Names that Peaked in 1926
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:Greek variation of Leo
Description:Leon is one of the leonine names that is extremely hot in Europe right now. Although it peaked here in the 1920s, it is slowly making its way back, and it could climb further with parents wanting a more serious and studious alternative to Leo.
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.
Origin:English from German
Description:Robert was derived from the ancient Germanic name Hrodebert, from the elements hrod, meaning "fame" and bertha, "bright." Robert was the name of three kings of Scotland, including Robert the Bruce, who freed Scotland from English rule. The name was brought to England by the Normans.
Origin:French variation of Nadia, Russian
Description:Part of the vogue for French-sounding names in the 1920s and 30s, Nadine has been replaced by the Russian sound of Nadia and Natasha.
Description:Gloria is beginning to move beyond its de-glamorized Grandma image, most recently thanks to glamorous young Hollywood parents Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard, who chose it for their second daughter. Gyllenhaal was quoted as saying they had been inspired by Patti Smith's rendition of the Van Morrison song "Gloria" at a concert and thought " 'We'll name our daughter that one day'."
Origin:Irish variation of Helen
Meaning:"bright, shining light"
Description:Irish Aileen and Scottish Eileen may be pronounced the same way or Aileen can be pronounced with a long a at the beginning. While neither is particularly stylish, Aileen is slightly more popular and has reversed its downward slide to inch upward in the past few years, perhaps thanks to its stylish A beginning. Nicknames for Aileen include Isla, Ayla, Lee and Lena.
Origin:English and Scottish, from French variation of Johanna
Meaning:"God is gracious"
Description:Originally a feminine of John, Jean was popular in Scotland long before it found favor elsewhere, and had its most shining moment here in the era of Jean Harlow (born Harlean), ultimate symbol of silver screen glamour. Now, though there are many grandmas and even moms with the name, it doesn't seem all that baby-friendly. Though that could change, and Jean could join Jane.
Description:Sure, he'd probably get a certain amount of red-nosed teasing around the holiday, but a boy named Rudolph could probably take it. Besides, he's got other, more distinguished namesakes -- the great ballet dancer Nureyev, silent screen Lothario Valentino and 9-11 Mayor Giuliani.
Description:Has a lively and swaggering sound, and also some unfortunate associations with Reno, city of gambling and failed marriages.
Origin:English and Scottish
Description:This once perfectly respectable surname has suffered decades of abuse, not least by Jerry Lewis's character in the fifties. NFL running back Melvin Gordon stars for the Los Angeles Chargers.
Meaning:"given by God"
Description:Widely used in Italy, Spain, and Portugal, has an air of generosity and could easily be adopted here.
Description:Possible Gaelic alternative to Kevin and Devon.
Origin:French from Greek
Description:Variant of Corinne
Origin:Feminine variation of Ernest
Description:One time joke name, à la Lily Tomlin's bossy telephone operator, Ernestine is ready for a possible reevaluation, like cousins Josephine and Clementine..
Origin:Variation of the word wild or German
Description:Wilda (or Wylda) has two widely divergent images. Pronounced vill-da, it feels like a cousin of Hilda: a sturdy and none-too-attractive prairie settler. But you can also think of her as wild-ah, as in the feminine of wild and wilder.