Names that Peaked in 1894

  1. Arthur
    • Origin:

      Celtic
    • Meaning:

      " bear"
    • Description:

      Arthur, once the shining head of the Knights of the Round Table, is, after decades of neglect, now being polished up and restored by stylish parents, inspired perhaps by the new generation of royals. Arthur has led the list of possible names for the young British princes, chosen as a middle name for Prince Louis, son of William and Catherine, Prince and Princess of Wales.
  2. William
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "resolute protection"
    • Description:

      William is one of the most enduring of classic names for boys. It's also among the most popular boys' names, as American parents see it as being ideally conservative yet contemporary, and hands-down the most popular baby name beginning with W of all time.
  3. Margaret
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Margaret is derived from the French Marguerite, which in turn came from Margarita, the Latin form of the Greek Margarites. Margarites was based on the Old Persian word margārīta, meaning "pearl."
  4. George
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "farmer"
    • 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.
  5. Edith
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "prosperous in war"
    • Description:

      Edith was a hugely popular name a hundred years ago that's being revived among stylish parents in Stockholm and London. It's currently beginning to gain traction in the US among those with a taste for old-fashioned names with a soft but strong image.
  6. Anna
    • Origin:

      Variation of Hannah, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "grace"
    • Description:

      Anna has become the dominant form of the Ann family, offering a touch of the international to English speakers and a bit more style than the oversimplified Ann or Anne.
  7. John
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      John reigned as the most popular of all boys' Christian names for 400 years, from the time the first Crusaders carried it back to Britain until the 1950s. Then American baby namers finally seemed to tire of this straight-arrow, almost anonymous John Doe of names, replacing it with fancier forms like Jonathan and the imported Sean and Ian.
  8. Hallie
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "dweller at the meadow by the manor"
    • Description:

      Hallie -- it rhymes with alley and is not to be confused with Halle or Hailey or Holly -- is one of those comfy nicknamish names that are in favor in these complicated times.
  9. Mary
    • 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).
  10. Nola
    • Origin:

      Gaelic
    • Meaning:

      "white shoulder"
    • Description:

      Nola, a name with a sleek, enigmatic quality, was used for the much-pursued heroine of Spike Lee's 1986 breakout film, She's Gotta Have It, and again by Woody Allen in Match Point. It's a short form of the traditional Irish name Fionnuala. Nola reentered the US Top 1000 in 2008, for the first time in 50 years.
  11. Petra
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "rock, stone"
    • Description:

      A strong Greek name with pan-European charm, Petra is a relatively recent feminization of Peter, though it relates back to an incredible ancient city in Jordan that was rediscovered in the early nineteenth century.
  12. Clarence
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "bright"
    • 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.
  13. Valentine
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "strength, health"
    • Description:

      Valentine is an attractive Shakespearean name with romantic associations, but those very ties to the saint and the sentimental holiday have sent it into a decline, one which we think may be about to turn around.
  14. Roy
    • Origin:

      French or Celtic
    • Meaning:

      "king or red-haired"
    • Description:

      We've seen Ray regain his cool, but could this country/cowboy name epitomized by Roy Rogers (born Leonard Slye), Acuff, and Clark, do the same?
  15. Vesta
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "pure"
    • Description:

      The name of the Roman goddess of the household is not recommended for your little goddess.

  16. Myrtle
    • Origin:

      Greek botanical name
    • Description:

      Long in our category of so-far-out-it-will-always-be-out category, once seen as a gum-cracking 1940's telephone operator, we think it's time to reassess Myrtle, and look at is as a nature name, a plant with pink or white aromatic berries. Ruled by Venus, myrtle is a plant associated with love, peace, fertility and youth.
  17. Carl
    • Origin:

      German variation of Charles
    • Meaning:

      "free man"
    • Description:

      This no-nonsense German variation of Charles is strong and sturdy. A top choice throughout the 20th century, Carl is now verging on falling off the charts.
  18. Thora
    • Origin:

      Norse
    • Meaning:

      "thunder goddess"
    • Description:

      Thora, related to Thor, is the ancient Norse thunder goddess name that's much softer and gentler than its meaning suggests. A noted bearer is actress Thora Birch.
  19. Urban
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "of the city"
    • Description:

      Urban was not an uncommon name through the 1930s (rising as high as Number 435), having been attached to several saints and early popes, but it has completely disappeared from the landscape--both urban and rural. Yet in this era of word name appreciation and trend for 'an'-ending boys' names, we're thinking it might be ready for a return.
  20. Earl
    • Origin:

      English aristocratic title
    • Description:

      Earl is a title name - brought to England by the vikings - that's out of fashion right now, unlike King and Duke. Its peak popularity was in the 1920s, which gives it a dusty great-grandpa feel, but there are also younger Earls in pop culture, like the reformed criminal in "My Name is Earl".