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Category: sounds in names

Name Trends: Say yes to ‘S’

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It’s pretty obvious that the first initial letters of names move in and out of fashion.  The last several years have seen a rotation of vowels—A, E, O, I– as favored name-starters.  But there have been instances, too, of  ending sound name trends as well, which aren’t quite so apparent.  Case in point:

In the early decades of the twentieth century, in addition to name trends like  the birth of the flower name craze—Rose, Violet, Lily, Daisy, Hazel and Myrtle– as well as gem names like Pearl, Ruby and Opal, and the month names of April, May and June, there was an infatuation with girls’ names ending in ‘s’.  Appellations such as Doris, Phyllis and Lois were seen as ultra-poetic and romantic, having an appealing classical feel—but it was a fad that faded fairly quickly.  Today’s most popular list , for example, shows only two female names ending with the S sound in the Top 100 (Alexis and Genesis), while in the years from 1900 to 1930, there were five times that number.  Some of them still sound terminally dated today:

Dolores

Doris

Gladys

Lois (maybe)

Phyllis

…while the other half are either ripe for revival or already back:

Agnes

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