The boysâ€™ names that ranked among the Top 1000 in 1880, the first year for which statistics were kept, include hundreds of choices no longer in use â€“ or at least very rarely heard.Â Some of the categories of lost names overlap with the now-obscure girlsâ€™ names, while others are different.
Nickname-names, for instance, so packed with lost names for girls, include some lost choices for boys, though more of the nickname names in use in the late 19th century are still widely used today: Joe, Jack, Jake, Jim, and so on.
Those nickname names weâ€™re not hearing much of any more but which were popular in 1880 include:
Classic names from mythology, ancient history, and The Bible that made the 1880 boysâ€™ Top 1000 but that are rarely heard today include:
EBER â€“ Phonetic form of Irish mythological Eibhear.
ENOS â€“ Old Testament name that would be difficult on a modern playground.
ERASTUS â€“ New Testament name that means â€śbeloved.â€ť
JUSTUS â€“ Saintsâ€™ name that means (surprise) â€śjustâ€ť in Latin.
URBAN â€“ New Testament name born by eight popes.
We tend to think of surnames in first place as a late 20th century invention, but in fact dozens of surname-names made the boysâ€™ Top 1000 in 1880.Â Choices popular now, from Logan to Peyton to Parker to Jordan, did not make the cut then, but they used lots of surname-names rarely heard today.Â Hereâ€™s a selection:
One wacky 1880 trend was the use of impressive-sounding titles or occupations as names.Â Â King and Prince are the only two of this group in the current Top 1000, owing more to the rocker Prince and the rockerâ€™s baby Kingston Rossdale.
There has certainly been a lot of gender migration of names in the past 130 years.Â Some that made the male most popular list in 1880 that would never be given to a boy today are:
And then there are those names that are just plain funny, especially for a boy, at least to the modern ear.Â Could 1880 parents really have thought Pink was a pleasant name for a son?Â Makes you think times have changed even more radically than we might have guessed.