Category: baby name True
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Over the years, there have been hundreds of names that have rocketed onto the Top 1000 for one year, then just as suddenly disappeared, fading like shooting stars. We’ve made a thorough search through these names, seeing what gems we might find hidden among the oddball Metros, Councils and Dolls, the Jeps and Bunks and Schleys, which might merit a second appearance.
Two things to bear in mind: a lot of these names made their solo appearances soon after the Social Security list was launched, and so it’s possible that they might have enjoyed some previous popularity and were trending downward at that point. And also, many of them ranked in the eight and nine hundreds, and so probably accounted for just ten or less newborns with those names.
It’s also interesting to scope out if there’s some historical reason for these singular appearances. Wendell Wilkie, for example, was the 1940 Republican presidential nominee against FDR, accounting for the appearance of Wilkie that year, Tai Babilonia was the world figure skating champion when her name popped up in 1980, and Sable was the name of a character on the high-rated TV soap, The Colby‘s in 1986, when she was a one hit wonder.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
When we hear the phrase ‘virtue names’ we tend to think first and foremost of the girls—Faith, Hope and Grace, Prudence and Patience. But some parents are beginning to acknowledge that there are good boys as well as girls, and considering some of the old male virtue names that have been off the grid for decades, and would make especially meaningful middles.
Abel – Okay, Abel is more biblical name than virtue, but its modern appeal hinges on its literal meaning of ready, willing, and…. Plus Abel (or Able) is such an excellent all-around virtue.
Constant—Whereas the feminine Constance has long been in common usage, Constant never has in this country—although it is heard in France. Much more usable here is Roman emperor/papal/video-game name Constantine, which has been on the US list sporadically since the nineteenth century.
Earnest/Ernest—Hard to resist starting this off with “the importance of being earnest”—but Earnest, condensed to Ernest can definitely be considered very much a virtue name. This country was at one time filled with Ernies—Ernest was a Top 25 name in the 1890s and stayed in the Top 50 through 1956, while the Earnest version was also a well-used early option, as high as Number 107 in 1907. And Ernest certainly has his share of notable namesakes, most famously Mr. Hemingway.
Over 1500 new baby names joined the Social Security extended list this year, 641 boys’ names and 896 names for girls. Nephele, one of the original Berries, tallied all the new baby names for us from the complete list of names given to five or more children in the U.S. in 2011.
Are there any gems in the bunch? A couple, which we will highlight for you in a moment. For the most part, though, the new baby names are either kreeatif spellings of old names – Cathrynn and Zakarri – or inventions such as Dhyey and Blessn unlikely to inspire many imitators.
Still, the names below are notable for a variety of reasons, though they’re not all recommended:
ARLINGTON – Of all the fresh place name possibilities, this one is particularly attractive.