If you can get the lively young Barbara Bush to replace her grandmother's white-haired image, you might discover a rhythmic classic with an interesting history.
There is the popular third century St. Barbara, who was reputed to have been imprisoned in a tower and so became the patron of architects, stonemasons, fortifications, and geologists. Barbaras appear in works by Dickens and Thackeray and, most notably, as the idealistic protagonist of the George Bernard Shaw play Major Barbara. Noteworthy bearers include actress Barbara Stanwyck (born Ruby), novelist Barbara Pym, TV's Barbara Walters, and 'My Name is Barbra' Streisand.
Barbara entered the Top 100 in 1913, and then the Top 10 a decade later: in 1940, she was second only to Mary, and there were more than 35,000 baby Barbara's born that year. At this point in time, Babs might make a cuter retro nickname than Barbie.
Bottom line: Though she now seems to have a terminally middle-aged image, with the resurgence of the grandmother-name trend, Barbara gained a bit of momentum on the 2013 list and could start to move higher.
Lists containing Barbara:
- Princess Names
- Traditional Baby Names
- TV Mom Names
- Midcentury Baby Names
- 1920s Baby Names
- 1930s Baby Names
- 1950s Baby Names