Welcome Back!: Names back on the Top 1000

Just like Oz, Nameberry has a Wizard: Our engineer and partner Hugh Hunter.  One of the wonderful things Hugh can do, besides creating the digital structure of the site and keeping it running, is to produce lists of names that meet certain statistical criteria: Names whose popularity peaked in 1937, for instance, or names never searched on Nameberry (hmmmmmm).

So when we recently asked Hugh if he could generate a list of names that had reentered the U.S. Top 1000 in 2011 — names that had been on the list before, dropped off, and now had reappeared — the answer was of course.  What we didn’t know was how interesting that list would be.

To clarify, these are not names new to the Top 1000 that have never been there before: We highlighted those absolute newbies, assembled by Nameberry’s longtime friend Nephele, in a post a few months ago.

Rather, these names made the Top 1000 at some point in the past, fell off, and now have climbed back on after an absence of anywhere from a single year to more than a century.

Some of the names reappearing after the longest furloughs — Zeke, Amalia, Otto, Nova — are vintage choices newly stylish again.   Others, most notably Blake and Blair for girls, were trendy a couple of decades ago and are enjoying a new moment in the sun thanks to a celebrity connection — in this case actress Blake Lively and character Blair Waldorf on television’s Gossip Girl.

Of course, some of these names seem destined to flirt around the bottom edges of the Top 1000 for years, never appealing enough to get more popular or unappealing enough to drop out of common use.

But for others, marked with a *, this reappearance on the Top 1000 seems like the first step in a long upward climb.

Here, with the year they last appeared on the Top 1000 and the number of years they were missing, is the full list of baby names we’re welcoming back.


AMALIA* 1934 76
ANNABELL 1935 75
NOVA* 1938 72
HATTIE* 1968 42
RENATA 1981 29
BLAKE 1997 13
BLAIR 2000 10
BRYN* 2004 6
GWYNETH* 2004 6
DOROTHY* 2006 4
KARIS 2006 4
GALILEA 2007 3
SKY 2007 3
ASHTYN 2008 2
LAUREL* 2008 2
ALAYA 2009 1
CAMBRIA 2009 1
JACEY 2009 1
MIYA 2009 1
RORY* 2009 1
SAMIYAH 2009 1
TIA 2009 1
YULIANA 2009 1
ZEKE* 1898 112
MILLER* 1943 67
ARLO* 1944 66
BENTON 1968 42
OTTO* 1974 36
ENOCH* 1976 34
HARVEY* 1997 13
COEN 2006 4
YEHUDA 2006 4
DIMITRI 2007 3
ELISEO 2007 3
MARIANO 2007 3
KAMREN 2008 2
KYAN 2008 2
TURNER* 2008 2
AMOS* 2009 1
BRENTON 2009 1
CASSIUS* 2009 1
ELVIS 2009 1
ETHEN 2009 1
MUSTAFA 2009 1
REUBEN* 2009 1

Buy this adorable sequin butterfly headband on Etsy.  Why a butterfly?  It’s a symbol of reemergence, as from the cocoon, perfect for your little Hattie or Gwyneth…..or Pearl or Mae or any one of the other lovely once-slumbering names making their way back into the world.

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27 Responses to “Welcome Back!: Names back on the Top 1000”

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inkonherfingers Says:

July 17th, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Can I request a post about the names never searched on Nameberry? That would be intriguing.

I’m so glad Amalia, Hattie, and Dorothy are back on the charts – they’re definitely ready for a comeback.

susan.n Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 12:08 am

I love Amalia and Hattie!

aqua_girl Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 12:36 am

uggghhhh!!! I have been in love with Nova for 3 years now. I had NEVER heard it before that, I just stumbled across it in a dusty old baby name book. Now I’m afraid if I name this baby Nova that when she’s 5 every other newborn is going to be Nova and it’s going to drive me nuts.

vaness1 Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 12:48 am

I like the boys in the post better – love Arlo, Miller, Otto, Turner, and Cassius. I hope they make a come back! Amalia, Hattie, and Laurel too.

thunderdragon424 Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 1:00 am

Hmmmmm… I am intrigued about the names that have never been searched on nameberry. Willing to share?

rachel27 Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 5:27 am

I also liked the boy’s list more- would love Amos, Otto, and Cassius. I think Hattie is just adorable, but would prefer it is a nn.

LJandRL Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 5:52 am

Ahh, I love Amalia, Hattie and Laurel, and for the boys, Otto (seriously considering myself!), Arlo, Miller, Cassius, Harvey and Dimitri.

Personally, I’d love to see a list of names once in the top 1000 that no longer are!! 🙂

pam Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 5:55 am

I will ask Hugh to generate a list of names on our database that no one has ever searched!

pam Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 5:58 am

Aquagirl, we’re sorry to tell you that Nova was also on our list of Hottest Names of 2012, which were detailed on Nameberry last weekend — based on the names searched most on Nameberry in the first half of this year. But I think she has a long way to go to the Top 100.

lizalee Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 6:55 am

Nova means ‘chasing butterflies’ in Hopi Native American so I think the butterfly headband is especially appropriate.
My favourite names from the list are:

BritishAmerican Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 7:50 am

I looked up Dorothy as soon as the 2011 stats came out. It’s one I really like (nickname Dot) but my husband isn’t keen on. I was surprised it’s been gone for a few years. Definitely think it will keep rising.

My favourite on the boy’s list is Otto.

mermuse Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 8:21 am

Geraldine? Really? Who is naming their daughters that?!

Mischa Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 9:15 am

@mermuse – Georgia Geraldine was born to Grey’s Anatomy actor Eric Dane and his actress wife Rebecca Gayheart. Her older sister is Billie Beatrice. This may be the reason why the name Geraldine popped up in the charts after being ignored for so long. Just a guess on my part.

wootz Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 9:40 am

Is it possible that the show Parenthood is solely responsible for Zeke making its comeback after such a long hiatus? Great show and great character…

Saracita00 Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 9:49 am

Interesting that you think Gwyneth is on the upswing. I campaigned for Gwyneth for our new baby’s name and the reaction was quite tepid, both in real life and around the Nameberry forums. Baby turned out to be a boy but I’m keeping Gwyneth on my short list for the future. I’d kind of like to see a bit of a rise in use, but judging by the response I got over the past several months, I think Gwyneth is likely to “hover” at the bottom of the top 1000.

katybug Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 11:58 am

Our little one, born last year, could have been a Zeke or a Harvey, we seriously considered both names. The boys’ list is full of gems: Amos, Enoch, Dimitri and Reuben are fantastic! There are some inspired baby-namers out there!

Aurora Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 1:09 pm

I’m pretty sure that the reappearance of Blair has more to do with the popular Youtube star who goes by Blair Fowler (not her real name) than Gossip Girl. Blair didn’t reappear on the top 1000 list when Gossip Girl premiered, only when the Youtuber became popular.

KAM Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Glad to see none of my big faves on the list- Cassius is the only one I really like, but I don’t think I’d use it.

Frankie Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 4:17 pm

@lizalee – Nova doesn’t mean chasing butterflies in Hopi, that’s a mistranslation printed on the web. The Hopi word Nova actually means “food.”

I do love the name Nova, though! Rory is a cute nickname, and Amalia is alright. The rest of these aren’t my style.

lizbeth Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 4:55 pm

For girls I only like Dorothy and Geraldine. Geraldine mainly because it is my grandmother’s middle name, but I think it is still very much viewed as a old person name.

For the boys I like Otto, which is a family name on my husbands side. Most of the other names are just okay.

AmyB2 Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 5:51 pm

This list is so interesting! I happen to know two baby boys named Amos and Miller.

aqua_girl Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Pam, I saw that it was on the Hot list. 🙂 I think you’re right that it has a long way to go. Maybe she’ll be old enough by the time the Super’nova’ comes along that people will make the distinction. Heck, it might even be helpful! If it becomes popular a few years after she’s named it maybe people won’t think it’s so weird. Lol.

NataleeMJohnson Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 10:32 pm

I like the names:

Fascinating list!

rollo Says:

July 18th, 2012 at 11:02 pm

I am so pleased that the lovely Laurel is coming back,she is a beauty.

And Geraldine an old person’s name? What about Agatha, Harriet and Clementine all popular vintage names?

I like Geraldine because she is not overly fussy or frilly.


Auntie_A Says:

July 20th, 2012 at 8:16 am

ahh! No, keep Amalia on the down low please! I’m several years from having kids & I’d rather my little Amalia not have to share her name with so many other kids. I’m probably over-reacting, but I was thrilled that she hasn’t been in the top 1000. I don’t even mind that she is, just as long as she doesn’t get super popular like you’re predicting. 🙂

originofnames Says:

July 20th, 2012 at 12:25 pm

I have seen a rise in a lot of old, traditional names as well as hip, modern ones. I specially like when people combine them like:

Isabelle Blair ——-
Clarissa Blake ——-
William London ——-
Jacob Porter ———

March 3rd Says:

April 8th, 2013 at 5:55 pm

March 3rd…

Welcome Back!: Names back on the Top 1000 – Nameberry – Baby Name BlogBaby Name Blog – Nameberry…

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