], and one I always had a secret fondness for—[name]Gloria[/name]! You have to wonder when these names will be the next [name]Matilda[/name]/[name]Eleanor[/name]/[name]Hazel[/name], officially. I do think it’s only a matter of time…

[name]Mischa[/name]–I think [name]Constance[/name] [name]Marie[/name] is a celebrity! Right?

acmom–[name]Judy[/name] is adorable. I would also like [name]Jude[/name] on a little girl, I think, as a nn.

I’m really liking [name]Mary[/name] with my other kids’ names right now… I keep getting back to that one. Is [name]Mari[/name] a legit name in your opinions, or does it seem like a cheesed up version of the classic?

Thanks all.

To me [name]Mari[/name] is definitely a legit name, but please bare in mind I speak Welsh and live in [name]Wales[/name] and [name]Mari[/name] is the Welsh version of [name]Mary[/name] so that may be why I see it that way. It’s similar to how, to me, [name]Trystan[/name] is the “correct” way of spelling [name]Trystan[/name] (as to me [name]Tristan[/name] is the anglicised version and I’m much more used to seeing it spelt [name]Trystan[/name] in Welsh books etc in school) but others have told me it looks like I’m spelling it in a trendy way! So I would bare in mind that you may get that response from some people but if I know a name is legit it doesn’t personally bother me.

I like it… how would you pronounce it? Mah-ri? Or just like [name]Mary[/name]? Or more like [name]Marie[/name]?

I love mid-centrury names! The only ones from your list that I would consider currently unusable are [name]Marsha[/name] and [name]Donna[/name]. I think those two hung on a bit longer into the '70’s. Here’s some that I would add.

[name]Elizabeth[/name] nn [name]Betsy[/name] or [name]Betty[/name]
[name]Mary[/name] [name]Jane[/name]


Off your list, I can definitely see [name]Mary[/name], [name]Jane[/name], [name]Anne[/name], [name]Kathleen[/name], [name]Martha[/name], [name]Laura[/name], [name]Marie[/name], and [name]Diane[/name] working. However, I’d change [name]Marie[/name] to [name]Maria[/name] and [name]Diane[/name] to [name]Diana[/name], personally. I love [name]Mary[/name] with [name]Beatrice[/name] because then you could have cute nicknames like [name]Molly[/name] and [name]Bea[/name]. [name]Jane[/name]'s a little short in my opinion, but it definitely works. I’d dress up [name]Anne[/name] as [name]Anna[/name], [name]Annabel[/name], or [name]Annora[/name], though I think [name]Beatrice[/name] and [name]Anna[/name], [name]Bea[/name] and [name]Annie[/name], is adorable. [name]Kathleen[/name]'s nice, but [name]Katharine[/name]'s my pick. [name]Martha[/name] is a fun one that you don’t see to much anymore! [name]Laura[/name]‘s a classic that goes beautifully with [name]Beatrice[/name], too! I like [name]Maria[/name] more than [name]Marie[/name], personally, because it feels just that much more vintage - [name]Maria[/name] is [name]Charlotte[/name]’ sister in ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ too. And, though [name]Diane[/name] feels very dated to me, I definitely could see [name]Diana[/name] making a comeback! Really elegant, feminine, yet still strong!

These aren’t mid-century, but something almost Colonial in style, such as [name]Felicity[/name], [name]Lydia[/name], or [name]Susannah[/name], would also pair nicely with [name]Beatrice[/name]. Or, something more romantic and vintage, like [name]Cecily[/name], [name]Gwendolen[/name], or [name]Rosalind[/name], would be gorgeous. Good luck!

[name]Lemon[/name] :slight_smile:

I like it… how would you pronounce it? Mah-ri? Or just like [name]Mary[/name]? Or more like [name]Marie[/name]?[/quote]

Yes exactly like that, mah with a short “a” sound instead of the long “a” in [name]Mary[/name] but with the emphasis on the first syllable unlike [name]Marie[/name] which puts the emphasis on the “ree”. I love it!

would the nn “[name]Nancy[/name]” or “[name]Nancie[/name]” bring “[name]Anne[/name]” more into the right time period? may also work as a nn for [name]Annette[/name].

don’t remember is “[name]Marjorie[/name]” is on your list. could have the nn “[name]Margie[/name]” or “[name]Molly[/name]” and I like the way it goes with “[name]Beatrice[/name]”

love these names—

good luck.

Hey – my two cents is that [name]Mari[/name] is a bit tricked up. [name]Don[/name]'t love it. But that’s just me! :slight_smile:

I love [name]Judith[/name] and [name]Constance[/name] with [name]Beatrice[/name]. So lovely!

As for [name]Mari[/name], I think that [name]Mari[/name] is more of a nickname- short for [name]Mariel[/name], or for [name]Maribel[/name], or some other name like that. My number 2 girls name is [name]Marielle[/name], and I plan to use [name]Mari[/name] or [name]Elle[/name] for a nickname :slight_smile: so I really like i[name]Mari[/name], but just not as a stand alone name.

[name]Beatrice[/name] and [name]Judith[/name] is my favorite combination I think!