Michael ranked in the Top 1000 for GIRLS' names for more than half a century, from 1938 until 1994. In the late 1970s and early 80s, during the heyday of The Waltons which starred actress Michael Learned, it reached as high as the 300s. What happened then? Our guess is that the rise of Michaela, the tenacity of Michael at the head of the boys' list, and the popularity of Michelle/Michele all conspired to knock Michael-for-girls off the list. And giving this name to your daughter would invite a lifetime of explanations, though it does have a musical sound that can be as attractive for girls as it is for boys...and a darn sight fresher.