The “F” Names: They’re few and far between
Once more this year the list of most popular names—particularly for girls—is vowel –heavy, with six of the top ten names starting with A, E, I or O, and five more filling out the top twenty.
As a result, naturally, there are fewer consonant-starters visible, some letters practically non-existent. One of these is F, with only a single representative, Faith, in the top 100, and a grand total of nine girls’ names out of the whole list of top 1000.
If we look back a century—testing the 100-year rule–it was a very different story, with 31 girls’ and 34 boys’ names starting with this initial. Several of them were versions of the same name (variant spellings are nothing new!); for instance, Freda, Frieda, Freida and Freeda all made the list—but not the current Kahlo-influenced Frida. Florence—no longer visible on today’s list–was represented in 1910 by Florance, Flora, Flossie, Flo, Florrie and Florene, and Frances (which hangs on at #802 today, with Francesca at 470) showed up in such variations as Fannie, Fanny, Francis, Francisca and Frankie, and there were three spellings of Fay/Faye/Fae.
Among the more unusual choices that made the girls’ list a hundred years ago were Fairy, Floy and Fronie.On the 1910 boys’ list Francis and Frances both appeared, and, with the same root, there were Frank (the highest at #8), Francisco, Franklyn and Frankie, and in the Fred (#22) family, Frederick, Freddie, Fredrick, Frederic, Federico and Fritz. Also up there were Forest and Forrest, Floyd, Freeman, Foster, Felton, Fulton, Florian, Ford, Fay, Finis and Farris.
The only F- names whose popularity has survived over the course of the century are Faith and Frances in the girls’ column, and the more numerous Fernando, Frank, Fletcher, Felix, Frederick/Fredrick, Felipe, Francis, and Frankie for boys. One big change evident on the current list is the trend towards Celtic/Gaelic names starting with F–Finley appears for both genders, Fiona ranks at 313 for girls, and for boys, there are the increasingly popular Finn and Finnegan.
What are some other names that could shore up the F-list? Here are some possibilities that didn’t appear on either the current or the 1910 list: