Lost Names Return to the Charts
Let’s look at the comeback kids in this year’s baby name charts: the lost names that parents are using again after years of neglect.
To make it into this special category, a name has to appear in the US baby name rankings — the full list below the Top 1000 of all the names given to five or more girls or boys — having been MIA for ten years or more.
In 2019, 163 girl names and 176 boy names returned to the charts. Some were relatively popular before they fell into disuse, while others are just occasional blips in the data. The longest radio silence was from Azena, a girl name that last appeared in 1913 and had 7 births in 2019, 106 years later. The longest gap for boy names was Arvi, which was last recorded in 1921.
Here’s our pick of the best names that haven’t seen the light of day for a decade or more. Today, they make an interesting collection of options that are almost unique, but not newly invented.
Boniface (1937) — Grand, ancient and saintly.
Jacinth (2005) — A unisex floral name, meaning “hyacinth”.
Louelle (1927) and Louetta (1979) — Two classy blended names with great nickname options.
Kaiona (2003) — One of many “Kai” names on the rise.
Roric (1974) — A Germanic-cool version of Roderick. The spelling Rorik is already gaining in popularity.
Quillian (1971) — Quill is rising fast, and this Irish surname makes a longer formal version.
Mellow (1939) — We’re surprised this girl name didn’t surface in the hippie 60s and 70s, but it’s an interesting, gentle choice now.
Artie (1989) — A truly gender-crossing name, this nickname for Arthur was more popular for girls in the early twentieth century, then went over to the boys from the 1940s. In 2019 it returned to the girls’ lists. Who knows where it will go from here?
Eliodoro (2004) — Elio is having a moment, and this longer variation may appeal too.
Majida (1977) — Feminine form of the Arabic name Majid.
Pnina (1992) — Hebrew name with a unique sound and spelling.
Vee (1965) — V is one of the coolest sounds for girls, so it’s not surprising that some parents got straight to the point.
Kinnon (1996) — Straightforward yet rare Scottish name.
Milner (1922) — A variation on Miller.
Nielsen (1991) — Combining the popular “son” ending with Scandi style.
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