In the 1930's Dorothy left Kansas and landed in the Land of Oz, by the eighties she had become a Golden Girl, living in Miami with roommates Blanche and Rose, giving her a decidedly older image. But parents today seeking a quiet classic are bringing Dorothy back--she reentered the Top 1000 in 2011 after almost completely disappearing.
Dorothy was once one of the most popular names in the US; she was in the Top 10 from 1904 to 1939, and held the Number 2 spot for eight years.
Dorothy has been used in Britain since the sixteenth century, and was so common there that nickname Dolly led to the word 'doll.' Nowadays some Brits are reviving the cute nickname Dot.
There are numerous worthy Dorothy namesakes, including writers Dorothy Parker Dorothy L. Sayers, journalist Dorothy Thomson, social activist Dorothy Day, actresses Dorothy Gish, Dandridge, McGuire and Lamour, and figure skater/haircut icon Dorothy Hamill. Actress Faye Dunaway was born Dorothy.
Some parents now are favoring the more flowing, romantic original, Dorothea.