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Names that Peaked in 1937

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).

SylviaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "from the forest"
  • Description:

    The musical, sylvan Sylvia seems poised to join former friends Frances and Beatrice and Dorothy back in the nursery.

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.

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.

PatriciaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "noble, patrician"
  • Description:

    Patricia still sounds patrician, though its scores of nicknames definitely don't. Wildly popular from the forties (alternately Number 3 and 4 throughout the decade) to the sixties, Patricia has been fading ever since. But a comeback in its full form is definitely conceivable—just look at Penelope.

MarilynHeart

  • Origin:

    English, combination of Mary and Lynn
  • Meaning:

    "drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved + lake"
  • Description:

    For a name that was in the Top 20 for a whole decade – the 1930's – Marilyn has attained the status of almost a one-person name. Just say the name Marilyn, and most people will know who you mean. Yet strangely enough, though Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jean and renamed in tribute to earlier star Marilyn Miller) was the sex symbol of her generation, very little stardust adhered to her name. In fact, when Mariah Carey wished to honor the star in her daughter's name, she chose to call her Monroe rather than Marilyn.

BarbaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "foreign woman"
  • Description:

    If you can get the lively young Barbara Bush to replace her grandmother's white-haired image, you might discover a rhythmic classic with an interesting history. Barbara is undoubtedly among the most classic girl names starting with B.

PeggyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Margaret, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Just when we had written off Peggy as the eternal perky, pug-nosed prom-queen she projected from the 1920s into the fifties, along came Mad Men, with intriguing mid-century characters with names like Joan and Betty--and Peggy, causing a bit of a re-think. MM's proto-feminist Peggy Olson was followed by Amy Adams's strong Oscar-nominated Peggy Dodd character in The Master.

YvonneHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "yew wood"
  • Description:

    Peaking in the 1950s, Yvonne has now dropped out of the Top 1000 in 2003 and doesn't look set to return soon, although its rare Y initial might endear it to some. Yvaine, from Neil Gaiman's Stardust, has more modern appeal.

BeverlyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "dweller near the beaver stream"
  • Description:

    The remarkable success of the girls' name Everly makes a revival of the name Beverly seem possible. More commonly a masculine name in the 19th century, it began to be used for girls in the early 1900s, reaching #14 ion the popular names list in 1937. Inspirations: Beverly Johnson was the first African-American model to appear on the cover of Vogue, Beverly Sills was a major American soprano, Beverly Cleary authored the beloved 'Ramona' books, and Beverly Goldberg is the beloved TV matriarch of 'The Goldbergs'.

JoyceHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "merry, joyous"
  • Description:

    Once a boy name, this name took off for girls during the mid-twentieth century, when it spent 1930 to 1947 in the Top 20. Now, it's one of the girls' names starting with J least likely to make a comeback any time soon.

GeneHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Eugene, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "wellborn, noble"
  • Description:

    Like Ray, a formerly funky nickname name that is newly cool; used for comedian Amy Schumer's son.

ArvinHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "friend of the people"
  • Description:

    This name's popularity peaked in the 1930s in the mid 600s - but we think it is time for a reconsideration. Arvin feels more modern than similar names like Marvin and Alvin. It also boasts a beautiful meaning and defies easy shortening (which is an asset to many parents who choose a name because they want it to be used!).

GaleHeart

  • Origin:

    Nature name
  • Description:

    Gale for boys is more a storm name than a short form of Abigail. Since Gale has resurfaced as the name of Liam Hemsworth's daring character in The Hunger Games, it has new force for boys.

FreddieHeart

  • Origin:

    Short form of Alfreda or Frederica
  • Description:

    Freddie, especially with the ie ending, is one of the old-school boy-names-for-girls that came into vogue at the turn of the last century. Freddie, all on its own, ranked among the Top 1000 girl names until 1958, but in 2019 it was given to fewer than five baby girls. Maybe that makes it prime for a comeback, ala Billie?

ShelbyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "estate on the ledge"
  • Description:

    Southern name still occasionally heard in a male context (author Shelby Foote and the son of singer/sitcom star Reba McEntire), but it's much more associated with girls.

BernieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Bernard, English
  • Meaning:

    "strong; brave as a bear"
  • Description:

    It's been shown that notable political figures often impact the use of their names, and the same can — sort of — be said about Bernie Sanders. His name increased in use by 47% between 2015 and 2016 (albeit, to a peak of only 21 baby boys given the name). By 2017, Bernie has decreased in usage by almost 60%.

CarltonHeart

  • Description:

    See CARLETON.

PatHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Patrick
  • Meaning:

    "noble, patrician"
  • Description:

    As seen on SNL, Pat is the ultimate androgynous name. Stick with long form Patrick, and make sure everyone calls him Patrick.

SheltonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "place on a ledge or bank"
  • Description:

    We're not too surprised that Shelton Lee changed his name to Spike.