One Hit Wonders: Beatrix, Baker & Boone
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Over the years, there have been hundreds of names that have rocketed onto the Top 1000 for one year, then just as suddenly disappeared, fading like shooting stars. We’ve made a thorough search through these names, seeing what gems we might find hidden among the oddball Metros, Councils and Dolls, the Jeps and Bunks and Schleys, which might merit a second appearance.
Two things to bear in mind: a lot of these names made their solo appearances soon after the Social Security list was launched, and so it’s possible that they might have enjoyed some previous popularity and were trending downward at that point. And also, many of them ranked in the eight and nine hundreds, and so probably accounted for just ten or less newborns with those names.
It’s also interesting to scope out if there’s some historical reason for these singular appearances. Wendell Wilkie, for example, was the 1940 Republican presidential nominee against FDR, accounting for the appearance of Wilkie that year, Tai Babilonia was the world figure skating champion when her name popped up in 1980, and Sable was the name of a character on the high-rated TV soap, The Colby‘s in 1986, when she was a one hit wonder.
So here are my nominations; which ones do you think should or could come back?
Alabama 1881 #944
Beatrix 1883 #760
Beyonce 2001 #700
Caro 1883 #946
Channing 1987 #590
Clementina 1908 #972
Dagny 1901 #925
Diandra 1988 #905
Djuna 1964 #738
Dotty 1939 #988
Ellis 1883 #771
Junia 1883 #981
Lucetta 1882 #864
Martine 1981 #797
Medora 1885 #725
Milly 1884 #714
Noemie 1889 #941
Pandora 1952 #784
Pepper 1975 #784
Rosabelle 1907 #919
Sable 1986 #904
Simona 1883 #689
Sunday 1966 #986
Tai 1980 #939
Theta 1907 #868
Thomasina 1932 #969
Trilby 1895 #978
Venice 1921 #941
Violetta 1884 #849
Anatole 1889 #849
Auguste 1882 #848
Baker 1899 #940
Berlin 1916 #987
Boone 1889 #989
Branch 1889 #806
Calhoun 1886 #988
Cam 1896 #907
Destry 1964 #636
Dixon 1881 #806
Evander 1895 #918
Fielding 1885 #726
Georgie 1902 #970 (there were Georgies on the girls’ list for many years)
Griffith 1899 #896
Grove 1883 #956
Guthrie 1895 #924
Hale 1896 930
Hart 1888 #970
Ivor 1902 #977
Jabez 1880 #988
Job 1891 #909
Kiefer 1991 #924
Luc 2002 #932
Marius 1881 #965
Mercer 1881 #968
Nils 1888 #889
North 1885 #906
Ogden 1907 #981
Osborn 1884 #944
Ozzie 1903 #990
Philo 1881 #975
Prosper 1881 #977
Redmond 1889 #954
Shepherd 1887 #906
Silver 1896 #772
True 1895 #970
Wilkie 1940 800
York 1881 #780
Zed 1894 #894
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on April 24th, 2014 at 12:08 am
I’m shocked Beatrix isn’t more popular. The x is so popular right now and Beatrix fits in with Beatrice and has a nod to Beatrix Potter.
on April 24th, 2014 at 12:09 am
It was also on our short list except we have a son named Felix so we had to cross it off the list for our daughter.
on April 24th, 2014 at 12:31 am
I love Beatrix, Clementina, and Simona! I’m also really shocked that Beatrix has only made the list once. I thought it had been more popular.
on April 24th, 2014 at 12:39 am
My top choices for comebacks: Simona for girls; Job for boys.
Simona is a strong name with European zest … Romanian superstar gymnast Simona Amanar comes to mind.
Job is an interesting Biblical name that is often looked over, in my opinion.
I am also surprised Beatrix and Violetta are not more popular. I met a very elderly Violetta and almost squealed when she told me her name. Gorgeous, and with excellent nickname potential! Vi, Letta, Lettie, Violet, etc.
on April 24th, 2014 at 12:58 am
I’m surprised Beatrix hasn’t made a comeback (being a Tarantino fan, I started to like the name after seeing Kill Bill).
Other girl names I like are:
The boy names from the list I like are:
on April 24th, 2014 at 1:02 am
Forgot to add Alabama and Venice for girls and Evander, Kiefer, Luc, and Marius for boys.
on April 24th, 2014 at 2:04 am
I’ve seen quite a few girls called Ellis pop up in the UK, including my husband’s niece. And of course Beatrix is quite popular here too. Nils is super popular in Germany (where some of our family live), with a long ‘ee’ sound.
on April 24th, 2014 at 2:16 am
I went to school with a Sable and a Destry.
on April 24th, 2014 at 3:13 am
I think it’s definitely time we see some more little boys named Job and Marius! Such handsome names! Job is such a strong Biblical name that is so often overlooked, and Marius is the the dashing young man in Les Miserables. Definitely time for a come back- I’d happily use both these names.
on April 24th, 2014 at 6:34 am
I think –
Rosabelle (with parents looking for Bella options)
Sunday (with Nicole Kidman’s daughter Sunday I could see this coming back)
Violetta (especially now that Violet’s so popular)
Baker (with all the worker and surname names being so popular)
Prosper (virtue name with a similar sound to the growing-in-popularity Jasper)
Redmond (surname name)
Shepherd (occupation and surname name)
Zed (I love this)
-could all definitely come back!
on April 24th, 2014 at 7:42 am
Would love to see these ones back…
on April 24th, 2014 at 7:51 am
I, like most, am surprised that Beatrix isn’t more popular, since Beatrice seems to be enjoying a resurgence right now. I can actually say the same for Noemie since I’m hearing loads of Naomi’s these days, but maybe it’ll be back soon. Lucetta would also fall under this category for me since Lucy was so popular.
The name Dotty I only see making a comeback as a nickname for Dorothy, not as an actual name.
As for the name North, I don’t know if the Kanye association is going to help it or kill it altogether; I know before he used it, I had actually considered it a quirky but cool name, now, however, I wouldn’t dream of using it. I could see Channing being a new hot name, what with Channing Tatum’s popularity, although, if people were going to use it, maybe they would’ve by now since he’s been the hot actor for a few years now.
I’m really surprised I don’t hear Mercer more often. I am really liking that name for a little boy. I can say the same thing about Griffith. True, I like, but only as Truly and only for a girl. I could see Ellis working for a girl, but I think I prefer it for a boy since one of my favorite boy names is Elias.
on April 24th, 2014 at 8:07 am
Girls that should come back – Dagny.
Boys – Shepherd, Evander
on April 24th, 2014 at 8:16 am
I think Destry was probably because of the TV show, lol.
on April 24th, 2014 at 8:20 am
Love the name Dagny. It’s on my short list for baby girls.
on April 24th, 2014 at 9:05 am
Beatrix, Simona, and Violetta could absolutely make a come back.
Man, I love Dagny but I feel like people will forever associate the name with the character and Ayn Rand. Powerful for sure, just not our literary thing.
I think Baker and Griffith fit right in with trends for boys. I can maybe see a case for Boone as well.
on April 24th, 2014 at 9:12 am
this is an awesome blog post!!!
on April 24th, 2014 at 9:24 am
My favorites for comeback are Thomasina (Love it!), Milly and Venice for girls and Job for boys. (I could also live with York for a boy)
on April 24th, 2014 at 10:01 am
I LOVE Pandora (fave girls name), Beatrix, and Evander but I don’t particularly want any of the names I love to get onto the list, just because I want them to stay unusual but useable. 🙂 I wouldn’t mind any of these making a comeback though:
on April 24th, 2014 at 10:36 am
I love Boone for a boy! I would totally use it if I had a son.
on April 24th, 2014 at 10:38 am
I like Lucetta, Violetta, Evander, and Wilkie, but I’m not sure enough people have my taste in names for them to make a solid comeback.
on April 24th, 2014 at 10:49 am
I’m with everyone else, why hasn’t Beatrix taken off again? I think it’s a beautiful name. I’m surprised that Boone hasn’t been in the top 1000 more than once. I love the name. I’m thinking it will reappear in the next year or two, I’ve heard of quite a few people naming their little boys Boone lately. And I think Alabama is such a cute name for a girl with the nicknames Ally or even Alla if you wanted. Could be used for a boy with the nickname Bam? I’m not that adventurous though.
on April 24th, 2014 at 1:12 pm
For girls I can see Ellis coming back because of all the Ellas and Ellies. I can also see Violetta coming back because of of the rise of Violet. For boys I can see Auguste come back to fashion with August and Augustus. I can also see Griffith with Griffin and Luc with Luke and Lucas.
on April 24th, 2014 at 1:57 pm
I think Beatrix, Violetta, and Junia have the best chances for a comeback for girls. On the boy side, my picks are Evander, Redmond (“Red”), and Hart.
I’m loving Violetta at the moment because it has that cool V without as much of the same word-association baggage that Viola/Violet (“violent” and “violence” and “violate” and “viola”) do.
on April 24th, 2014 at 4:12 pm
Some great names on this list! Luc and Martine are surprising, but maybe that’s because I’ve lived in a French/English city and have known many people by those names. I like:
Noemie (swoon! on my short list for middles)
on April 24th, 2014 at 4:29 pm
Dagny reminds me too much of my grandma’s best friend, Dagmar nn Dagie.. which I believe would only be chosen by an “Agnes” lover; I honestly don’t think there are enough of those around to make this one come back.
I also met an older lady whose name is Thomasina (after her dad, Thomas, I think) and goes by Tommie – the name made her quite endearing to me. Tho the name Thomasina brings to mind images of Thumbelina as well… I feel sorry for 4 syllable names, they don’t get as much love as they should these days 🙁
– Sable and Trilby have the same kind of fun, cute style – although, I think if I were to choose, I’d like Tilby a bit better
– I do like the initial V, so have a soft spot for Venice (beautiful place name; familiar sound, like Denise) and Violetta – which reminds me of the day I met a Viola Kelly… sigh, I just melted at the combo.
– I REALLY like Anatole, and once read a book with a character by the name of Calhoun, nn Cal, it just really spoke “brave and true” to me… probably cause he was injured in the Civil War; I also know a real-life Callahan under the age of 4.
-And although I’m not an August-lover, I could really get on board with Auguste. Destry should be exclusively on the girl list; but I do like it.
– About Philo – well, I’ve played around with this since my husband has roots in Philadelphia… the closest I’d actually use is probably Philomena. Philo/Phila just gives off an image of a young female “filly” horse or Phyllo dough tho.
What I’m really surprised at was reading Guthrie on this list – I didn’t know anyone had ever used it as a first name! It makes me think of music. Why, you ask? Well, because Mrs. Guthrie was my elementary school music teacher! lol
on April 24th, 2014 at 4:57 pm
Beatrix, Junia, Simona
Guthrie, Hale, and Marius
Beatrix – Lovely and unique turn on Beatrice
Junia – An underused Roman classic
Simona – An Italian touch, unique but not bizarre
Guthrie – A little cowboy/a little Irish, a lot of charm
Hale – Short but manly
on April 24th, 2014 at 5:04 pm
I adore Shepherd and Hale, I hope they start to trend upward a little bit.
on April 24th, 2014 at 5:28 pm
Beatrix (I was surprised like many other commenters that it was a one hit wonder)
Evander was the only boy name I liked.
I can see why some of the names did not last long.
on April 24th, 2014 at 5:54 pm
I can’t believe that Beatrix is not trending upwards. I love her a lot more than her more popular cousin Beatrice.
Let’s get behind Beatrix and suggest this name rather than Beatrice for our nameberry mothers!
on April 24th, 2014 at 7:28 pm
I like Beatrix (but not Beatrice, which reminds me of stirring rice around a pot)
Caro but only as a nn for Caroline
Clementina (I suspect this was on its downward slide, since it was in vogue earlier in the century in England)
Thomasina (with Tamsin as the nn)
on April 24th, 2014 at 9:18 pm
I agree with everyone that Beatrix is a great name, and I like Bea and am mad about the perky Trixie.
Dotty is cute, Sunday possesses grace and charm, and Thomasina is a super name (nicknames: Thomasin, Thomasine, Tamsin).
And Trilby would be a great name for a zesty little dog.
For male names, I love the nature names Fielding and Grove. Hale and Calhoun are both hale fellow well met names, sturdy and companionable.
Shepherd is beautiful (wonderful dog associations) and Wilkie? Love love love it.
on April 25th, 2014 at 8:49 am
I went to high school with guys named Dixon, Fielding, and Kiefer. So clearly some of these have stuck around!
on April 25th, 2014 at 8:53 am
I know a girl named Simona. I’ve known her since she was very young, so I guess it just seems more “normal” to be than it really is. I’m surprised it’s not more popular. Maybe it is in Italy or Spain?
on May 3rd, 2014 at 3:14 pm
Job is back! At least, for my little guy, Job Marcellus. 😉
Really like Beatrix, too. Was just thinking of this name a month or so ago… wouldn’t fit with my kids, but I wondered why it was so under-appreciated!
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