Names that Peaked in 1885
Description:Clara is a strong, lovely girls' name that's always ranked among the US Top 1000 girl names but has been climbing since the turn of this century. Now holding steady around Number 100, Clara is a modern classic, neither too popular nor too unusual.
Description:Henry was derived from the French Henri, which ultimately comes from the Germanic name Heimrich, made up of the components heim, meaning "home" or "estate," and rich, meaning "ruler." The most famous wearer is Henry VIII of England, best known for having six wives—two of whom he beheaded for not bearing him sons. It’s been used in the British royal family many times since.
Origin:Variation of Hannah, Hebrew
Description:Anna has become the dominant form of the Ann family, having been firmly in the Top 25 for years and only slipping in the past couple of years. Anna offers a touch of the international and a bit more style than the oversimplified Ann, used for generations throughout Europe, from Russia to Italy, Spain to The Netherlands.
Description:William is derived from the Germanic name Wilhelm, composed of the elements wil, "will," and helm, referring to a helmet or protection. The name was introduced to England by William the Conqueror, with William being the Norman variation of the name. In Central and Southern France, it was translated as Guillaume.
Meaning:"son of the furrow"
Description:Bartholomew is an apostle's name that's been out of favor for centuries but might appeal again to the parent in search of an old but rare choice. The challenge could be to avoid the Simpson-ish nickname. That character, by the way, has the full name of Bartholomew JoJo Simpson, and creator Matt Groening came up with Bart as an--uh oh--anagram for brat. Two old alternate nicknames are Barty and Tolly.
Description:Amalia is a widely cross-cultural name, heard from Italy to Romania, Germany to Scandinavia. The current heir to the Dutch throne is Princess Catharina-Amalia of Orange. It can be pronounced ah-MAH-lee-a or ah-mah-LEE-a.
Description:Iconoclasts though we may be, we like Fred, we like Frank, and we like George, which was among the Top 10 from 1830 to 1950, when the number of little Georges started to decline. Solid, strong, royal and saintly, yet friendly and unpretentious, we think that George is in prime position for a comeback, especially since it was chosen by Britain's royal couple.
Origin:Hebrew or Egyptian
Meaning:"drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
Description:Mary is the English form of Maria, which ultimately was derived from the Hebrew name Maryam/Mariam. The original meaning of Maryam is uncertain, but theories include "drop of the sea" (from Hebrew roots mar "drop" and yam "sea"); "bitter" (from Hebrew marah "bitterness"); and "beloved" (from the Egyptian root mr).
Origin:Diminutive of Francis or Franklin
Meaning:"Frenchman or free man"
Description:A Top 10 name from the 1880s until the 1920s, Frank has been falling for decades but last year reversed course for the first time in a century, edging up the popularity list a few notches. And Frank still has a certain warm, friendly real-guy grandpa flavor that could come back into style, like other such choices as Jake and Jack.
Origin:English from German
Description:Ernest is one of those sober, so-far-out-they're-beginning-to-be-reconsidered Great Uncle names. Ernest recently received a big style boost when Britain's Princess Eugenie chose it for her second son.
Meaning:"God is gracious"
Description:John is an English derivative of the Hebrew name Yochanan via the Latin name Iohannes, itself coming from the Greek Ioannes. John was a key name in early Christianity, borne by John the Baptist, John the Apostle and John the Evangelist, plus 84 saints and 23 popes, as well as kings and countless other illustrious notables. Contrary to popular belief, the names John and Jonathan are unrelated, the latter being an elaboration of Nathan.
Description:Jemima, the name of a strong and beautiful Biblical daughter of Job, has long been among the chicest choices of aristocratic Brits, most recently ranking at #231 there in 2017. But despite its lovely sound and peaceful meaning, this attractive name hasn't ranked in the US Top 1000 since 1893, no doubt due to the problematic association with racial stereotyping, exemplified by the Aunt Jemima brand of pancakes.
Origin:Diminutive of Adelaide or Adeline
Description:Old-fashioned nickname with sweet turn-of-the-last-century charm that's become a favorite among the popular girl names starting with A of today. In fact, with all spellings of Adeline/Adalynn taken together firmly in the Top 10, and Adelaide and Addison also high in the charts, Addie is one of the most frequently-heard short forms around. But no matter how popular (or pandemic) it gets, Addie is undeniably one of the cutest names for baby girls. Little girls might like the fact that it's the name, though spelled Addy, of an American Girl series doll.
Description:An medieval English diminutive of Edith, which could make an unusual addition to simple vintage revivals like Eva, Ada and Ida. In Turkish, it means "well mannered".
Description:Given that Rome is arguably the most important city in European history, it has been used as a first name remarkably little. However, Roman is now in the Top 100, so it was only a matter of time before parents started looking toward the city's actual name.
Description:Love makes an endearing middle name, as in Jennifer Love Hewitt. However, more parents are considering Love as a first name — enough for it to enter the charts for the first time in 2022 as one of the fastest-rising names of the year. Other love-related alternatives include Juliet, Valentina, and Amor.
Description:The name of the guardian angel in It's a Wonderful Life is rarely heard the rest of the year because of its studious, near-nerdy image, but this could change in the current naming climate.
Origin:German variation of William
Description:This dignified German form of William belonged to two German Emperors and Kings of Prussia, as well as a host of other important historical figures. These include composer (Wilhelm) Richard Wagner, philosophers Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, and physicist Wilhelm Roentgen, who discovered the X-ray. It now sounds rather dated in Germany, however, having dropped out of the Top 20 there in the late 1920s and continuing to decline since.
Meaning:"lives near a grove of trees"
Description:Forget the furry blue Muppet, forget corpulent President Cleveland (not too difficult), and consider this name anew. We think it's spunky, a little funky, and well worth a second look.
Origin:German, diminutive of Frederick and Alfred
Description:Where have all the Freds gone? We haven't seen many since the days of Flintstone and Munster. But it could be time for a comeback--if you think more of the sophistication of Fred Astaire, and of other nice guy names like Jack and Charlie and Sam.