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GOODBYE, GLADYS?

Historic Baby Names

There’s a lively discussion going on over at our message boards on what names have gone out of style and will probably never come back.  On the permanent Out List, by consensus, are:

BERTHA

BEULAH

BRUNHILDA (was this ever in, I mean since the 11th century?)

CLORIS

DORCAS

DORIS

EUNICE

GAY

HESTER

HILDA

HORTENSE — Enjoys the shortest entry in The Baby Name Bible: “No.”

IRMA

RHODA

SELMA

VERNA

boys

CLETUS

DWAYNE (This reminds me of a very funny line from the Pioneer Woman: “I didn’t even know his name; I just hoped it wasn’t Dwayne.”)

EBENEZER

HORTON

HUBERT

LEROY

MORRIS

NORBERT

WILBUR

We’re with you so far, name lovers, and can even understand why you disagree on whether some choices belong on the Out-Forever List.  One person sees Gertrude as cute, like little Drew Barrymore in ET, while another says it reminds her forever of the word girdle.  Myrtle is fresh and flower-like to one visitor, terminally dowdy to another.  And Grover is adorable to one message boardie, doomed to Sesame Street purgatory by another.

And Linda! ?! Let’s not even go there.

We’ve learned the hard way that there are very few names you can categorically declare out of style forever.  Today’s Shirley — terminally dated name — is tomorrow’s Ida or Arthur: born-again hottie.

Here some names that we once declared dead forever (or forever-ish) only to see them rise again.

girls

AUGUSTA

ESTELLE

ESTHER

FLORENCE

FRIEDA

IDA

LENORE

MILDRED

MURIEL

PEARL

VERA

ZELDA

boys

BERNARD

EDGAR

EDWIN

ERNEST

FRANKLIN

HARVEY

JULIUS

MARTIN

RAYMOND

VICTOR

VINCENT

WARREN

WOLFGANG

Are there any besides the ones already identified by the message board devotees that we’d still call as out forever?  Gladys.  Myrna.  Phyllis, Shirley, Wanda.  Arnold and Dewey, Egbert and Elmer, Hyman and Melvin.  Which I guess pretty much guarantees that they’ll come back into style any day now.

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