When searching for the perfect baby name, many parents look to the future, trying to predict which name will stay unique next and which will still sound good when their baby is all grown up. It’s always worthwhile to look to the past when planning for the future. History can tell us a lot — including which names will sound good for years to come. And historic baby names aren’t just timeless — they’re rich with meaning.
The historic baby names on this list are all inspired by people who’ve lived extraordinary lives. They’ve dedicated themselves to advancing civil rights, made scientific breakthroughs that changed the course of history, and created art that’s touched people across centuries. These historic figures became famous for their kindness, showed courage during some of history’s darkest times, and broke barriers today’s children benefit from to this day. There’s no better way to infuse your kid’s name with meaning!
Historic Baby Names for Girls
Alexandria (AOC)Alice (Paul)Amelia (Earhart)Angela (Davis)Anne (Frank)(Captain) Anneliese (Satz)Aretha (Franklin)Audrey (Hepburn)(Jane) AustenBessie (Smith)Betsy (R0ss)Betty (Friedan)Billie (Holiday)Carson (McCullers)Catherine (Middleton)Christa (McAuliffe)Coretta (Scott King)Diana (Princess of Wales)Diane (Arbus)Dorothea (Lange)Dorothy (Irene Height)Eleanor (Roosevelt)Emily (Dickinson)(Queen) ElizabethElla (Fitzgerald)Florence (Nightingale)Frida (Kahlo)Georgia (O’Keeffe)(Alex) HaleyHarriet (Tubman)Helen (Keller)Ida (B. Wells)Jacqueline (Kennedy Onassis)Jane (Goodall)Joan (of Arc)(James) JoyceJunko (Tabei)(John F.) KennedyJulia (Morgan)Kamala (Harris)Lashana (Lynch)Lola (Hendricks)Louise (Bourgeois)Lucretia (Mott)Madeleine (Albright)Malala (Yousafzai)Marie (Curie)Marsha (P. Johnson)Maya (Angelou)Michelle (Obama)Nellie (Bly)Nikola (Tesla)Rosa (Parks)Ruby (Bridges)Sandra (Day O’Connor)(Julia) Scarlett (Elizabeth Louis-Dreyfus Hall)Serena (Williams)Simone (De Beauvoir)Sonia (Sotomayor)Sojourner (Truth)Susan (B. Anthony)Sylvia (Plath)(Mother) TeresaVirginia (Woolf)Venus (Williams)Vivian (Maier)Willa (Cather)
Historic Baby Names for Boys
Albert (Einstein)(Muhammad) AliAnsel (Adams)Booker (T. Washington)Cesar (Chavez)Charles (Darwin)Claude (Monet)(Cassius) Clay(Daniel) CraigCormac (McCarthy)(Miles) DavisDesmond (Tutu)Diego (Rivera)(Thomas) EdisonEdgar (Allen Poe)Elie (Wiesel)Ernest (Hemingway)(F. Scott) FitzgeraldFrancis (Bacon)Frederick (Douglass)Fyodor (Dostoevsky)George (Washington Carver)GeronimoHarry (Belafonte)Harvey (Milk)Henri (Matisse)HomerIsaac (Newton)Jacob (Lawrence)James (Joyce)J.D. (Salinger)Jesse (Jackson)Johann (Sebastian Bach)(John) LewisJohnny (Cash)Langston (Hughes)(John) LennonLeonardo (Da Vinci)Leo (Tolstoy)Louis (Armstrong)Malcolm (X)Mark (Twain)Marlon (Brando)(Thurgood) MarshallMartin Luther KingMerle (Haggard)(Arthur) MillerMyles (Horton)Neil (Armstrong)Nelson (Mandela)(Nicolaus) CopernicusOscar (Wilde)Pablo (Picasso)Paul (McCartney)Ralph (Waldo Emerson)Rafael (Nadal)Robert (Frost)Samuel (Beckett)Sean (Connery)Stephen (Hawking)(Henry David) ThoreauTheodore (Roosevelt)Walt (Whitman)Winston (Churchill)
Historic Baby Names That Are Gender-Neutral
Alexander (Graham Bell)Babe (Ruth)(Lady) Bird (Johnson)(John) Brown(David) Bowie(Bob) DylanCharlie (Parker)(James) DeanElon (Musk)(Ralph Waldo) EmersonFrances (Willard)Frank (Kameny)Franklin (Roosevelt)Franz (Kafka)Harper (Lee)Henri (Cartier-Bresson)(Whitney) HoustonJackie (Robinson)James (Baldwin)Jean-Michel (Basquiat)Julian (Bond)Lenny (Bruce)(Jean-) Michel (Basquiat)Nellie (Stone Johnson)Ru (RuPaul)(Ruth) Bader (Ginsburg)Shel (Silverstein)Teddy (Roosevelt)Toni (Morrison)Whitney (Moore Young)
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