Names that Peaked in 1941
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.
Description:Bonnie is a word the Scots really do use for pretty, thus the root of this name, from the French bonne. Bonnie is teetering on the edge of a comeback right now, along with Betty and Bea one of the girls' names starting with Bthat are so far out they're heading back in, especially in the UK.
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:Long associated with the Churchill family and common in the West Indies, the distinguished Winston has tended to be neglected here. The exception was during the World War II period, when Winston Churchill was a towering figure and his name reached Number 234. It's now enjoying something of a renaissance.
Meaning:"lover of horses"
Description:Philip, the name of one of the 12 apostles, is still favored by parents in search of a solid boys' classic that is less neutral than Robert or John and more distinctive than Daniel or Matthew and has many historic, royal ties.
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: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.
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.
Description:To many people, Ronald is off playing shuffleboard with Donald, though others aren't swayed by its old man image. In the Top 10 in the late 1930s through the mid-1940s, the name later came to be strongly associated with President Reagan, along with his nicknames, Ron and Ronnie—as well as with the McDonald franchise mascot. A more youthful bearer is the likable character Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter series. In the early days of Hollywood, Ronald Colman was a dashing matinee idol.
Origin:English, diminutive of Katherine
Description:Kay, a cigarette-smoking, nightclubbing name of the 1930's, could be ready for a comeback along with cousins May/Mae and Ray/Rae.
Origin:Scottish, spelling variation of Earl
Description:Errol was a swashbuckling name in the Errol Flynn era, which still has a trace of jazz cool.m thanks to jazz pianist Erroll Garner.
Origin:English literary name
Description:One of those names like Pamela, Vanessa and Wendy, Lorna was invented for a particular literary character--the protagonist of the 1869 novel Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore--and then perpetuated as the name of a shortbread cookie. The author claimed to have based it on the Scottish place-name, Lorn. In baby name limbo for quite some time, it was chosen by Judy Garland for her younger daughter, Lorna Luft. Lorna Simpson is an important contemporary American artist.
Origin:Diminutive of Gerald or Jerome
Description:Rapidly declining in popularity, as most Jerrys have their AARP cards.
Origin:English, feminine variation of Charles
Description:A Caroline abbreviation that was wildly popular with Mom's generation...or Grandma's. At one time it was a name for baby girls born at Christmas. because of its association with Christmas carols.
Origin:English, diminutive of Patricia
Description:This sassy, spunky name was used for the mostly Irish jump-roping pigtailed girls of the thirties and forties -- and some Irish and Italian boys as well. Its most noted bearer was iconic country music singer Patsy Cline (born Virginia), and was sighted most recently in the Ab Fab movie. After reaching Number 52 in the late thirties, it dropped off the list completely in 1970--and we're not anticipating a return.
Description:Meredith has been considered primarily a girl's name since the fifties, before which it was more commonly used for boys. Comic actor Jay Mohr recently named his son Meredith, which might help it swing back into the blue column.
Origin:Diminutive of Hedwig
Description:Linked to one of the great screen beauties, but has never appealed much to Americans.