Good Old Lady and Bad Old Lady: Top 20 Best and Worst Old Lady Names

Image Source: Thinkstock
Image Source: Thinkstock

I love old lady names.

Maybe it’s because I spent my teenage years working in a retirement home around the likes of Opal, Hyacinth, Geneva and Zilpha but there’s just something that speaks to me about a beautifully classic name that isn’t weird.

It also can’t be an old lady name that makes you think of an old lady. It has to be a classically beautifully name that isn’t weird.

What I’m saying is there is good old lady name and there is bad old lady name.

Example of good old lady name: Violet.

Example of bad old lady name: Ethel.

We pretty much have our top boy name all set but are still searching for just the right girl name so I’ve spent the past week immersed in girl names. I wasn’t on a baby naming website either, I was doing family genealogy on Ancestry.com. A veritable treasure trove of old lady names of the good and bad variety.

Since old lady names are all the rage I figured I’d share with you the ten best old lady names and the ten worst old lady names no child should ever have to bear.

Do you agree? What are your best and worst old lady names? Let’s hear it!

Let’s Start With The Bad…

Full disclosure: my grandma’s name was Ethel and she was lovely. The name, however, is not. It does not flow trippingly off the tongue, as Shakespeare might say.

  • Hortense

Next to Blanche, Hortense might just take the cake. Now that I think about it, Hortense might even be worse. What do you think? What is it about Hortense that’s so offensive?

  • Bertha

Oh, Bertha. Does this name conjure up anything lovely in anybody’s mind?

  • Hilda

Hilda just sounds so harsh, doesn’t it. The Broom Hilda cartoon strip didn’t do this name any favors either.

  • Myrtle

Maybe because it rhymes with turtle? I don’t know. But this is most definitely bad old lady.

  • Eunice

It’s so similar to Eunuch. It could be a body part, maybe a disease. Eunice is bad old lady for sure.

  • Edna

There’s nothing pretty about this name. It’s so old lady it just may be beyond a comeback

  • Dorcas

Do I even need to spell this one out for you?

  • Phyllis

You may disagree with me on this one but I can’t find a single nice thing to say about Phyllis. I can’t even thing of a good nickname for someone stuck with this bad old lady name.

And Now For The Good

  • Olive

It’s so short, sweet and fresh. A nice change of pace from Olivia. But now that Drew Barrymore has named her daughter this old lady name its popularity will probably explode.

  • Eleanor

This old lady name has made a comeback in a major way.  So much so that I think parents are going to start avoiding it as it’s becoming too popular.

  • Clementine

There’s something so fresh and sweet about the name Clementine even though it’s ages old.

  • Ruby

Short and sweet. Love it.

  • Amelia

I am loving the name Amelia lately. The nickname Milly is kinda cute as well.

  • Vivian

Whether Vivian or Vivienne, the name is a beautiful classic.

  • Hazel

You can’t go wrong with a color name. Violet, Ruby, Hazel… All wins.

  • Cordelia

Cordelia. I just like it. I don’t know why. You might disagree and if you do, tell me why.

  • Imogen

This name, at least to me, transcends its old lady-ness and is hip again.

  • Cecilia

I’m going to be honest… I had Matilda here but that name just doesn’t do it for me. Cecilia is so flowing and beautiful I had to add it to the list and cut Matilda.

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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