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Category: vintage baby names

posted by: histornamia View all posts by this author
restoration

By Amy of histornamia

While the Elizabethan/Jacobean playwright William Shakespeare has had a long influence on the names of children, his Restoration successors haven’t had as much impact on the name game. But when looking through character lists of these Restoration comedies, written between 1660-1710, there are some fabulous names to be found, some that have been heard of since, like Amanda, Julia and Sylvia, and some that are extremely rare. Here are thirteen of the more interesting feminine names from the most popular Restoration comedies of the day.

Amaryllis – As seen in 1671’s The Rehearsal, which was published anonymously, though prominent courtier, George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, was most likely the writer. The name Amaryllis is of Greek origin and means ‘to sparkle’.

Araminta – As seen in 1693’s The Old Bachelor by William Congreve, the name is actually a disguise for the character of Sylvia. Araminta is a hybrid of the names Arabella and Aminta as well as having the Greek meaning of ‘defender’.

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posted by: upswingbabynames View all posts by this author
americangirlfelicity

by  Angela Mastrodonato of Upswing Baby Names

My seven-year-old daughter didn’t inspire my interest in American Girl dolls, one of their names did.

My daughter hasn’t expressed any interest in American Girl dolls and doesn’t own any.

But an American Girl doll has one of my favorite names. A retired doll from the historical line has an emerging name that has been slowly climbing the Social Security list. More about that later.

For the benefit of those who aren’t familiar with American Girl dolls, here’s the rundown:

They’re American.

They’re high-end.

They’re somewhat controversial.

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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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