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yasmine

by Linda Rosenkrantz

Y is one of the loneliest letters in babyname land.  I mean when’s the last time you heard someone say they were looking for a name starting with Y?  Not that often, I bet!  But if you extend the net across many cultures, you can pull together quite a respectable little group.

The rising star among them is surely Yvaine, a Scottish name meaning, appropriately, “evening star,” which came to the fore via Neil Gaiman’s book Stardust, made into a movie starring Claire Danes as the ‘fallen angel.’

Moving on, we’ll start with the two Y choices that have been used often enough in this country to reach the  US Top 100:

Yvonne is one of the pair of Y names to make it to that inner circle, which she did through most of the 1930’s.  She was on the list from 1892, and is still barely hanging on at Number 937.  A dark and sultry name, kinda like the characters Yvonne De Carlo (born Peggy) played in lavish Technicolor epics—before she morphed into Lily Munster.  Yvonne Craig portrayed Batgirl in the sixties Batman TV series

Yolanda is the second of two to rank in the Top 100, dropping in for four years in the sixties and seventies, though she’d been there lower on the Social Security list from 1905 to 2002. A name that appeared in several medieval romances, Yolanda was also borne by a Queen of Scotland and a sister-in-law of Henry VI of EnglandYolanda is the Spanish language version of Violet, though it has an entirely different feel.

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