Welcome Back!: Names back on the Top 1000

July 17, 2012 Pamela Redmond

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.

About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its new sequel, Older.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles


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