50 Boys' Names That Are Pure Victorian England

Nov 16th 2016


Queen Victoria reigned in Britain, not America. That's hardly news, but when we talk about Victorian style — in architecture, or in baby names — we tend to let geography slide. In fact, some of the names that we associate with the "Victorian period," like Cora and Pearl, were mostly American hits.

What was the unique baby name style of Victorian England? Can we capture the world that encompassed Charles Dickens, the Crystal Palace, Jack the Ripper and Oscar Wilde in names? Down to the statistics mines we go!

I've identified a group of names that were significantly more popular in England than the United States in the latter half of the 19th Century. Today we'll focus on the boys' side. [Read about the girls' names of Victorian England]

The distinctive styles of English male names included surnames like Hartley and Wright; echoes of a much earlier England in names like Lancelot and Ethelbert; and a distinctly British formality in names like Algernon and Eustace. Reading through the list you'll also notice Biblical names of every stripe, including Dickensian choices like Uriah and Ebenezer.

Take them altogether and I think you'll feel both their time and their place: the land of Her Majesty Victoria, long may she reign.


Image: Wikimedia Commons

VICTORIAN BOYS' NAMES

Adolphus
Algernon
Ambrose
Archibald
Aubrey
Bartholomew
Basil
Bertie
Bertram
Cecil
Cornelius
Cuthbert
Cyril
Ebenezer
Edmund
Emmanuel
Enoch
Ephraim
Ethelbert
Eustace
Godfrey
Hartley
Hedley
Horatio
Humphrey
Ivor
Jabez
Job
Lancelot
Leopold
Leslie
Lionel
Montague
Noel
Oswald
Percival
Percy
Reginald
Rowland
Rupert
Sampson
Septimus
Theophilus
Trevor
Uriah
Valentine
Vivian
Wilfrid
Winston

 

Read More:

70 Girls' Names that are Pure Victorian England
18 Ingenious Names from the World of Steampunk
75 Genuine Medieval Baby Names With Enduring Style

 

Comments

1
November 16, 2016 2:11 AM

2/3 of my sons names are on this list - and many others on our contendor lists, as well! Nicely crunched data, Laura - very compelling way to capture my style!

2
November 18, 2016 3:23 PM

Out of interest, can I ask what your data source is for the English names? The office for national statistics hasn't realeased any data before 1904, and even then we only have a top 100 which doesn't feature many of these names.

3
November 21, 2016 1:33 PM

Lovely article, Laura. One side of my family is English, and I had great-uncles called Percy and Cyril. Also a Herbert, although I guess that was popular in the States also. I think the Victorians liked all those names ending with -bert, including Egbert and Osbert!

 

Looking forward to the girls now! 

4
November 30, 2016 9:12 AM

Such a nice article Laura, has some of the most original names I've ever seen.

I only have an issue with "Adolphus". It's to close to "Adolf" in my opinion. But the rest are really great names.

5
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February 8, 2017 1:57 PM

Lovely article, Laura. One side of my family is English, and I had great-uncles called Percy and Cyril. Also a Herbert, although I guess that was popular in PS3 Flashing Red Light also. I think the Victorians liked all those names ending with -bert, including Egbert and Osbert!