Top 110 Timeless 1930s Names For Your Baby

Georgia Stone
Feb 16, 2024 By Georgia Stone
Originally Published on Oct 30, 2020
Cute sleeping newborn baby on brown fur wearing knitted clothes

In the 1930s, the United States and the rest of the world witnessed many changes.

From the Great Depression to the expansion of Delta Blues, change was afoot. It also saw a boom of babies born with some of the most classic and unique names.

Names used in family favorite films like 'Snow White' and 'The Wizard Of Oz' saw became popular among parents of newborns. The world also saw many celebrities become the inspirations for newborn baby names like American icons Amelia Earhart, Robert Taylor, John F. Kennedy and many more.

The names mothers and fathers chose for their children during this era of progress and unrest, have once again become popular among parents in the twenty-first century. While some of these baby names may sound old-fashioned, these popular names from the 1930s are still very natural, appropriate and may find a special place in any parent's heart today.

Perhaps you could even name your child after their great grandparents' names as a way to honor your family history.

Popular 1930s names are truly valuable and relevant to parents today. Here we have listed the coolest and most timeless names that parents chose during the '30s.

These names were in the top 200 most popular names for the whole decade (from 1930 to 1939) as per the Social Security survey. Let's hope that some of the names on our list will be perfect for your new baby.

For more baby names inspiration, take a look at these '80s names that are back in fashion or these Victorian baby names.

1930s Baby Names For Boys

These names were highly popular in the United States during the 1930s. Baby names like James, John, Donald, George, Richard, Charles, and James were among the most popular names among parents. We hope one of these old time baby names might just work for you!

1. Albert (English and Germanic origin) means "noble" or "bright". Famous name bearers were Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria.

2. Alfred (English origin) it means "someone who counsels".

3. Anthony (Greek origin) it means "priceless one". Also, the name of a famous character in William Shakespeare's play 'Julius Caesar'.

4. Arthur (Roman origin) it means "noble, courageous". Famous bearer is King Arthur of Britain.

5. Billy (English origin) it means "resolute protector".

6. Bobby (English and German origin) means "bright fame".

7. Carl (North Germanic origin) means "a free man".

8. Charles (Germanic origin) it means "man" or "warrior".

9. Clarence (Latin origin) means "one who lives near the River Clare". Famous name bearers are English novelist Charles Dickens, and American freestyle swimmer Charles Daniels.

10. Daniel (Hebrew origin)  means "God is my strength".

11. David (Hebrew origin) means "beloved". King David is a figure of central importance in the Hebrew Bible.

12. Donald (Gaelic origin) means "world ruler".

13. Earl (Germanic origin) means "nobleman".

14. Edward (English origin) means "guardian" or "protector".

15. Ernest (Germanic origin) means "serious" or "warrior".

16. Eugene (Greek origin) means "well-born". It has some famous name bearers, including Eugene Levy, Emmy winning actor.

17. Francis (Latin origin) means "Frenchman". Also, the name of the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis.

18. Frank (French origin) means "free one". Who can forget Frank Sinatra, one of the most revered American singers!

19. Fred (Germanic origin) means "a peaceful ruler".

20. George (Greek origin) means "earth". A simple yet powerful name.

21. Gerald (Germanic origin) means "the rule of the spear". It symbolizes brute strength.

22. Harry (Germanic origin) means "power" or "high ruler".

23. Harold (English origin) means "army brightness".

24. Henry (Germanic origin) means "home ruler".

25. Herbert (Germanic origin) means "warrior".

26. Howard (Old Norse origin) means "high guard".

27. Jack (English origin) means "God is gracious". Famous name bearers in film are Captain Jack Sparrow from 'Pirates Of The Caribbean' and Jack from 'Titanic'.

28. James (English and Scottish origin) means "to heal".

29. Jimmy (English origin) means "supplanter".

30. Jerry (American origin) means "ruling spear".

31. Joe (English origin) means "God's will".

32. John (Hebrew origin) means "gracious".

33. Joseph (Greek origin) means "He will add". In the Old Testament Bible, Joseph was the eleventh son of Jacob.

34. Kenneth (English origin) means "handsome". It's a simple and popular baby name.

35. Lawrence (Greek origin) means "bright".

36. Larry (English origin) means "from Laurentium".

37. Leonard (German origin) means "lion strength". Also the name of the renowned painter Leonardo Da Vinci and Hollywood actor Leonardo Dicaprio.

38. Louis (French) means "famous warrior".

39. Marvin (Welsh origin) means "the great Lord".

40. Melvin (Germanic origin) means "a friend of justice".

41. Norman (English origin) means "north men".

42. Paul (Roman origin) means "humble". Also the name of the modern-day singer Paul Newman.

43. Ralph (Germanic origin) means "counsel wolf". Famous name bearer is Ralph Lauren.

44. Raymond (French origin) means "protector". It's one of the most popular baby names from the '30s.

45. Richard (Germanic origin) means "brave leader".

46. Robert (Proto-Germanic origin) means "glory-bright". One of today's most acclaimed Hollywood actors, Robert Downey Jr, bears this '30s baby name.

47. Ronald (Old Norse origin) means "advice". Famous name bearer is the fortieth US President, Ronald Reagan.

48. Roy (Anglo-Norman origin) means "King".

49. Stanley (English origin) means "stone".

50. Thomas ( Aramaic origin) means "twin". One of the most common 1930s baby names.

51. Timothy (Greek origin) means "honouring God".

52. Walter (German origin) means "bright army".

53. Wayne (English origin) means "maker of wagons".

54. William (Germanic origin) means "protection". Famous name bearers include William the Conqueror and poet William Shakespeare.

55. Willie (Germanic origin) means "resolute protection".

Popular 1930s Girl Names

Some of the most common and popular names in the 1930s for girls included names like Betty, Barbara, May, Donna and so many more.  Some of these names are still very popular among parents today; these female 1930s names have never gone out of fashion. We hope one might just click for your baby!

56. Alice (French origin) means "nobility". A famous name bearer is the lead character of the 'Alice In Wonderland' books. 

57. Ann (Latin origin) means "grace". 

58. Anna (Greek/Hebrew origin) means "beautiful".

59. Annie (English origin) means "gracious". 

60. Barbara (Greek origin) means "strange". Also the name of the Hollywood actress Barbara Eden from 'I Dream Of Jeannie'.

61. Betty (English origin) means "God is my oath". Famous name bearer is Hollywood actress Betty White.

62. Beverly (English origin) means "dweller at the beaver meadows".

63. Catherine (Greek origin) means "pure". 

64. Dolores (Spanish origin) means "sorrows".

65. Donna (Italian origin) means "woman".

66. Doris (Greek origin) means "the sea".

67. Dorothy (Greek origin) means "God's gift". It was one of the most popular girl baby names in the United States between 1904 and 1940.

68. Eleanor (Greek origin) means "the other one".

69. Elizabeth (Hebrew origin) means"my God is an oath". Both Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Elizabeth II of England are famous bearers of this name.

70. Evelyn (Norman French origin) means "wished for child".

71. Florence (Roman origin) means "blossom". Also the name of the famous city in Italy, Florence.

72. Frances (Latin origin) means "free one".

73. Geraldine (French origin) means "spear ruler", symbolizing someone who rules by power.

74. Gladys (Welsh origin) means "gladiolus".

75. Gloria (Latin origin) means "feminine". A famous name bearer of this top contender of 1930s names for girls is Gloria Steinem. 

76. Helen (Greek origin) means "bright".

77. Irene (Greek origin) means "peace". Also derived from the name of the Greek goddess of peace, Eirene.

78. Janet (English origin) meaning "God's gracious gift".

79. Jean (Greek origin) means "the Lord is gracious". Also a famous character from Marvel's 'X-Men' series.

80. Joan (Hebrew origin) means "God is gracious".

81. Josephine (Hebrew origin) means "God shall grow".

82. Joyce (French origin) means "Lord".

83. June (Latin origin) means "name of the month". Also the name of the Roman goddess of marriage and childbirth, Juno.

84. Mildred (English origin) means "gentle strength".

85. Lillian (Latin origin) means "lily".

86. Linda (Latin origin) means "serpent" or "pretty".

87. Lois (Greek origin) means "desirable". Also the name of Superman's love interest from 'DC Comics'. It became a top  name choice after the comic was released.

88. Lorraine (French origin) means "land of the people of Lothar".

89. Louise (German origin) means "female warrior".

90. Margaret (French origin) means "pearl".  Also, the name of the former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

91. Marie (Hebrew origin) means "beloved". 

92. Marilyn (Hebrew origin) means "a star of the sea". A famous name bearer is Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe.

92. Marjorie (Latin origin) means "pearl".

94. Martha (Greek origin) means "the lady". Also the name of the renowned chef Martha Stewart.

95. Mary (Latin and Greek origin) means "beloved".

96. Nancy (Hebrew origin) means "favor". Also the name of a famous fictional character, Nancy Drew.

97. Norma (Latin origin) means "precept".

98. Patricia (Latin) means "patrician".

99. Peggy (English origin) means "pearl".

100. Phyllis (Greek origin) means "green leaf". It is one of rarer names of the decade, but nevertheless still a great choice.  

101. Rita (Indian origin) means "daisy".

102. Rose (Latin origin) means "flower". This was among the top names in the 1930s.

103. Ruby (English origin) means "gemstone". Also the name of the Hollywood actress Ruby Rose.

104. Ruth (Hebrew origin) means "friend". A famous name bearer is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

105. Sandra (Greek origin) means "defender of mankind".

106. Shirley (English origin) means "bright". It was one of the most famous names in the '30s for girls and is still among the top names today.

107. Thelma (Greek origin) means "will". This is another of the rarest names today from the '30s.

108. Theresa (French origin) means "harvest". Theresa May, former Prime Minister and Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom, has this name. It was among the top names for girls in the 1930s.

109. Virginia (Ancient Roman origin) means "maiden". Also the name of a state in the USA.

110. Wanda (Slavic origin) means "wanderer".

Kidadl has lots of great baby names articles to inspire you. If you liked our suggestions for 1930s names then why not take a look at these vintage girl names, or for something different take a look at these baby names that mean faith.

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Written by Georgia Stone

Bachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

Georgia Stone picture

Georgia StoneBachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

Georgia is an experienced Content Manager with a degree in French and Film Studies from King's College London and Bachelors degree from Université Paris-Sorbonne. Her passion for exploring the world and experiencing different cultures was sparked during her childhood in Switzerland and her year abroad in Paris. In her spare time, Georgia enjoys using London's excellent travel connections to explore further afield.

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