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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Enid

Number of Babies Named Enid

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Enid

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: P

patria, cinema, girl name, 1910s

Here’s the next installment of rare female names used by either the actresses or characters in very old films (1910s, 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s).

Paducah
Paducah Pomeroy was a character played by actress Aileen Pringle in the film Piccadilly Jim (1936).

Paget
Debra Paget was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1960s. She was born in Colorado in 1933. Her birth name was Debralee Griffin.

  • Usage of the baby name Paget.

Palma
Palma May was a character played by actress Irene Castle in the film French Heels (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Palma.

Palola
Palola was a character played by actress Hilo Hattie in the film Song of the Islands (1942).

Panama
Panama Smith was a character played by actress Gladys George in the film The Roaring Twenties (1939).

Panca
Panca was a character played by actress Linda Arvidson in the short film The Stampede (1916).

Pancha
Pancha O’Brien was a character played by actress Geraldine Farrar in the film The Hell Cat (1918).

Panchita
Panchita was a character played by actress Conchita Montenegro in the film Laughing at Life (1933).

Pandora
Pandora La Croix was a character played by actress Viola Dana in the film As Man Desires (1925).

Panthea
Panthea Romoff was a character played by actress Norma Talmadge in the film Panthea (1917).

Papela
Papela was a character played by actress Gail Kenton in the film The Lure of the South Seas (1929).

Papeta
Papeta was a character played by actress Anne Schaefer in the short film The Prayers of Manuelo (1912).

Papinta
Papinta was a character played by actress Bessie Eyton in the short film The Little Organ Player of San Juan (1912).

Papita
Papita was a character played by the actress Clara Williams in the short film Papita’s Destiny (1913).

Parete
Parete was a character played by actress Dagmar Godowsky in the film The Altar Stairs (1922).

Parisette
Parisette was a character played by actress Sandra Milovanoff in the film Parisette (1921).

Parola
Parola was a character played by actress Helen Ware in the film Fascination (1922).

Parthenia
Parthenia was a character name in multiple films, including Ingomar, The Barbarian (1908) and Show Boat (1929).

Pasqualina
Pasqualina Carmetto was a character played by actress Mary Fuller in the short film Tony’s Oath of Vengeance (1912).

Patria
Patria Channing was a character played by actress Irene Castle in the film Patria (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Patria (which saw an uptick in usage in 1917).

Patta
Patta Heberton was a character played by actress May Allison in the film The Come-Back (1916).

Patterson
Patterson Dial was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Florida in 1902. Her birth name was Elizabeth Patterson Dial.

Peaches
Peaches Jackson was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in New York in 1913. Her birth name was Charlotte Jackson. Peaches was also a character played by actress May West in the film Every Day’s a Holiday (1937).

Peavey
Peavey was a character played by actress Olive Borden in the film Leave It to Me (1933).

Peg
Peg Entwistle was an actress who appeared in one film in 1932 (and, the same year, committed suicide by jumping off the H of the Hollywoodland sign). She was born in Wales in 1908. Her birth name was Millicent Lilian Entwistle. Peg was also a character played by actress Anna Neagle in the film Peg of Old Drury (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Peg.

Pegeen
Pegeen O’Barry was a character played by actress Pauline Starke in the film Irish Eyes (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Pegeen.

Peggie
Peggie Hurst was a character played by actress Chrissie White in the film A Temporary Vagabond (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Peggie.

Peggy
Peggy Pearce (born a Velma) was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in California in 1894. Peggy Cartwright was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Canada in 1912. Peggy Moran (Mary) was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s. She was born in Iowa in 1918. Peggy Ryan (Margaret) was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s. She was born in California in 1924. Finally, Peggy was also a character name in multiple films including Peggy Lynn, Burglar (short 1915) and Confessions of a Co-Ed (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Peggy.

Pelagia
Pelagia Walewska was a character played by actress Maria Ouspenskaya in the film Conquest (1937).

Pendola
Pendola Molloy was a character played by actress Karen Morley in the film Gabriel Over the White House (1933).

Penelopeia
Pénélopeia was a character played by actress Conchita Montenegro in the film Lumières de Paris (1938).

Peola
Peola was a character played by actress Fredi Wasghington in the film Imitation of Life (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Peola (which saw an uptick in usage in 1935).

Pepita
Pepita was a character name in multiple films, including The Street Singer (1912) and The Pretty Sister of Jose (1915).

Peppina
Peppina was a character played by actress Mary Pickford in the film Poor Little Peppina (1916).

Peppy
Peppy Gilman was a character played by actress Dorothy Burgess in the film I Want a Divorce (1940).

Perdita
Perdita was a character name in multiple films, including In Old California (short, 1910) and The Demon (1918).

Periwinkle
Periwinkle was a character played by actress Mary Miles Minter in the film Periwinkle (1917).

Perka
Perka was a character played by actress Georgia Fursman in the film The Seven Sisters (1915).

Perpetua
Perpetua was a character name in multiple films, including The Arrival of Perpetua (1915) and Love’s Boomerang (1922).

Perrette
Perrette was a character played by actress Simone Vaudry in the film Fanfan la Tulipe (1925).

Persis
Persis was a character played by actress Mary Treen in the film The Great Man’s Lady (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Persis.

Pert
Pert Kelton was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1960s. She was born in Montana in 1907. Pert was also a character name in multiple films, including Danger! Women at Work (1943) and Take It Big (1944).

Pervaneh
Pervaneh was a character played by actress Greta Nissen in the film The Lady of the Harem (1926).

Petal
Petal Schultze was a character played by actress Amy Veness in the film Red Wagon (1933).

  • Usage of the baby name Petal.

Petaluma
Petaluma was a character played by actress Vivian Rich in the short film A Blowout at Santa Banana (1914).

Petrie
Petrie was a character played by actress Claire Du Brey in the film Oh, What a Night! (1944).

Petrina
Petrina Faneuil was a character played by actress Pauline Frederick in the film Let Not Man Put Assunder (1924).

Petronell
Petronell was a character played by actress Helen “Bunty” Payne in the film The Farmer’s Wife (1941).

Pette
Pette San was a character played by actress Mary Fuller in the short film An Almond-Eyed Maid (1913).

Pettie
Pettie Wilson was a character played by actress Gwen Lee in the film The Boy Friend (1926).

Pheasant
Pheasant Vaughan Whiteoak was a character played by actress Molly Lamont in the film Jalna (1935).

Phemie
Phemie was a character name in multiple films, including The Man Hater (1917) and La Bohème (1926).

Philena
Philena Mortimer was a character played by actress Helene Chadwick in the film From the Ground Up (1921).

Philine
Philine was a character played by actress Xenia Desni in the film Pariserinnen (1921).

Phillipa
Phillipa was a character name in multiple films, including The Flash of an Emerald (1915) and Risky Business (1920).

Phronsie
Sophronia “Phronsie” Pepper was a character played by actress Dorothy Ann Seese in the four Five Little Peppers films of 1939 and 1940.

  • Usage of the baby name Phronsie (which debuted in the data the year most of the films came out).

Phroso
Phroso was a character played by actress Malvina Longfellow in the film Possession (1922).

Phyl
Phyl was a character played by actress Margaret Perry in the film New Morals for Old (1932).

Phyliss
Phyliss was a character name in multiple films, including Broadway Billy (1926) and Pleasures of the Rich (1926).

Phyllis
Phyllis Gordon was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in Virginia in 1889. Phyllis Haver was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Kansas in 1899. Phyllis Thaxter was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1970s. She was born in Maine in 1919. Finally, Phyllis was also a character name in multiple films, including Just Like a Woman (short, 1915) and Wagons Westward (1940).

Phyra
Phyra was a character played by actress Enid Markey in the short film The Soul of Phyra (1915).

Pidetta
Pidetta was a character played by actress Rosita Marstini in the short film On the Trail of the Tigress (1916).

Pidgie
Pidgie Ryder was a character played by actress Leatrice Joy in the film The Invisible Divorce (1920).

Pierrette
Pierrette was a character name in multiple films, including Under the Make-Up (1913) and Laughter and Tears (1921).

Pige
Pige was a character played by actress Marcia Mae Jones in the film Barefoot Boy (1938).

Pina
Pina Menichelli was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Italy in 1890. Her birth name was Giuseppa Iolanda Menichelli.

  • Usage of the baby name Pina.

Pinkie
Pinkie was a character name in multiple films, including The Reward (short, 1915) and Oh, Yeah? (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Pinkie.

Pinky
Pinky was a character name in multiple films, including The Village Sleuth (1920) and Pinky (1949).

  • Usage of the baby name Pinky.

Pinna
Pinna Nesbit was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Canada in 1896.

Piquette
Piquette was a character played by actress Shannon Day in the film Honor First (1922).

Plutina
Plutina was a character played by actress Clara Kimball Young in the film The Heart of the Blue Ridge (1915).

Pola
Pola Negri was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1960s. She was born in Poland in 1897. Her birth name was Barbara Apolonia Chałupec. Pola was also a character played by actress Elizabeth Allan in the film Insult (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Pola.

Polaire
Polaire Quinn was a character played by actress Madge Evans in the film The Greeks Had a Word for Them (1932).

Poldi
Poldi Vogelhuber was a character played by actress Luise Rainer in the film The Great Waltz (1938).

Poll
Poll Patchouli was a character played by actress Dorothy Dalton in the film Fool’s Paradise (1921).

Polly
Polly was a character name in multiple films, including Outlaws of the Sea (1923) and Shanghai Lady (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Polly.

Pompeia
Pompeia Plotina was a character played by actress Caroline Frances Cooke in the short film In the Days of Trajan (1913).

Pompilia
Pompilia was a character played by actress Marie Newton in the short film The Ring and the Book (1914).

Pomposia
Pomposia was a character played by actress Helen Ware in the film The Warrior’s Husband (1933).

Poppaea
Poppaea was a character name in multiple films, including Nero (1922) and The Sign of the Cross (1932).

Portland
Portland Fancy was a character played by actress Juliet Brenon in the film The Street of Forgotten Men (1925). (Plus there’s radio actress Portland Hoffa was most active during the ’30s and ’40s.)

Posey
Posey was a character played by actress Edith Arnold in the film College Scandal (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Posey.

Posie
Posie Stanton was a character played by actress Virginia Southern in the film Black Friday (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Posie.

Poupée
Poupée Andriot was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s and 1930s. She was born in New York in 1899. Her birth name was Edna Stone. Poupée is French for “doll.”

Preciosa
Preciosa was a character played by actress Alice Joyce in the short film Between Father and Son (1911).

Prissy
Prissy was a character name in multiple films, including The Dangerous Flirt (1924) and Gone with the Wind (1939).

  • Usage of the baby name Prissy.

Protea
Protéa was a character played by French actress Josette Andriot in multiple films in the 1910s.

Prue
Prue was a character name in multiple films, including Only Five Years Old (short, 1913) and The Man Who Had Everything (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Prue.

Prunella
Prunella Judson was a character played by actress ZaSu Pitts in the film Ruggles of Red Gap (1935).

Psyche
Psyche was a character played by actress Lillian Yarbo in the film My Brother Talks to Horses (1947).

Puff
Puff Rogers was a character played by actress Wynne Gibson in the film Lady and Gent (1932).

Pundita
Pundita was a character played by actress Goldie Colwell in multiple films in the 1910s.

*

…Which of the above names do you like best?

Source: IMDb

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: Letter R

romola, name, cinema
Lillian Gish as Romola (1924)
Want an uncommon R-name for your baby girl? Here’s the next installment of rare female names collected from very old films (1910s to 1940s)…

Radha
Radha was a character played by actress Mary Pickford in the film Less Than the Dust (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Radha.

Rafaela
Rafaela Ottiano was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1940s. She was born in Italy in 1888. Rafaela was also a character played by actress Alice Joyce in the short film The Bag of Gold (1912).

Raimunda
Raimunda was a character played by actress Eulalie Jensen in the film Passion Flower (1921).

Rainbow
Rainbow Halliday was a character played by actress Alice Calhoun in the film Rainbow (1921).

Rallah
Rallah was a character played by actress Leatrice Joy Gilbert in the film Kismet (1944).

Ramsay
Ramsay Ames was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1960s. She was born in New York in 1919.

  • Usage of the baby name Ramsay.

Raquella
Raquella was a character played by actress Raquel Torres in the film Under a Texas Moon (1930).

Rascha
Rascha was a character played by actress Dolores del Rio in the film Revenge (1928).

Rathia
Rathia was a character played by actress Clyne Dacia in the film A Romance of Old Baghdad (1922).

Rawnie
Margaret Adams, called “Rawnie,” was a character played by actress Rochelle Hudson in the film Rascals (1938).

  • Usage of the baby name Rawnie (which debuted in the data the year Rascals came out).

Ray
Ray was a (female) character name in multiple films, including The Careless Age (1929) and Back Street (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Ray.

Rayma
Rayma was a character played by actress Rosemary Theby in the film A Son of the Sahara (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Rayma.

Reba
Reba was a character played by actress Louise Fazenda in the film Millionaires (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Reba.

Redora
Redora Bump was a character played by actress Ethel Wales in the film The Country Doctor (1927).

Reggie
Regina “Reggie” Van Maaster was a character played by actress Marsha Hunt in the film Seven Sweethearts (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Reggie.

Regi
Regi Allen was a character played by actress Carole Lombard in the film Hands Across the Table (1935).

Regine
Regine was a character played by actress Juliette Compton in the film The Wine of Life (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Regine.

Reine
Reine Davies was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in New York in 1883. Her birth name was Irene Douras.

  • Usage of the baby name Reine.

Reni
Reni Vonich was a character played by actress Dorothy Tree in the film Television Spy (1939).

  • Usage of the baby name Reni.

Renie
Renie Mathis was a character played by actress Mabel Taliaferro in the film A Magdalene of the Hills (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Renie.

Reno
Reno Browne was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1950s. She was born in (Reno) Nevada in 1921. Her birth name Josephine Ruth Clarke. Reno was also a character played by actress Ethel Merman in the film Anything Goes (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Reno.

Resha
Resha was a character played by actress Ethel Ritchie in the film The Virgin of Stamboul (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Resha.

Ressel
Ressel Orla was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Austria-Hungary (now Italy) in 1889.

Rethna
Rethna was a character played by actress Cleo Madison in the film Her Bitter Cup (1916).

Retta
Retta Barr was a character played by actress Rafaela Ottiano in the film The Last Gentleman (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Retta.

Rexy
Regina “Rexy” Gordon was a character played by actress Bebe Daniels in the film Counsellor at Law (1933).

Rheba
Rheba was a character name in multiple films, including You Can’t Take It with You (1938) and Junior Miss (1945).

  • Usage of the baby name Rheba.

Rhoda
Rhoda was a character name in multiple films, including The Red, Red Heart (1918) and Death Takes a Holiday (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Rhoda.

Rhona
Rhona was a character played by actress Gladys Brockwell in the film The Sneak (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Rhona.

Ricca
Ricca Allen was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in Canada in 1863.

  • Usage of the baby name Ricca.

Richmiel
Richmiel Crumb was a character played by actress Seena Owen in the film Faint Perfume (1925).

Ricki
Ricki Woodner was a character played by actress Lucille Ball in the film Two Smart People (1946).

  • Usage of the baby name Ricki.

Riette
Riette Van Orman was a character played by actress Leona Maricle in the film My Reputation (1946).

Rika
Countess Rika was a character played by actress Julia Faye in the Cecil B. DeMille film Triumph (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Rika.

Ril
Ril Lambeth was a character played by actress Martha Sleeper in the film West of the Pecos (1934).

Rilla
Rilla was a character played by actress Laura Oakley in the film The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Rilla.

Risa
Risa Bartlett was a character played by actress Gladys Hulette in the film Combat (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Risa.

Rissa
Clarissa “Rissa” Fortune was a character played by actress Ella Raines in the film Time Out of Mind (1947).

  • Usage of the baby name Rissa (which debuted in the data the year Time Out of Mind came out).

Ritta
Ritta was a character played by actress Bessie Eyton in the short film The Great Experiment (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Ritta.

Ritzy
Ritzy was a character name in multiple films, including Ritzy (1927) and Thunderbolt (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Ritzy.

Riza
Riza was a character name in multiple films, including The Cat’s Pajamas (1926) and Prisoners (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Riza.

Robar
Robar was a character played by actress Anna Q. Nilsson in the short film The Gypsy’s Brand (1913).

Robina
Robina Teele was a character played by actress Mae Busch in the film Souls for Sale (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Robina.

Robinetta
Robinetta Gale was a character played by actress Mary Fuller in the short film The Contents of a Suitcase (1913).

Robinette
Robinette was a character played by actress Claire Windsor in the film The White Desert (1925).

Roby
Roby was a character played by actress Charlotte Burton in the film The Craving (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Roby.

Roma
Roma was a character name in multiple films, including Miss Nobody (1917) and Set Free (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Roma.

Romany
Romany was a character played by actress Marion Davies in the film Runaway Romany (1917).

Romo
Romo was a character played by actress Elizabeth Allan in the film Michael and Mary (1931).

Romola
Romola Remus was an actress who appeared in one film in 1908. She was born in Illinois in 1900. Romola was also a character played by actress Lillian Gish in the film Romola (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Romola.

Rona
Lady Rona was a character played by actress Nora Swinburne in the film Hornet’s Nest (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Rona.

Ronnie
Ronnie was a character name in multiple films, including The Exciters (1923) and That’s My Man (1947).

  • Usage of the baby name Ronnie.

Rosabelle
Rosabelle Milford was a character played by actress Etta McDaniel in the film The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936).

Rosaleen
Rosaleen was a character played by actress Valia Venitshaya in the film A Gamble with Hearts (1923).

Rosamond
Rosamond was a character name in multiple films, including Rose of the World (1918) and The Great Impersonation (1921).

Rosamund
Lady Rosamund Godolphin was a character played by actress Enid Bennett in the film The Sea Hawk (1924).

Rosarita
Rosarita was a character name in multiple films, including Beauty in Chains (1918) and Bells of Rosarita (1945).

Roseanna
Roseanna McCoy was a character played by actress Joan Evans in the film Roseanna McCoy (1949).

Rosebud
Rosebud Doble was a character played by actress Bessie Eyton in the short film Budd Doble Comes Back (1913).

Rosetta
Rosetta was a character name in multiple films, including The Ordeal of Rosetta (1918) and Divorce in the Family (1932).

Rosette
Rosette was a character name in multiple films, including The Victory of Conscience (1916) and The Secret of Rosette Lambert (1920).

Rosina
Rosina Galli was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1950s. She was born in Italy in 1906. Rosina was also a character played by actress Jose Collins in the film The Last Stake (short, 1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Rosina.

Rosine
Rosine was a character name in multiple films, including The Man in the Moonlight (1919) and Fanatisme (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Rosine.

Rosita
Rosita Marstini was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in France in 1887. Rosita was also a character name in multiple films, including Hell’s Valley (1931) and Zoo in Budapest (1933).

  • Usage of the baby name Rosita.

Rosny
Rosny Edwards was a character played by actress Doris Eaton in the film Tell Your Children (1922).

Roszika
Roszika “Rosie” Dolly was a character played by actress June Haver in the film The Dolly Sisters (1945).

Rowena
Rowena was a character name in multiple films, including The Romance of Rowena (short, 1913) and When Knights Were Bold (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Rowena.

Roxalanne
Roxalanne de Lavedan was a character played by actress Eleanor Boardman in the film Bardelys the Magnificent (1926).

Roxey
Roxey Moore was a character played by actress Betty Compson in the film God’s Country and the Man (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Roxey.

Royce
Dr. Royce Lee Stockman was a character played by actress Elissa Landi in the film Corregidor (1943).

  • Usage of the baby name Royce.

Rozelia
Rozelia was a character played by actress Nina Mae McKinney in the film Pinky (1949).

Rozika
Rozika was a character played by actress Mary Nash in the film Arms and the Woman (1916).

Rubye
Rubye De Remer was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Colorado in 1892. Her birth name was Ruby Burkhardt.

  • Usage of the baby name Rubye.

Rue
Rue Carew was a character played by actress Marion Davies in the film The Dark Star (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Rue.

Ruthelma
Ruthelma Stevens was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1950s. She was born in Kansas in 1903.

Ruva
Ruva was a character played by actress Madame Sul-Te-Wan in the film Black Moon (1934).

*

…Which of the above names do you like best?

Source: IMDb

One-Hit Wonder Baby Name: Ysobel

movie, 1916, yaqui, yona

If you like the baby names Isabelle and Isabel but want a something a bit different, here’s an idea: Ysobel, which appeared for the first and only time on the U.S. baby name charts in 1916:

  • 1917: unlisted
  • 1916: 6 baby girls named Ysobel [debut]
  • 1915: unlisted

The inspiration was either (or both?) of two 1916 films featuring characters named Ysobel:

  • The Yaqui, released in March of 1916. Ysobel was played by actress Yona Landowska.
  • Lieutenant Danny, U.S.A., released in August of 1916. Ysobel was played by actress Enid Markey.

queen ysabel, spain, 1492(My guess is that the first film had more influence, both because it was released earlier and because another character name, Modesta, also saw higher usage in 1916.)

The rare spelling “Ysobel” is likely based on the Old Spanish version of the name, Ysabel.

In fact, did you know that the historic Spanish queen we call “Isabella” in English was actually known as “Ysabel” during her lifetime? (And her husband Ferdinand was actually “Fernando.”) Their initials, “F” and “Y,” were featured on the banner that Christopher Columbus created for his 1492 expedition to the New World.

Images:

  • The Movie Picture World, Mar. 18, 1916: 1847.
  • Lossing, Benson J. The Pictorial Field-book of the Revolution. Vol. 1. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851.

The Baby Names Shevawn and Siobhan

siobhan mckenna, 1956, life, magazine
Siobhán McKenna on the cover of LIFE
Tara, Maeve, and many of the other Irish names used in the U.S. today weren’t popularized by Irish immigrants. Instead, they gained traction after being introduced to the public via movies, television, and other types of pop culture.

Siobhan is no different. But it’s also a special case, because Americans heard about the name before they saw it written down. The result? The Irish spelling made a splash on the U.S. baby name charts…but only after a phonetic respelling made a similar splash. In fact, the misspelled version and the correctly spelled version were consecutive top girl name debuts in the mid-1950s.

So who’s the person behind the launch of Siobhan? Irish actress Siobhán McKenna (1923-1986).

In 1955, McKenna was nominated for a Tony for her role as Miss Madrigal in the play The Chalk Garden by Enid Bagnold (who had written National Velvet two decades earlier). The same year, the name Shevawn debuted in the U.S. data:

  • 1960: 5 baby girls named Shevawn
  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: 9 baby girls named Shevawn
  • 1957: 8 baby girls named Shevawn
  • 1956: 24 baby girls named Shevawn
  • 1955: 36 baby girls named Shevawn [debut]
  • 1954: unlisted

The spellings Shevon, Shevonne, Chavonne, and Chevonne also debuted in ’55.

The next year, Siobhán McKenna impressed audiences with her portrayal of Joan of Arc in the George Bernard Shaw play Saint Joan. Her popularity in this role earned her the cover of LIFE magazine in September. Next to her image was her name, Siobhan, spelled correctly (but missing the fada). Right on cue, the name Siobhan debuted in the data:

  • 1960: 90 baby girls named Siobhan
  • 1959: 85 baby girls named Siobhan
  • 1958: 54 baby girls named Siobhan
  • 1957: 67 baby girls named Siobhan
  • 1956: 58 baby girls named Siobhan [debut]
  • 1955: unlisted
  • 1954: unlisted

Once U.S. parents learned how to spell “Siobhan,” the alternative spellings became less common, though they remained in use.

Siobhan was boosted into the top 1,000 in 1979 and remained popular during the 1980s thanks to the soap opera Ryan’s Hope, which introduced a character named Siobhan in 1978.

It’s rather fitting that Siobhán McKenna was best known for playing Saint Joan, as both “Siobhán” and “Joan” were derived from the name Jeanne, which is French feminine form of John (meaning “Yahweh is gracious”).

How do you feel about the name Siobhan? If you were going to use it, how would you spell it?

Sources: Siobhán McKenna – Wikipedia, SSA
Image: © 1956 Life

Giggleswick & Alkelda

st-alkeldaI recently read something that mentioned the English village of Giggleswick. That name was so fun I had to look it up: it’s a two-part place name made up of the Old English personal name Gikel or Gichel plus the Old English word wic meaning “dairy farm” or “dwelling.”

And inside the village is another interesting name: Alkelda. The church of St. Alkelda in Giggleswick is one of two churches in the North Yorkshire region named after the legendary local saint who may have been an Anglo-Saxon princess…or may have been entirely made up. Doubters note that the name “Alkelda” is suspiciously similar to haeligkeld, an Anglo-Saxon place name meaning “holy spring” or “holy well.”

So have any real-life babies been named after St. Alkelda? Yes, I found records for more than a dozen Alkeldas — all were born in England, and most were born in Yorkshire specifically.

The earliest Alkelda I found was Alkelda Browne, who married Willus Hill in Giggleswick in 1578. Next was Algitha Alkelda Brenda Orde-Powlett, who was born and died in 1871. (Elea mentioned Algitha Alkelda her Finds from 1871 post.)

Here are a few of the other Alkeldas:

  • Olive Alkelda Clark, b. 1879, in Essex
  • Enid Alkelda Brocklehurst, b. 1902 in Yorkshire
  • Frances Alkelda Outhwaite, b. 1904 in Yorkshire
  • Alkelda A George, b. 1926 in Yorkshire

What are your thoughts on the name Alkelda?

Sources:

Image: Adapted from Middleham Church by John Clift under CC BY-NC 2.0.