Description:When scientists do research on the effects of an unpopular name, we're afraid that Mildred is one of the examples they cite, often in tandem with Bertha and Gertrude. But with cute nickname Millie on the rise, anything's possible.
Meaning:"strength of a spear"
Description:Could cute nickname Gertie, remembered as cute five-year-old Drew Barrymore in E.T., revive the long shunned Gertrude?
Description:The name of the guardian angel in It's a Wonderful Life is rarely heard the rest of the year because of its studious, near-nerdy image, but this could change in the current naming climate.
Origin:Greek botanical name
Description:Long in our category of so-far-out-it-will-always-be-out category, once seen as a gum-cracking 1940's telephone operator, we think it's time to reassess Myrtle, and look at is as a nature name, a plant with pink or white aromatic berries. Ruled by Venus, myrtle is a plant associated with love, peace, fertility and youth.
Origin:German, diminutive of Frederick and Alfred
Description:Where have all the Freds gone? We haven't seen many since the days of Flintstone and Munster. But it could be time for a comeback--if you think more of the sophistication of Fred Astaire, and of other nice guy names like Jack and Charlie and Sam.
Origin:Possibly a form or Claudia or Welsh
Description:Hard as it might be to believe, Gladys was the Harper of 1900, emerging almost out of nowhere to take the naming world by storm. It became a favorite among parents — and writers of romantic Edwardian novels, seen as alluring and unusual. One impetus was the 1870 Ouida novel Puck, whose heroine was the idealized beauty, Gladys Gerant.
Description:Names ending in bert have long been in limbo, but with the return of Albert, maybe there's hope for Herbert. who could share the Bertie nickname. Herbert is a name that's been used by English speakers since medieval times, and was in the Top 25 in the US in the late 1920s, around the time of the presidency of Herbert Hoover, but there's been no sight of Herbert in the 21st century. Some Herberts, including novelists H. G. Wells and H. E. Bates, have preferred to go by their initials.
Description:Donald has been used for centuries in Scotland, where the Macdonald clan is one of the most ancient and where there have been six early Scottish kings by that name. Donald was a Top 20 name throughout most of the early twentieth century. But first there was the quacking Donald Duck, introduced in 1934, to affect its image, and then there was The Donald Trump, leaving it drained of much baby appeal. Trump's surprising run to the presidency didn't save Donald's decline on the baby name charts; it fell 47 spots between 2015 and 2016, from 441 to 488, and is now a less popular name than it's been since records have been kept.
Description:Ever since the enormous German cannon was dubbed by Allied soldiers "Big Bertha" in World War I, this name hasn't worked for a sweet little baby girl. But this was not always so. Hard as it might be to imagine now, Bertha was a Top 100 name until the 1930s, and in the 1880s was the seventh most popular name in the land--the equal of Joseph.
Origin:Diminutive of Joseph
Description:Joe is still the ultimate good-guy name, not at all diminished by its longevity or popularity or its everyman rep as Regular Joe, Cowboy Joe, G.I. Joe, Joe Exotic, Joe Blow, Joe Millionaire, Average Joe — and now President Joe (Biden).
Description:Though modern parents seeking to honor an ancestor named Thelma might opt for the airier Thea instead, Thelma is starting to make its way back onto adventurous vintage name lovers' radars. It is currently experiencing a modest revival in France, where it now ranks around the #300 mark.
Meaning:"noble and renowned"
Description:Thanks to Elmer Fudd, Elmer the Cow, and even Elmer's glue, this name has become a bit of a joke -- the quintessential so-far-out-it-will-always-be-out name. But with its trendy El-beginning and popular er-ending, who knows?
Origin:Diminutive of Elizabeth
Meaning:"pledged to God"
Description:After a century of association with horses and cows, this name just could be ready for revival by a fearless baby namer -- after all, it did happen to Jessie and Becky.
Origin:English aristocratic title
Description:Earl is a title name - brought to England by the vikings - that's out of fashion right now, unlike King and Duke. Its peak popularity was in the 1920s, which gives it a dusty great-grandpa feel, but there are also younger Earls in pop culture, like the reformed criminal in "My Name is Earl".
Description:Floyd was a Top 100 name from the 1880s to the 1940s that somehow developed an almost comical hayseed persona along with a touch of retro jazz cool; it's beginning to appeal to parents with a strong taste for the quirky.
Origin:English place-name; phonetic form of Leicester
Description:Lester is one of the British surname names that were popular in the US in the early decades of the twentieth century: it was in the Top 100 through 1931, reaching a high of Number 52 in 1906. But dropping of the list in the late 1990s, along with Hester and Sylvester, we don't see much hope for a return visit.
Description:It's hard to believe now that Herman was once, at the turn of the last century, a Top 50 name, remaining in the Top 100 until 1935, and even harder to imagine it making a comeback. But then again, our parents thought the same thing about Max and Jake. Consider the French Armand or Spanish Armando instead. Notable bearers include writers Herman Melville and Hermann Hesse--and then there was TV's Herman Munster.
Origin:Spelling variation of Lily/ Lilian
Description:A variation of Lileas and Lilian.
Origin:Diminutive of Martha or Matilda
Description:Mattie, which might be a short form of Martha, Matilda, or even Madeline, ranked among the Top 100 names for girls in the 1880s and in fact, has held a place among the Top 1000 for most of U.S. naming history. It fell off the popularity charts in 2014 and makes a cute, tomboyish, if somewhat slight name option.
Origin:Diminutive of William
Description:There have been many great Willies (Mays, Nelson, Wonka), but a boy with this name could never ever go to England. Most people will also assume it is short for the more traditional William, which might be the best avenue for achieving this nickname.