Names that Peaked in 1933
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:Diminutive of Theodore or Edward
Meaning:"gift of God or wealthy guardian"
Description:Teddy is in some ways one of those midcentury boys' nicknames -- like Jimmy or Bobby or Billy -- yet because it was never that popular, it feels timeless too. The preferred short form of Theodore these days may be Theo and of Edward may be....Edward, but Teddy can work adorably for either and grows up to Ted. And of course, let's not forget the inevitable teddy bear.
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.
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.
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.
Description:A doubly Presidential name, via Pierce and Roosevelt, Franklin was given an initial boost via the fame of Benjamin Franklin. It also has a literary tie to the main character of the Wilkie Collins classic The Moonstone.
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.
Description:Lionel is one leonine name that hasn't taken off as cousins Leo and Leonardo have, though it did reenter the Top 1000 in 2010 after several years away; it was at its highest point in the 1920s and 1930s.
Origin:Welsh, variant of Mervyn
Description:Marvin has been neglected for so long that it's hard to believe that it has windswept Welsh roots. It also has some strong namesakes going for it -- singer Marvin Gaye, composer Marvin Hamlisch and boxer Marvin Hagler. It's the real name of both Neil Simon and Meatloaf. And let's not forget mention Marvin Gardens on Monopoly.
Meaning:"from the forest of nut trees"
Description:Popular President Franklin Delano Roosevelt inspired a brief fashion for this as a first name in the 1940s; almost never heard today.
Meaning:"light, or furrow, plowed field"
Description:Symbolic name given to girls born on TuB'Shevat, the New Year of the Trees.
Description:An old Irish surname that was big in the 1960s, but would be an unexpected choice for a child now.
Origin:Short form of Roberta
Description:Bobby is a nickname-name that's long been used on its own for both girls and boys, though the Bobby spelling is more usually masculine while the girls' version is usually Bobbie. There were just over 50 baby girls named Bobbie in one recent year and only five named Bobby, compared with nearly 300 baby boys named Bobby. Robert F. Kennedy III and Amaryllis Fox named their daughter Bobby, continuing the family tradition across genders. And Millie Bobby Brown is a hot young actress.
Description:There's only one. Okay, two.
Origin:Variant of Eloise
Description:Mononymed English singer Elouise put this Eloise variant on the map; it's now given to more than 100 baby girls a year in the U.S..
Description:This Victorian pen name is the childish version of the novelist's real name, Louisa, but it has managed to gain a sophisticated image. Ouisa is a similar childhood nickname name.
Origin:Diminutive of Margery
Description:Prime pert-teenager name in midcentury TV shows, replaced by Maggie.