Wednesday, February 4, 2009

oldies and perhaps some goodies

I love, love, LOVE names! I think and talk about them incessantly, and considering that I know a number of pregnant women right now, I engage in the name conversation at least once per week. When a baby is born, the first question I ask is the name. Last week, surrounded by Mama Millie's older relatives and friends, I pondered the names of older people and wondered when Brad's and my names would officially become outdated. Both of our parents' names are well on their way to retirement, perhaps forever.

Brad's grandparents were named Mildred and Cecil, two names that you never hear anymore, especially for anyone under age 65. My grandparents' names, Eugene (but he went by Billy) and Elizabeth, have endured a little longer, especially the latter. But I do remember having a great-great-aunt Ophelia and a great grandfather Horatio. Besides my relatives, I have never known anyone else with either of these names.

You never hear of people naming babies Harry or Bertha or Ethel or Cletus or Agnes anymore. But could one of these potential oldies but goodies someday make a comeback and trump the Emilys and Jacobs that have dominated for the past decade?

Michael and Jennifer were the most popular baby names during my birth year. And my first name came in at #10 that year, the time of its most frequent use in history (now it doesn't even make the top 100). Thank you, Social Security Administration, for tracking and publishing this information for curious souls like me.

What older names crack you up? What names do you think have potential to make a comeback? Which ones are (and rightfully should be) dead forever?

My opinion on the comeback? My money's on Gertrude. And perhaps Bernard.


Smiling Mama said...

Fun post! I think older names are definitely making a comeback--Violet (Ben Affleck's daughter) is an example. And, there are so many boys being named solid names like George and Harry. I love those lists of the most popular names. To my dismay (because I don't want it to be popular) Lucas is within the top 20 this year!

Organized Living by Amy said...

I just cant get over how many parents are still naming their daughters Emily, Sophia, Olivia or Isabella this year. Dont they know that these have been the most popular names for the past 5 years!????

Katie said...

I love names too and could talk about them all day! My grandmother was Mildred Louise (so old fashioned). I really hope Mildred doesn't come back. My mom's name, Barbara, is definitely on the way out, thankfully.

Dr. Blondie said...

Amy, I guess we now know what you’re NOT naming Baby Taylor!

I happen to adore three of four of these names. Sadly (and obviously), I’m not the only one!:)

Organized Living by Amy said...

It's not that I don't like these names. I'm just a fan of a little originality. Plus I know from experience, it's not always fun being Amy W. (first name + last name initial) throughout school.

Jennifer said...

When I was pregnant, my mother-in-law forbid me to name our daughter after her (Eunice) or my own mother (Wilma). Not surprisingly, we weren't considering either of those (and Katie will thank us for that). Matt's dad and mine share the same first name, Ralph (my dad goes by his middle name), and I doubt we'll use that should we ever have a son. Matt's grandfather was Heinrich Helmut Wiechmann. That's an interesting name.