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Category: vintage baby names

1914alice

At the beginning of the year, we like to flip back the calendar a hundred years to see what the baby name landscape looked like a century ago. 1914 was a year in which World War I was in full swing, the year that President Wilson officially established Mother’s Day, Charlie Chaplin and Babe Ruth made their debuts, and saw the births of Dylan Thomas, Jonas Salk and Joe DiMaggio.But the babyname universe was relatively calm, as we can see by looking at the stable top dozen girls’ names. Here, they are, in order of their 1914 popularity, and what their status is today:

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What name deserves more love?

baby names

It was the headline that caught our eye:

I think that Paul has been ignored long enough!, wrote our longtime friend and berry Rollo on the message boards.

Rollo goes on to make the case for Paul‘s wonderfulness, which made us wonder which other now-dormant or widely-ignored names people might champion for greater attention.

What one name would you singlehandedly and magically bring back (or introduce to the wider world, if it’s a new name), if you could?

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posted by: upswingbabynames View all posts by this author
lost1938

by Angela Mastrodonato of Upswing Baby Names

Ever since I was a kid I’ve been fascinated by lost civilizations, towns that have been wiped off the planet for one reason or another. And I happen to live near lost towns–with the added allure of being submerged under water.

The sacrifice of the town residents, most who are long gone, cannot be overlooked. They left their beloved small towns so that people living 65 miles away in Boston could have drinking water.

These towns’ disappearance was a part of recent history. In 1938 four central Massachusetts towns in the Swift River Valley were disincorporated to create the state’s largest inland body of water, the Quabbin Reservoir. The towns were: Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott.

Anything left from these towns, the artifacts, the relocated buildings, the old photos, the names of these towns’ last residents are all forever stuck in the 1900’s – 1930’s.

As a fan of old-fashioned names, I couldn’t help but notice some of the names as I read about the people who left these early 20th century small towns.

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posted by: upswingbabynames View all posts by this author
1930sad

by Angela Mastrodonato of Upswing Baby Names

There’s a theory that baby names come back in style about every 80-100 years. Names that come back in style after 80-100 years are often called vintage or revival names.

Based on that theory, baby names from the 1930s (about 80 years from time of writing) should be the next wave of vintage revival names, poised to appear on monogrammed nursery accessories within the next 10-30 years.

But here’s the thing: the biggest revival names aren’t usually the mega-hit top 10 names from 80-100 years ago. The biggest revival names are usually the names that were moderately popular the first time around.

A perfect example of the 80-100 year rule is 2012’s top girl name, Sophia. Sophia had been somewhat popular over a century ago and then gradually declined, only to turn around in the 1990s when it rapidly climbed the Social Security list. However, Sophia is a lot more popular now than it was during its first peak back in 1882 at #116.

Based on that knowledge I set out to find names from the 1930s that weren’t always super common top 10 names, but rather names that peaked during that time and seem to represent the style of the decade.

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posted by: lawsonhaley View all posts by this author
georgiian

By Haley Sedgwick

I’ve always loved reading classic books. By the time I was twelve, I’d read a few Shakespearean plays, Pride & Prejudice, and Sense & Sensibility. Shakespeare was great of course; however, Jane Austen gave me even more. With her novels, I got the charming, delightful gentlemen I’d always dreamt of (and still do dream of!), the romance, the passion, and, a new range and style of names. After reading Pride & Prejudice (and falling in love with the thought of finding my own Mr. Darcy), I fell in love with the Georgian style of naming.

A time of great elegance, the Georgian era – named for the four British King Georges who ruled over it — lasted over 115 years, from 1714 to 1830.  Along with Eliza Bennet and Mr. Darcy, the Georgian era often conjures images of powdered wigs and stately architecture. Many of the buildings and styles of the Georgian era are still extant today – including the Georgian taste in names.

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