If you are searching for a name for your newborn daughter and prefer to go with something more uncommon than one of the more popular Australian baby names but at the same time don't want to veer down the bogan path, you could consider one of these old-fashioned girls' names.
How did we choose what should go on this list of old woman names?
Well, there is thought to be the 100-year rule that makes common old lady names cool again: if you haven’t heard the name since your Great Aunt was alive, or it belonged to one of those ancient nuns that attempted to teach you scripture, or it makes sense as the name of a fairy godmother or a wicked witch, then chances are those names are no longer just funny to call your dogs and cats but are now becoming acceptable as beautiful for your baby too.
Here are our list of favourite old-lady names for your newborn baby girl:
Pronunciation: F IH l ih s
Meaning: foliage or leaf
Famous Namesakes: Laugh-In comedienne and actress Phyllis Diller
General Overview: Kicking off our list of not-boring names to give your bub is this one with its lovely association with nature: in Greek mythology, Phyllis was a character who was transformed into an almond tree.
Meaning: ruler or princess
Famous Namesakes: US soul singer Gladys Knight from "Gladys Knight and the Pips", NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian
General Overview: It's the kind of stereotypical name that once made you think of cluttered houses with crocheted doilies and crinoline doll toilet roll holders but now that it's the name of a prominent Australian politician, Gladys is coming good again.
Pronunciation: d AW r uh s
Meaning: Dorian woman - someone from the Ancient Greek Dorian tribe. Also the name of a sea goddess.
Famous Namesakes: wholesome singer and actress Doris Day, Deborah Kennedy's kind-hearted but interfering Doris in A Place to Call Home
General Overview: This once popular English and German name has an ancient heritage. And maybe, as a sea nymph, will make a suitable future sidekick for Aquaman.
Meaning: The thrush plant
Famous Namesakes: American gospel singer Mavis Staples, the Selena Gomez-voiced lead female character in Hotel Transylvania
General Overview: Like Phyllis, Gladys and Doris, Mavis is making a renaissance after a few decades where these names would seem best suited for a litter of pets.
Meaning: joy and peace
Famous Namesakes: Pianist Winifred Atwell - famous for the "Black and White Rag" Pot Black theme, Winnie Mandela
General Overview: The name of a Welsh saint, Winifred was one of the top 200 names in the 1920s. It can be shortened to Fred, Freddie or more popularly, Winnie, such as in Nelson Mandela's wife or Danica McKellar's love interest on The Wonder Years.
Pronunciation: Eh D n uh
Meaning: Gaelic - kernal - or Hebrew ednah (like Eden) which means pleasure or delight
Famous Namesakes: Barry Humphries' loveable alter ego Dame Edna Everage, superhero costume designer Edna from The Incredibles
General Overview: The English form of the Irish Eithne, Edna is becoming a favourite among the hipster baby set.
Pronunciation: b er n uh d EH t
Meaning: strong bear
Famous Namesakes: Mozart in the Jungle's Bernadette Peters, Melissa Rauch's character in The Big Bang Theory
General Overview: A female take on the name Bernard, there is an association with the huge St Bernard dogs, like in Beethoven. It is also the title of a 1967 song by The Four Tops.
Pronunciation: eh z M AI
Meaning: loved or esteemed
Famous Namesakes: Poldark actress Esme Coy, A Country Practice's beloved worrier Esme (played by Joyce Jacobs)
General Overview: The name is popular with authors such as J.D Salinger who had a short story "For Esme - With Love and Squalor" and Terry Pratchett character Esme Weatherwax. It can also be the short form of Esmeralda, as in the heroine of Victor Hugo's 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Meaning: soul or life
Famous Namesakes: children's author Enid Blyton, The Walking Dead character
General Overview: Another name popular in the 1920s, after it featured in a Tennyson poem, it is now considered more boring than romantic, because of its association with Noddy writer Enid Blyton.
Pronunciation: sh ee l ah
Meaning: the blind one
Famous Namesakes: British natural birth advocate Sheila Kitzinger, Sheila Kennelly, star of many Australian TV shows like Number 96, character Sheila Birling in An Inspector Calls
General Overview: Now a well-known - if old-fashioned - Australian term for a woman, something Alf from Home and Away would say, like, "She's a top sheila." From the same origin as Celia.
Pronunciation: F l OH r uh
Famous Namesakes: Italian actress Flora Carabella (1926–1999), character in Disney's Sleeping Beauty
General Overview: As well as being a category of the biological world, Flora is the much more aspirational name of a goddess of flowers and the season of spring in Roman mythology.
Pronunciation: m IH l d r ih d
Meaning: gentle strength
Famous Namesakes: American silent movies star Mildred Harris, Mildred Pierce, George & Mildred
General Overview: Definitely old-fashioned, Mildred was a top 10 name in the early 20th century. Much cuter when shortened to Millie. See also Millicent.
Pronunciation: Mew ree ehll
Meaning: bright sea
Famous Namesakes: Novelist Muriel Spark, Muriel's Wedding, the middle name of the Friends' character Chandler Bing
General Overview: Again, this is a name that was at the height of popularity in the early 20th century. "You're terrible Muriel" became the catch cry of the iconic 1994 Australian movie Muriel's Wedding.
Pronunciation: m AW d
Meaning: Might in battle
Famous Namesakes: French singer Maude Harcheb, 1971 film Harold and Maude, US TV show Maude (starring Bea Arthur)
General Overview: Another name that features in a Tennyson poem. Popular as a Dutch and German name, it is also spelt Maud, which was the name of a turn-of-the-century British royal that became the Queen of Norway.
Pronunciation: s EH l m ah
Meaning: Protector of God
Famous Namesakes: American actress Selma Blair, Patty and Selma - Marge Simpson’s twin sisters
General Overview: As well as its European origins, this is also a Hindu name.
Famous Namesakes: Australian olympic athlete Marjorie Jackson-Nelson, a Fraggle Rock character
General Overview: A medieval form of Margaret, can also be spelt Margery and Marjory, and can be shortened to Marge, as in Simpson.
Pronunciation: f r AN s iss
Meaning: from the Latin Franciscus, meaning "French".
Famous Namesakes: actresses Frances O'Connor, Frances McDormand
General Overview: An alternate spelling of the unisex name Francis, it's not surprising that Frances, which can be shortened to Fran or Frannie, is a name like Mary and Agnes that is popular among nuns, as in Catholicism, Francis is the name of a famous saint.
Pronunciation: p AW l ee n
Meaning: would you believe it is from the Latin paulus, meaning "small" or "humble"?
Famous Namesakes: politician Pauline Hanson, actress Pauline Collins
General Overview: Like Paula and Paulina, Pauline is a feminine version of Paul. Vin Diesel named his daughter Pauline after his Fast and Furious friend Paul Walker who tragically died.
Pronunciation: n AW r ah
Famous Namesakes: screenwriter Nora Ephron, the main character in Henrik Ibsen's 1879 play A Doll's House
General Overview: Some say it is the female version of Norman and a short form of Honora. There is also the variant Noreen or try Norah, like American singer-songwriter Norah Jones.
Pronunciation: AE g uh th uh
Meaning: good or honourable
Famous Namesakes: crime writer Agatha Christie, TV series Agatha Raisin
General Overview: The patron saints of nurses and firefighters, it is the name Criminal Minds' Thomas Gibson gave his daughter. Can be shortened to Aggie.
Pronunciation: h AE r ee eh t
Meaning: ruler of the home
Famous Namesakes: British actress Harriet Walter (she played the wife of Winston Churchill in The Crown). Also book/film Harriet the Spy
General Overview: Similar to how Harry comes from Henry, Harriet comes from Henrietta. Also can have the nickname Hattie.
Pronunciation: p r OO d un s
Meaning: sensible or prudent
Famous Namesakes: Prudence Farrow, sister of actress Mia Farrow, was John Lennon's inspiration for the Beatles' song "Dear Prudence"
General Overview: The medieval form of the name Prudentia, can be shortened to Prue.
Pronunciation: uh G UH S t uh
Famous Namesakes: A character in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, civil rights activist and sculptor Augusta Savage
General Overview: The female version of August, it is a title used for important people in Ancient Rome. Mark Zuckerberg's daughter is named August.
Pronunciation: gwen DUH lin
Meaning: White brow
Famous Namesakes: Gwendolyn Christie from Game of Thrones
General Overview: As well as the alternate spelling Gwendolen, there is the shortened version Gwen (like Gwen Stefani) and Gwennie. Consider also Gwyneth, as in Paltrow.
Pronunciation: l oh r AI n
Meaning: Originally an English surname referring to those who came from the French region of Lorraine
Famous Namesakes: actresses Lorraine Bayly (The Sullivans), Lorraine Bracco (Goodfellows)
General Overview: Can be shortened to Lori, like Lori Loughlin (Full House).
Pronunciation: ER s uh l uh
Meaning: From the Latin ursus, meaning "little bear".
Famous Namesakes: Bond girl Ursula Andress (Dr No), fantasy writer Ursula le Guin
General Overview: A hard name to shorten - Ursi? - for many young people, it may be hard to get away from the association with the witch from The Little Mermaid, for a slightly older group there is also Phoebe's twin sister in Friends.
Pronunciation: k l EM un t YE n
Meaning: merciful (as in clemency)
Famous Namesakes: Clementine Ford - the name of both a feminist Australian writer and Cybill Shepherd's actress daughter
General Overview: The female form of Clement, it features in the US folk song "Oh My Darling, Clementine". There is the French variant Clemence, and it can be shortened to Clem or Clemmie. It is also the name of a mandarin-like fruit.
Pronunciation: d AW r uh
Famous Namesakes: Dora the Explorer, French photographer Dora Maar - the muse of Picasso
General Overview: Your daughter will love you, thanks to the revival of the name through the Nickelodeon Dora the Explorer series. Also a short form of Dorothy, Dorothea, Theodora, Isadora and Doreen.
Pronunciation: W AH N d ah
Famous Namesakes: American actress and comedienne Wanda Sykes
General Overview: Well know for the 1988 film A Fish Called Wanda, the name has also become associated with witches, like on Sesame Street and Marvel's Scarlet Witch.
Pronunciation: AE g n ih s
Meaning: Either from the Greek for chaste or the Latin for lamb
Famous Namesakes: Agnes Moorehead (Bewitched), French film director Agnès Varda
General Overview: Not only is Agnes the name of one of the Despicable Me cuties, but for the romantics, there is also Anne Brontë's 1847 novel Agnes Grey.
Pronunciation: EE d ih th
Meaning: prosperous in war
Famous Namesakes: Singer Edith Piaf, Hollywood costumier Edith Head
General Overview: Another Despicable Me name, Edith is also a character on Downton Abbey. It can be shortened to Eddie, Eddy or Edie, as in The Sopranos actress Edie Falco.
Pronunciation: ay L EE N
Meaning: bright, shining one
Famous Namesakes: actress Eileen Atkins (Doc Martin), astronaut Eileen Marie Collins
General Overview: Just try and get the Dexy's Midnight Runner's song "Come on Eileen" out of your head. There is also the Irish take Aileen, and it is a variant of Helen.
Pronunciation: m YE r uh
Meaning: A 17th century creation that may be based on the Latin for myrrh.
Famous Namesakes: British pianist Myra Hess, serial killer Myra Hindley
General Overview: Gore Vidal has a 1968 work Myra Breckinridge and there is a Myra in the Divergent series.
Pronunciation: EYE reen
Famous Namesakes: "Flashdance (What a Feeling)" singer Irene Cara, actress Irene Dunne, Lynne McGranger's iconic character Irene on Home and Away, Miss World 1996 Irene Skliva
General Overview: As well as the 2000 Jim Carrey movie Me, Myself & Irene, there is the folk song "Goodnight, Irene" and Irene, the Broadway musical. It can also be spelt Eirene.
Pronunciation: d AW r uh th ee
Meaning: gift of God
Famous Namesakes: Actresses Dorothy Dandridge and Dorothy Lamour, but the name Dorothy is probably best known from The Wizard of Oz, giving rise to the phrase, "Friends of Dorothy"
General Overview: An English form of the Greek Dorothea, in the first half of the 20th century, Dorothy was an extremely popular name in the US. A nickname is Dolly, from where the word doll comes from. Can also be shortened to Dottie and Dot.
Pronunciation: m ER t uh l
Meaning: the plant
Famous Namesakes: English shot putter Myrtle Augee , "Moaning Myrtle" from the Harry Potter series.
General Overview: As well as being a medicinal and favoured plant since ancient times, Isla Fisher played a character called Myrtle in Baz Luhrmann's 2013 film The Great Gatsby.
Pronunciation: j ee n
Meaning: derived from the Hebrew for God is gracious
Famous Namesakes: Actresses Jean Simmons, Jean Smart; also Nadine Garner's character in The Blake Mysteries
General Overview: In France, Jean is the male form of John, but in England and Scotland, Jean is a female version of John or a variant of Jane.
Pronunciation: s ill V EE uh
Meaning: the girl from the woods from the Latin word for forest
Famous Namesakes: poet Sylvia Plath, Australian journalist Sylvia Jeffreys
General Overview: Can also be spelt Silvia, or try the French version Sylvie.
Pronunciation: v EE r uh
Meaning: From verus, true one
Famous Namesakes: American fashion designer Vera Wang, actress Vera Farmiga, War and Peace character Vera Rostov, singer Vera Lynn
General Overview: Australian singer Celia Pavey chose the stage name Vera Blue. If you like the true nature of this name, see also Verity.
Pronunciation: k AA n s t un s
Meaning: constant, steadfast
Famous Namesakes: Actresses Constance Wu, Constance Zimmer, Connie Britton
General Overview: A virtuous name like Prudence, Charity and Faith, which can be shortened to Connie.
Pronunciation: AY d uh
Meaning: industrious one from the German id, meaning work
Famous Namesakes: Actress Ida Lupino
General Overview: Although it's an old fashioned name - there's a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta called Princess Ida - in Scandinavia Ida is becoming popular once more. Robbie Williams' wife has a different spelling, Ayda.
Pronunciation: n ELL - ee
Meaning: from Nell, which means bright, shining one
Famous Namesakes: Australian soprano Nellie Melba, after whom desert Peach Melba is named
General Overview: A shortened version of Eleanor, Ellen, Helen, Helena or Cornelia and an alternate spelling of Nelly, this name is a character in the musical South Pacific. There is also the expression, "Whoah Nellie".
Pronunciation: b EE uh t r uh s
Meaning: from the Latin beatus meaning "blessed"
Famous Namesakes: Princess Beatrice, the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, and a character in Dante's The Divine Comedy, Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
General Overview: Alternate spelling Beatrix, as in Beatrix Potter. Can be shortened to Bea, as in Bea Arthur, or Trixie.
Pronunciation: l aw R EH t uh
Meaning: From Laurel, the tree.
Famous Namesakes: singer Loretta Lynn, actresses Loretta Young, Loretta Swit
General Overview: A variant of Laura, Cher's character in Moonstruck was called Loretta.
Pronunciation: r OH z m EH r ee
Meaning: From the Latin ros marinus, meaning dew of the sea
Famous Namesakes: George's aunt, singer Rosemary Clooney, and British TV actress Rosemary Leach
General Overview: Can also be viewed as a combo of the traditional names Rose and Mary or spelt Rosemarie and a nice alternative is Rosalind. Not so nice: the scary 1968 film Rosemary's Baby.
Pronunciation: f l AW r uh n s
Meaning: blossoming, flourishing from the Latin florens
Famous Namesakes: Florence Nightingale - who established the modern school of nursing, Florence Welch from band Florence and the Machine, The Brady Bunch actress Florence Henderson, Olympian Florence Joyner
General Overview: The female version of the Roman name Florentius, it's also a famous Italian city. Some nicknames include Flo, Flossie and Florrie.
Pronunciation: j OH AN
Meaning: Another name that's meaning goes back to God is Gracious.
Famous Namesakes: religious figure Joan of Arc, entertainers Joan Crawford, Joan Rivers and Dynasty's Joan Collins, model Joan Smalls, a character on Mad Men and musicians Joan Jett, Joan Sutherland, Joan Armatrading
General Overview: A male name in some regions of Spain, Joan is said to be derived from Johanna, also spelt Joanna. A nickname is Joanie, as in Joanie Loves Chachi.
Pronunciation: l ay z uh
Meaning: God is my oath from the Hebrew Elisheba
Famous Namesakes: Liza Minelli, Liza on TV show Younger
General Overview: A derivative of Elizabeth, which can also be shortened to Eliza, there is the folk song "There's a Hole in My Bucket (Dear Liza)."
Pronunciation: l ILL ee un
Meaning: From lilium (the lily flower)
Famous Namesakes: Silent film star Lillian Gish, Baz Luhrmann has a daughter named Lillian
General Overview: From the name Lily, a flower and symbol of purity. Can also be spelt Lilian.
Pronunciation: M IH l ih s ih n t
Meaning: strong worker
Famous Namesakes: English actress Millicent Martin, deaf actress Millicent Simmonds.
General Overview: From the Norman Melisande, cute abbreviations are Milly or Millie. Millicent is sad to be doll Barbie's middle name.
Pronunciation: j OO n
Meaning: the anglicised name of the Roman goddess Juno
Famous Namesakes: Johnny Cash's wife June Carter Cash, actresses June Lockhart and June Whitfield, Australian etiquette expert June Dally-Watkins
General Overview: In the northern hemisphere, June is a summer month, a favourite for weddings.
Pronunciation: m AA r th uh
Famous Namesakes: Domestic guru Martha Stewart, actress Martha Plimpton, choreographer Martha Graham and the character of Martha in Home and Away
General Overview: Like her namesake Martha Stewart, there is a New Testament Martha who was great at looking after the house. It also gives its name to the exclusive island of Martha's Vineyard.
Pronunciation: b EH t ee
Meaning: Latin form of Elizabeth, meaning pledged to God
Famous Namesakes: actresses Betty White and Betty Grable, the main character in Ugly Betty and Betty in Riverdale, Australian olympian Betty Cuthbert, animated stars Betty Boop and Flinstones Betty Rubble
General Overview: A diminutive of Elizabeth, also spelt Bette like Bette Davis. Betty is used as slang for a hot girl.
Pronunciation: AE d uh L AI D
Meaning: the noble type
Famous Namesakes: Australian actresses Adelaide Clemens and Adelaide Kane. There is an Adelaide in Disney's The Aristocats and also in the musical Guys and Dolls.
General Overview: South Australia's city of Adelaide is named after the wife of King William IV. Rachel Griffiths and Katherine Heigl have daughters named Adelaide.
Pronunciation: AY r ih s
Meaning: From the name of the flowering plant, which comes from the Greek iris, meaning rainbow.
Famous Namesakes: 97-year-old fashionista Iris Apfel
General Overview: Like Lily, Daisy and Rose, the floral Iris is also the name, less romantically, for part of the eye. Jude Law, Eddie Redmayne and Judd Apatow have daughters named Iris and "Iris" is also the title of a song by the Goo Goo Dolls.
Pronunciation: Mu TIL dah
Meaning: Battle mighty
Famous Namesakes: Heath Ledger's daughter, the main character in the Roald Dahl book Matilda
General Overview: Thanks to the Australian folk song "Waltzing Matilda", this name has become a classic Australian name. It is also the full name of British actress Tilda Swinton. Can also be spelt Mathilda.
Pronunciation: h AI z uh l
Meaning: The name of the tree or the nuts
Famous Namesakes: Hazel Hawke, actress Hazel Court
General Overview: Also a colour, particularly of eyes. Julia Roberts has a daughter named Hazel, so do Emily Blunt and John Krasinski. Hazel is the main character in The Fault in Our Stars.
Pronunciation: Oh li v
Meaning: From the word for "olive tree"
Famous Namesakes: In the old cartoon, Popeye loves his Olive Oyl. Australian actress Isla Fisher and British comedy actor Sacha Baron Cohen have a daughter named Olive, as do Drew Barrymore and David Tennant. There is the novel Olive Kitteridge, which was adapted into a miniseries.
General Overview: The name is a less common version of Olivia. It has the association of a symbol of peace, as in "offering an olive branch."
Pronunciation: v YE uh l it
Meaning: From the Latin word for the purplish colour
Famous Namesakes: Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck have a daughter called Violet, as does the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl, Poppy Montgomery and Rachael Finch. Emily Blunt and John Krasinski must like old-fashioned (and colourful) names, their second daughter is called Violet.
General Overview: A memorable character is Violet Beauregarde from Roald Dahl's Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and the daughter in The Incredibles is called Violet. There is also a flower called a violet. The Italian version, Viola, was a character in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.
Pronunciation: p ER l
Meaning: unsurprisingly, it's from the word for the gem
Famous Namesakes: Pearl Bailey was an American singer and actress, Jack Osbourne has a daughter named Pearl, as does Meat Loaf and Mr Krabs on Spongebob Squarepants.
General Overview: Often more popular as a middle name. Can be spelt Perle or used in the form Perla.
Pronunciation: MAY zee
Meaning: Maisie is well placed in the list coming after No. 6, Pearl, as it comes from the Scottish version of Margaret, which is originally from the Greek margarites ... meaning pearl.
Famous Namesakes: Maisie Williams (Arya Stark in the TV series Game of Thrones.)
General Overview: Can also be spelled Maisy, as in the kids series about a mouse.
Pronunciation: s AI d ee
Meaning: A form of the biblical name Sarah, meaning princess.
Famous Namesakes: Jude Law's former wife Sadie Frost, once an actress, has her own fashion label. Adam Sandler has a daughter Sadie.
General Overview: The Beatles have a song "Sexy Sadie" but an Australian classic is "Sadie (The Cleaning Lady)" by Johnny Farnham.
Pronunciation: EL see
Meaning: A short form of Elspeth, which is the Scottish version of Elizabeth
Famous Namesakes: actress Elsie Fisher
General Overview: An alternative for those who like Ella and Ellie but think those names are too common, Ioan Gruffudd and Zooey Deschanel have daughters named Elsie.
Meaning: From the name of the plant
Famous Namesakes: Blue Ivy, Beyoncé and Jay-Z's daughter
General Overview: Like the name Holly, with the vine's association with Christmas, it's a popular choice for December babies. The there's Batman villain Poison Ivy.
And last but definitely not least ...
Pronunciation: ROO bee
Famous Namesakes: Australian actress Ruby Rose, singer Ruby Hunter, funny TV presenter Ruby Wax
General Overview: Probably the prettiest of the gemstone names such as Crystal, Jade, Sapphire and Amber, there is songs "Ruby Tuesday" and "Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town". Rove McManus and Tasma Walton's daughter is Ruby, as is Tobey Maguire's.