Narice: One-Hit Wonder Baby Name

narice, baby name, literature, 1926
Cosmopolitan, Feb. 1926

Back in 1926, the name Narice popped up in the U.S. baby name data with an impressive 13 baby girls. Right after that, it dropped out of the data — and it’s been out of the data ever since, making it a one-hit wonder. (It was the top one-hit wonder of 1926, in fact.)

  • 1928: unlisted
  • 1927: unlisted
  • 1926: 13 baby girls named Narice
  • 1925: unlisted
  • 1924: unlisted

What put the name in the data in the first place?

A short story called The Dice of God. It was serialized in Cosmopolitan magazine (back when Cosmo focused on fiction) starting in February of 1926, and appears to have been expanded and published as a standalone book the same year.

The tale was written by South African romance novelist Cynthia Stockley (1863-1936), who was popular in various English-speaking countries during the early 20th century. Several of her books were even turned into American silent films.

The story was set “amidst the lush and dangerous scenery of the Victoria Falls in Rhodesia,” and its two main characters were women named Anne Havilland and Narice Vanne — an author and an illustrator working on a travel book together. Here’s more from the synopsis on dust jacket:

When Sir Anthony Tulloch, better known to his fellows as “Bad Luck,” looked upon the girlish beauty of Narice Vanne, his fate was clear to him; but he had not reckoned with Anne Havilland, who was also beautiful,–in a very different way.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Narice?

Source: Book Review Digest, 1926

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