Many parents prefer names that are immune to the cruel winds of fashion.
For that reason, so many people say the like “classic names”. But when it comes to names, “classic” can be a tricky term. There may be some debate over what’s considered a classic name.
That’s why I created my own definitions and divided classic names into four types:
- Authentic Classics – Evergreen names like Elizabeth and James. Ideally these names have never left the top 50 since 1880, the earliest year name rankings are available from the Social Security Administration.
- Modern Classics – Names that were uncommon before WWII, but have become more common in recent generations and have morphed into traditional names. Examples: Allison and Kyle.
- Underused Classics – These names seem ideal because they are timeless yet more surprising than Authentic Classics. There are two types: Steady Underused Classics and Retired Authentic Classics.
- Steady Underused Classics – Familiar names that have been consistently used but have never been extremely popular. These names have never reached the top 50, but have rarely left the top 500. (Ideally they have never left the top 400.) The only downside to these names is that since they are in demand, the eventually stop being “underused”. Examples: Cecilia, Nina, Felix, and Julius.
- Retired Authentic Classics – are experiencing their first real decline after decades (or possibly centuries) of high use. Examples: Mary and Paul.
These definitions were introduced in:
* Steady Underused Classics and Retired Authentic Classics evolved after The Elusive Classic Name post was published.
To see more examples of Underused Classic Names checkout:
If you are looking for classic names without Biblical roots, the Normans are a great source of inspiration. You can find more Norman names at:
And I wrote a guest post for Nameberry about the highly sought underused classic names:
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