Victorian baby names are names used in Victorian England during the 19th century. Particularly, the names given to babies from 1840 to 1890. Actually, this time period was named after Queen Victoria (1837-1901). Some of these baby names have gained popularity in recent years for their touch of adventure and romance, and their classical nature.
Some English baby names were borrowed from literature of the Victorian era. For example, from Moby Dick, the Adventures of Tom Sawyer, books by Charles Dickens, and Sherlock Holmes. The names from ancient literature and mythology were also prevalent like Achilles and Hector.
Those names were fashionable and trendy in that particular era, but the names might sound the opposite today. For example, Pink and Dink which are baby names meaning the colour pink and high income couple respectively, were top baby names in the Victorian era. Today, Pink and Dink may sound a little awkward.
Many names came from the Holy Bible. As a matter of fact, biblical baby names were dominant in the Victorian era. For example, John, Thomas, James, Joseph, Samuel, Jacob, Abigail, Mary, Margaret, Rebecca, Sarah, and Ruth have biblical origin. Many of these biblical names are still popular today.
Virtuous baby names were dominant in the Victorian era as well. For example, Faith, Chastity, Hope, Mercy, Constance, Grace, Prudence, and Charity are virtuous baby names of the Victorian era. Mostly, those virtuous baby names were for female baby names.
Another popular trend for Victorian names was the use of botanical names. Popular botanical names for women during the Victorian era included: Iris, Lilly, Magnolia, Pansy, Rose and Violet. Along with the botanical names, there were also many names used during the Victorian era that were taken from trees, plants, rocks, etc. Popular "nature names" for women during the Victorian era included: Fern, Hazel, Ivy and Myrtle. Gemstone names were also a popular choice for women during the Victorian era. Popular Gemstone names for women during the Victorian era included: Beryl, Coral, Garnet, Opal, Pearl and Ruby.
In some names, the first and middle name fused together to form a single first name. For example, Sarah-Ann, Louise-Marie, Marie-Grace, Henry-James, and Frank-Williams were first names in which the first and middle name were fused together. This baby naming practice appeared multiple times in census, marriage, and public records.
The society in Victorian England was divided into upper, middle, and lower class. The families who belonged to the upper class used baby names prevalent in the upper class. As time went by, the middle and lower class improved to higher class. The baby names which were prevalent in the higher class trickled down to the lower class.
The royalty and religious and political leaders also influenced baby names. For example, George, William, Victoria, and Elizabeth were typically royal baby names.
A lot of nicknames were used as first names during the Victorian era. Popular nicknames for women during the Victorian era included: Annie, Bessie, Carrie, Elsie, Lottie, Minnie, Molly, Nellie, Patsy, Peggy, Polly and Sally.
Many of these Victorian names are now making a comeback. Here are a few that made the top 100 list in 2006: Charlotte, Claire, Elizabeth, Emma, Hannah, Isabella, Katherine, Leah, Lillian, Lily, Natalie, Rachel and Samantha.