Category: Historic Names
November is a festive month brimming with holidays. Many countries will celebrate Thanksgiving, Veterans Day, and All Souls Day. Let’s look at historical events and notable birthdays of past November’s for name inspiration.
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A Nameberry reader recently asked: How long do baby names in the US Top 10 tend to remain in the Top 10?
Good question, we thought, and so with the help of our commando researcher Esmeralda Rocha, we did some investigation.
The short answer: It’s complicated. While girls’ names in the current Top 10 have been there fewer years on average – 12 years versus 14 for the boys – those numbers are skewed by the amazing durability of Emily at 24 years and, even more dramatically, Michael at 72. Take Emily and Michael out of the equation and the balance reverses, with girls’ names staying on top an average of 10 years versus only 7.5 for the boys!
But this doesn’t tell the whole story either, given that classic boys’ names such as William and James have been in the Top 10 for most of the 135-year history of the data, though they dipped out and returned only recently. And on the girls’ side, Elizabeth had been in the Top 10 most of those years, only to slip out in 2014.
Here, a closer look at the popularity durability of all the names of both genders in the current US Top 10.
Brits love diminutives. We use them, often automatically, to shorten names in a familiar way, and they have been essential for centuries as a way of distinguishing individuals with the same name. We love them so much, many of them have now been elevated into full-name status, and happily litter the Top 100.
The most common are two-syllable, ie/y-endings we know and love well; Isabelles are Izzy, Olivers are Ollie, Katherines are Katies and Fredericks are Freddies. But more and more, parents are looking to a more brisk and quirky style of diminutive. Edwards are often Ned, rather than Eddy; several Henrys are Hal, and Christophers are the striking Kit rather than Chris.
With this niche trend in mind, here is a rundown of some one-syllable diminutives that have become overlooked since they were developed in the Middle Ages. Several of them, perhaps surprisingly, were unisex.
In the 16th century Bess was a popular nickname for Elizabeth. You could almost say that it was the diminutive for the name, as the most famous bearer, Elizabeth I, was known fondly as “Good Queen Bess“. It began to lose favour in the 18th century, but was revived as Bessie in the 19th. In some instances, Bess was also used as a diminutive for Beatrice.
October brings us crisp fall days, pumpkin-spiced treats, and a potpourri of notable names. From classic choices like Lucy and Theodore, to the rising gems Rowan and Lennon, October delivers great baby name inspiration.
Lucy – The wildly popular TV sitcom I Love Lucy premiered on October 15, 1951. Lucy, a name often associated with the star of the show, Lucille “Lucy” Ball, has steadily been rising in popularity. It’s now Number 62 in the US, 8 in Scotland, and 14 on Nameberry. There’s a lot to love about this timeless English name, meaning light.