Just like Oz, Nameberry has a Wizard: Our engineer and partner Hugh Hunter. One of the wonderful things Hugh can do, besides creating the digital structure of the site and keeping it running, is to produce lists of names that meet certain statistical criteria: Names whose popularity peaked in 1937, for instance, or names never searched on Nameberry (hmmmmmm).
So when we recently asked Hugh if he could generate a list of names that had reentered the U.S. Top 1000 in 2011 — names that had been on the list before, dropped off, and now had reappeared — the answer was of course. What we didn’t know was how interesting that list would be.
To clarify, these are not names new to the Top 1000 that have never been there before: We highlighted those absolute newbies, assembled by Nameberry’s longtime friend Nephele, in a post a few months ago.
Rather, these names made the Top 1000 at some point in the past, fell off, and now have climbed back on after an absence of anywhere from a single year to more than a century.
Some of the names reappearing after the longest furloughs — Zeke, Amalia, Otto, Nova — are vintage choices newly stylish again. Others, most notably Blake and Blair for girls, were trendy a couple of decades ago and are enjoying a new moment in the sun thanks to a celebrity connection — in this case actress Blake Lively and character Blair Waldorf on television’s Gossip Girl.
Of course, some of these names seem destined to flirt around the bottom edges of the Top 1000 for years, never appealing enough to get more popular or unappealing enough to drop out of common use.
But for others, marked with a *, this reappearance on the Top 1000 seems like the first step in a long upward climb.
Here, with the year they last appeared on the Top 1000 and the number of years they were missing, is the full list of baby names we’re welcoming back.
Buy this adorable sequin butterfly headband on Etsy. Why a butterfly? It’s a symbol of reemergence, as from the cocoon, perfect for your little Hattie or Gwyneth…..or Pearl or Mae or any one of the other lovely once-slumbering names making their way back into the world.