These romantic and brilliant Victorian baby names tell a tale of innocence and passion. These names belong to 19th Century England under the long reign of Queen Victoria. This was an age of wild romanticism and passion. Writers, and poets such as Tennyson, Shelley, and Keats created works that still make the heart soar.
Baby names of this age were so beautiful that they helped build a mighty empire. Today, we will look at a few of these glorious baby names and their meanings.
New parents in Victorian times liked to give their children names that were popular in the Middle Ages. One such name was Jerome. German names were also very popular and included names such as Wendell, and Elsa.
One interesting trend was to give a child a family name as a first name. This was for reasons of money and inheritance. For instance, an infant might be named “Carlyle" to insure that he received the estate of his grandfather Carlyle. So the name was a type of gift, in advance.
Babies were often named after famous people and heroes. Many baby girls were named Alberta after Prince Albert, who was Queen Victoria's consort.
Now, let us look more closely at a few of the most popular names.
Baby Girl Names and Their Meanings
Victoria - (Latin) meaning “Victory. " Babies were named Victoria in honor of Queen Victoria. This was also a popular theater name and today, actresses such as Victoria Principal bear this name. It is currently more popular in America than in England.
Maida - (Latin) name of a place in Southern Italy. Infant girls were frequently named after great battles. In this case, the Battle of Maida took place in 1806.
Lillian - (English) diminutive of Elizabeth, meaning “God has Sworn. " This has been a beloved name since the 16th Century. In Victorian England, it was used in romantic poetry and plays.
Emily - (English from the Latin family name “Aemilius") meaning “Industrious. " This was a beloved character in books and poetry of Chaucer and Boccaccio. It is also the name of famous Victorian authors and poets such as Emily Bronte and Emily Dickinson.
Arabella - (English from the Latin family name “Orabilis") meaning “One Who Can Be Called Upon. "
This was a popular name in Victorian times and in the Middle Ages. It is a royal name as well.
Bertha - (French from German roots) meaning “Bright. " This name was extremely popular in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century. It was very rare in the Middle Ages.
Alexandra - (Greek) meaning “Defender. " This is a major royal name. In 19th Century Europe, most of the royal families included an Alexandra.
Baby Boy names and Their Meanings
Jerome - (Greek from the name “Hieronymous") meaning “One Who has a Holy Name. " This name was as beloved in Victorian England as it was in the Middle Ages. One famous bearer is composer Jerome Kern.
Rudolph - (German) meaning “Famous Wolf. " Victorian parents loved this name and gave if to many babies. In addition, this was a royal name. In the 20th Century, it became a rare name.
Horace - (Latin from an old family name) meaning “Hour" or “Time. " Horace was a great Roman poet. In Victorian England, Horace was very popular and was sometimes used in its other form, “Horatio. " One of the most famous bearers was Admiral Horatio Nelson.
Derick - (Dutch, from the Gothic King Theodoric) meaning “Ruler of the People. " Derick in various spellings such as “Dirk, " “Derrick, " and “Derek" was much loved in Victorian England. One of the current bearers is actor Derek Jacobi.
Spenser - (English) meaning “Steward. " This popular Victorian boy's name comes from the family name of a notable English family. Spenser was a part of Winston Churchill's family. Actor Spencer Tracy was a famous 20th Century bearer.
Sherman - (English) meaning “One who Shears Sheep. " This was a beloved family name in Victorian times that was used as a first name. In the United States, Sherman became popular after the Civil War and is still loved today.
Wendell - (English from the German tribal name “Wend") meaning “Wanderer. " Wendell was a well loved Victorian boy's name. It has become much less used today. This is another case in which a family name became a first name.
Your first name is a treasured gift from your parents. In Victorian times, as is true today, parents named their children after creators of art, books, and great poems. They went back to ancient Roman and Greece to find a priceless name.
Many of these romantic and brilliant Victorian baby names have come down to us today. And they have brought with them the music and culture of the ages.
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