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Hello, Dolly: Names from the Doll World

In one of my extra-curricular, non-name  lives, I write about the field of collectibles and in doing so, I’ve amassed several shelves full of books on the subject of dolls. I’ve always been intrigued (surprise, surprise) by the names these kiddie playthings have been given by their makers during various periods, making them kind of  time capsules of trends and popularity during different eras. Of course, the manufacturers tried to pick names that they thought would be especially appealing and attractive to little girls.

1890s-1910s
Unfortunately, few of the gorgeous early French, German and other bebe dolls were given names–they would more likely be identified as “Baby Open-Mouth, Glass Eyes” or “Molded Blonde Hair Child,” leaving the actual bestowing of a name up to the child playing with it. But those with an official ID had names that were typical of their time:

ALMA
FLORENCE
HILDA
JEANETTE
KATIE
LILLY
MABEL
MARIE

1920s
The Patsy series introduced the double names that would soon become prevalent in the population of dollyland. Most of the other names were relatively formal and conventional, some a little on the fancy side.

BENEDETTA
EDWINA
GLORIA
HENRIETTE
LAURA
MARILEE
NORMA
PATSY, PATSY ANN, PATSY JOAN, PATSY RUTH, PATSY MAE, PATSY LOU
PHYLLIS
PRISCILLA
RITA
ROBERTA
ROSEMARY

1930s
The inclusion of middle names like Ann and Lee now became quasi-ubiquitous; also seen are time-stamped Bobbsey Twinish nicknames like Flossie and Ginger.

BARBARA ANN, BARBARA LOU
DORA LEE
FLOSSIE
GINGER
HILDA
LUCIA (Italian doll)
MARY LEE
JUNE
NANCY LEE
PATRICIA
PEGGY JEAN
ROBERTA
SALLY
SHIRLEY (Temple, of course)
SUZANNE, SUZETTE
WENDY, WENDY-ANN

1940s
Nickname names take over–Barbara Ann is now Babs and Patricia has become Patty.

BABS
BETTY JANE
CYNTHIA
DEBBY
JEAN
JENNIE
JUDY
JULIE
MAGGIE
MARY JANE
PATTY
PEGGY
POLLY
SUE
TRUDY
VALERIE
VELVA
WANDA


A wide range of names for early Baby Boomers, with fresher choices like Karen, Cheryl and Cindy entering the mix.

1950s

APRIL
BECKY
BERYL
BETSY
BINNIE
BONNIE
CAROL
CHERYL
CINDY
CONNIE
DAWN
EDIE
ELISE
ELLIE
ELOISE
GINNY
HOPE
IVA
JAN
JILL
JULIE
KAREN
KAY
LINDA
LUCY
MARGIE
MARGOT
MUFFIE
NAN/NANETTE
PAMELA
PAT
POSIE
ROSEMARY
RUTHIE
SANDRA SUE
SARA ANN
SARALEE
SUSIE
TAFFY
TINA
TONI
WANDA
WENDY
WINNIE

1960s
Includes names emerging from and reflecting popular culture, such as First Lady Jacqueline, Marlo, Tabitha and Tammy.

BARBIE (debuted in 1959)
CATHY
COCO
CRISSY
ELISE
FRANCIE
HEIDI
JANIE
JACQUELINE
KATIE
LESLIE
LIZ
MARLO
MARY ELLEN
MIDGE
POLLY
SALLY
STACEY
TABITHA
TAMMY

1970s
Names become much more imaginative in the Swinging 70s, with new and unconventional choices popping up on doll boxes, including Cricket, Harmony, Tiffany, Tuesday and Velvet.

BLYTHE
CARA
CINNAMON
CORA
CYNTHIA
CRISSY
CRICKET
DARCI
DAWN
DINA
GLORI
HARMONY
HEATHER LYNN
KERRY
MELANIE
MIA
SASHA
SHERYL
STEFFIE
TARA
TIFFANY
TUESDAY
VELVET

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21 Responses to “Hello, Dolly: Names from the Doll World”

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MePregnant Says:

May 21st, 2009 at 1:30 am

HELLO DOLLY: NAMES FROM THE DOLL WORLD – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry…

Unfortunately, few of the gorgeous early French, German and other bebe dolls were given names–they would more likely be identified as “Baby Open-Mouth, Glass Eyes” or “Molded Blonde Hair Child,” leaving the actual bestowing of a name up ……

realpraise Says:

May 21st, 2009 at 8:16 am

One thing about the names from the 50s: nobody doesn’t like Saralee.

Lola Says:

May 21st, 2009 at 8:46 am

Wow! My Grandma had a Lilly doll when she was little. My sister has it now. Any doll I had as a kid got it’s head blown off but I do remember having several that’s you’ve mentioned: Velvet, Chrissy & Baby Chrissy (one I managed not to explode), The ubiquitious Barbie, and my cousin Cynthia was given my Mom’s old Cynthia doll, seems that was where my Aunt got her name!

Dolls have never been my thing but my girl… is doll mad. She’s just shy of 5 and already has countless Barbies, Polly Pockets and those little Disney Princess dolls. She’s got Raggedy Ann, Hollie Hobbie and a half dozen odd things from her Nana Honey that I don’t recognise that originally belonged to her Auntie Linda & Debs. Interesting, the “shift” between us!

Karen Says:

May 21st, 2009 at 10:21 am

I was always in love with a line of dolls Fisher Price made in the early 70s (pre My Friend Mandy). They were soft body dolls with vinyl heads and arms. All the names chosen for the line were classics: Natalie, Audrey, Jenny, Elizabeth, Mary, Joey, and Baby Ann. In a sea of trendy doll names, I’m sure these names were selected to emphasize that these were just sweet, old-fashioned dolls for cuddling, with no batteries required.

PunkPrincessPhD Says:

May 21st, 2009 at 10:59 am

I used to love how Cabbage Patch Dolls (the “IT” toy of the 80’s!!!) would come with their own birth certificates and “adoption papers”. But I was a very disappointed 6 year old when I realized my new doll came with the name: Kazmyra Wendy.

But what do you expect from a guy named Xavier Roberts???

iris1973 Says:

May 21st, 2009 at 2:24 pm

What, no Skipper?? I had the Skipper doll that grew boobs and height when you raised one of her arms. Completely bizarre now that I think about it.

PunkPrincess, I was also disappointed in my Cabbage Patch Doll’s name, circa 1982…Georgette Dara. As a fourth grader, I couldn’t have come up with two names I liked less at the time. Still not thrilled about them, truthfully, although I do like other variations of George-; such as Georgiana (jor-jee-AHna), Georgia, Georgeanna (jor-JAY-na), etc.

Gigi Says:

May 21st, 2009 at 3:23 pm

My Cabbage Patch dolls name was Orianna. circa… 1985

rachelmarie Says:

May 21st, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Whoa, it’s funny seeing those.
And I remember Barbie had a friend or sister named Skipper, and I think a little sister named Kelly? Ha ha.

Also, what about the newer dolls? (Babysitting a lot, I get to know their names.)
Polly
Lila
Lea
Cloe
Yasmin
Jade
Sasha
Lila
Lea

teabee Says:

May 21st, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Whoa, Velva?! I can see why that one didn’t catch on.
My Cabbage Patch doll was Pearl Andrea, which I thought was pretty cool…

peach Says:

May 21st, 2009 at 6:50 pm

This is fun! My cabbage patch doll’s name was Myrna Keely — a name I’d never heard and didn’t particularly like but I liked the doll all the same. My favorite dolls growing up were Raggedy Ann and “Sandy” doll named after my favorite Aunt (I have no idea if the doll itself had a name originally it had been my Aunt’s doll).

Rosamund Says:

May 21st, 2009 at 7:00 pm

My favorite doll growing up in the 70s was Tiffany Taylor. She had two choices of hair colour-long platinum blonde hair or if you twisted her scalp around long dark brown hair with a fringe. She was so glamorous in her gold sparkly outfit! Funnily enough Tiffany is a name I still love especially as it also holds for me the association with my favorite movie ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’.

Boston Girl Says:

May 21st, 2009 at 7:01 pm

I’m still into dolls, but I’m concentrating on the 6½” ones, starting with Dawn from the early 70s. I’m just old enough to have been into Dawn and her friends: Angie, Glori, Dale, Melanie, Maureen, Daphne, Dinah, Denise, Connie, Kip and Jessica. (There were also Fancy Feet and Longlocks, but that’d just be cruel.)

All these girls had to have boyfriends…as Barbie had Ken, so Dawn and her pals had Gary, Ron, Van and Kevin.

I never had a Cabbage Patch doll, but as particular as I can be about names, I probably would’ve wound up getting one with a name I hated, too. A friend of my mother’s did have one, and she named it herself. She called it Amy Katherine, saying that’s what her third child would have been called if he’d been a girl. I wonder if she just renamed the doll, or if some came without names? 🙂

Jill Says:

May 22nd, 2009 at 6:38 am

Hilarious. I couldn’t wait to get a cabbage patch doll. But when she came with the name Anna Joleen, I lost interest. Anna I can handle – but Anna Joleen? That is right up there with Billy Ray and Ricky Bobby.

lyndsay jenness Says:

May 22nd, 2009 at 8:45 am

I got my cabbage patch doll when I was born, my mom named her Elizabeth (because she thought she couldn’t name me Elizabeth Taylor, sigh), I’m sure that’s not the name she came with.

Abby Says:

May 24th, 2009 at 9:36 am

Growing up in the 70s/80s, my sister Kimberly had a Kimberly doll – actually she had at least two. I remember being very jealous that I didn’t have a doll with my name.

My Cabbage Patch Kid came from Germany, so I got to complete an adoption certificate – really – and, best of all, choose her name. I named her Nicholette Charyl – surprisingly similar in style to your Georgette Dara, Iris1973!

Ava Rene Says:

November 9th, 2009 at 9:14 pm

Do you have a doll names Ava Rene? I would love to get it for my granddaughter.
Thank you,
Susie

Delinda Says:

November 26th, 2009 at 10:33 am

In the 70s I had a doll named “Hello, Dolly.” She had beautiful light brown hair and her clothes were orange and yellow. Does anyone remember this doll? Who made it? Boston Girl, I loved the Dawn girls, too. My daughter’s Polly Pockets closely resemble the old Dawn girls.

cassie Says:

December 22nd, 2009 at 1:39 pm

I LOVE the name Cassie

Love,

Shelby Clark

Cassie Says:

December 22nd, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Is the name Cassie avilbol

Love,

Shelby Clark

expedia Says:

August 12th, 2014 at 8:30 pm

expedia

Hello, Dolly: Names from the Doll World – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry

leafsgirl44 Says:

March 14th, 2019 at 8:44 am

I grew up in the 90s-early 00s and loved dolls, this is what I grew up with;

Beanie Boppers had the best names from what I remember, these were what I had growing up:

Betty
Cassidy
Darla
Debbie
Ellie
Gabby
Jenna
Jessie
Rusty (b)

Groovy Girls:

Josie
Gabi
Michaela
Kendra

Bratz:

Cloe
Yasmin
Meighan

Barbie:

Barbie (obviously)
Skipper
Whitney
Krissy
Stacie
Ken
Tommy
Kelly
Melody
Nikki
Midge
Teresa
Christie
Kayla

Polly Pocket:

Polly
Shani
Lila
Pia
Todd

Diva Starz:

Alexa
Summer
Tia

What’s Her Face (weirdly named):
Hip (others included Glam, Sweet, Cool, Wild, Retro)

My Scene:

Chelsea
Delancey
Madison

Wee 3 Friends:

Lila
Janet
Stacie (Barbie’s sister – this was a spin off line from 2004)

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