Vintage Baby Names: Gone girls of 1916
Sometimes it feels as though our attics have been completely cleared out of stored vintage baby names. But every time we go back up there we do manage to succeed in finding a number of past treasures that haven’t been dusted off yet. The names shown here were all in the Top 1000 in 1916, one hundred years ago, several in the top half of the list and many of them not seen again for fifty years. Let’s see if the Hundred Year Rule applies and they’re ready for a comeback.
There are alpha males—so why not an Alpha female? Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet and the brightest star in every constellation. On the popularity list until 1944, Alpha was Number 451 in 1916.
- Alpha female? Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet and the brightest star in every constellation. On the popularity list until 1944, Alpha was Number 451 in 1916." >
- Beth. Bethel ranked from 1891 to 1940, and was at Number 667 a hundred years ago." >
- Consuelo Vanderbilt. It was Number 602 in 1916—as high as 339 in 1930, but off the list now for three decades. Another interesting and exotic import is the long lost in America Vincenza, Number 720 in 1916." >
- Euphemia, Effie has an adorable vibe, and Hunger Games cred. Effie was Number 201 in 1926 and stayed around till 1959. Cousin Essie (short for Esther) was a Top 100 name in 1900. Other cute lost nickname names from 1916: Flossie, Tillie, Polly, Kitty, Patsy, Betsy, Mamie." >
- Ruby and Pearl, but Garnet, another red gemstone, Number 436 in 1916, is still sitting in the jewelry box. It’s been use in the past for both girls and boys, including Garnet Carter, one of the inventors of miniature golf. Petra could fit in here too." >
- Jen/Gen names. Three more geographic names on the map a century ago—all of them great choices--Odessa, Trinidad, Palma." >
- Vinnie have been off the radar since 1929! Lavinia’s whist-playing partners Minerva, Elvira, Philomena and Winifred are also ripe for revival, all with more relaxed nicknames at the ready." >
- Lola, Lila, Luna—how about Lula? 1676 girls were given the name in 1916, after being in the double digits in the late 19th-early 20th century. Now Lula might more likely be a nickname for Tallulah, but it can stand on its own. Bryan Adams used it for his second daughter." >
- Marvel could make her way back into the modern world, along with other aspirational word names—especially since her appearance (as a male) in The Hunger Games series. Marvel ranked at 592 in 1916, and remained on the list until 1941." >
- Roman and Shakespearean pedigree, highlighted recently by Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer, and yet another Hunger Games character, Octavia has already been rediscovered by the Berries, who’ve made it Number 130, though it’s still not on the national list. Octavia was 645 in 1916. Ouida (WEE-da) is a more unusual vintage O choice." >
- Theodore/Theo/Thea trendies and the ora-ending girls. A Norse name with a strong meaning (think Thor), Thora was Number 808 in 1916, but faded off the list in 1923." >
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on April 22nd, 2016 at 7:37 am
I liked Alpha, Geneva, Lavinia and Lula 🙂
on April 22nd, 2016 at 8:01 am
I really LOVE Lavinia!
Consuelo is a widely used name in Chile amongst young women. I can’t picture an old lady named Consuelo.
I like Geneva too 🙂
on April 22nd, 2016 at 9:14 am
Effie and Lavinia are both in the top 1000 here in the UK, and I happen to think they’re quite nice, though Bethel, Lula, Octavia and Thora are more up my alley in terms of rarity, at least. In fact, out of the entire list, I’d say that I like all but two:
Alpha – it’s a very strong and intriguing choice. But I admit that I shy away from it due to its masculine vibe. Here in England,
124 boys have been named Alpha, between 2002 and 2014, in comparison to just 3 girls, all born in 2012. So it definitely has a more masculine spin over here. But I don’t particularly care for it on boys either, because of the ‘alpha male’ and ‘alpha dog dominant’ connotations, which are too butch, and which set up too high a manly expectation, in my opinion, at least.
Consuelo – Again, an interesting choice, but one that strikes me as being a male version of Consuela. With the exception of more dainty choices like Juno and Cleo, ‘o’ names aren’t particularly popular with girls at the moment, nor are they overly present on the boy side of the spectrum. In terms of Spanish girl names, people seem to be favouring the more delicate choices like Luna, or Celestina. As such, I don’t see Consuelo making that big of a hit outside of hispanic countries but, you never know.
Overall, this was a pretty cool list.
on April 22nd, 2016 at 10:34 am
This was a great read!
on April 22nd, 2016 at 10:48 am
I really like Thora, Lavinia and Geneva.
on April 22nd, 2016 at 11:00 am
Really loving Thora, Effie and Lavinia.
on April 22nd, 2016 at 11:26 am
I’m liking Vincenza, Effie, Lula, Octavia and Geneva. Alpha is cool but I don’t think I’m cool enough to pull it off, lol.
on April 22nd, 2016 at 1:59 pm
I’ve started to really like Octavia, Effie, and Lavinia (won’t deny that last one has a lot to do with my love of Downton). The -ora of Thora really appeals to me too, and Lula, although I prefer Talullah.
on April 22nd, 2016 at 2:36 pm
Some many pretty gems. I really like Bethel, Lula, Garnet, Thora, and Octavia.
on April 22nd, 2016 at 6:50 pm
Lavina was one of Katniss’s prep stylists in The Hunger Games series, and Marvel is too tied to Marvel comics in my opinion.
on April 23rd, 2016 at 10:12 pm
I love Effie and Essie! I also like Garnet, Geneva, and Thora. Marvel would be in interesting choice, but I agree the Marvel comic books/movies/tv shows are too popular right now for people not to make that connection a lot.
Love these posts about unusual vintage names!
on April 25th, 2016 at 7:49 pm
I really like a lot of these. I’d forgotten how much I really liked Thora. Geneva has a lovely sound and Lavinia is so delightfully Victorian. For me, Lula is a sweet nickname for names like Louisa and Lucille. I like Effie is a nickname for Euphemia, which I know is just too far out to be on trend.
on April 26th, 2016 at 9:48 am
Garnet is so pretty. I remember reading a book when I was a tween and there was a character named Garnet. It’s different and so lovely!
Vintage Baby Names: Lost Boys of 1916 – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Said
on July 14th, 2016 at 10:41 pm
[…] April, we looked at the vintage girl names of 1916, rarities still lingering in the attic. Now it’s time for vintage boy names from 1916! These […]
on April 16th, 2018 at 7:35 am
I was supprised to see Alpha as name let alone as a female one. Seems too risky for me to pull off as a first, but it would definitely make a statement. Lets hope she’s not shy or the like. I agree with the comment about Marvel being too close to Marvel Comics. The closest I’ve heard to it though irl is the Spanish Marvella which is pretty and feminine and has the same meaning.
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