Forgotten Names Return to the Charts
These are the comeback kids of 2020. They've been on the US name charts in the past, but went missing for years — meaning they were given to fewer than five girls or boys each year.
You might have thought they were lost forever... but now they're back!
The comeback kids are those that were completely off the charts for ten years or more, but returned in 2020. Some have been away much longer than that: the longest gaps in service this year were from Zura for girls (last seen in 1917) and Kazmer for boys (last on the charts in 1920).
Some were very popular back in the day, like former Top 200 Flossie, back for the first time since 1987. Others are occasional flashes in the name pan: the Yoruba name Ayo is often given to several American children of both sexes, but just made our list as it was last on the girls' chart in 2009.
A few of the names are clearly inspired by the events of 2020, like Bryant returning for girls, and Dekobe for boys. And some seem inevitable as they fit so well with current tastes, like Laeloni and Beauford.
This is pick of the best lost-and-found names on the 2020 charts. They cover a diverse range of languages and styles, from unisex names and fun smooshes, to whimsical words and vintage rediscoveries.
The year in brackets is the last time a name was on the US charts, until 2020.
Best of... Vintage Comebacks
These names feel strongly tied to a certain era. Could they see a new dawn in the 2020s?
Best of... Gender-Crossing Names
These names are used regularly chart for one sex, but have just peeked back onto the chart for the other one.
Boys: Arielle (1992), Jubilee (1998), Kayra (2007), Lakelyn (2006), Lu (1995), Odyssey (1997)
Best of... Word Names
Revived word names cover a wide spectrum from comforting and uplifting, to wild forces of nature.
Best of... International Names
As the name pool gets more diverse, we love seeing more names that are rare in English-speaking countries return to the charts. The languages represented here include Turkish, Irish, Arabic, Sanskrit, Amharic, Yoruba, Bosnian and Quechua.
Girls: Ayantu (2007), Ayo (2009), Dairin (2008), Dymphna (1979), Dzejla (2007), Elnaz (2000), Eloiza (2006), Helga (1992), Hilla (1996), Nahida (2008), Neshama (2004), Nyani (2007), Ozlem (1976), Palmyra (1933), Sibora (2006), Urja (2008), Yma (1975)
Boys: Adamo (2000), Akam (2006) , Aristide (1994), Atanacio (2007), Avichai (2002), Caolan (2006), Dalil (2005), Eusevio (2007), Kwami (1996), Reinhart (2005), Rudhra (2008), Salahudin (2007), Yannik (2009)
Best of... Feminizations
We spotted some interesting female versions of male names (or names that sound like they could be). Some are traditional, others are fun modern creations:
Best of... Alternative Spellings
Sometimes controversial, but among this year's comebacks there are some fun respellings that change up the feeling of a familiar name.
Best of... Surnames
The trend for surname names is constantly evolving as parents look for cool-but-uncommon options. These forgotten surnames have just returned to the charts.
Girls: Chamberlain (1999), Prentice (1991)
Best of... Compound Names
Combine the best bits of two names and you could come up with something beautiful. Here are some revived examples that sound like they could be super smoosh names.
Girls: Athelia (1963), Idahlia (2006), Isamara (2004), Marlett (2009), Rosaliz (1995), Sadelle (1922)
Boys: Brynton (1995), Kaileo (2008), Tylo (1998)
Best of... Change One Letter
More fun with spelling! Changing just one letter or sound in a familiar name can turn it into something rather different. It's a popular game in the Nameberry forums, and these are some real-life revived examples.
Boys: Andrel (2002), Averyn (2009), Beauford (1982), Gipson (1952), Hayson (2007), Marquist (2007), Nickon (1998)
Got a name story to tell? If you'd like to write about your personal experience with your own name, your child's name, names in your family or your culture, we'd love to consider your story for publication on Nameberry. Email us a sentence or two about your idea at email@example.com