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Forgotten Names Now Back On The Charts

Forgotten Names Now Back On The Charts

These names were gone forever… until the parents of 2021 brought them back to life.

The comeback kids are an amazing niche source of rare baby name ideas. These names were once on the charts, then totally vanished — meaning they were given to fewer than five children — for at least 10 years. Then they popped back up again!

Sometimes there’s a clear reason. Lilibet hadn’t featured in the US name data since 1999, but after Meghan and Harry put the royal nickname on their daughter’s birth certificate last year, 11 other sets of parents followed suit. Namari was the biggest comeback, returning with 28 girls for the first time since 2010, thanks to the character Namaari in Raya and the Last Dragon (the Disney spelling was a new entry to the charts).

Taylor Swift’s partner Joe Alwyn inspired parents to give his name to their daughters, after a 97-year gap. And the controversy and success of singer Morgan Wallen put his name back on the boys’ charts for the first time since 1944.

Other comebacks include vintage names that sound cute again, like Della-Mae and Arty, as well as multicultural choices that have always been rare English-speaking parents, like Francoise and Amato.

Altogether, 194 baby girl names and 172 baby boy names made a comeback to the US charts in 2021 after a gap of a decade or more. The names MIA for longest were Enzie for girls (last seen in 1898), and Loyall for boys (back for the first time since 1915).

Here are the best newly-revived names of the year. Which ones would you like to see back for good?

The year in brackets is the last time a name was on the US charts, until 2021.

Best of… Vintage Comebacks

These old-fashioned revivals — many of them nicknames — would be sweet on a modern baby.

Girls: Aldora (1970), Betsie (1995), Billee (1995), Clemmie (1973), Delle (1958), Enzie (1898), Estoria (1936), Genora (1991), Georgetta (2003), Isola (1947), Lilibet (1999), Monnie (1991), Quilla (1964), Quinnie (1948), Rosebelle (1933)

Boys: Alvy (1958), Arty (1982), Benjie (1989), Chancy (2010), Elby (1966), Elmore (2005), Harvie (1977)

Best of… Last Names as First Names

Surnames are always in style, and there’s plenty of fresh inspiration in these forgotten names.

Girls: Alwyn (1928), Elton (1975), Greeley (2010), Hyatt (2005), Lowe (2009), Lowell (1986), Mackenley (2000), Wade (2004)

Boys: Bartley (2009), Cassell (1979), Dalson (2009), Grayland (1989), Holloway (1929), Holman (2004), Munroe (1925), Sinatra (1966), Wadley (2003), Waldon (1988), Wallen (1944)

Best of… International Comebacks

Rediscovered names from cultures all around the world.

Girls: Azita (1997), Buna (1953), Celyn (1998), Dorothee (1943), Fauzia (1994), Floridalma (2008), Francoise (2005), Gavi (2006), Jisoo (2001), Liseli (2007), Manisa (1986), Muzna (2001), Nitsa (1967), Perlita (2009), Rozina (1997), Sabira (2008), Saeeda (2009), Suna (2007), Vila (1956), Yamini (2005)

Boys: Amato (2005), Arsalaan (1998), Brigido (2007), Domiano (1984), Donaciano (2008), Eko (2008), Evangelo (2005), Kazeem (1995), Kazu (2008), Kenjiro (2010), Loretto (1920), Magno (2006), Maro (1988), Mischa (2006), Mizan (2004), Nando (1994), Nicodemo (2009), Olajide (1997), Ramesh (2004), Reino (2008), Renz (2010), Rotimi (1986), Sylvain (1996), Viliamu (2006), Vuong (2009), Yue (2006)

Best of… Word and Place Names

These revived names cover a wide spectrum, from countries to colors to comic books.

Girls: Anime (2009), Beige (1980), Eritrea (1991), Levity (2009), Midnight (2005), Saudi (2007), Thailand (2010), Tresor (1997), Vallee (1948), Winsome (1993)

Boys: Armour (1947), Berlyn (1949), Dharma (1976), France (1992), Godwill (2009), Infinite (2003), Loyall (1915), Mar (2009), Samurai (2009), Sonic (2009), Wood (1991)

Best of… Ancient Names

Parents are refreshing names from the classics, the Bible, and beyond.

Girls: Bilqis (1994), Evadne (1994), Evanthia (2005), Leocadia (1950)

Boys: Genghis (1972), Isander (2006), Morpheus (2000), Pericles (2001), Sargon (2007)

Best of… Modern Names

These names have only been around for a few decades… but they’ve already had time to go out of use and make a comeback.

Girls: Aerowyn (2010), Airys (2008), Atavia (2010), Cerelia (1988), Dayne (2008), Evanni (2009), Kemilly (2008), Kenzia (2004), Kiarri (2001), Korayma (2008), Lavana (1982), Niamani (1997), Reyanne (2009), Zaisha (2005)

Boys: Amondre (2009), Daquon (2010), Hollin (2008), Jahkobe (2007), Jaleo (2010), Jaquille (2002), Kione (2009), Kreston (2004), Rader (2009), Shey (2010), Tryp (2007), Zayland (2009)

Best of… Double Names and Smooshes

Inventive parents combined these names as double barrels, or by telescoping two names together. Official US data ignores spaces and punctuation, so a baby recorded as Bettyjo might in real life go by Betty Jo, Betty-Jo, or even Betty*Jo.

Girls: Anadelia (2008), Annaclara (2010), Bettyjo (1992), Delianna (2008), Dellamae (1936), Helaine (2008), Ilamae (1938), Ivadell (1941), Jendaya (2007), Jessielynn (1987), Kristlyn (2010), Louana (1979), Marymichael (2003), Sarann (2003), Tamarie (2009), Olliemae (1918), Willadean (1965)

Boys: Elijay (2008), Janmichael (2010), Joevan (2009), Juliam (2008), Lyles (1983), Malicah (2009)

Read next:

Lost baby names that made a comeback in 2020, 20192018, and 2017.

About the Author

Clare Green

Clare has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, covering everything from the next high-rising names to how to choose a multilingual name, and keeping up-to-date with international baby name rankings. She has a background in linguistics and librarianship, and lives in England with her husband and toddler. You can follow everything she reads about names on Twitter or Scoop.it, or reach her at clare@nameberry.com