How popular is the baby name Clifford in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Clifford.
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The answer seems to be a cute 2-year-old named Gayleen Williams. In December of 1932, her photo ran in newspapers nation-wide. It was accompanied by captions like this one:
Little Gayleen Williams, just past two, is the “best all around girl” in Mormondom, according to judges at a recent baby show at Ogden, Utah, who fell victim to her smile, her dimples, and her pretty set of teeth. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Williams of Ogden.
Before I discovered baby Gayleen, my only guess on this name was a pair of vaudeville “acrobat dancers” called the Gaylene Sisters, who performed on tour and in at least one movie during the ’30s. The baby name Gaylene didn’t see an equivalent spike in usage in 1933, though.
Do you like the name Gayleen? Would you use it?
Source: “Best “All Around Girl” at Two.” Oil City Derrick 19 Dec. 1932: 3.
“Everly” is hot…”Beverly” is not. It’s a one-letter difference between fashionable and fusty.
If you’re sensitive to style, you’ll prefer Everly. It fits with today’s trends far better than Beverly does.
But if you’re someone who isn’t concerned about style, or prefers to go against style, then you may not automatically go for Everly. In fact, you may be more attracted to Beverly because it’s the choice that most modern parents would avoid.
If you’ve ever thought about intentionally giving your baby a dated name (like Debbie, Grover, Marcia, or Vernon) for the sake of uniqueness within his/her peer group — if you have no problem sacrificing style for distinctiveness — then this list is for you.
Years ago, the concept of “contrarian” baby names came up in the comments of a post about Lois. Ever since then, creating a collection of uncool/contrarian baby names has been on my to-do list.
Finally, last month, I experimented with various formulas for pulling unstylish baby names out of the SSA dataset. Keeping the great-grandparent rule in mind, I aimed for names that would have been fashionable among the grandparents of today’s babies. The names below are the best results I got.
In March of 1950, Clifford and Annie Holden welcomed their first child, a baby girl named Chaneta, at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.
Chaneta was born premature — she weighed just 2 pounds, 9 ounces — so she would have to be kept in a hospital incubator in order to survive.
But that didn’t quite happen. Why not? Because the poor thing was kidnapped.
She was abducted from the hospital on March 30th, when she was just nine days old. Doctors at the time warned that, outside of the incubator, she would have little chance of survival.
Hundreds of New York City police officers searched for Chaneta, but the search was called off after several days. At that point she was presumed dead.
But weeks later, on April 24th, Chaneta was discovered — still alive, miraculously.
She was found in a small storeroom at the Coburg Hotel, inside a homemade incubator constructed by her kidnapper, 18-year-old hotel maid Evelyn Jordan. (Evelyn had lost her own premature twins a few months earlier, sadly.) Here’s how the scene was described:
Besides a piggy bank, a toy cat and a rosary on the carriage she stocked the room with correctly prepared baby formulas, rubber gloves, child care books, diapers, blankets, thermometers, an electric heater to help provide the prescribed incubator temperature of 96° and a pan of bubbling hot water to keep up the required humidity.
Chaneta had gained 6 ounces and was in “perfect health.”
Annie, who sympathized with Evelyn, had this to say: “I feel sorry for her. She took such good care of the baby.”
The discovery made national headlines on April 25th, and the story stayed in the news for months to come.
Baby Chaneta was immediately returned to Lincoln Hospital. In mid-May she was declared healthy enough to go home with her parents.
Evelyn Jordan was sent to a mental institution. She was released six years later.
And in 1950, nearly two dozen baby girls suddenly got the rather unusual name Chaneta, according to SSA data:
1950: 23 baby girls named Chaneta [debut]
In a follow-up story from 1956, Annie Holden mentioned that Chaneta had been named after her favorite childhood schoolteacher.
Do you like the name Chaneta?
“Baby Chaneta Coming Home.” New York Age 13 May 1950: 3.
The U.S. National Park Service has a birthday coming up!
When the NPS was created on August 25, 1916, there were only 35 national parks and monuments. (The world’s first, Yellowstone, had been established in 1872.)
Nowadays the agency oversees 411 units. These units are located in the 50 states and beyond, and include national monuments (82), national historic sites (78), national parks (59), national historical parks (50), national memorials (30), national battlefields (11), national seashores (10), national lakeshores (4), national scenic trails (3), and more.
Let’s celebrate the upcoming centenary with over 100 baby names that pay tribute to the national parks specifically:
The derivation of Kenai is unknown, but it could come from either Dena’ina Athabascan (“big flat” or “two big flats and river cut-back” or “trees and brush in a swampy marsh”), Russian (“flat barren land”), or Iniut (“black bear”).