Top Names that Peaked in 1940
Origin:English variation of Jacob, Hebrew
Description:James is an English derivation of the Hebrew name Jacob. James is biblical (the name of two apostles in the New Testament), royal (kings of both England and Scotland), presidential (with more U.S. Chief Executives named James (six) than any other name), and it is shared by countless great writers and entertainers.
Description:Thomas is the Greek variation of the Aramaic name Ta’oma’. It came about because there were too many apostles named Judas; Jesus renamed one Thomas—meaning "twin"—to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot and the Judas also known as Thaddeus. At first, it was used only for priests.
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).
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.
Description:Allen is the spelling of this name -- other common spellings are Alan and Allan -- most associated with the surname; it might also be the most appropriate if you're trying to steer clear of Al as a nickname, as this can easily offer you Len or Lenny as options.
Origin:Latin, diminutive of Prisca
Description:Despite her somewhat prissy, puritanical air, Priscilla has managed to stay widely used for well over a century -- it reached as high as Number 127 in 1940 -- appreciated for its delicacy and solid history.
Origin:Diminutive of Gerald or Jerome
Description:Rapidly declining in popularity, as most Jerrys have their AARP cards.
Origin:Spelling variation of Alan meaning "handsome, cheerful"
Description:This extra-L variation of Alan isn't quite as popular as the original. Both spellings remain popular in Ireland and England.
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.
Meaning:"woman from Judea"
Description:The biblical Judith, the fourth most popular name in 1940, may be getting ready for a comeback in its full, elegant, if somewhat solemn form. Many of those earlier Judiths were called Judy—some after Judy (born Frances) Garland—preferring it over their more formal proper name. Today, Judith, like Deborah, may have shaken off just enough to appeal to parents looking for a traditional, yet under-the-radar biblical name. And Jude would be a likelier nickname these days than the Judge Judy connection.