100 Great Lost Names from 100 Years Ago
By Linda Rosenkrantz
At the beginning of every new year, we like to follow the Hundred Year Rule and look back at the popularity lists of a century ago, seeing if we can find some faded flowers with revival potential.
1918 was a year of major world events. The devastating First World War came to an end when an armistice was signed in November, and there was a horrific Spanish flu pandemic. This was also the year when women (over 30) got the vote in the UK, Daylight Savings Time began, Billy Graham was born, the first Tarzan movie debuted and there were new books by James Joyce, Willa Cather, Proust, Kafka, Freud and Churchill.
And baby names? Top of the list were the perennial John and Mary, followed by James and Dorothy, Robert and Margaret, Charles and Ruth. But we’re more interested in looking deeper into the lists, which paid off by finding 100 great names from the 1918 Top 500 that aren’t even in today’s Top 1000– but could find their way back.
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on January 22nd, 2018 at 6:34 am
A lot of these are right up my alley! In fact, I’m pregnant with a (most likely) Sibyl at the moment, who might very well have been an Isadore if a boy!
on January 22nd, 2018 at 7:13 am
I’m pretty sure I’m smitten with
Geneva Rosalind and Stuart Garland.
My grandmother’s aunts who were born in this era were four sisters named Agatha (nicknamed Ag) Pauline (Polly) Gertrude (Gertie), Edith (Eed) and Anna.
on January 22nd, 2018 at 8:26 am
Lots of gorgeous choices here! I especially love Cleo, Inez and Sol.
on January 22nd, 2018 at 10:10 am
We have a Sybil and get such wonderful reactions to her name!
on January 22nd, 2018 at 12:17 pm
I am drawn to many of these girl’s names which seem quite classic to me.
The boy’s names are a bit harder… I like several but am not sure they would work well today:
on January 22nd, 2018 at 1:01 pm
I love Effie, Etta, Opal, Geneva, Birdie and Lula (which I’m actually considering using if I have a daughter).
on January 22nd, 2018 at 1:33 pm
I love Ione & Lucinda from the girls’ list; from the boys’ list I like Burl & Edmund. I have a Lemuel, a Minnie (although that was her nn; her full name was Maria Salomina), & an Olga in my family tree, although all of them were born back in the 1870s, ’80s, & ’90s. And my paternal grandmother (b. 1909) was Nellie Augusta, named after both of her grandmothers.
on January 22nd, 2018 at 9:01 pm
These are so fun! Cleo and Minerva are both on my girls’ list—and both in my family tree! I also love Rosalind and Odessa.
Ned is my favorite from the boys’ list. Ned Nickerson gave me a soft spot for the name 🙂
on January 23rd, 2018 at 1:34 am
My Grandmother was born in 1920 and her middle name was Beryl (pronounced like girl with a B). She gave her middle name to my mother who was born in 1949, Beryl Louise. My daughter now has it as her middle name, Andrya Beryl.
on January 24th, 2018 at 12:07 am
So interesting how so many of the boy names are unisex now, whereas none of the girls names are. One of them has been taken over completely by girls (Garland). Interesting.
on April 16th, 2018 at 12:16 am
I love most and I hope they will come back
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