Category: baby name Flora
By Linda Rosenkrantz
In most places, Spring—to use an overused phrase—has sprung. The snows of winter have finally melted, buds are budding, birds are chirping. Which means it’s time to offer a seasonal menu of names—this time a multi-cultural mix whose meanings connote spring, plus names of ancient goddesses, and a few flowers and birthstones.
Aviv and Aviva are male and female versions of a Hebrew name meaning ‘springtime’; another variation is Avivi, which means ‘springlike’ and is also the word for lilac. (Tel Aviv , btw, means ‘hill of spring’.) Aviva has long been popular in Israel and its two vibrant v’s could work well here as another path to vibrant nickname Vivi.
The very coolest flower names right now, we think, are a mix of the generic and the adventurous. We like names such as Petal and Posy that reference flowers in general without citing a specific species, along with a handful of adventurous varietals.
Our picks for the coolest flower names for girls:
In 1880, there were five boy names that started with F in the Top 100:
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.
Conventional wisdom holds that baby names tend to follow the Hundred-Year-Rule, cycling back after a century has passed. But with everything speeding up exponentially in modern life, and with the great interest in all things mid-century, we’re thinking maybe we should change that to the Fifty-Year-Rule.
Which prompts us to a close look at the Top 1000 names of 1962.
At first glance, the Top 10 are not very inspiring—mostly classics for boys: Michael, David, John, James, Robert, Mark, William, Richard, Thomas, and Jeffrey, and for girls names very much of the period: Lisa, Mary, Susan, Karen, Linda, Patricia, Donna, Cynthia, Deborah, and Sandra.
But digging deeper into the data, we find an interesting mix of revival possibilities—all of them missing from today’s Top 1000, and most of them gone for decades. Towards the lower end we find vestiges of a still earlier time—names like Percy and Virgil, Myrtle and Minerva– as well as nickname names that have been lost to time, some ethnic choices no longer prominent here, plus more archetypal midcentury names which might possibly be ready to return.
If you’re wondering about the origins of the term, it dates back to Florodora, one of the first big Broadway musical hits of the twentieth century—it opened in 1900– and the term came to symbolize a kind of saucy, high-kicking, wasp-waisted show gal who might well have been named Flora or Dora—or Cora or Nora—all names then near the height of their popularity.
In 1900, Flora was Number 106 on the list, Dora, 79, Cora 55, and Nora 83, but their rankings would experience somewhat disparate trajectories. While all four peaked in the 1880s, it was only Nora, with her more classic feel, that would maintain respectable numbers throughout the succeeding decades–Flora was the first to vanish completely, in 1972.
But while these names appear to share such a strong family resemblance, they actually have quite different résumés.
CORA. Though Cora‘s roots go back to the ancient Greek — the word kore, meaning ‘girl, maiden’–and it was a title given to Persephone, goddess of springtime, the modern introduction of Cora to the English-speaking world is credited to James Fenimore Cooper and his creation of Cora Munro, the spirited heroine of his 1826 novel The Last of the Mohicans. Today, Cora is most visibly tied to the American-born Right Hono(u)rable Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham on Downton Abbey. And the sweet, old-fashioned Cora is now at Number 276, the highest it’s been since 1949, with the expanded Coralie getting some love as well.