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Where have all the F names gone?

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f names

By Kelli Brady of NameFreak!

In 1880, there were five boy names that started with F in the Top 100:

Floyd
Francis
Frank
Fred
Frederick

In 1932, Franklin was added to the mix (probably due to President Roosevelt, who is pictured here as a baby). In 1958, Frank was the only F boy name left in the top, and it finally fell after 1988. There hasn’t been an F boy name in the Top 100 since.

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Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel spots some fabulous choices among this week’s celebrity picks. 

It was a week for gorgeously named girls. Four sets of celebrity parents got it just exactly right with their new arrivals.

Of course, it was also a week for wailing and gnashing of teeth. A friend of mine, the mother of an eight-month Penelope, is still fuming. It is one thing when Tina Fey’s daughter shares your daughter’s name. It is something a little different when the Kardashians add it to their family tree. We all knew Penelope was catching on, but much discussion ensued about whether she would still be wearable. My guess? Yes, she will be, and yes, she’s headed straight for the US Top 100.

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Abby Sandel– creator of the wonderful AppellationMountain blog–digs deeper into the Oscar nominee lists, this week on the female side of the fence, and comes up with some real name treasures.

Last week we explored boys’ names drawn from the nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards.  This week we turn our attention to the girls’ list.  No one will be surprised to discover that it is just a little bit longer.

Here are my picks for the most shimmering girls’ names from this year’s list of nominees:

Antonella, as in Antonella Cannarozzi, nominated for Best Costume Design for “I Am Love.”

Arianna is in the US Top 100, but I’ve always thought the mythological Ariadne had more style.  Now that she’s associated with Ellen Page’s maze-making character from “Inception,” will we hear more of her?

Astrid was mocked on “The Office,” but she’s a heroic Viking girl in “How to Train Your Dragon.”

–The cast of “The Fighter” includes Dendrie Taylor, previously seen on FX’s “Sons of Anarchy.”  I can’t explain the origins of Dendrie, but I can hear her fitting right in with Riley and Bailey.

Frankie is daughter to troubled coupled Cindy and Dean in “Blue Valentine.”  It’s also the nickname for Amanda Peet’s firstborn, Frances Pen.

Natalie Portman scored the Screen Actors Guild award and the Golden Globe for her performance as Nina in “Black Swan.” Natalie has serious Hollywood name power.  Could Nina catch on, too?

Poesy is the last name of French actress Clémence Poesy, most recently seen in Best Picture nominee “127 Hours.” Could Poesy fit in with Lily, Daisy, and Josie in the first spot?

–Speaking of names that could fit, “Winter’s Bone” is the story of seventeen year old Ree Dolly, an Ozark mountain girl who risks all for her family.  I hear Ree and think of current middle name favorites Rose and Rae.

–She’s not exactly a role model, but legendary thronewrecker Wallis Warfield Simpson, born Bessie, does have a great name. Will “The King’s Speech” help more parents discover Wallis? Anthony LaPaglia gave the name to a daughter.  Wallis splits the difference between old-fashioned picks like Alice or Frances and modern surname choices like Madison or Taylor.

Zosia Mamet has a tiny role in “The Kids Are All Right.” Her given name is a Slavic spin on Sophia, and might be an alternative to that oh-so-popular name.

    Hollywood has given us many a great name over the years.  Read about Ingrid and Loretta, Spring and Min, here.

    One more thought: with all this talk of “Black Swan” and Twilight’s Bella Swan, would a daring parent use Swan as a given name?

    Did you catch Nicole Kidman’s explanation of her daughter’s name? Sunday’s little sister isn’t Faith, she’s Faith Margaret, “that Southern double name.”   Double names can be tough to pull off, but I imagine that Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman might just make it work.

    Speaking of names that could work, Nancy Friedman recently wrote about Naya. Nancy’s expertise is brand names, and she points out that Naya and Naia are now being worn by brands of gelato, skincare products, shoes, and wine, as well as Glee’s Naya Rivera.  With several attractive meanings, and a very current sound, Naya seems sure to catch on.

    In case you’re visiting nameberry just weeks before your due date, I’ll end by directing you to John Cave Osborne’s oh-so-true essay at Babble: “Coming Up With Baby Names Would Be Easier if My Wife Weren’t Pregnant.”

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    F-name

    Once more this year the list of most popular names—particularly for girls—is vowel –heavy, with six of the top ten names starting with A, E, I or O, and five more filling out the top twenty.

    As a result, naturally, there are fewer consonant-starters visible, some letters practically non-existent.  One of these is F, with only a single  representative, Faith, in the top 100, and a grand total of nine girls’ names out of the whole list of top 1000.

    If we look back a century—testing the 100-year rule–it was a very different story, with 31 girls’ and 34 boys’ names starting with this initial.  Several of them were versions of the same name (variant spellings are nothing new!); for instance, Freda, Frieda, Freida and Freeda all made the list—but not the current Kahlo-influenced FridaFlorence—no longer visible on today’s list–was represented in 1910 by Florance, Flora, Flossie, Flo, Florrie and Florene, and Frances (which hangs on at #802 today, with Francesca at 470) showed up in such variations as Fannie, Fanny, Francis, Francisca and Frankie, and there were three spellings of Fay/Faye/Fae.

    Among the more unusual choices that made the girls’ list a hundred years ago were Fairy, Floy and Fronie.

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