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Baby Name Trendspotting: Hello, Dolly!

September 10, 2014 Eleanor Nickerson

By Eleanor Nickerson, British Baby Names

Even though they didn’t make the top 20 list of names which had moved up the most in 2013, one thing I particularly noticed about the recent England and Wales data release was the number of “Dol” names that had shot onto the scene.

Forget Molly and Holly, Dolly is the new dainty diva on the scene! With her trendy two syllable + ee ending and sassy namesakes like Dolly Parton and Barbra Streisand’s Dolly Levi there’s a lots to love about Dolly.

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Dolly

In 2013, Dolly moved up almost 200 places from #473 (93 births) in 2012 to #276 (171 births). It’s popularity shows a steep upward curve (right) and has come a long way since it was given to only 3 babies in 2000.

Alternative spelling Dollie is also on the upswing, moving from #1525 (20 births) to #1018 (35 births).
2013 also saw hyphenations DollyRose, DollyMay, DollyMae and DollyMarie rank higher than ever before, and DollyRae, DollieRose and DollieMae rank for the first time ever.
Chantelle Houghton and Alex Reid welcomed their daughter Dolly in September 2012 which helped give the name more exposure. And in the US, Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell named one of their twin daughters Dolly in 2009.

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Dolcie

If Dolly is too informal for your taste, how about Dolcie? Part Dolly, but with the familiar ending of Lucy, Macey, Lacey and Casey. This variant of sweet Dulcie also moved up over 200 places in 2013, overtaking Dulcie for the first time.

In 2012, Dolcie ranked #731 (55 births) which rose to #509 (82 births) in 2013.

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Dorothy

Dolly was originally coined as a nickname for Dorothy and it, too, has been on an upward incline. With either Dolly, Dottie or Dora as potential nicknames, seriously vintage Dorothy has heaps of versatility as well as refined elegance.

In 2013 it moved up over 300 places from #709 (58 births) to #397 (107 births).
Theodora (#750) and Isadora (#999) are also on an upward curve.

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Dahlia

Though not quite a “Dol-” name, Dahlia fits the similar D-L pattern and is also rising. Perhaps we can thank American sitcom Suburgatory?
In 2012 Dahlia ranked #1525 with 20 births. In 2013 it broke the top 1000 at #959 with 38 births.

And Dahlia isn’t the only D-L name enjoying a boost. Check out the graphs for Delilah (#214) and Delia (#1433):

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So, keep a weather eye open for Dolly and her sisters. She might just creep up on us all.

Eleanor writes here about an emerging trend among the Brits.  Do you see it in the US as well?

About the author

Elea

Eleanor Nickerson, better known to Nameberry message board visitors as Elea, is a primary school teacher living in Coventry, England and author of the blog British Baby Names.

View all of Elea's articles

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