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Names that Peaked in 1899

OtisHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Otto, German
  • Meaning:

    "wealthy"
  • Description:

    Otis has a double image: it's cool and bluesy a la Otis Redding, but also an upscale, high-society name of the past. Otis has real appeal for parents attracted to its catchy O initial and combination of strength and spunk.

ArthurHeart

  • 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 some stylish parents, emerging as a top contender among names for the new royal prince.

FlorenceHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "flourishing, prosperous"
  • Description:

    Florence is back, returning to the US Top 1000 girl names in 2017 after a nearly 40 year absence. Other English-speaking countries have been quicker to welcome Florence back into fashion.

EllisHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "benevolent"
  • Description:

    Ellis is one of the less used names in the currently popular El-family. It is a popular Welsh name in its own right, sometimes spelled Elis, and also an English surname derived Elijah, by way of the Greek Elias.

AnnaHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Hannah, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "grace"
  • Description:

    Anna is the Latin form of Hannah, a Hebrew name that derived from root chanan, meaning "grace." European Christians embraced the name for its associations with the Virgin Mary’s mother, Saint Anna — known in English as Saint Anne. While Hannah and Anna are the most common forms of the name, variations including Annie, Annalise, Anya, Anika, Nancy, and Anais also rank in the US Top 1000.

GeorgeHeart

  • 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.

WilliamHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "resolute protection"
  • 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.

RupertHeart

  • Origin:

    German variation of Robert
  • Meaning:

    "bright fame"
  • Description:

    Rupert is a charming-yet-manly name long more popular in Britain (where it's attached to a beloved cartoon bear) than in the U.S. Yet we can see Rupert as a more stylish, modern way to honor an ancestral Robert.

AgnesHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "pure, virginal"
  • Description:

    Agnes is the Latin variation of the name Hagne, which itself derived from the Greek word hagnos, meaning "chaste." In medieval times, St. Agnes was a very popular saint, leading to its popularity as a girl's name. Agnes Grey is the title of one of the two novels written by Anne Brontë.

AlmaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "nurturing, soul"
  • Description:

    Alma is a somewhat solemn, soulful name that had a burst of popularity a century ago, then faded into the flowered wallpaper, and is now finding its footing once more.

MaryHeart

  • 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).

JohnHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • 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.

LillianHeart

  • Origin:

    English from Latin
  • Meaning:

    "lily; pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Lillian is having a remarkable revival, rising to a peak of Number 21 in 2010 (the highest it's been since the 1920's) before dipping slightly in recent years. It was a Top 10 name in its Lillian Gish-Lillian (born Helen Louise) Russell-Floradora Girl heyday at the turn of the last century.

VedaHeart

  • Origin:

    Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "knowledge"
  • Description:

    A name with religious resonance, as the Vedas are the most sacred texts of Hinduism. Outside of that religious context, Veda has the makings of a modern popular name, with its sharp V initial, two syllables, and feminine a ending. This is evidenced by it reentry into the US Top 1000 in 2015, after fifty-five years off the list. Similar names on the rise are Vera and Vada.

JethroHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "excellence"
  • Description:

    Jethro, though the biblical father-in-law of Moses, has suffered for a long time from a Beverly Hillbilly image, but some really adventurous parents might consider updating and urbanizing it and transitioning it into the hip o-ending category.

EdnaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "rejuvenation, delight"
  • Description:

    Edna is one of those names that, until what it seemed like a few minutes ago, felt so terminally frumpy that no one could imagine a parent choosing it for an innocent modern baby girl. But with the great upswing in names honoring ancestral family members, several of them being other four-letter, e-ending names, we wouldn't be so sure.

TulaHeart

  • Origin:

    Choctaw, Hindi, or Kiswahili
  • Meaning:

    "mountain peak, a Libra, or to be tranquil"
  • Description:

    Tula is a polyethnic name which, spelled Toula, was used for the heroine of the hit film My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

ClarenceHeart

  • 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.

MerrittHeart

  • Origin:

    English surname
  • Meaning:

    "boundary gate"
  • Description:

    Merritt is an old-style surname name that could be seen as a positive virtue name. It was used in the late 19th and early 20th century for boys, reaching the Top 400 in 1899, and is notable today for being one of the names most evenly divided between boys and girls. Emmy winner Merritt Wever helped popularize it for girls.

GriffithHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "strong lord"
  • Description:

    A classic Welsh name, softer than Griffin and friendlier to spell than Gruffudd - that hasn't had as much love as it deserves elsewhere. Namesakes range from medieval kings to the philanthropist Griffith J. Griffith, who left land to the city of Los Angeles. It's great in full, but Griff is cool too.