Names that Peaked in 1921

  1. 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.
  2. Leon
    • Origin:

      Greek variation of Leo
    • Meaning:

      "lion"
    • Description:

      Currently overshadowed by the bright and lively Leo, Leon feels a slightly more serious, more quietly confident than its short and trending counterpart.
  3. Edward
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "wealthy guardian"
    • Description:

      Unlike perennials William, John and James, Edward is a classic that moves in and out of fashion. This royal Anglo-Saxon standard has benefited in recent years from the popularity of the hot hero of the vampire sensation Twilight — Edward Cullen — who has given his name a new infusion of cool.
  4. 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).
  5. Warren
    • Origin:

      English from French
    • Meaning:

      "park-keeper"
    • Description:

      Long lingering in limbo, Warren suddenly seems to be on the cusp of revival. One of the oldest recorded English surnames, Warren's popularity in the U.S. dates back to the nineteenth century, and by 1921, reached its peak at Number 24.
  6. Dorothy
    • Origin:

      English variation of Greek Dorothea
    • Meaning:

      "gift of God"
    • Description:

      In the 1930s, Dorothy left Kansas and landed in the Land of Oz; by the '80s she had become a Golden Girl, living in Miami with roommates Blanche and Rose, giving her a decidedly older image. But parents today seeking a quiet classic are bringing Dorothy back—she reentered the Top 1000 in 2011 after almost completely disappearing.
  7. Leland
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "meadow land"
    • Description:

      A somewhat stiff and serious turn-of-the-last-century name that seems to be coming back to life.
  8. Virginia
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "virginal, pure"
    • Description:

      Virginia is a lovely place name starting with the fashionable V and having deep historical roots, yet, unlike some other other girls' classics, has been sorely neglected in recent years.
  9. Harold
    • Origin:

      Scandinavian
    • Meaning:

      "army ruler"
    • Description:

      The name of the last Anglo-Saxon king of England before the Norman conquest, and a name that's long been associated with a pipe-smoking, bespectacled grandpa or uncle.
  10. Bernard
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "strong, brave as a bear"
    • Description:

      Bernard is obviously a saint's name, but how did it get to the big, benevolent dog? The eleventh century monk, patron saint of mountain climbers, who lived in the Alps, was famed for setting up safe houses for pilgrims on their way to Rome over the treacherous St. Bernard Pass, and the canine breed, also used to rescue people in treacherous conditions, was named for him.
  11. Marjorie
    • Origin:

      Scottish variation of Margery, diminutive of Margaret
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      Scottish Marjorie and her English twin Margery were early twentieth century favorites that date back to medieval times, when it was popular among the royals. They were at their height in the 1920s, when they were seen as more lively versions of the old standard. Marjorie was always the preferred spelling, in the Top 25 from 1920 to 1927.
  12. Bernice
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "she who brings victory"
    • Description:

      Rarely heard today-- it fell off the list around 1980--Bernice is a biblical name of Greek origin. In the Bible, she is a sister of King Agrippa.
  13. Reva
    • Origin:

      Hindi river name; Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "rain"
    • Description:

      Refers to one of the seven sacred rivers of India.
  14. Enrico
    • Origin:

      Italian variation of Henry
    • Description:

      One of several Latin names starting with E that would work and play well with others in any family.
  15. Venice
    • Origin:

      Italian place-name
    • Description:

      This name of one of the most romantic cities in the world could easily find its way onto an American baby girl's birth certificate.
  16. Margery
    • Origin:

      Medieval variation of Margaret
    • Meaning:

      "pearl"
    • Description:

      An old royal name in England and Scotland that's also spelled Marjorie. Popular in the Middle Ages and Tudor period, it was revived at the end of the 19th century, peaked in 1921 and dropped off the list in 1958, enough time to be reconsidered as a Margaret alternative. The name Margery Daw is familiar via the seesaw nursery rhyme and Margery Williams wrote the children's classic The Velveteen Rabbit..
  17. Kazuo
    • Origin:

      Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "first son or harmonious man"
    • Description:

      Kazuo is a boys' name well-used in Japan though not well-known in the U.S. Kazuo Ishiguro is the author of Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go. The emphasis is on the first syllable.
  18. Florine
    • Origin:

      French
    • Description:

      This rare and archaic French name is a little too close to Chlorine for our liking. Despite its flowery origins, Florine has a warrior history - Florine of Burgundy was a female French crusader, who fought in battles alongside her husband and died after continuing to fight with seven arrows in her chest.
  19. Rueben
    • Harding
      • Origin:

        English
      • Meaning:

        "son of the courageous one"
      • Description:

        For fans of Warren G. All two of them.