They’re Ba-ack: 12 Names You Won’t Believe Are Hot Again
Harold, in style limbo for decades, is inching back into favor, no doubt helped by its friendlier nicknames Harry and Hal—or even more by the fact that it’s the full name of One Direction’s Harry Styles. Harold “Happy” Hogan is Tony Stark’s bodyguard in Iron Man. In his former life, Harold ranked as high as Number 12 in 1917.
- Harold, in style limbo for decades, is inching back into favor, no doubt helped by its friendlier nicknames Harry and Hal—or even more by the fact that it’s the full name of One Direction’s Harry Styles. Harold “Happy” Hogan is Tony Stark’s bodyguard in Iron Man. In his former life, Harold ranked as high as Number 12 in 1917." >
- Helen rose almost 50 places this year, continuing an upward trend since 2012, and sister name Eileen is on the upswing as well. Could it be from the Aileen Morgan character on Homeland, or memories of the adorable film actress Annie of 1982, Aileen Quinn? Or a growing love for the een/ine sound?" >
- Allan, one of the three spellings of this name, had a big bounce this year, up 65 places--something of a surprising resurgence, though still nowhere near its peak of #115 in 1940. Two recent bearers were the Allan Shore character played by James Spader on Boston Legal and Allan Hyde on High School Musical (shown). The Allen spelling also saw a slight uptick." >
- Lucy, Luke, Lucas, Luca et al so red hot, that Lucille is joining their club. A French name that has long lost its accent and once seemed to be the exclusive property of Lucille Ball, it has regained its appeal to baby namers, climbing 59 places last year, into the Top 300. Maya Rudolph has a daughter named Lucille, and it’s been celebrated in many songs." >
- Gerald, nn Jerry, was such a ubiquitous Gerald Ford-and-earlier-era dad name for so long that seeing it suddenly rise up 50 places comes as a surprise. It was a Top 20 name in the 1930s, and though it's recorded in history as presidential, Gerald Ford was actually born Leslie." >
- Ann has lost her position as a prime all-purpose, go-to middle name, as she was for much of the 20th century, she’s started to be used more as a first name again. Most of the more memorable bearers of the name, however, from Anne Boleyn to Anne Bronte to Anne Frank to both Anne Hathaways to Anne of Green Gables wear the e-ending spelling." >
- Robin this year--it's up 76 places to bring it into the Top 1000, possibly thanks to Robin Thicke, to the memory of Robin Williams, and maybe even to Batman’s sidekick. Robin is still well used for boys in England, and is Number 21 in Switzerland and 53 in France." >
- Myra, a 17th century poetic invention that was popular here at the turn of the last century, lost much of its luster over the years, its most famous bearers a great British pianist, a notorious British criminal, and Gore Vidal’s ahead-of-its time Myra Breckinridge. Myra is now regaining some of its sheen, up almost 400 places since 2010." >
- Wayne is one of several old beach boys—along with Craig and Dean—that made it back onto their boards this year. Wayne increased 41 spots, still an impossibly long way to go before it reaches its 1941 high of #37. Wayne Gretzky and Wayne Rooney are inspirational sports heroes. And Wayne Newton is a perpetual Vegas mainstay." >
- Paula” sung by Paul and Paula is playing non-stop on the transistor radio. Flash forward to 2016 and the name Paula joins Pauline and Paulina as names on the rise, climbing over 100 places last year, represented in today’s entertainment world by Paula Abdul and Paula Patton." >
- Violet, Vivienne, Vera—have made a strong comeback, and are now joined by the smooth, sophisticated Welsh boy Vaughn, maybe as a rhyming replacement for Sean. It’s still more familiar as a surname, as in Vince and Sarah (Vaughan)." >
- Zelda is one of the fastest rising girls’ names of the year—a fact that may seem strange to your Great-Aunt Alma, who’s probably not familiar with computer/videogame culture, and still dates the name back to Jazz Age Zelda Fitzgerald." >
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on May 19th, 2016 at 11:34 pm
“But there are others on the rise that feel more midcentury than antique, and which could completely bewilder your mother-in-law or Gran, who still associate them with their own in-laws or Grans.”
Umm… Nope. My mother and mother-in-law are from the midcentury. They would associate those type of names with peers. My grandparents were born between 1919 and 1930, and my great-grandparents were born between 1876 and 1910. Thus, this statement had me a bit disoriented. I suppose it might be true for folks who had children at very young ages all down the line, just not even close for me.
on May 20th, 2016 at 3:40 am
Harold, Gerald, Ann, and Zelda are all names that I would seriously consider for a child. I do agree with @chi1127 in that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to label names as being from our parents’, grandparents’, great-grandparents’, etc. generation. My parents were born in the 70s and my grandparents in the late 40s and early 50s. What nameberry calls “mom names” or “grandpa names” tends to be a generation or two off for me.
on May 20th, 2016 at 6:33 am
I’m no One Direction fan, but even I know that Harry Styles’ birth name is Harry, he is not a Harold.
I love Lucille,
on May 20th, 2016 at 1:38 pm
Zelda is gorgeous and I love Myra, it’s still unusable (in my opinion) in the UK because of Myra Hindley. A friend who was born a few years after the Moors Murders changed her name from Myra in her thirties after years of people making negative comments.
Wayne is a definite no go, again in the UK associated with chavs along with Sharon, Tracy and Gary. I’m sure they’ll be back in fashion in a generation or two. At the moment Vera, Olive and Violet are on the rise, it’ll be the turn of Susan, Carol and Janet next, and then maybe Tracy, Gary, Mandy and Wayne…..
on May 20th, 2016 at 5:19 pm
I love the name Lucille! I think I like that ending, considering I also love Camille. Myra gorgeous too!
on May 20th, 2016 at 5:39 pm
But Allan Hyde is not in High School Musical…. but Zac Efron is? Is that who you’re thinking of? Also I agree with previous commenter Harry Styles’ given first name IS Harry.
on May 21st, 2016 at 3:15 am
The rapper G-Eazy’s first name is Gerald which may be a reason contributing to it’s rise.
I can’t believe Harold is rising it’s my grandfather and uncles name (my uncles a junior), that said I know a lot about 5 Harrison’s so Harold is the more unusual choice but still it’s so dated.
@chi, I’m born in the 90’s and most of my friends grandparents aren’t even 70 yet making them born in the 1940’s and 1950’s. So for some younger parents these are the names of their grandparents generation.
on May 21st, 2016 at 3:19 am
Though want to add that said for me, it’s not true either my grandparents were born in the 1920’s and 1930’s, I have uncles older then some of my friends grandparents but my pop was 42 when my dad was born (he’s 18 years younger then his eldest brother and the youngest of 7). Most of my grandma’s peers are becoming great grandma’s she’ll be around 87 by the time I’m ready to have kids
on May 21st, 2016 at 10:17 am
I love Ann & Zelda! Vaughn is okay but the rest (although I am a HUGE Lucille Ball fan) are just not in my naming style. 🙂
on May 21st, 2016 at 11:26 am
I adore Lucille! What a lovely name.
on May 21st, 2016 at 1:10 pm
Harry Styles’ birth name is Harry!!! His name is Harry Edward Styles, not Harold!!!
on May 22nd, 2016 at 9:23 am
I’ve never even heard of Allan Hyde, and I’m pretty sure Harry Styles given name is Harry, not Harold. Also, you forgot to mention Bruce Wayne/Batman.
on February 4th, 2020 at 8:24 pm
Harry’s full name it’s just Harry, not Harold…
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