Baby Girls Named for Wallis Simpson

Wallis Simpson, TIME magazineLast month’s post on Ebba Bernadotte reminded me of Wallis Simpson, the twice-divorced American woman for whom King Edward VIII gave up the British throne in December of 1936.

Wallis was used mainly as a boy name until the year of the abdication, when it began to go unisex:

  • 1938: 19 baby boys and 14 baby girls named Wallis
  • 1937: 17 baby boys and 33 baby girls named Wallis
  • 1936: 22 baby boys and 6 baby girls named Wallis
  • 1935: 9 baby boys named Wallis
  • 1934: 16 baby boys named Wallis

The name saw peak usage for girls in 1937, the year Wallis and Edward were married.

“Wallis” wasn’t Wallis Simpson’s birth name; she was born Bessie Wallis Warfield. Her first name came from a maternal aunt, and her middle name was passed down from her father, Teackle Wallis Warfield.

While we’re on the topic of royal-ish names, let’s not forget Pippa. No one’s ever abdicated for her, but her butt has a Facebook page — that has to count for something, right?

UPDATE, 4/2012: Found a 1936 Wallis! She was mentioned in the newspaper:

Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Grieve have named their new-born daughter Wallis–for the only woman in modern history who rocked the throne of England.

Source: “Baby Named for Wally.” Pittsburgh Press 23 Dec. 1936: 8.

6 thoughts on “Baby Girls Named for Wallis Simpson

  1. Our baby girl is a Wallis. It’s gotten mixed reviews, kind of love it or hate it. But we love it. It’s uncommon without being weird.

  2. My daughter , born in 1992, is called Wallis . I think it is the best name ever for a girl.

  3. Wallis reminds me of the shop Wallis and Wallis and Gromit can’t see how it ever caught on as a girl’s name and never really liked it on men either for me it’s a surname I mean how many Selfridges or Perkins do you meet ?

  4. I really love the name Wallis for a girl…I’d only ever heard of Wallis Simpson, so to hear the you’ve used it more recently Amanda is reassuring. It’s also my Mum’s maiden name, so I kind of like the family connection. The other funny thing is my great-great-grandmother’s name was Bessie – Wallis Simpson’s real name. I kind of hope it doesn’t catch on in the next few years, as husband and I don’t plan to have a little one for a few years!

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