Where have all the F names gone?
In 1880, there were five boy names that started with F in the Top 100:
In 1932, Franklin was added to the mix (probably due to President Roosevelt, who is pictured here as a baby). In 1958, Frank was the only F boy name left in the top, and it finally fell after 1988. There hasn’t been an F boy name in the Top 100 since.
In 1880, there were 4 girl names that started with F in the Top 100:
By 1915, only Florence and Frances remained, and in 1943 only Frances remained. However, Frances fell out after 1955 and there were no F girl names in the Top 100 for over 30 years, until Felicia briefly broke in for the years of 1986 and 1987, and then not again until Faith entered in 1999.
As of 2012, Faith is the only F name in in the Top 100. Is F an unattractive sound for parents nowadays? I don’t really see any reason as to why F names are not more popular other than the style of name. The names that were in the top in 1880 stayed in the top for quite a while, but all of them are considered pretty old and dated. There are several other F names that make it into the current Top 500: Fiona, Francisco, Fernando, Finn, Fabian, Fatima, Felix, Frank, Finley (g), Fernanda, Francesca, and Finnegan. So F names are not completely down and out, they are just rare.
What is your favorite F name? Would you like to see any of these “old” F names return to the top?
Kelli Brady is a stay at home mom of two who needed an outlet for her name obsession. She found it at NameFreak!, a blog dedicated to a wide variety of name-related whims and fancies. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
About the author
View all of 's articles
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
on August 21st, 2013 at 6:54 am
We’re choosing an “F” name! Fiona Marie is due to be hear in the beginning of October
on August 21st, 2013 at 7:18 am
FIona and Frederick are my favorite F names, although I really like Finn (maybe it’s because I work with children, but the name Finnegan always reminds me of that song Michael Finnegan!).
I suspect that with the rise of Finley and Flynn, we might see more F names resurface to the Top 100. There aren’t as many attractive F options as there are, say, H options. Maybe F names that you mentioned are still quite dated. I think shorter F names are a trend of the future.
on August 21st, 2013 at 7:19 am
We have a three-year-old Felix…a name which has hovered forever just outside the top 100, making it familiar but not overused.
I really like Fred/Frederic, a classic but still sounds fresh. Finn is cute too.
For girls, Francesca is probably my favourite F name. The nickname Frankie is adorable. I also have a soft spot for Flora but I don’t think the world is ready for that one yet…
on August 21st, 2013 at 7:35 am
Our last name starts with an F so we named our son Fisher which is my maiden name. There are plenty of F names around my area. I hear them every day. Fletcher, Finley, Frances…
on August 21st, 2013 at 10:10 am
Don’t forget Felicity! Apparently it’s hovering around the 600s right now, probably due to the American Girl doll. I expect we’ll see some more of those as children who played with Felicity dolls grow up, especially now that she’s been discontinued.
Francis/Frances might come back due to the new pope, but then again, I didn’t see a sharp rise in Benedicts.
I feel like there are so few F names that I like. Frank and Fred and Frances all fall in the “old person” category to my ears (even though I love old-fashioned names, I’m not a fan of those). Probably everyone naming children knows a Frank, Fred, or Frances who is about 70 and wears a weird perfume. So, I’d give the F names another decade or two.
on August 21st, 2013 at 12:07 pm
My favourite F names are Frederick and Florence!
on August 21st, 2013 at 12:16 pm
We have a 2.5 year old son named Felix. 🙂
on August 21st, 2013 at 12:18 pm
My favorite F names are Felicity, Frederick and Felix.
on August 21st, 2013 at 12:20 pm
My favourite F names:
on August 21st, 2013 at 12:52 pm
I’m not much of a Finn or Francesca fan, but I do love the names Franklin and Fanny nn Fan.
However, for me, Franklin could only be a middle name because I strongly dislike the nn Frank which you know everyone would inevitably try to bestow on the child. And Fanny, even with the cute nn Fan, unfortunately, doesn’t have great associations for this day and age. 🙁
on August 21st, 2013 at 2:53 pm
I wouldn’t mind seeing Francis and Frederick, Flora and Frances back in the Top 100. I’m not sure if I’m right, but it just doesn’t seem that there are as many F names as there are for some other consonants. Remember in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” how the F-initial brother had to be Frankincense, nn Frank, apparently because his parents couldn’t find any F-names for boys in the Bible? (There are two–Felix and Festus–I wonder whether the story-writers knew this.)
I knew a boy from a Mennonite family whose name was Floyd; he was named after an uncle. He must be in his early 20’s now. (As a side note, it intrigues me that there are certain names which certain demographics tend to use more than the general population. Floyd’s dad and brother were both named Wilbur. Galen and Loren are other names I tend to see more often in Amish or Mennonite families.)
An F-name I’ve been kinda crushing on lately is Florian. I wonder whether it’s too “girly” to make a comeback for boys. It seems that its similarity to Julian, Damian and Lucian should make it usable.
on August 21st, 2013 at 2:57 pm
At first I thought I hated most F names… and then I thought about for a second.
Turns out I like Frederick nn Freddie, Frankie (almost named my dog that!), Francesca, Felicity, Felix and Flora.
But literally, no other ones. It’s kind of a stuffy letter, really. And these ones I like more for what the mean or the associations I have for them, rather than their particular sounds. We have sort of drifted toward vowel sounds in this day and age.
on August 21st, 2013 at 3:00 pm
I love Fleur, Flora, Florence, Flynn, Felix and Finn
on August 21st, 2013 at 3:34 pm
For girls, my favorite is Felicity. Faith and Felicia are nice, and I’ve always had a soft spot for Fern.
For boys, I love Frederick and like Flynn. I can see Foster/Forster/Ford becoming a new Mason.
on August 21st, 2013 at 3:35 pm
I really love F names, particularly Felix, Frederick (nn Freddy), Fraser and Fitzwilliam for boys and Felicity, Flora, Florence and Ffion for girls.
on August 21st, 2013 at 3:47 pm
Faye and Felix are on my list. I will absolutely use Faye for my first girl, either as a middle or a first — it’s an honor name for my dearest mentor.
on August 21st, 2013 at 5:20 pm
It would be fun to use Fritz as a middle as that was my grandma’s favorite brother.
on August 21st, 2013 at 5:54 pm
My favorite F name for a girl is Faye. I’ve always liked the name Frederick, but my dissection group gave that name to our fetal pig in high school. Not sure I could do away with that association.
on August 21st, 2013 at 6:06 pm
I love the name Faye. I think it’s light and lovely, and I would use it on a future child. Some could argue that it’s dated, but I disagree. It is time that Faye made a comeback.
on August 21st, 2013 at 7:11 pm
I love F names!
For girls my favorites are Francesca/Francisca, Faye, Fiona, Finley, Felicity, and Fern. I love Fern! This one should be more popular being a literary name (Charlotte’s Web) and a beautiful choice. To a lesser extent, I like Finola, Flora and Frances. I don’t think of Fanny as being a name on it’s own, I think it was only used a nickname (mostly) as nickname for Frances names.
For boys I like Fritz and Franklin. To a lesser extent Franz, and Frederick. Frederick would be a favorite except I dislike the nickname Fred and a personal association.
on August 21st, 2013 at 7:25 pm
No one said my favorite F name yet– Finley!!! Finley is unisex, but I like it more on a boy. I would use the cute nn Finn for my son. This name is amazing, in my opinion.
on August 21st, 2013 at 8:09 pm
Felix is my favorite and I also like Finnegan, Finley, and Florence. I dislike most other F-names, especially Francis. No offense to anyone.
on August 21st, 2013 at 8:39 pm
I like more F-names than I originally thought!!
Francesca, nn Frankie (I went to school with a Francesca, nn Frankie and always thought it was such a spunky choice.)
Fleur (Although I like this name, I tend to lean more towards names with 3 or 4 syllables.)
Faith (I will almost definitely use this as a middle name. Love virtue names.)
Felix (My favourite F name. It just makes me happy to say… Which is what it means!!)
Fletcher (I used to work with 2 people called Fletcher; one who went by his surname, the other had it as a first. Love this name.)
Forrest (I am not-so-secretly hoping that my best friend uses this for a future son because her boyfriend’s last name is Sherwood. :P)
Finn (although this is way too common for my liking)
on August 21st, 2013 at 9:13 pm
I love Francesca, Florence, Finnegan & Floyd.
on August 21st, 2013 at 9:43 pm
For girls my favorite are Fiona, Flora, Fleur and boys are Frank and Forrest.
on August 21st, 2013 at 11:34 pm
Love Fern for a girl and Fergus for a boy 🙂
on August 22nd, 2013 at 2:42 am
Interesting! We have a little Frederik who is 6 months old, and had he been a girl we were seriously considering Flora. I think F names can be lovely! We know quite a few children with F names: Finn, Felix, Florian, Fabian, Franziska and Frieda. We do live in Germany, but I think many of these names are exportable.
on August 22nd, 2013 at 4:53 am
I love Felicity, Flora, Frances, and Francesca. I think Fanny is cute, but its slang meaning still mostly rules it out. Faye and Florence are definitely ripe for big come-backs. Others:
Fabienne Frida Francine Fawn or Fawna Fenella Florimell
I love Francis for a boy and think that it is poised for comeback.
There are many beautiful Arabic F names for girls : Farrah, Fatima , Fawzia, Fahranaz
on August 22nd, 2013 at 6:09 am
Flora, Fleur, Fay, Farah, Florin, Flavia, Freya, Finn, Fergus, Fabian, florian,
on August 22nd, 2013 at 6:16 am
Flynn for a boy! Love it.
on August 22nd, 2013 at 6:56 am
The last baby I met was called Fraser and in the last year different friends have had a Florence, a Flynn and a Fergus. Our last name starts with F and if it wasn’t for that I would always have loved a Florence. I’m not always against names the same letter as the surname but ours ounds a bit much with Florence. I love Frederick but again it sounds a bit much with a surname that starts with Fr. Boo
on August 22nd, 2013 at 7:04 am
I love so many F names. For girls Frankie, Frances, Francine, Fleur, Florence, Freya, Flora.
For boys I adore Fletcher (but I’m biased because that’s my nephews name), Fraser, Fraiser, Frederic, Flynn, Finn…..
on August 22nd, 2013 at 10:02 am
I really like Frances/Francis girl/boy, and Frederick. Attend children’s Irish dance performances, and you’re sure to run a cross a Fintan, Finbar, or Finian.
on August 22nd, 2013 at 10:04 am
There’s a little girl named Faven at my church.
on August 22nd, 2013 at 11:17 am
Farris is one of my favorite names for a girl. My SO really likes Finnick nn Finn from The Hunger Games series.
on August 22nd, 2013 at 1:06 pm
Love love F names! We have a Felicity and Felix. And would love to have a Florence and Finn 🙂
on August 22nd, 2013 at 1:51 pm
I love Finn for a boy.
You didn’t mention Faline. I really like that one.
on August 22nd, 2013 at 2:13 pm
The F names I like are almost all boy names. Frederick, Felix, Fisher, Ford, Fitzgerald… I do like Felicity, but not Flora, Fern, Frances or Francesca. I definitely think F names could make a comeback, though.
on August 22nd, 2013 at 4:01 pm
Ferris, anyone? Tease city–I know–but I like the subtle Irish feeling it exudes.
on August 22nd, 2013 at 5:04 pm
It’s probably irrational, but I think my fear of “F” names grew from my fear of getting an “F” in school. 🙂
I used to irrationally HATE “F” names, but I’ve come around to quite a few of them now. I love:
Foster “Fox” (and just Fox on its own!)
on August 22nd, 2013 at 5:05 pm
Och, and Frederick/Freddie! How could you not love Captain Wentworth? *le swoon* 🙂
on August 22nd, 2013 at 5:37 pm
I met a girl in Mexico name Fernanda, which made me love the name. Her nickname was Ferie, which I thought was adorable. I also love Finn/Finnegan, and I love Finley for a girl; this is one of the few “gender neutral” names that I prefer for a girl though technically it was a boy’s name. I’ve also like Fatima, but can never get passed the Fat part of the name, so I don’t think I’d use it.
on August 22nd, 2013 at 6:16 pm
Oo, and I forgot I’ve been crushing on Finvarra for a boy since seeing it on one of Ottilie’s middle name lists! He was High King of the Daoine Sidhe, the “People of the Mounds,” in Celtic folklore. I think it would make an incredible middle with the right first name. It could be nicknamed Finn, and Finbar, which someone mentioned above, is a variation.
on August 22nd, 2013 at 6:57 pm
I’ve always been a fan of Forrest, Faron, Fairly (like in Chittychitty Bangbang), Farah, Farris and Flint in very masculin
on August 22nd, 2013 at 8:10 pm
I love F names. If I had to choose a letter to be the starting letter of all my kids’ names for the rest of eternity, I would pick F.
on August 22nd, 2013 at 9:46 pm
Florence, Felicity and Felix are all in my favorites list.
Also, a random fact, my amazing tattoo artist is named Francine.
on August 22nd, 2013 at 11:52 pm
Francesca is my favorite. I have a reservation about using it though. Francis is a family name and therefore overdone. However, no one has ever given it a female spin, so it could be a fresh sounding name for my situation. I’m not 100% sure though.
I also like Felicity and Finnegan.
Faith is another favorite of mine, but, with a 1 syllable last name, it doesn’t flow nice to my ears, as with most 1 syllable names.
on August 23rd, 2013 at 12:58 pm
Hmm didn’t really occur to me that ‘F’ names are uncommon because I know a baby Flora, two Francesca’s, two Florence’s, a Frances, two Frankie’s, a Finley and a Felix as well. But I’m in South East England, so it’s probably different in the USA.
My favourite F names:
on August 23rd, 2013 at 12:59 pm
Ah I forgot about Fern! Bless her Lily & Fern sister’s I went to school with : )
Yup I know a lot of people with ‘F’ names hahaha
on August 24th, 2013 at 2:27 pm
I love love love the name Fleur! I think it’s absolutely gorgeous and it’s a wonderful way to pay homage to French ancestry! I also adore Fiona but I feel like it might make children think of the kind princess ogre! As for the boys, Fisher, Finn, and Freddie are adorable! I just think that the letter F is highly under rated, especially me!
on August 25th, 2013 at 9:46 pm
I have a Harriet Franceszka (weird spelling because it is a family name). I love Finn and all its variations, but my favorite F name is Fergus. LOVE IT!
on September 19th, 2013 at 9:10 pm
I’ve always loved F names and my favorites
on November 8th, 2013 at 3:21 pm
Fannie should be obvious if you live in the US why it’s no longer used….meaning butt (and in the UK something else that isn’t fit for a child’s name) but other than Fannie, I don’t know. Personally I don’t care for many F names but a few of them are nice or okay. Nothing against the letter I just don’t like most F names. I like Fiona (and personally I would think the shrek association makes it better, because of the meaning behind the movie but people these days are way too shallow and don’t seem to get it).
on January 16th, 2014 at 3:44 pm
Fiammetta! It’s a gorgeous name, with a spunky meaning– “little fiery one.” It comes with the nicknames Fia, Etta, and Metta, all of which are beautiful too. Love this name.
leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.