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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Helen

Number of Babies Named Helen

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Helen

Game: Add 3 Girl Names to this 1910 List…

In 1910, the Boston-based publisher H. M. Caldwell Co. ran the following ad for its “My Own Name” series of books in American Motherhood magazine.

names from 1910

It is the purpose of these charming little books to tell girls all about their names, information about the name, its origin, the name in history, the name in poetry, fiction and romance is given, also notable namesakes past and present.

It wasn’t much of a series, though. Customers only had 25 names to choose from:

  1. Alice (ranked 10th nationally in 1910)
  2. Annie (19th)
  3. Bertha (33rd)
  4. Charlotte (99th)
  5. Dorothy (4th)
  6. Edith (35th)
  7. Eleanor (55th)
  8. Elizabeth (7th)
  9. Fanny (391st)
  10. Gertrude (26th)
  11. Gladys (15th)
  12. Helen (2nd)
  13. Isabel (176th)
  14. Jane (116th)
  15. Katherine (57th)
  16. Lucy (75th)
  17. Margaret (3rd)
  18. Marion (59th)
  19. Marjorie (68th)
  20. Mary (1st)
  21. Mildred (8th)
  22. Nellie (51st)
  23. Ruth (5th)
  24. Sarah (40th)
  25. Winifred (185th)

Clearly three more names could have fit on that last line (next to Winifred), so let’s turn this into a game. Which three girl names would you add to this list? That is, give us three names you like that would also be logical additions to this list, given the time period. For instance, I think I’d add Iola, Della, and Bonnie. How about you?

(If you want to access the national rankings for 1910, click over to the SSA’s site and scroll down to “Popular Names by Birth Year.”)


Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: T (part 2)

tira, 1933, mae west, i'm no angel, movie, name

Looking for a rare girl name with a retro feel? Here are dozens of ideas. All came straight from very old films that were released from the 1910s to the 1940s.

This post is part of a series of posts featuring female names from early cinema. I’m going backwards, so the other lists so far are U, V, W, X, Y, and Z. The names below are the second half of the T-list (Ti- to Ty-). The first half has the Ta- to Th- names. Enjoy!

Tiare
Tiare was a character name in multiple films, including The Leopardess (1923) and The Moon and Sixpence (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Tiare.

Tibbie
Aunt Tibbie was a character played by actress Jessie Ralph in the film St. Louis Blues (1939).

Tibby
Tibby was a character name in multiple films, including Dangerous Females (short, 1929) and Bad Man from Red Butte (1940).

Tika
Queen Tika was a character played by actress Dorothy Christy in the film The Phantom Empire (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Tika.

Tilah
Tilah was a character played by actress Margaret Morris in the film Beasts of Paradise (1923).

Tildy
Tildy was a character played by actress Alice Terry in the short film The Brief Debut of Tildy (1918).

Tilga
Tilga was a character played by actress Louise Emmons in the film The Last Egyptian (1914).

Timka
Timka was a character played by actress Jean Parker in the film Caravan (1934).

Timmins
Timmins was a character played by actress Zasu Pitts in the film Her Private Life (1929).

Tira
Tira was a character played by actress Mae West in the film I’m No Angel (1933). Her name was pronounced TIE-rah.

  • Usage of the baby name Tira.

Tisa
Tisa Kepes was a character played by actress Lilli Palmer in the film My Girl Tisa (1948).

  • Usage of the baby name Tisa (which debuted in the data the year that My Girl Tisa came out).

Tish
Letitia “Tish” Carberry was a character played by actress Marjorie Main in the film Tish (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Tish.

Tisha
Tisha was a character played by actress Greta Nissen in the film The Wanderer (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Tisha.

Titania
Titania was a character name in multiple films, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1909) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935).

Tito
Tito was a character played by actress Dorothy Janis in the film The Pagan (1929).

Tituba
Tituba was a character played by actress Madame Sul-Te-Wan in the film Maid of Salem (1937).

Tiza
Tiza Torreon was a character played by actress Myrna Loy in the film Turn Back the Hours (1928).

Tocati
Tocati was a character played by actress Julie Suedo in the film Afterwards (1928).

Toddy
Toddy was a character name in multiple films, including Cain and Mabel (1936) and Youth Runs Wild (1944).

Tohana
Tohana was a character played by actress Inez Palange in the film One Million B.C. (1940).

Toinette
Toinette was a character name in multiple films, including A Love Sublime (1917) and Rainbow on the River (1936).

Tokiwa
Tokiwa was a character played by actress Margaret Gibson in the short film The Love of Tokiwa (1914).

Tollea
Tollea was a character played by actress Maria Montez in the film Cobra Woman (1944).

Tommie
Tommie Lou Pember was a character played by actress Colleen Moore in the film The Perfect Flapper (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Tommie.

Tommy
Tommy Smith was a character played by actress Dorothy Devore in the film The Tomboy (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Tommy.

Tondelayo
Tondelayo was a character played by actress Hedy Lamarr in the film White Cargo (1942).

Tonia
Tonia was a character name in multiple films, including In Old Arizona (1928) and Young Buffalo Bill (1940).

  • Usage of the baby name Tonia.

Tonie
Tonie was a character name in multiple films, including Hold That Girl (1934) and Flight for Freedom (1943).

  • Usage of the baby name Tonie.

Tonita
Tonita was a character name in multiple films, including Border Law (1931) and The Fighting Ranger (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Tonita.

Tonoma
Tonoma was a character played by actress Eugenie Besserer in the short film A Child of the Wilderness (1912).

Tootie
Tootie Smith was a character played by actress Margaret O’Brien in the film Meet Me in St. Louis (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Tootie (a one-hit wonder in 1958, thanks to a news item that year).

Tootsie
Tootsie Brown was a character played by actress Muriel Ostriche in the film Leap to Fame (1918).

Toppie
Toppie Westmacott was a character played by actress Esther Ralston in the film The Little French Girl (1925).

Topsy
Topsy was a character name in multiple films, including The Gold Diggers (1923) and Topsy and Eva (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Topsy.

Torchy
Torchy Blane was a character played by various actresses in a series of 9 Torchy Blane films (1937-1939).

  • Usage of the baby name Torchy.

Toru
Toru was a character played by actress Rosita Marstini in the film A Prisoner in the Harem (1913).

  • Usage of the baby name Toru.

Toshia
Toshia Mori was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Japan in 1912.

  • Usage of the baby name Toshia.

Toton
Toton was a character played by actress Olive Thomas in the film Toton the Apache (1919).

Towana
Towana was a character played by actress Movita in the film Wolf Call (1939).

  • Usage of the baby name Towana (which debuted in the data the year after Wolf Call came out).

Toyo
Toyo Haynes was a character played by actress Lupe Velez in the film Where East Is East (1929).

Trafalgar
Trafalgar was a character name in multiple films, including Trelawny of the Wells (1916) and The Actress (1928).

Trece
Trece was a character played by actress Gertrude Astor in the film Hit of the Show (1928).

Trenna
Trenna Plaice was a character played by actress Virginia Bruce in the film Shadow of Doubt (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Trenna.

Tressie
Tressie Harlow was a character played by actress Mary Philbin in the film Danger Ahead (1921).

Trilby
Trilby was a character name in multiple films, including Trilby (1914) and Svengali (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Trilby.

Trina
Trina was a character name in multiple films, including His Sweetheart (1917) and Man’s Castle (1933).

  • Usage of the baby name Trina.

Trini
Trini was a character played by actress Paulette Duval in the film Twelve Miles Out (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Trini.

Trixi
Trixi Du Bray was a character played by actress Seena Owen in the film Officer Thirteen (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Trixi.

Trixie
Trixie Friganza was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1940s. She was born in Kansas in 1871. Her birth name was Delia O’Callahan. Trixie was also a character name in multiple films, including Falling Leaves (short, 1912) and The Good Bad Girl (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Trixie.

Trommy
Trommy was a character played by actress Eula Guy in the film Expensive Husbands (1937).

Truda
Truda was a character played by actress Hedda Nova in the film By the World Forgot (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Truda.

Trudi
Trudi Hovland was a character played by actress Sonja Henie in the film Second Fiddle (1939).

  • Usage of the baby name Trudi.

Trudie
Trudie Morrow was a character played by actress Lila Lee in the film The Night of June 13 (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Trudie.

Trudy
Trudy was a character name in multiple films, including You Can’t Beat Love (1937) and She Married a Cop (1939).

  • Usage of the baby name Trudy.

Truly
Truly Shattuck was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in California in 1876. Her birth name was Clarice Etrulia de Burcharde.

  • Usage of the baby name Truly.

Trusia
Trusia was a character played by actress June Marlowe in the film Don Juan (1926).

Truth
Truth Eldridge was a character played by actress Belle Bennett in the film Flesh and Spirit (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Truth.

Tryphena
Tryphena Winter was a character played by actress Helen Gardner in the short film Underneath the Paint (1914).

Tsakran
Tsakran was a character played by actress May Robson in the film Turkish Delight (1927).

Tsuru
Tsuru Aoki was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1960s. She was born in Japan in 1892.

Tui
Tui Bow was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1980s. She was born in New Zealand in 1906. Her birth name was Mary Lorraine Tui.

Tuila
Tuila was a character played by actress Conchita Montenegro in the film La Melodia Prohibida (1933).

Tula
Tula Belle was a child actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Norway in 1906. Her birth name was Borgny Erna Bull Høegh. Tula was also a character name in multiple films, including The Vengeance of Najerra (short, 1914) and Kongo (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Tula.

Tuptim
Tuptim was a character played by actress Linda Darnell in the film Anna and the King of Siam (1946).

Tura
Tura in the film character played by actress Dorothy Lamour in the film Her Jungle Love (1938).

  • Usage of the baby name Tura.

Tweeny
Tweeny was a character played by actress Lila Lee in the film Male and Female (1919).

Tylette
Tylette was a character played by actress Gale Sondergaard in the film The Blue Bird (1940).

*

Which of the above names do you like best?

Name Quotes #53: DeVante, Ella, Buffalo

Time for some name quotes!

From a Movie Pilot interview with John Knoll, who came up with the name for Rogue One character Jyn Erso:

“My youngest daughter is Jane, and my wife is Jen, so [Jyn] is sort of mashup of them. And growing up my aunt was Aunt Ginny, [short] for Virginia, so there’s a little bit of that, too. It’s a mix up of a lot of my favorite women in my life.”

[Do you think Jyn will debut in the SSA data in 2017?]

From an A.V. Club review of the Black-ish episode “The Name Game,” in which characters argued about the name DeVante:

Dre’s point that names like Matthew, David, and Kevin don’t mean anything to him is fair. He wants to name his son after the actual culture and people he grew up around, and he hates the fact that when “something is black the world thinks that it’s bad.” Appeasing white culture with a name that has no cultural signifiers creates the type of internalized hatred that causes characters like Ruby and Charlie to respond so negatively to black names.

From a Telegraph essay by Sophia Money-Coutts about how absurd names build character:

But it’s enormously character building, being given an absurd name. It teaches you fortitude and tolerance because you will have to explain it 73 times a day. No use in labelling your children as George and Amal Clooney have just done. They’ve called their twins Ella and Alexander. I mean, they’re all right. Ella will probably grow up to be a florist or a yoga teacher and Alexander sounds like he might sell houses in Fulham. But what is life if you don’t grow up justifying your name to everyone you meet? Being called something silly means you can never take yourself too seriously.

From a Seattle Times article about what it’s like to share the name Alexa with the Amazon device:

Even though she’s never been on the receiving end of any commands or jokes, [Alexa] Wakefield remembers her first reaction to Alexa being, “How are they [Amazon] sort of allowed to use somebody’s name, like a more common name, as something like a robotic command,” she says, “It seems like a little bit of a violation.”

Later, she adds, “It’s placing your name in a subservient manner.”

These days, Wakefield says she’s learned to “look on the bright side.” “It’s sort of a feeling of pride,” she says, “Like a person named Alexa is very helpful!”

From a Cup of Jo post about offbeat middle names:

My friend gave her baby the middle name “Swift” because her labor was so quick.

Our friends chose the middle name “Buffalo” for their son because it was his dad’s nickname growing up. “It took my husband nine months to convince me,” my friend told me. “Then, in the middle of the night after signing the birth certificate, I had a mild panic attack at the hospital. Now I love it.”

From a Science of Us post about why it’s so hard to remember someone’s name:

There is a very simple reason why it’s so easy for the names of new acquaintances to slip right out of your head within moments of being introduced: Names are kind of meaningless. Memory experts say that the more pathways back to a memory you have, the easier it becomes to retrieve that memory, and this just doesn’t often happen naturally with names.

[…]

Sure, there may be family history or a great deal of sentimental meaning behind a person’s first name, but when you meet someone at a party, there’s no readily apparent reason why this guy should be named Mike and that guy should be named Max.

From an interview with CUNY business school student Janeflora Henriques:

When I was born, my oldest sister (who was a difficult child) insisted I be named “Florence” after a movie actress she idolized. My sister threatened consequences if I weren’t. On the other hand, the tradition of my tribe dictated that I be named after my dad’s eldest sister. Fearing whiplash from in-laws, my mother was wary to skip naming me after my aunt. At the same time, my mother was concerned about a daughter who said she would have nothing to do with me if I weren’t named Florence. So my mother shortened my aunt Jennifer’s name to “Jane” and Florence to “Flora” and gave me both.

From a Guardian article about extinct Hyoliths and their “helens”:

We all tend associate certain qualities to people’s names, usually on the basis of people we have known. Helen, for example, is a very sensible name. I associate it with practical, dependable people I have known. You can rely on a Helen. A quick look at the ONS data for girls’ names in England and Wales tells me that it reached a high point of number 8 in the list of baby names in both 1964 and 1974. It’s also the technical term for a hyolith appendage: a hyolithid has a pair of helens. I think this is utterly brilliant. The original paper from 1975 says “We term these … structures helens because the word has no functional connotations, and they were first described under the generic name Helenia by Walcott”. Really? Or did they know a Helen?

Want to see more quotes about names? Check out the name quotes category.

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: V

valli valli, v names, baby names, girl names, actress,
Valli Valli (1882-1927)
Here’s the next installment of uncommon female names collected from very old films (released from the 1910s to the 1940s).

Vail
Vail was a character played by actress Vivian Rich in the short film Via Cabaret (1913).

  • Usage of the baby name Vail.

Val
Val Lorraine was a character played by actress Evelyn Brent in the film Attorney for the Defense (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Val.

Valda
Valda Valkyrien was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in Iceland in 1894. Her birth name was Adele Eleonore Freed.

  • Usage of the baby name Valda.

Vale
Vale Harvey was a character played by actress Shirley Mason in the film My Husband’s Wives (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Vale.

Valentine
Valentine Grant was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in Indiana in 1881.

Valeska
Valeska Suratt was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in Indiana in 1882. Valeska was also a character name in multiple films, including For a Woman’s Honor (1919) and Broadway Scandals (1929).

Valette
Valette Bedford was a character played by actress Margaret Sullavan in the film So Red the Rose (1935).

Valia
Valia Venitshaya, often credited simply as Valia, was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. She was born in England in 1899.

  • Usage of the baby name Valia.

Vallery
Vallery Grove was a character played by actress Dolores Costello in the film Second Choice (1930).

Valli
Valli Valli was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in Germany in 1882. Her birth name was Valli Knust. Alida Valli, often credited simply as Valli, was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 2000s. She was born in Italy (now Croatia) in 1921. Valli was also a character played by actress Margaret Livingston in the film What a Widow! (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Valli.

Vallie
Vallie Martin was a character played by actress Marin Sais in the short film The Man in Irons (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Vallie.

Vanda
Vanda Muroff was a character played by actress Greta Nissen in the film Danger in Paris (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Vanda.

Vanina
Vanina Vanini was a character played by actress Alida Valli in the film Passione (1940).

Vanna
Vanna was a character name in multiple films, including The Romance of a Movie Star (1920) and Vanity’s Price (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Vanna.

Vantine
Vantine was a character played by actress Jean Harlow in the film Red Dust (1932).

Varda
Varda Ropers was a character played by actress Claire Du Brey in the film A Man and His Money (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Varda.

Varlia
Varlia Lloyd was a character played by actress Helen Vinson in the film Transatlantic Tunnel (1935).

Varvara
Princess Varvara was a character played by actress Dorothy Revier in the film The Red Dance (1928).

Vashti
Vashti was a character played by actress Thelma “Butterfly” McQueen in the film Duel in the Sun (1946).

  • Usage of the baby name Vashti.

Vedah
Vedah Bertram was an actress who appeared in films in the early 1910s. She was born in Massachusetts in 1891. Her birth name was Adele Buck.

  • Vedah, who died of appendicitis at the age of 20 in 1912, “became the first noted film player to be mourned by the movie-going public.” According to the San Francisco Call, her East Coast family had not been aware of her film career. “Hoping to keep her actions from her friends and relatives, she assumed the name under which she has been acting.”

Vee
Vee Newell was a character played by actress Olive Borden in the film Hello Sister (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Vee.

Veeda
Veeda was a character played by actress Lois Collier in the film Cobra Woman (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Veeda.

Veerah
Veerah Vale was a character played by actress Mary Thurman in the film Love of Women (1924).

Vee-Vee
Vee-Vee was a character played by actress Nora Swinburne in the film A Girl of London (1925).

Velda
Velda was a character played by actress Elissa Landi in the film The Inseparables (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Velda.

Velma
Velma Whitman was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in Ohio in 1885. Velma was also a character name in multiple films, including The Greatest Menace (1923) and The Lone Wolf’s Daughter (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Velma.

Velvet
Velvet Brown was a character played by actress Elizabeth Taylor in the film National Velvet (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Velvet.

Venetia
Venetia was a character name in multiple films, including The Story of the Rosary (1920) and Week Ends Only (1932).

Venice
Venice was a character name in multiple films, including Lady with a Past (1932) and Outcast Lady (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Venice.

Vera-Ellen
Vera-Ellen was an actress who appeared in films in the 1940s and 1950s. She was born in Ohio in 1921.

Verbena
Verbena was a character name in multiple films, including A Darktown Wooing (short, 1914) and Should Sailors Marry? (short, 1925).

Verebel
Verebel Featherstone was a character played by the actress Dorothy Christy in the film Sierra Sue (1941).

Vergie
Vergie was a character name in multiple films, including The Impalement (short, 1910) and Heaven on Earth (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Vergie.

Vermuda
Vermuda was a character played by actress Martha Sleeper in the short film Sure-Mike! (1925).

Verna
Verna Mersereau was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in 1894. Verna was also a character name in multiple films, including His Temporary Wife (1920) and Here Comes Carter (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Verna.

Verne
Verne Drake was a character played by actress Iris Adrian in the film I Killed That Man (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Verne.

Vernie
Vernie was a character played by actress Anna Q. Nilsson in the film Babe Comes Home (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Vernie.

Verona
Verona Babbitt was a character played by actress Maxine Elliott Hicks in the film Babbitt (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Verona.

Veronique
Veronique Sauviat was a character played by actress Louise Vale in the short film The Country Parson (1915).

Verree
Verree Teasdale was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1940s. She was born in Washington in 1903.

  • Usage of the baby name Verree.

Vesta
Vesta Tilley was an actress who appeared in films from the 1900s to the 1910s. She was born in England in 1864. Her birth name was Matilda Alice Powles. Vesta was also a character name in multiple films, including The House in Suburbia (short, 1913) and The Duke of Chimney Butte (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Vesta.

Veya
Countess Veya was a character played by actress Myrna Loy in the film The Climbers (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Veya.

Vianna
Vianna Courtleigh was a character played by the actress Ruth Clifford in the film Mothers-in-Law (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Vianna.

Vicki
Vicki was a character name in multiple films, including I Loved You Wednesday (1933) and A Star Is Born (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Vicki.

Victoire
Victoire was a character name in multiple films, including Arsene Lupin (1917) and Just Married (1928).

Victorine
Victorine was a character name in multiple films, including Paris at Midnight (1926) and After the Ball (1932).

Vilda
Vilda was a character name in multiple films, including The Return of the Riddle Rider (1927) and Timothy’s Quest (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Vilda.

Vilma
Vilma Banky was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Austria-Hungary (now Hungary) in 1898. Vilma was also a character name in multiple films, including Federal Agent (1936) and Meet the Boy Friend (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Vilma.

Vima
Countess Vima Walden was a character played by actress Madge Evans in the film Heartbreak (1931).

Vincenza
Vincenza was a character played by actress Rose Tapley in the short film An Infernal Tangle (1913).

Viney
Viney was a character name in multiple films, including The Last of the Hargroves (short, 1914) and The Overland Stage (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Viney.

Vinnie
Vinnie was a character played by actress Irene Dunne in the film Life with Father (1947).

  • Usage of the baby name Vinnie.

Vinuella
Vinuella was a character played by actress Anita Hendrie in the short film The Road to the Heart (1909).

Violante
Violante was a character played by actress Mrs. A. C. Marston in the short film The Ring and the Book (1914).

Violantha
Violantha Zureich was a character played by actress Henny Porten in the film Violantha (1928).

Violey
Violey was a character played by Loretta Weaver in multiple films, including Jeepers Creepers (1939) and Grand Ole Opry (1940).

Virgie
Virgie was a character name in multiple films, including Lend Me Your Husband (1935) and The Littlest Rebel (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Virgie.

Virginie
Virginie Harbrok was a character played by actress Marguerite Courtot in the film The Unbeliever (1918).

Visakha
Visakha was a character played by actress Lotus Liu in the film The Adventures of Marco Polo (1938).

Vittoria
Vittoria was a character played by actress Gladys Hulette in the film Enemies of Women (1923).

Viva
Viva Hamilton was a character played by actress Edna Flugrath in the film A Dear Fool (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Viva.

Viveca
Viveca Lindfors was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1990s. She was born in Sweden in 1920.

  • Usage of the baby name Viveca.

Vivette
Vivette was a character played by actress Evelyn Dumo in the film The Strange Story of Sylvia Gray (1914).

Viviette
Viviette was a character played by actress Vivian Martin in the film Viviette (1918).

Voine
Voine was a character played by actress Greta Nissen in the film Rackety Rax (1932).

Vola
Vola Vale was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in New York in 1897. Her birth name was Violet Irene Smith.

  • Usage of the baby name Vola.

Vonia
Vonia was a character played by actress Eva Novak in the film The Man Who Saw Tomorrow (1922).

Vonnie
Vonnie was a character played by actress Minna Gombell in the film Sob Sister (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Vonnie.

Vroni
Vroni was a character played by actress Esther Ralston in the film Betrayal (1929).

Vultura
Vultura was a character played by actress Lorna Gray in the film Perils of Nyoka (1942).

*

Which of the above names do you like best?

Sources:

Early Recognition of the “Great-Grandparent Rule”

grandmotherA baby name becomes trendy for one generation. For the next two generations, while those initial babies are parent-aged and grandparent-aged, you can expect the name to go out of style. But during the third generation, once the cohort reaches great-grandparent age, the name is free to come back into fashion.

Evelyn is a name with a usage pattern that fits this description well.

I’ve seen it described elsewhere as the 100-Year Rule, but I prefer to call it the Great-Grandparent Rule, as it makes more sense to me to frame it in terms of generations.

Essentially, the pattern has to do with a name’s main generational association shifting from “a name that belongs to real-life old people” to “a name that sounds pleasantly old-fashioned.”

I used to think the pattern was one we’d only recently discovered — something we needed the data to see — but it turns out that at least one observant person noticed this trend and wrote about it in The San Francisco Call more than 100 years ago (boldface mine):

Time was — and that not very long ago — when old fashioned names, as old fashioned furniture, crockery and hand embroideries, were declared out of date. The progress of the ages that replaced the slower work of hand by the speed of machines cast a blight on everything that betokened age.

Spinning wheels were stowed away in attics, grandmothers’ gowns were tucked into cedar chests, old porcelain of plain design was replaced by more gaudy utensils and machine made and embroidered dresses and lingerie lined the closets where formerly only handwork was hung.

So with given names. Mary, Elizabeth, Jane, Sarah, Hannah and Anne, one and all, were declared old fashioned and were relegated to past ages to be succeeded by Gladys, Helen, Delphine, Gwendolyn, Geraldine and Lillian and a host of other more showy appellations.

Two generations of these, and woman exercised her time honored privilege and changed her mind.

She woke suddenly to the value of history, hustled from their hiding places the ancient robes and furnishings that were her insignia of culture, discarded the work of the modern machine for the finer output of her own fair hands, and, as a finishing touch, christened her children after their great-grandparents.

Old fashioned names revived with fervor and those once despised are now termed quaint and pretty and “quite the style, my dear.”

Pretty cool that this every-third-generation pattern was already an observable phenomenon three generations ago.

The article went on to list society babies with names like Barbara, Betsy, Bridget, Dorcas (“decidedly Puritan”), Dorothea, Frances, Henrietta, Jane, Josephine, Lucy, Margaret, Mary, Olivia, and Sarah (“much in vogue a century ago”).

Have you see the 100-Year Rule/Great-Grandparent Rule at play in your own family tree? If so, what was the name and what were the birth years?

Source: “Society” [Editorial]. San Francisco Call 17 Aug. 1913: 19.
Image: Frances Marie via Morguefile