How popular is the baby name Beverly in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Beverly and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Beverly.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Beverly

Number of Babies Named Beverly

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Beverly

Poll: Pick a Pair of Toni Twin Names

joan and jean mcmillan, twins, 1949While looking at multiples from 1944 last month, I found sources claiming that both Mary & Marjorie Vaughan and Lois & Lucille Barnes were the “original” twins in the ads for Toni Home Permanents (tagline: “Which twin has the Toni?”).

Many sets of twins were involved in the Toni ad campaigns of the ’40s, though, so I’m not sure if any single set of twins can be called the “original” twins. For example, a November 1949 issue of LIFE included a full-page Toni ad with six sets of twins:

  • Eleanor and Jeanne Fulstone of Nevada
  • Betty and Barbara Land of Virginia
  • Barbara and Beverly Lounsbury of New Jersey
  • Joan and Jean McMillan of Texas (pictured)
  • Marjorie and Mary Vaughan of Indiana
  • Charlotte and Antoinette Winkelmann of New York

Let’s pretend you’re about to have twin girls, and you have to give them one of the name-pairs above. Which pair do you choose?

Pick a pair...

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Bernarr Macfadden, the Rebranded Bernard

Bernarr Macfadden
Bernarr Macfadden
(formerly Bernard McFadden)
Bernarr Macfadden (1868-1955) was an eccentric businessman and health crusader of the early 20th century.

His most successful business venture was his publishing empire, starting with Physical Culture magazine (1899-1955). This was followed by other magazines and over 100 books, including Virile Powers of Superb Manhood (1900) and Muscular Power and Beauty (1906).

He also organized bodybuilding competitions, opened health food restaurants, and even tried to found a community based on his beliefs called Physical Culture City. (It was in New Jersey.)

But he had plenty of detractors, including the editors of TIME magazine, who nicknamed him “Body-Love” Macfadden.

Speaking of names, Bernarr wasn’t born with the name Bernarr. His birth name was Bernard Adolphus McFadden. In his late 20s, while working in New York City as a personal trainer and physical therapist, he decided to rebrand himself. He ultimately settled on the distinctive “Bernarr Macfadden.” Here’s one version of the story:

Bernard Adolphus McFadden was a name that did not satisfy him. He had experimented with Bernard Adolphus, B. A. McFadden and B. Adolphus McFadden. Professor B. McFadden was not much of an improvement. Bernard sounded weak to him. If he accented the last syllable and substituted an R for the D, it would seem powerful, something like a lion’s roar — Bernarr, a unique name that people would remember. He dropped the Adolphus and, probably because there were so many McFaddens, he chose the name Macfadden, much to the resentment of his relatives scattered across the Midwest.

Bernarr Macfadden married several times and had a total of nine children — first six girls, then three boys. Their names were Helen, Byrne, Byrnece, Beulah, Beverly, Braunda, Byron, Berwyn, and Brewster. The B-names were clearly inspired by the “B” of Bernarr, and I suspect that Braunda was named with the word “brawn” in mind.


Interesting Baby Name Analysis

I only recently noticed that Behind the Name, one of my favorite websites for baby name definitions, has a page called United States Popularity Analysis — a “computer-created analysis of the United States top 1000 names for the period 1880 to 2012.”

The page has some interesting top ten lists. Here are three of them:

Most Volatile

Boy Names Girl Names
1. Elvis
2. Brooks
3. Santiago
4. Lincoln
5. Ernie
6. Wyatt
7. Quincy
8. Rogers
9. Alec
10. Dexter
1. Juliet
2. Lea
3. Justine
4. Martina
5. Felicia
6. Delilah
7. Selina
8. Lonnie
9. Magdalena
10. Katy

Biggest Recoveries

Boy Names Girl Names
1. Silas
2. Isaiah
3. Caleb
4. Emmett
5. Jordan
6. Josiah
7. Harrison
8. Ezra
9. Jason
10. Jesus
1. Ella
2. Stella
3. Sadie
4. Sophie
5. Isabella
6. Lily
7. Hannah
8. Isabelle
9. Sophia
10. Lilly

Biggest Flash-in-the-Pans

Boy Names Girl Names
1. Dewey
2. Woodrow
3. Dale
4. Barry
5. Rick
6. Greg
7. Roosevelt
8. Shannon
9. Kim
10. Darrin
1. Debra
2. Lori
3. Tammy
4. Pamela
5. Tracy
6. Cheryl
7. Beverly
8. Dawn
9. Diane
10. Kathy

I wonder what the formulas were. I’d love to try the same analysis on the SSA’s full list, using raw numbers instead of rankings. Wonder how much overlap there’d be…

Like the Name Marilyn? Thank Miller, not Monroe

I’m much obliged to Nancy of Fritinancy for letting me know about this one.

Yesterday’s edition of Fresh Air featured a segment on Marilyn Miller, a very popular Broadway musical star of the 1920s and early 1930s. Here’s what author Lloyd Schwartz had to say about Marilyn’s name:

Reading about Marilyn Miller, I found several surprising items. The name Marilyn, for example — Miller made it up from her own given name, Mary, and her mother’s name, Lynn — had apparently been quite rare until Miller’s stardom made it one of this country’s most popular girl’s names.

Decades later, Ben Lyon — a Twentieth Century Fox executive and former leading man who had co-starred with Miller and W.C. Fields in Miller’s last and best movie, Her Majesty, Love — signed up another pretty blond actress, Norma Jean Baker. She reminded him of Miller, and he urged her to change her name to Marilyn.

Wikipedia’s story is slightly different. It says Miller’s mother’s name was Ada Lynn (i.e. Lynn was her middle name). It also says the initial version of Miller’s stage name was Marilynn, and that the second n was dropped “at the urging of Florenz Ziegfeld.”

But both sources agree that Marilyn Miller had a big impact on baby names. The baby name Marilyn was rarely bestowed during the early years of the 20th century, but by 1925 it was one of the top 100 names in the nation. It peaked at 13th in 1936 and 1937, sandwiched between Joyce and Virginia the first year, Helen and Beverly the second.

The name has been in slow decline ever since. (Though Marilyn Monroe did give it a bit of a boost in the mid-1950s.)

Source: A Star Named Marilyn (But Not The One You Think)

Namestorm #7 – Baby Names Inspired by Children’s Book Authors

Last week, Julie came up with a great namestorm idea: children’s book authors. Here are some to start us off. (To save space, I only listed one book per author.)

Charles and Carlo

  • French author Charles Perrault wrote Tales of Mother Goose (1697).
  • Italian author Carlo Collodi, born Carlo Lorenzini, wrote The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883).

Johann and Hans

  • Swiss pastor Johann David Wyss wrote The Swiss Family Robinson (1812).
  • Danish author Hans Christian Andersen’s began writing fairy tales in the 1830s.

English author Lewis Carroll, born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865).

American author Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women (1868).

French author Jules Verne wrote Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea (1870).

American author Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).

Swiss author Johanna Spyri wrote Heidi (1880).

Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Treasure Island (1883).

English author Beatrix Potter, born Helen Beatrix Potter, wrote The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902).

American author Jack London, born John Griffith Chaney, wrote The Call of the Wild (1903).

Scottish author James Matthew Barrie created the character Peter Pan in the early 1900s.

Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote Anne of Green Gables (1908).

Anglo-American author Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote The Secret Garden (1911).

American writer Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, wrote The Cat in the Hat (1957).

American author Madeleine L’Engle wrote A Wrinkle in Time (1962).

American author Katherine Paterson wrote Bridge to Terabithia (1977).

American author Beverly Cleary wrote Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (1981).

American author Lois Lowry wrote The Giver (1993).

And now, two questions for you:

  • Can you come up with any other children’s book authors?
  • What interests/activities should we namestorm about next?