Mystery Monday: Versie

According to the SSA data, one of the fastest rising baby names of 1894 was the girl name Versie. The SSDI similarly indicates a spike in Versies in 1894:

Versie (SSA)Versie (SSDI)
189616 baby girls16 baby girls
18957 baby girls14 baby girls
189421 baby girls21 baby girls
18935 baby girls11 baby girls
1892unlisted7 baby girls

What caused it?

I’m not sure! I’ve tried searching for an explanation, but so far I’ve come up short.

The 1894 spike isn’t related to the usage of the similar name Versa (which disappeared from the data that year, in fact). And I haven’t found any news stories or pop culture from that era that would have spotlighted the name.

All I can tell you is that, according to the records I’ve seen, usage was primarily in the South (in states like Texas, Georgia, Arkansas, and Tennessee). Also, usage was primarily in white families, though I did find Versies in African-American families as well.

Any ideas on this one?

P.S. Incidentally, versie means “version” in Dutch.

2 thoughts on “Mystery Monday: Versie

  1. Could be an alternative spelling for Versailles. Depending on the area of the south I could absolutely see it being pronounced Ver-sy instead of Ver-see.

  2. @A. Waguespack – That’s an interesting theory! I’m looking for “Versailles” being spotlighted somewhere (e.g., news, literature) in 1893-1894, though, and so far I’m not finding anything.

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