Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: Letter I

In need of an uncommon girl name with an old-fashioned feel?

Here’s the next installment in the early cinema series: a list of rare female I-names associated with the initial decades of the motion pictures (1910s to 1940s).

For those names that have seen enough usage to appear in the SSA data, I’ve included links to popularity graphs.

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Ianthe
Ianthe Dorland was a character played by actress Virginia Field in the film The Primrose Path (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Ianthe.

Idalene
Idalene Nobbin was a character played by actress Colleen Moore in the film The Wall Flower (1922).

Idina
Idina Bland was a character played by actress Fanny Ferrari in the film Passion’s Playground (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Idina.

Idy
Idy Peters was a character played by actress Irene Rich in the film They Had to See Paris (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Idy.

Ilani
Ilani was a character played by actress Maria Montez in the film Moonlight in Hawaii (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilani.

Ilanu
Ilanu was a character played by actress Raquel Torres in the film Aloha (1931).

Ilda
Ilda was a character name in multiple films, including Rasputin, the Black Monk (1917) and Darkest Russia (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilda.

Ilka
Ilka Chase was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1960s. She was born in New York in 1905. Ilka was also a character name in multiple films, including Ambassador Bill (1931) and The President’s Mystery (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilka.

Ilma
Ilma was a character name in multiple films, including The Game of Life (short, 1915) and The Seven Pearls (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilma.

Ilona
Ilona Massey was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1950s. She was born in Hungary in 1910. Ilona was also a character name in multiple films, including Ilona (1921) and The Stolen Bride (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilona.

Ilonka
Ilonka was a character played by actress Elena Verdugo in the film House of Frankenstein (1944).

Ilsa
Ilsa Lund was a character played by actress Ingrid Bergman in the film Casablanca (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilsa (which debuted in the data in 1943).

Ilse
Ilse Wagner was a character played by actress Ruth Robinson in the film The Match King (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilse.

Immada
Immada was a character played by actress Laska Winter in the film The Rescue (1929).

Imogene
Imogene was a character name in multiple films, including Retribution (short, 1913) and They Won’t Forget (1937).

Imperia
Imperia was a character played by actress Phyllis Haver in the film Don Juan (1926).

Ina
Ina Claire was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in Washington, D.C., in 1893. Ina was also a character played by actress Arlette Marchal in the film Forlorn River (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Ina.

Inah
Inah Dunbar was a character played by actress Ann Forrest in the film Her Decision (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Inah.

Inda
Independence “Inda” Palmer was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in Ohio on July 4, 1853.

  • Usage of the baby name Inda.

Indora
Indora was a character played by actress Colleen Moore in the film The Devil’s Claim (1920).

Inga
Inga was a character played by actress Carol Dempster in the film Isn’t Life Wonderful (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Inga.

Iola
Iola was a character name in multiple films, including Iola’s Promise (short, 1912) and The Heart of a Lion (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Iola.

Iolante
Iolante was a character played by actress Maude Fealy in the short film King Rene’s Daughter (1913).

Iolanthe
Iolanthe McSwatt was a character played by actress Flora Finch in the short film There’s Music in the Hair (1913).

Ione
Ione Holmes was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. She was born in the U.S. in 1890. Ione was also a character name in multiple films, including The Flirt and the Bandit (short, 1913) and The Last Days of Pompeii (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Ione.

Iphigenie
Iphigenie Castiglioni was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1960s. She was born in Austria-Hungary in 1895.

Iras
Iras was a character name in multiple films, including Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925) and Cleopatra (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Iras.

Irena
Irena was a character name in multiple films, including The Fall of the Romanoffs (1917) and Mark of the Vampire (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Irena.

Irenya
Irenya was a character played by actress Marjorie Daw in the short film The Unafraid (1915).

Irmingarde
Princess Irmingarde was a character played by actress Lillian Drew in the short film Every Inch a King (1914).

Isambeau
Isambeau was a character played by actress Lillian Leighton in the film Joan the Woman (1916).

Ishya
Ishya was a character played by actress Burnu Acquanetta in the film Arabian Nights (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Ishya.

Isobelle
Princess Isobelle was a character played by actress Mary Fuller in the short film The Master Mummer (1915).

Isola
Isola was a character name in multiple films, including The Nightingale (1914) and Thunder Island (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Isola.

Isolla
Isolla was a character played by actress Marion Leonard in the short film The Awakening of Donna Isolla (1914).

Istra
Princess Istra was a character played by actress Marguerite Courtot in the film Bound and Gagged (1919).

Ivis
Ivis was a character name in multiple films, including The Glorious Lady (1919) and Three Live Ghosts (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Ivis.

Izette
Izette was a character played by actress Lillian Leighton in the short film A Detective’s Strategy (1912).

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Which of the above I-names do you like best?

Source: IMDb

Names in the News: Snow, Gopay, Henderson

Some recent and not-so-recent baby names from the news…

Abhinandan: Multiple babies born in India in March of 2019 were named Abhinandan following the release of mustachioed IAF wing-commander Abhinandan Varthaman from Pakistan. (India Times)

(And, on March 4th, Pizza Hut India offered free pizza to anyone named Abhinandan.)

Audrey Claire: A baby girl born Pennsylvania in April of 2019 was named Audrey Claire after Philadelphia restaurant Audrey Claire. (The Inquirer)

Brady: A baby girl born in New Hampshire in February of 2019 (on Superbowl Sunday) was named Margaret Carter Brady, second middle name in honor of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. (WMUR)

Camden and Maxwell: Twin baby girls born in North Dakota in February of 2019 were named Isla Camden and Eloise Maxwell — middle names in honor of their late brothers, Camden and Maxwell, who’d died in a car accident a year earlier. (Today)

Danielle: A baby girl born in Blackpool, England, in mid-2018 was named Danielle after nurse Danielle McLardie, who had cared for the mother during a pregnancy-induced bout of sepsis. (BBC, via Clare’s Name News)

Desai: A baby boy born in Oklahoma in January of 2019 was named Desai after obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Sneha Desai, who delivered the baby. (KXII)

Gopay: A baby boy born in Indonesia in February of 2019 was named Gopay after Go-Pay, an Indonesian e-payment platform. The parents received Go-Pay credit from the parent company, Go-Jek, as a gift. (Coconuts Jakarta)

Henderson: A baby boy born in England in February of 2019 was named Henderson, nickname Hendo, “after Sheffield’s famous Henderson’s Relish!” (The Star)

Logan: A baby girl born in Saskatchewan in June of 2018 was named Logan Humble in honor of Logan Boulet, who was killed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, which the baby’s mother had witnessed. (CBC)

Margaret: A baby girl born in Nairobi, Kenya, in March of 2019 — just after her mother had started a 2km “pregnancy walk” hosted by the Beyond Zero campaign — was named Margaret after First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, founder of the campaign. (Evewoman)

Miraj: A baby boy born in Rajasthan, India, in February of 2019 — minutes after IAF fighter jets carried out the Balakot airstrike — was named Miraj after the jets: Dassault Mirage 2000s. (Mumbai Mirror)

And, finally, a pair of pop-culture influenced names that made headlines:

The Introduction of Taimak

The baby name Taimak debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1986.

The curious name Taimak debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1986. It appeared twice more, both times in the 1980s, before dropping out the data entirely.

  • 1990: unlisted
  • 1989: 5 baby boys named Taimak
  • 1988: unlisted
  • 1987: 6 baby boys named Taimak
  • 1986: 8 baby boys named Taimak [debut]
  • 1985: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Taimak Guarriello, the martial artist who played lead character Leroy Green in the movie The Last Dragon (1985). Leroy, a martial artist living in Harlem, was known to the other characters as “Bruce Leroy” because of his obsession with Bruce Lee.

It was Taimak’s first professional acting role, and, to date, his only lead role in a feature film. He was credited simply as “Taimak” in the opening credits.

(One of his co-stars in the movie was Prince protégé Vanity, and one of the songs from the soundtrack was the hit “Rhythm of the Night” by DeBarge.)

What does Taimak’s name mean? Here’s what he told Jet magazine in 2013:

I’m Black and Italian, but the name Taimak comes from the Aztec culture. “Teimoc” means striking eagle.

(I’m guessing it was based on the name Cuauhtémoc, which means “eagle that descends [in order to strike its prey]” in Nahuatl. Cuauhtémoc was the name of a 16th-century Aztec ruler.)

What are your thoughts on the name Taimak?

Sources: Whatever Happened to The Last Dragon?, What Ever Happened To: Taimak

Popular Baby Names in Minnesota, 2018

The state of Minnesota hasn’t (yet?) published a list of the top baby names of 2018. But it has given us the top names within certain racial/ethnic groups:

Top Girl Names

  • White: Evelyn
  • Native American: Olivia
  • Hispanic: Sofia
  • Black: Aisha
  • Asian/Pacific Islander: Amelia

Top Boy Names

  • White: Henry
  • Native American: Elijah
  • Hispanic: Jose
  • Black: Mohamed
  • Asian/Pacific Islander: Ethan

According to the SSA’s data, Minnesota’s top names overall last year were Evelyn and Henry.

And in 2017, according to the state itself, the most popular names were Evelyn and Oliver.

Source: Minnesota Department of Health (Facebook)

Uplifting Baby Names

I have a soft spot for word names with inspiring definitions. I love how they can often double as one-word mantras.

So here are five word names with two things in common. First, each one has appeared in the U.S. data within the last few years. And, second, each one has a definition pertaining to height or upward movement — which signifies, to me, motivating concepts like progress* and improvement.

Click the links to see the popularity graphs.

  • Summit means “peak” or “highest point.” It can be traced back to the Latin word summus, meaning “highest.”
  • Meridian can mean “highest point” by way of its literal meaning, “mid-day,” from the Latin word meridianum (medius, “middle,” plus dies, “day”). Mid-day is when the sun is at its highest point.
  • Zenith, in astronomy, refers to the point in the sky vertically above a given position and, by extension, means “peak” or “highest point.” The origin is an an Arabic phrase meaning “the way over the head.”
  • Crown can refer to the “top part” of various things (a head, a hill, a hat, an arch, etc.) by extension of its best-known definition, “royal headdress.”
  • Rise means “to move upwards.” It was derived from the Old English word risan, which essentially had the same meaning. (Don’t confuse Rise with Risë!)

Which of the above would you be most likely to use as a baby name? Can you think of any similar names you’d add to the list?

*Progress itself has been used as a name before — it popped up in Alberta data just recently — but it has yet to appear in the U.S. data.

Source: Online Etymology Dictionary