Thelma And Louise Ain’t Poppin’ Like They Used To: Old Timey Female Names We Don’t Hear Anymore

January 28, 2013  |  
1 of 15

Perhaps some of you can remember a time when Brooklyn, was just a borough, Blue, was just a color, and Ivy just a plant, but now these are the names mothers give their little bundles of joy. Creativity and personal expression is the “in” thing now and everyone wants to think outside of the box when it comes to naming their offspring. Today, mothers want their child’s name to be unique, rather than a repeated family name — or a sign of the times — that’s why the old school names that the grown folks at our family reunions still have are long forgotten. Here are the top old timey female names you can be sure won’t be making any top baby name lists ever again.

Source: WENN


Being that the original meaning for this name is “uncertain, perhaps countryside,”one thing we can be absolutely certain of is that this country bama name is most likely a little too south of the mason dixon for the refined tastes of most Americans these days.

Source: WENN


Is it just me, or does this name remind you of an old aunty who can throw down in the kitchen?

Source: Shutterstock

Helen Patty

The Helen part isn’t all that bad but Patty seems to be a little too dainty. Although once very popular, you probably won’t hear this name being called out in playgrounds ever again.

Source: Shutterstock


Although this name holds the credit of a song title, it just doesn’t seem to be a popular pick for girls anymore today. But the name’s meaning of ‘glory’ and ‘glorious’ is definitely a plus if ever welcomed back into this generation.

Source: Tumblr


Something about the name Minny just says its more of a nickname. Originally meant to be just that, the name Minny eventually started to be used all on its own, like in the case of singer Minnie Ripperton’s name, but now we’re hearing less and less of it unless we’re referring to Disney cartoon characters.

Source: Shutterstock


The last time I heard the name Doris, was…well, I’m not exactly sure when was the last time I heard this name. The sound of this name alone tells you it doesn’t fit much into this generation, and let’s be honest can you really picture calling a toddler “Doris”?

Source: IMDB


Short for Dorothy, although hardly used during the last few baby booms, this name definitely holds a legacy for black folks when thinking back to trend setting door openers like Dorothy Dandridge. And speaking of, Dorothy has pretty much seen it’s day as well.

Source: WENN


Betty, short for Elizabeth (which isn’t so played out), is a name you might only hear being called out in a group of ladies playing bingo or bridge.

Source: Shutterstock


If not you, you most likely have a friend who has a grandma Elanor, and even though it has a royal ring to it not many parents will be running to sign this on their newborn’s birth certificate.

Source: Shutterstock


This will always be one of my favorite names for a baby girl — short and sweet with with a biblical association. Yet the common and simple name has been shyly used presently.

Source: Shutterstock


Who remembers the Flinstones?! Most likely 80’s and 90’s babies’ favorite show, like the Flinestones, Wilma is about as far back in the stone ages as baby names go.

Source: Shutterstock



The name of one of our favorite bad girls in a duo, besides the film credit, Thelma is meant for a grown person’s mama, highly doubt we’ll see a baby girl being called this in 2013.

Source: Shutterstock

Juanita Wanda

This double name is normally acquired by a Latina woman, but was widely used among African Americans as well. Nowadays, both cultures seems to have hung this name on the shelf, because it’s been collecting dust for some years now.

Source: Shutterstock


Meaning “universal, whole,” this old timey name has an old lady in a rocking chair type of ring to it. Also spelled, Irma, not even a change in letters can make this name any more appealing and definitely a ‘flatline’ for hip.

Source: Shutterstock

Sallie Mae

The only time you’ll here this name now is if your taking out a student loan, otherwise I’d have to say its a dud among new parent baby name choices and that’s definitely a check I can take to the bank and cash.

Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • Natasha T

    My 88 year old grandma’s name is Mattie and my 66 year old aunt’s name is Onnie (on-knee) and my grandma from my father’s side is named Dottie and they were born in the south.

  • NaomiCampbellsMissingEdges

    my mom wanted me to name my daughter Sarah…this was in the early 90’s, i was like nah, but i did settle on Xaria…means the same thing: Princess. and she was born BEFORE the Parenthood’s Xaria. thanks

  • Ambitious12

    What about Theresa?

  • NessNess

    Used to work at the welfare office where we had: Sexalean, Wetdreme, Daydream, Female and Male (immigrants who thought the hospital named their children), Coco Chanel…we used to keep a file of funny letters and names to refer to when the day was not going well.

  • Mistyblue

    Wow! funny you brought this up. I have met a lot of young women of Ghanian descent who have those names. Quite a few of them at work too. Women in their 20s with names like Gertrude, Mavis, Beatrice, Esther, Gladys, Geraldine, Edith, Margaret and the list goes on and on..

  • adanie12

    I love old names and nick names. My moms name is Geraldine, (YEEESS)! What do you know about that? She was the oldest girl of my moms 14 kids, so everybody calls her “Sister” or “Sistah.” Then I have an Auntie Ann, Auntie Pat, Auntie Lakinya, Auntie Darlene, Uncle Randolph, Uncle Nathanial, Uncle Jimmy and Uncle Junebug. LOL ahahahah. From Mississippi to Chicago to Los Angeles. And my grandmother’s name was we called her Madea. Man, I feel sorry for the younger generation, they don’t know nothin’ about a Madea except from Tyler Perry.

    • Everybody got that uncle with a crazy nickname! You got an Uncle Junebug, I got an Uncle Peewee! LOL!!

      • Cakester

        My husband has some uncles that they call Killah, and Bullet.. I was nervous going to the first family dinner!

  • Babydoll 70

    I believe the standard spelling is Eleanor not Elanor. And who still says “old timey”?

  • Toya

    Lol my grandma’s name is Louvenia, and I have aunts Beula, Eula (pronounced U-la) (they were twins) Cynthia, Barbara, Hazel,

  • MsWright2U

    Muriel, Ella Mae, Etta, Mahailia

  • kickash

    The funny thing is I hear of a lot of white celebrities giving their kids older names like this.

    • Or… giving them outlandish names like: Apple, Air Pilot, Rumor… The list goes on.

      • Ambitious12

        you forgot about blue ivy and pilot inspektor

  • You forgot Bertha, Deborah, Mable, Esther, Lois, Louise, Mary-Alice, Bessie…

  • KamJos

    Before this conversation devolves into the usual discussion of Orangelo, Lemongelo, La-a, Shi’thead and “ghetto” names, let me just say pre-empt it and say one thing. Tyrone and Jerome are European names. Isaiah and Malachi are Hebrew names. Jamal and Aisha are Muslim names. Yet having any one of these will still get your resume thrown into the trash bin. What’s the point? Hint: It’s not the name that matters.

  • No problem-we’ll just add ‘La’, ‘Da’, ‘Qua’ or ‘Sha’ to the above names & keep it moving.

  • No problem-we’ll just add ‘La’, ‘Da’, ‘Qua’ or ‘Sha’ to the above names & keep it moving.

    • old school


    • Cakester

      Dang… My name is ghetto! LOL! Starts with La… LOL!

  • Charla

    I know a Gladys, Gloria, Betty, and Minnie all from high school lol. And I’m in my mid 20s lol

  • Cakester

    Do not forget about Gertrude… or Gertie for short… or the middle name Mae…

    • Erica

      Omg my mom name is Gertie Jean. It’s not short for anything though

      • Cakester

        My great aunt’s name was Gertie… my mom tried to get my sister to name her daughter after her and my sister was like, “What toddler has the name Gertie??!!!” LOL!

  • autumnbreeze

    My Nana’s name was Ivy…and when I do have a daughter I may honor her by giving her that name. But no lie…I do like SOME old school names…Opal, Hattie, Esther

    • Babydoll 70

      I like the name Ivy.

      • Babydoll 70

        and not because of Beyoncé. I’ve just always liked it and the plant too. I know, random.

  • IllyPhilly

    You can call me Minnie over Da Realest, Shanterrica, Meccaleeka, and Kisha any day. Yes all real names of people I’ve met.

    • autumnbreeze

      Mecca..who???? smh

      • IllyPhilly

        LMAO Mecca-Leeka. I guess a cross between Mecca and Malika? IDK, never asked.

    • SheBe

      Let me add L-Ah. Yes ma’am that’s pronounced La – “Dash”- Ah. The mama would get mad at people that didn’t pronounce her baby’s name correctly. Y’all sit on that for second.

      • KamJos

        L-a doesn’t exist. Neither does A-a. They are both urban legends.

        • No they really do exist. It’s someone in Richmond, VA with that name just like a girl name “Two-Million Justice Mercedes” that went to high school with me.

          • KamJos

            I’m doing a documentary on the name Le-a and would like to interview her for it. Will you give me her contact information or the exact high school that she goes to?

        • You’re right, that story was made up. Probably by white folks

      • Babydoll 70

        Are you in Dallas. I’ve heard that name before.

        • SheBe

          No I’m in TN. She is an elementary school aged child. I guess the name is in more than one area. Yikes!

    • MLS2698

      Oh, yes! Those hood names…….just won’t quit. My son’s middle name is Ethan, and his first name is very common, so you know I have no clue on how to make up a ” hoodtastic ” name.

  • FAMURattler85

    You forgot about Pearl, Cora, and Hattie

    • HATTIE! lol definitely somebody’s great aunt

    • keesha

      My grandma’s name was Cora Bell. And my other grandmother’s is Sadie Mae. I definitely don’t hear those names anymore.


        That’s the name right there! Saaadie. Don’t you know we love you sweet Saaaaadie. Place no one above ya sweet Saaaaaadie. Yeess!

    • Babydoll 70

      Latinos still name their kids Pearl it’s usually Pearla though.

  • Say What?

    Old names just age you right off of the bat. Don’t nobody want to sleep with someone named Ruth!

    • MLS2698

      Not true. I know a girl named Ruth, and let’s just say……..she’s the type you CAN’T take home to mother (Rick James lyric).

      • Babydoll 70

        Rick also had a song about Lucille.

  • I swear, every older woman I know middle name is either Jean or Carole! LOL! My mother’s name is Ruth Carole, I love calling her by it just out the blue! It sounds so country!! LOL… that’s my heart right there!

    • kierah

      Ha! My mom’s middle name is Jean and her sister’s first name is Carrol.

      But on the serious tip, if you run in Park Slope or Williamsburg, you will still see little Marys and Eleanors and Dorothys. Those hipsters take the old names and make them cool again.

    • Or Ann/Anne for middle names… ha!