There are certain names that come to mind when you think of someone that’s incredibly young, particularly in Generations Z or Alpha. Names like Aiden, Aurora, and Grayson come to mind with the younger generation, but what about the Baby Boomers and the generations before that? There are some names that were incredibly common in the early 20th century and before, but have, for the most part, gone away.
Some of these names have staged a comeback over the years, while others are associated with older people and are considered to be incredibly rare. While there are dozens of names that make you think of someone on the elderly side, there is a handful that really stands out. Here are our picks for five names that you almost immediately think of when talking about older people, and how those names came to be.
Do you know anyone named Béatrice? Are they old? Probably. That’s because the name Beatrice dates back hundreds of years ago, gaining popularity between the 1920s and 1930s. Beatrice is a female given name, of Latin, French, and Italian origin. It means “she who brings happiness”. It was derived from the Latin name Beatrix, which is thought to be a variation of the name Viatrix, the feminine version of the Latin name Viator, meaning voyager, or traveler. The name Béatrice has been rising in popularity since 2010.
Hershel Is a Hebrew name, often possessed by the sturdy and hardworking generation of older men. The name simply means “deer” and has similarities to the strong Jewish names Herman and Menashe. The name Hershel can alternately be spelled “Herschel” and gained popularity between the early 1900s and 1940s. A well-known Hershel in pop culture, the Walking Dead character Hershel Greene, coincidentally an old man who lived on a farm. Another famous Herschel is everyone’s favorite Herschel Krustofski, better known as Krusty The Clown in the Simpsons television series.
A name most often associated with nerds, or old men, Eugene is actually a noble name. It’s derived from the Greek name eugenēs, which means “well-born” and “noble”. It’s sometimes shortened to Gene and there are a ton of variations of the name throughout different cultures. The popular female variations are Eugenia and Eugenie. Some popular characters that share this same name include Gene Belcher from the Bob’s Burger adult animated series, Eugene Fitzherbert, or Flynn Rider from the Disney movie “Tangled”, Eugene H. Krabs from the SpongeBob cartoon, and the dorky Eugene Horowitz from the Hey Arnold cartoon.
When you think of the name Eleanor, your mind probably goes somewhere before the 1970s. Of course, there was former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as the hit song “Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles. As a name, Eleanor maintained its popularity for a very long time since it was associated with royalty throughout Europe. During the turn of the 20th century, Eleanor picked up steam and became one of the most common female names in the United States. Variations such as Ella or Ellie started to take off during the 1970s, knocking Eleanor far down the list before it started to have a bit of a resurgence in recent years.
Edith is another one of those names you can’t help but picture belonging to a cute little old lady. The name Edith gained popularity in the early 1900s. It comes from the Old English word Eadgyð. The first half, ead, means “blessed” and the second half, gyð, means “war”. The two combined create a name that stands for being prosperous in times of struggle, a very strong and stoic name indeed. Some women in history who’ve shared the name include Edith Wilson, wife of Woodrow Wilson, and Edith Roosevelt, second wife of Theodore Roosevelt.