Category: retro baby names
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Once upon a time, there was a group of names that shared an image of balding, cigar-chomping, middle-aged, Hollywood movie mogul-types—names like Max and Jake and Abe, Nat, Oscar, Leo and Sam–which for generations few parents were considering infant-appropriate.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
I was asked by a magazine interviewer recently why I thought some vintage names come back and others don’t. Why Cora and Flora and not Dora? Why Edward and not Edwin? All of which got me thinking about the influences that do propel names out of the attic and into the spotlight.
The most obvious and evident of these is the celebrity factor in all its manifestations. Stars’ names, stars’ baby names and the names of characters they play:
Scarlett—Yes, the name of Miss Scarlett was used by a handful of parents following the publication of Gone With the Wind, but it wasn’t until Ms. Johansson burst on the scene that it really took off, bringing it now into the Top 50.
Nickname-names still appear on birth certificates. In the U.S., such names as Ellie, Abby, and Charlie for girls; Jake, Jack, and Johnny for boys all rank high. In the U.K., nickname-names are even more fashionable, with Evie, Maisie, Millie, and Ellie in the Top 35 for girls, and Jack, Charlie, and Alfie in the boys’ Top 10.
But there are generations of nickname-names that have fallen off the Top 1000, yet sound cute and baby-ready today. The list here is drawn from names that were on the Social Security roster on their own in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but fell off by the early 1970s (the date of their last listing follows the name) and haven’t yet reappeared.
Vintage names have been cool for a while now, but old school nicknames are just starting to come into their own.
The Brits have led the way on the revival of the retro nickname, with their fashionable little Alfies and Evies, Freddys and Teddys — though Teddy just might be a girl.
Using one of these new old nicknames for your child can be a way to give a fresh spin to a classic name, to distinguish a little girl from her namesake grandma, or to set your Henry apart from the five others on the block.
Here, a roundup of classic and vintage names and their old school nicknames.
We all know that names drift out of fashion and then slowly find their way back into style. But when is it time for a comeback – and how do you know?
This week’s big baby name noise has been about Jessica Simpson’s use of two family names for her new daughter, combined for the masculine Maxwell Drew. Parents of boys called Max everywhere accused the celeb mom of name-napping and general bad taste.
But maybe we’re all missing something. Rumor has it that Simpson plans to call her daughter Maxi – a sassy retro choice that fits right in with Sadie and Sophie. Could it be that Jessica’s faux pas is really an invitation to dive right into names from the 1910s?
And why stop there? This week also saw high profile birth announcements drawing on favorites from the 1920s to the 1980s.