Game: Add 3 Girl Names to this 1910 List…

In 1910, the Boston-based publisher H. M. Caldwell Co. ran the following ad for its “My Own Name” series of books in American Motherhood magazine.

names from 1910

It is the purpose of these charming little books to tell girls all about their names, information about the name, its origin, the name in history, the name in poetry, fiction and romance is given, also notable namesakes past and present.

It wasn’t much of a series, though, as there were only 25 names to choose from:

  1. Alice (ranked 10th nationally in 1910)
  2. Annie (19th)
  3. Bertha (33rd)
  4. Charlotte (99th)
  5. Dorothy (4th)
  6. Edith (35th)
  7. Eleanor (55th)
  8. Elizabeth (7th)
  9. Fanny (391st)
  10. Gertrude (26th)
  11. Gladys (15th)
  12. Helen (2nd)
  13. Isabel (176th)
  14. Jane (116th)
  15. Katherine (57th)
  16. Lucy (75th)
  17. Margaret (3rd)
  18. Marion (59th)
  19. Marjorie (68th)
  20. Mary (1st)
  21. Mildred (8th)
  22. Nellie (51st)
  23. Ruth (5th)
  24. Sarah (40th)
  25. Winifred (185th)

Clearly three more names could have fit on that last line (next to Winifred), so let’s turn this into a game. Which three girl names would you add to this list? That is, give us three names you like that would also be logical additions to this list, given the time period. For instance, I think I’d add Iola, Della, and Bonnie. How about you?

(If you want to access the national rankings for 1910, click over to the SSA’s site and scroll down to “Popular Names by Birth Year.”)


Name Change: Joyce to Antonia

king vidor, actor
King Vidor
Movie director King W. Vidor [pronounced vee-dor] and his second wife, Eleanor Boardman, welcomed their first child together in November of 1927. They had a name picked out for a boy — “Boardman Vidor” — but didn’t have anything ready for a girl.

So, of course, it was a girl. :)

According to news reports, the baby remained nameless until at least April, when she was named Joyce.

But while the couple was abroad promoting Vidor’s latest film, The Crowd, she was renamed Antonia. They announced the change in early July, on the day they returned to the U.S. aboard the SS De Grasse.

Which of the two names do you like more?

I prefer...

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Sources:

Sakeena: Jazz-Inspired Baby Name

blakey, sakeena, jazz, song, 1960The eye-catching name Sakeena debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1957:

  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: 9 baby girls named Sakeena
  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: unlisted
  • 1957: 8 baby girls named Sakeena [debut]
  • 1956: unlisted

Where does it come from? I’ve traced it to jazz drummer/bandleader Arthur “Art” Blakey. He and his second wife, Diana, welcomed a baby girl named Sakeena in early 1957. The same year, Art Blakey and his band The Jazz Messengers put out at least two songs with the name Sakeena in the title:

  • “Sakeena” on the album Cu-Bop (1957), and
  • “Sweet Sakeena” on the album Hard Drive (1957).

The news of baby Sakeena’s birth didn’t seem to garner any attention, so it was either one or both of these songs that boosted the name Sakeena onto the charts.

It fell back off the charts the next year, but reappeared in 1961, after the release of a third song with Sakeena in the title: “Sakeena’s Vision” on the Art Blakey album The Big Beat (1960). This song was written by saxophonist/composer Wayne Shorter. Here’s what a biography of Shorter said about the genesis of “Sakeena’s Vision”:

Sakeena was an unusual two-year-old who had developed the precocious habit of sizing up visitors like a hanging judge the moment they stepped into the Blakey house. “If they were cool, Sakeena was cool,” Wayne said. “If they weren’t, then she wasn’t either. Art said, ‘Sakeena’s hip to them all,’ and let the child have the run of the house.” The toddler made an impression on Wayne, enough to inspire a composition with a difficult, penetrating melody line.

Do you like the name Sakeena?

P.S. Art had quite a few children in total, but the only other child he had with Diana was a son named Gamal, born in 1959.

Sources:

  • Gourse, Leslie. Art Blakey: Jazz Messenger. New York: Schirmer Trade Books, 2002.
  • Mercer, Michelle. Footprints: The Life and Work of Wayne Shorter. New York: Tarcher/Penguin Books, 2007.

Popular Baby Names in Northern Territory, 2016

According to the government of Northern Territory, Australia, the most popular baby names in NT in 2016 were again Charlotte and Jack.

Here are Northern Territory’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Charlotte, 31 baby girls
2. Emily, 17
3. Ava, 14 [tie]
4. Sophie, 14 [tie]
5. Amelia, 13 [tie]
6. Grace, 13 [tie]
7. Olivia, 13 [tie]
8. Scarlett, 13 [tie]
9. Ella, 12 [tie]
10. Isabella, 12 [tie]

Boy Names
1. Jack, 26 baby boys
2. Noah, 22
3. Charlie, 20 [tie]
4. Oliver, 20 [tie]
5. James, 19
6. Jacob, 18
7. William, 15
8. Eli, 14 [tie]
9. Nathan, 14 [tie]
10. Max, 13

In 18th place on the girls’ list — and appearing for the first time in any Northern Territory top 20 (since 2002, anyway) — was Billie, with 8 baby girls. In the U.S., in contrast, Billie is sitting just outside the top 2,000.

Here are Northern Territory’s 2015 rankings.

Source: Popular Baby Names – NT.GOV.AU

Mystery Monday: The Baby Name Dollinda

The baby name Dollinda has appeared in the U.S. baby name data twice:

  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: 12 baby girls named Dollinda
  • 1958: 18 baby girls named Dollinda [debut]
  • 1957: unlisted

That’s an impressive debut — just a few babies away from Tequila, which appeared the same year thanks to a hit song.

But I can’t figure out what gave Dollinda a boost. I don’t see the name anywhere in typical pop culture places (e.g., TV) and I also don’t see any telling similarities among the late-’50s Dollindas I’ve found online (e.g., birthplaces, middle names).

One interesting fact is that the spelling “Dolinda” is nowhere to be seen in the data. It’s just Dollinda. This makes me think two things. First, the source must have had a visual component in order to anchor the spelling. Second…is there some sort of “doll” association here? Was this the name of a toy? Hm.

Around the same time Dollinda was in the data, Dorinda was seeing peak usage. A little later, in the early ’60s, Delinda peaked. I’m not sure if these names had any influence on Dollinda, though.

Any thoughts on this one?