16 Amazing Traditional Baby Names To Inspire You

Supriya Jain
Feb 15, 2024 By Supriya Jain
Originally Published on Apr 03, 2023
Fact-checked by Vikhaash Sundararaj
Asian Newborn baby girl in traditional dress

Why traditional baby names?

When it comes to traditional and non-traditional baby names, it is important for parents that the names are associated with a mean personality.

You could argue how can selecting a traditional word to ensure that the associated meaning with it is still in style.

Well, whether you select an old French name, a Latin name, or a Greek name as a first name, you need to ensure that it is a popular name that despite being old school would remain relevant for many years to come.

It is common sense like a Latin word comes from a Latin heritage, a Greek world carries with it the Greek heritage and an Anglo-Saxon name would carry the heritage of England.

While selecting a name for any gender, be it a boy or a girl, you must ensure that the name is enjoying ongoing popularity, even if the name is from the Middle Ages.

While selecting a name for their baby, most parents want to know what the name means.

But while selecting traditional names you need to be more careful as over the centuries the context and usage of certain names have evolved considerably. So, before selecting any name for your babies, it is essential to thoroughly understand what the name means.

Here are some of the most traditional yet popular baby names that you can select for your babies.

Afterward, you can also check related articles on old Western names and Buddhist names.

Unique Traditional Baby Names

1. Martha (Hebrew origin) - meaning ‘a lady’, is an elegant traditional little girl name suitable for elegant girls.

Martha is also a biblical figure described in the Gospels of Luke and John. She witnessed Jesus resurrecting her brother, Lazarus.

Martha is mentioned in the Bible as 'encumbered about many things.' The name Martha was very famous for renowned personalities like Brazilian football player Martha, American author and journalist Martha Ackmann, American sociologist Martha Beck and Canadian actress Martha Burns. This name could be regarded as imbibing feminine qualities from the old times.

You are free to use a modern form of the name that means the same feminine qualities. It is a name that was quite popular in old England and is still extremely popular.

2. Dorothy (Greek origin) - meaning ‘gift of God’, is a unique, old-fashioned name.

But the name is still significant as parents consider their children as the gift of God. The name Dorothy is suitable for girl children.

Many famous personalities bear the name Dorothy. They are Dorothy Allison, an American writer, and Dorothy Arnold, an American socialite who disappeared mysteriously.

There are famous American actresses like Dorothy Arnold, Dorothy Appleby, Dorothy Bernard, and Dorothy Christy. The name Dorothy suggests that your personality is steady and balanced.

The baby girl named Dorothy also suggests that you are creative and imaginative and are willing to take risks and actions to accomplish your goals.

As the name is essentially a Greek word that is used as a first name many years ago, you and use a form of the name that could be more contemporary as per the preference of your family.

3. Elizabeth (Hebrew origin) - meaning 'God' or ‘oath’, is another classic and traditional name that has biblical references.

The name Elizabeth is derived from the Hebrew word ‘Elisheva.’ In the bible, Elizabeth is referred to as the wife of Zechariah and the mother of John the Baptist. She was also a relative of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

The Bible refers to Elizabeth as a woman who is 'righteous in the eyes of God, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commands and regulations' (Luke 1:6). Elizabeth was the sister of Anna, Mary’s mother.

Elizabeth is one of the best baby girl names. It is a name that means royalty in England of present times, so it could be used for a baby without any worries.

4. Rachel (Hebrew origin) - meaning 'ewe' or ‘female sheep’, is a unique and traditional name. The name Rachel is derived from the Hebrew word Rachel which has biblical relevance.

Rachel is referred to in the Bible as the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, two of the twelve progenitors of the tribes of Israel. Rachel was also the favorite of Jacob’s two wives.

There are famous personalities who bear the name Rachel. They are Rachel Anderson, an English journalist and author, and American actresses like Rachel Bilson and Rachel Bloom. Rachel is a traditional name suitable for girls.

5. Daniel (Hebrew origin) - meaning ‘God is my judge’, is one of the most enduring and traditional names suitable for boys.

Daniel is also a strong symbol of faith in the Bible. Daniel survives being thrown into the lion’s den by his enemies, and finally, he emerges as one of the great prophets in the Bible. Daniel proved his strong faith in Jesus by not leaving his faith even amid lions.

Daniel is renowned for his loyalty to the God of Israel despite persecution and danger. Daniel is also a visionary with the power to interpret dreams. The name Danel suggests that the person is inspiring, uplifting, and full of life.

They are charming and always motivate others to achieve their aims. As the name suggests, these personalities look younger than their ages, and their young appearance to them.

6. David (Hebrew origin) - meaning ‘beloved’, is another unique and classic boy name. The name David is both a biblical name and a royal name.

In the Bible, the story of David is mentioned. David,9841, a boy, defeated the powerful giant Goliath with his slingshot. David is a shepherd as well as a poet.

He happened to be a musician who played the lyre, a soldier, a statesman, and a prophet. The name ‘David’ is also famous by the two medieval kings of Scotland, and the Patron saint of Wales also bears the same name.

This name enjoyed extreme popularity in old English society and without a doubt is still one of the most popular names for boys.

Old Traditional Baby Names

7. Joseph (Hebrew origin) - meaning ‘Jehoavh increases’, is a traditional baby name. Joseph is a popular name people always choose for their baby boy.

The name Joseph also has biblical significance. Joseph is referred to in the Bible as the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus. There is also another Joseph who is referred to as ‘Joseph of Arimathea.’ Joseph of Arimathea is the man who helped to bury and entomb Jesus.

Joseph was also one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Joseph was the son of Jacob and his wife, Rachel.

Joseph is referred to in the Old Testament of the Bible as 'the righteous one'. His father, Jacob, favored him and gave him a special-colored coat, and his brothers sold him to Egypt. In Egypt, he ultimately became ruler of the land and occupied power second only to Pharoah.

8. Thomas (Aramaic origin) - meaning ‘twin’, is a strong and traditional classic baby boy name.

Thomas was mentioned as one of the twelve apostles in the Bible. The name Thomas was also famous as three saints also bear the same name. One of the most important among them is theologian and philosopher Thomas Aquinas.

The second important saint was the Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket, and the third most important saint was Sir Thomas More. There are so many other important personalities who bear the same name. Thomas Edison, the inventor of the bulb, is one of them.

The founding father, Thomas Jefferson, who later became president of the United States of America, is another famous personality who popularized the name. Novelists like Thomas Wolfe, Thomas Pynchon, and Thomas Hardy are other famous personalities who made this name popular and significant.

9. William (German origin) - meaning ‘protection’, is a popular and traditional baby boy name.

William Shakespeare, a prolific writer of English, was the most important. His works were considered the Bible in English literature.

The Duke of Normandy, William the Conqueror, is another famous personality who made the name popular. He brought the name ‘William’ to England in 1066.

Four American presidents in America bear the name William, and three British kings have had the name, William. The name William is also popularized by the eldest son of Diana, Prince William. He is the Duke of Cambridge and is a royal person who grows more popular as time passes.

The meaning has retained its popularity over the years not only in German culture but in Anglo-Saxon culture as well. Even though it is a name used for the male gender since the Middle Ages, it has maintained its relevance in modern times as well as the first name for a son.

Some parents also like to use this associated name as a middle name or a family name as well. This German name is not old by any means and is a common name like John used in many parts of the world.

Baby in white greek costume

Popular Traditional Baby Names

10. Mary (Latin origin) - meaning ‘Star of the sea’, is a popular traditional baby girl name.

Mary is a name highly important in the Bible. Mary appears in the New Testament as the mother of Jesus Christ.

Mary is the most important female figure in the Bible. Mary was a first-century Jewish woman of Nazareth.

She was the wife of Joseph and the mother of Jesus Christ. Mary has the highest position in Islam among all women. As per Catholic and Eastern Christianity teachings, Mary’s body has been raised by God into heaven at the end of her earthly life.

This is remembered as the Assumption of Mary by the Christians in the West and the Dormition of the Mother of God by the East.

Other personalities bear the same name in the Bible, like Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, Mary who is the mother of James the Younger, Mary who is the mother of John Mark, and Mary of Rome.

Mary is one of the most classic and traditional names suitable for girl children. This Latin name imbibes all the qualities of Latin culture and is hence still extremely popular in traditional societies.

11. Samuel (Hebrew origin) - meaning ‘God heard’, is another popular traditional name suitable for boy children. The name was mentioned in the Bible. Samuel was the last of the Hebrew Judges and the first of the Israel prophets.

He anointed the first two kings in Israel. They are Saul and David. The name Samuel was also popularized by the founding father, Samuel Adams.

In the literature field, we have Sanel Beckett, an Irish playwright, and an English poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Many celebrities also gave the name Samuel to their children. Some of them are Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck, Naomi Watts, Comedian Jack Black, etc. Samuel is one of the best baby boy names.

Classic Traditional Baby Names

12. Matthew (Hebrew origin) - meaning ‘gift of God’, is a classic and traditional boy’s name. The name Matthew is mentioned in the Bible as a saint's name and was also the name of one of the twelve apostles.

There is also one gospel in the bible written by Saint Matthew. Before Matthew became an apostle, he was known as Levi. Parents often choose the name of Matthew for their boy children as the name is classic and unique.

13. Penelope (Greek origin) - meaning 'weaver', is another classic name for girl children. The name Penelope became popularized by Homer’s legend ‘Odyssey.

In Odyssey, Penelope is the intelligent and faithful wife of Odysseus. She staved off suitors for decades while waiting for her husband’s return after the war. The most famous person who bore this beautiful name was the Spanish actress, Penelope Cruz.

In the 'Chamber Of Secrets' in the Harry Potter series, Penelope Clearwater is an ill-fated Ravenclaw prefect. Most people give the cute nickname of ‘Penny’ to people who bear the name Penelope. This Greek name is derived from the old Greek culture but is extremely famous in the present times as well.

14. Claire (French origin) - meaning ‘bright and famous’, is a classic unisex name.

The name Claire was popularized by Saint Claire, who was designated as the patron saint of TV by Pope Pius XII for her ability to see and hear the service on the wall of her room when she was not well to attend the Holy Mass. The elegant Claire Underwood also popularized Claire in the famous 'House of Cards.'

In 'Lost,' Claire Littleton performed well as a single mother, and in ‘Heroes’, Claire Bennet acted as a powerful female figure. The name Claire still rose in popularity as time passed.

Cute Traditional Baby Names

15. Angela (Ghanaian origin) - meaning ‘messenger of God’, is a cute traditional baby name.

The name Angela came from the Latin boy’s name Angelus which can be translated into 'angel.' It acquires the meaning of 'messenger of God' from The Bible.

The name is popularized by Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany. Angela is a traditional name with widespread popularity in many European countries such as Spain, Greece, and Italy.

However, the name has been used in the United States of America as Angelina and Angelica. The name Angela is often chosen by parents for their children as the name itself suggests that the child is the messenger of God and God has sent happiness to them in the form of a girl child.

16. Robert (German origin) - meaning ‘fame’, is another cute traditional name suitable for boy children. The name is popularized by Robert I, the father of William the Conqueror.

The name is royal as three kings of Scotland were also ruling Roberts. Robert I of Scotland and Robert Bruce were the most important among them. Other famous personalities popularized the name, Robert.

They are Robert Downey Jr., Robert Redford, Robert Pattinson, and Robert De Niro. People often call the nicknames Rob, Robbie, Robb, and Robby to the people who bear the name Robert. As the name indicates, the name Robert made the person who bears the name famous.


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Written by Supriya Jain

Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

Supriya Jain picture

Supriya JainBachelor of Commerce, Master of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.

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Fact-checked by Vikhaash Sundararaj

Bachelor of Fine Arts specializing in International Business

Vikhaash Sundararaj picture

Vikhaash SundararajBachelor of Fine Arts specializing in International Business

With a background in International Business Management, having completed his degree at the University of Hull. Vikhaash has volunteered with 'Teach For India' to help students create a monthly newsletter. In his free time, he enjoys sports and was the assistant captain of his school's hockey team. He has also gained marketing experience through an internship at Decathlon Sports India.

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