Category: vintage girl names
Every year, the US government issues a list of the names that are making the biggest leaps up the popularity list. And there, among the reality TV-inspired Daleyzas and Jayceons, sprinkled in with the new-fangled Jurnees and Zayns, is a collection of vintage names that for a range of reasons have suddenly become hot.
Here, 40 vintage baby names making big leaps up the popularity list. The +number indicates how many places each name moved up the US popularity list in 2013. And the second number is the name’s standing on the popularity list. Please note: Only those names in the Top 1000 are tracked.
By Pamela Redmond Satran
At the start of 2015, it’s interesting to look back a hundred years to see what was happening in the world of baby names.
And though we wrote all the name entries ourselves, we’re constantly re-encountering names that we maybe kinda forgot existed and now appreciate anew. Wow, we think. That’s a cool one. Wonder if it will ever come back?
This just happened to me with the name Cyrilla. The boys’ equivalent Cyril is handsome if a bit effete for the modern world, though it may get rediscovered thanks to the revival of the similar Cyrus and Silas. But what about Cyrilla? That’s a cool old name that’s at once exotic and familiar, highly unusual — there were NO girls named Cyrilla recorded on the most recent Social Security list — yet not invented. Besides being the feminine form of the Latin Cyril, it’s also a botanical name for flowering plant found throughout the tropics.
So I nominate Cyrilla as a name that’s ripe for revival. What are some old names you think might become new again?
Photo of antique doll from Kathy Libraty’s Antiques at Ruby Lane.
Many of the stories about the recent US Popular Names list focus on the names at the top and on the rise: the Sophias and Jacobs, Khaleesis and Jayceons of the baby name world.
But, just as some names go up, others must come down. The following 20 girls’ names fell out of the Top 1000 in 2013, some of them perhaps just taking a nap, others on a long slide toward obsolescence.
Both of these short forms for Abigail sank even as the original remains in the Top 10. The venerable Abbie has been more popular over the decades than Abigail herself, spending only 35 years outside the Top 1000 since the list’s inception in 1880, compared with Abigail’s 43. Abbey, the younger of the sisters, entered the rankings in 1978 where it remained until this year.
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.