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Names that Peaked in 1931

  1. 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).
  2. ConradHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "brave counsel"
    • Description:

      Conrad has a somewhat intellectual masculine image, a solid name that has been consistently on the popularity lists, especially well used in the 1920s and 30s, and given a pop of rock energy by the Elvis-like character of Conrad Birdie in Bye, Bye, Birdie--("We love you Conrad, oh yes we do!").
  3. PaulHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "small"
    • Description:

      To the thousands of girls who screamed the name of their favorite Beatle in the 1960s, the boys' name Paul had a thrillingly unique image, but to the rest of the world, then and now, it's a name that's so simple and yet so widely diffuse that it could belong to almost anyone. Paul is an ancient name for boys -- popular in Roman and medieval times -- that's not very fashionable now, which can work in its favor, scarcity balancing simplicity.
  4. RichardHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "dominant ruler"
    • Description:

      A classic old Norman name popular for a thousand years and favored for kings (Richard Nixon was named for Richard the Lionhearted), as well as the hoi polloi (as in every Tom, Dick and Harry), Richard was the sixth most popular US boys’ name in 1925, and was still Number 8 in 1950, but is now much less popular.
  5. RobertHeart
    • Origin:

      English from German
    • Meaning:

      "bright fame"
    • 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.
  6. BettyHeart
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Elizabeth
    • Meaning:

      "pledged to God"
    • Description:

      Combine the popularity of Betty White and Mad Men's glamorous Betty Draper Francis, with the residual sweetness of Ugly Betty's Betty Suarez, and the result is an impending return of the name. It's got presidential cred via Betty Ford and feminist history through Betty Friedan.
  7. WinonaHeart
    • Origin:

      Sioux Indian
    • Meaning:

      "firstborn daughter"
    • Description:

      Rode two rockets to fame, with actress Winona Ryder and singer Wynonna Judd. Winona entered the Top 1000 for the first time since 1957 this past year in 2022, following in the footsteps of trending short form Winnie.
  8. JoanHeart
    • Origin:

      English variation of Johanna
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Joan was the perfect name choice for one of the leading characters on Mad Men, being a quintessential girls' name of the period. A Top 10 name in the 30s, a Top 50 name from the 40s through the early 60s, it was the fifth most popular name in the country for three years running and ranks as one of the most common names for girls in the 20th century. But alas, Joan hasn't even appeared in the Top 1000 for a dozen years, and these days it's primarily associated with Joans of the generation of Joan Crawford, Joan Collins and Joan Rivers--just a few of the noted Joans whose ranks also include the singers Joan Sutherland, Joan Baez, Joan Armatrading and Joan Jett. But it's possible that modern parents who are reviving Jane might move on to Joan, inspired by Joan Hollaway Harris.
  9. BillyHeart
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of William
    • Meaning:

      "resolute protection"
    • Description:

      Cute kid with freckles, bouncing a Spalding ball. Cool couple Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton put the name Billy Burton on their son's birth certificate. While the classic William, name of the future king of England, may in fact be German, the nickname Billy along with such other classic short forms as Jim and Joe are authentically English names for boys.
  10. NormanHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "northerner, Norseman"
    • Description:

      Norman, perhaps because it sounds so much like the word 'normal', conjures up the image of a normal-looking guy with a normal kind of job-- not necessarily an image many modern parents seek for their sons. But though it's been off the national popularity list for several years, Norman is Number 694 on Nameberry. It was a Top 100 name for more than half a century, hitting a high in 1931 at Number 36, but today it's nowhere near one of the most popular boy names starting with N.
  11. LowellHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "young wolf"
    • Description:

      Lowell is an upstanding and somewhat conservative name that calls to mind the genteel patrician families of nineteenth century New England, such as the one poet Robert Lowell was born into. Two other Lowell-surnamed poets are Amy and James Russell.
  12. GeraldineHeart
    • Origin:

      German and French, feminine variation of Gerald
    • Meaning:

      "ruler with the spear"
    • Description:

      Though twin brother Gerald is still in baby name limbo, Geraldine is in line to follow the path of Josephine to imminent revival—even though Gerry is not as spunky a nickname as Josie.
  13. GaylordHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "brisk, high-spirited"
    • Description:

      Best left on the old southern plantation, sipping his mint julep.
  14. MyronHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "fragrant, an aromatic shrub, myrrh"
    • Description:

      One of many M names -- including Murray, Melvin, Morton, Milton, and Marvin -- given to first-generation Jewish boys to replace the old-fashioned Moses. Now we'd pick Moses over any of them.
  15. NormaHeart
    • Origin:

      English or Latin
    • Meaning:

      "from the north; or, the pattern"
    • Description:

      Invented for Bellini's opera, Norma had some star quality in the silent-screen and Marilyn Monroe days, but at this point it's a graying grandma in baby name limbo.
  16. GlenHeart
    • Origin:

      Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "a narrow valley"
    • Description:

      Former cool-boy name now in middle-aged limbo, but with a nice naturey meaning to endear it to modern parents.
  17. IrwinHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "boar friend"
    • Description:

      Son of Irving.
  18. BillHeart
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of William
    • Meaning:

      "resolute protection"
    • Description:

      Most Bills today are dads...or grandpas. The younger Williams are usually nicknamed Will, or called by their full names.
  19. DoyleHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "black stranger"
    • Description:

      Dark horse Irish surname.
  20. RoselynHeart
    • Origin:

      Combination name of Rose and Lynn
    • Description:

      Roselyn was a frequent member of the US Top 1000 in the early twentieth century until it dropped off the charts in 1954. It didn't return until 2003.