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Names that Peaked in 1909

  1. WilliamHeart
    • 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.
  2. MargaretHeart
    • 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."
  3. 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.
  4. JohnHeart
    • 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.
  5. 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).
  6. HelenHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "torch; shining light"
    • Description:

      Helen is a name that has connoted beauty since ancient times – Helen of Troy was the the mythological "face that launched a thousand ships," over whom the ten-year Trojan War was fought.
  7. OdessaHeart
    • Origin:

      Ukrainian place-name
    • Description:

      Odessa, a Ukrainian port city, was given its name by Catherine the Great, who was inspired by Homer's Odyssey. It would make an original and intriguing choice.
  8. InezHeart
    • Origin:

      Spanish variation of Agnes
    • Meaning:

      "pure, virginal"
    • Description:

      Also spelled Ines, this name of the prudish mother of Don Juan in the Byron poem has a touch of mystery, but has also been fully integrated into the American name pool.
  9. KermitHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish, variant of Diarmaid/Dermot
    • Meaning:

      "free man"
    • Description:

      Kermit was a Top 500 name until the 1960s, not coincidentally the decade in which Kermit the Frog became well known, proving that it isn't easy being green, even for a name. But we think it's time for some of those appealing Sesame Street names--Kermit, Elmo, Grover--to be taken out of that context and be considered on their own.
  10. ZenobiaHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "force of Zeus"
    • Description:

      With historical roots as a beautiful and intelligent ancient queen and literary ties to Hawthorne and Edith Wharton novels, this rarity could appeal to adventurous parents seeking the romantically unusual. Tina Fey used it as her daughter Alice's middle name.
  11. ElmoHeart
    • Origin:

      Italian from German
    • Meaning:

      "protector"
    • Description:

      Elmo, like fellow Sesame Street characters Kermit and Grover, has a hard time being taken seriously. (It isn't easy being red either.)
  12. LeonorHeart
    • Origin:

      Spanish and Portuguese variation of Eleanor, English, meaning unknown
    • Description:

      This streamlined variation of Eleanor is common in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries, particularly Portugal itself, where it has ranked among the Top 3 baby girl names for over a decade.
  13. CliffordHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "lives near the ford by the cliff"
    • Description:

      Clifford is beginning to overcome a slightly stodgy intellectual image and showing signs of possible revival. Kids might or might not like the association with the big red dog. In England, the Clifford family was a powerful family in the Middle Ages. In this country, it was well used for most of the twentieth century, peaking at Number 57 in 1909, but a Top 100 name through 1950. Most prominent American bearers: playwright Clifford Odets and jazz trumpet great Clifford Brown.
  14. BusterHeart
    • Origin:

      Modern nickname
    • Description:

      An old-fashioned nickname in the Bud/Buzz/Biff mold; this one's kind of belligerent. Michelle Hicks and Jonny Lee Miller moved outside the box when they used it for their son--given the safer middle name of Timothy.
  15. AiliHeart
    • Origin:

      Finnish and Sami variation of Helga, diminutive of Aileen, Anglicization of Eilidh
    • Meaning:

      "holy, blessed; bright and shining light"
    • Description:

      An attractive Scandinavian take on Helga, or a potential Helen nickname.
  16. EinarHeart
    • Origin:

      Old Norse
    • Meaning:

      "bold warrior"
    • Description:

      With Norse (and pseudo-Norse) names such as Thor, Odin and Magnus growing in popularity, this one, which refers to warriors destined for Valhalla on account of their bravery, might have some appeal outside Scandinavia. Its slightly Eeyore-ish sound is balanced out by connections to some major historical figures, including a Norwegian prime minister.
  17. AlineHeart
    • Origin:

      Variation of Adeline or Aileen
    • Description:

      Aline may have originated as a short form of Adeline in the Middle Ages, but it may also be a variation of the Irish Aileen or Scottish Eileen. Aline dropped off the Top 1000 in the 1950s. Fewer than 40 baby girls were named Aline in the US last year.
  18. HoytHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "long stick"
    • Description:

      Distinctive though somewhat abrupt, most prominently borne by country singer Hoyt Axton.
  19. GarnettHeart
    • OthelHeart