How popular is the baby name Elisabeth 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 Elisabeth.
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In last week’s “lowest ever” boy names post, I mentioned that reader Caitlin had shared her research on downward-trending baby names with me recently. While many girl names hit relative lows in 2017, for instance…
Sarah, now ranked 62nd — lowest ranking since 1970.
Rachel, now ranked 195th — lowest ranking since 1960.
Melissa, now ranked 273rd — lowest ranking since 1949.
…a couple of the names on her list, Rebecca and Catherine, hit their “lowest ever” rankings last year. (Plus there was Katherine, a borderline case of a lowest-ever tie.)
So I set out to find other “lowest ever” girl names.
Many of the names I checked (like Clare, Lea, and Bridget) hit a low in 2017, but it wasn’t their all-time low. Many others (like Pauline, Sara, and Mary) hit a low recently, but not as recently as 2017. Still others (like Yvonne) had to be disqualified because, even though they hit their lowest ranking on record in 2017, they didn’t appear in the data for all 138 years (1880-2017)…an issue I didn’t encounter with any of the boy names.
In the end, I was able to add a dozen thirteen names to the list:
Ann. Ranked 1,023rd in 2017; peak was 28th in the 1930s.
Barbara. Ranked 908th in 2017; peak was 2nd in the 1930s/1940s.
Carol. Ranked 1,814th in 2017; peak was 4th in the 1940s.
Catherine. Ranked 198th in 2017; peak was 18th in the 1910s.
Celia. Ranked 857th in 2017; peak was 141st in the 1880s.
Cynthia. Ranked 637th in 2017; peak was 7th in the 1950s.
Elisabeth. Ranked 775th in 2017; peak was 286th in the 2000s.
Katherine. Ranked 105th in 2017 + 1938; peak 25th in the 1990s.
Kathleen. Ranked 871st in 2017; peak was 9th in the 1940s. (Late addition–thanks Kelly!)
Linda. Ranked 708th in 2017; peak was 1st in 1940s/1950s.
Priscilla. Ranked 527th in 2017; peak was 127th in the 1940s.
Rebecca. Ranked 216th in 2017; peak was 10th in the 1970s.
Rosa. Ranked 672nd in 2017; peak was 52nd in the 1880s.
Susan. Ranked 963rd in 2017; peak was 2nd in the 1950s/1960s.
Teresa. Ranked 720th in 2017; peak was 18th in the 1960s.
Tressa. Ranked 9242nd in 2017; peak was 761st in the 1960s.
That makes 15 (or 16, if you count Katherine). I certainly could have missed a few, though, so if you can think of a good candidate, please let me know in the comments and I’ll take a look.
On the hunt for a rare girl name with a retro feel?
Here’s a big batch of uncommon female S-names that are associated in some way with early cinema (i.e., each is either a character name or an actress name).
For those that have had enough usage to appear in the national data, I’ve included links to popularity graphs.
Saba Raleigh was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in England in 1867. Her birth name was Isabel Pauline Ellissen. Saba was also a character played by actress Myrta Bonillas in the film The Claw (1927).
Sabra Sabra de Shon was an actress who appeared in one film in 1915. She was born in Massachusetts in 1850. Sabra was also a character name in multiple films, including Cimarron (1931) and A Man Betrayed (1941).
Salomy was a character name in multiple films, including Salomy Jane (1914) and Wild Girl (1932).
Salti was a character played by actress Beatie Olna Travers in the film A Romance of Old Baghdad (1922).
Samanthy was a character name in multiple films, including The Uneven Balance (short, 1914) and The Lonesome Heart (1915).
Samaran was a character played by actress Julia Faye in the film Fool’s Paradise (1921).
Sanchia Percival was a character played by actress Dorinea Shirley in the film Open Country (1922).
Sari Maritza (SHA-ree MAR-ee-tsa) was an actress who appeared in films in the 1930s. She was born in China in 1910. Her birth name was Patricia Detering-Nathan. Sari was also a character name in multiple films, including The Virgin of Stamboul (1920) and The Stolen Bride (1927).
Sigrid Holmquist was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. She was born in Sweden in 1899. Sigrid was also a character name in multiple films, including Transatlantic (1931) and I Remember Mama (1948).
Looking for a surname-inspired baby name with a connection to Catholicism?
Here are more than 200 options, most of which come from Catholic Englishmen martyred during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Because the goal was to include as many realistic baby names as possible, I interpreted “surname” and “saint” liberally in some cases. Xavier is not technically a surname, for instance, and many of the folks below are not yet full-fledged saints.
The hyperlinked names will take you to popularity graphs.
Actress Elisabeth Rohm dreamed up the name Easton for her daughter in 2008. Singer Fergie dreamed up the name Axl for her son in 2013. Between 2008 and 2013, though, there was a third dreamed‑of celebrity baby name that I missed.
Actress Marley Shelton and film producer Beau Flynn welcomed a baby girl in 2009 and named her West, thanks to a dream:
“My husband actually dreamed seven years ago that we had a daughter, and he was calling her West,” Marley recalls. “I immediately said, ‘If we ever have a daughter, we’re definitely naming her that.'”
Their second daughter, Ruby, was born in 2012.
Do you know of any other dreamed‑of celebrity baby names?
Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands had a total of 4 children, all girls:
Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard (b. January, 1938)
Irene Emma Elisabeth (b. August, 1939)
Margriet Francisca (b. January, 1943)
Maria Christina “Marijke” (b. February, 1947)
The middle daughters were both named with current events in mind:
Irene, born just before World War II began, was named after the Greek goddess of peace. According to Prince Bernhard, “we chose Irene, which means peace, because of the serious international situation.” Here’s how one newspaper put it:
So now against all the war machines and bombers and the marching millions, there stands a little baby, named Irene, to personify the tiny hope that lies within the hearts of the millions, the hope of peace.
Margriet, born during WWII, “was named after the marguerite flower, the national symbol of resistance [to Nazi Germany] in the Netherlands.” (The family was taking refuge in Canada during the war, and her hospital room “was decreed to be Dutch territory for the occasion so that the princess would be a Dutch citizen.”)
Which of these two names do you like more, Irene or Margriet?
“Baby Princess Carried to Birth Registration.” Montreal Gazette 8 Aug. 1939: 7.
Goddard, Lance. Canada and the Liberation of the Netherlands, May 1945. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2005.
“So They Named Her Irene.” Meriden Daily Journal 18 Aug. 1939: 6.