Looking for an uncommon K-name for your baby girl? Here’s the next installment of rare female names collected from very old films (released from the 1910s to the 1940s). For those names that saw enough usage to register in the national data set, I’ve included links to the popularity graphs.
Kabirah was a character played by actress Emily Seville in the film Kismet (1920).
Kalaniweo was a character played by actress Enid Markey in the film Aloha Oe (1915).
Kalora was a character played by actress Ruth Stonehouse in the film The Slim Princess (1915) and by actress Mabel Normand in the remake The Slim Princess (1920).
Kaluna was a character played by actress Betty Schade in the short film Isle of Abandoned Hope (1914).
Kamamamalua was a character played by actress Hilo Hattie in the film Miss Tatlock’s Millions (1948).
Kameela was a character played by actress Ann Rork in the film The Notorious Lady (1927)
Karamaneh was a character played by either of two actresses, Joan Clarkson and Dorinea Shirley, in various short films, including The Shrine of the Seven Lamps and The Cafe L’Egypte, during the 1920s.
Karanina “Nina” Novak was a character played by actress Anne Shirley in the film Four Jacks and a Jill (1942).
Karin Touzac was a character played by actress Merle Oberon in the film This Love of Ours (1945).
Kathe was a character played by actress Dorothy Tree in the film Sky Murder (1940).
Usage of the baby name Kathe (which debuted in the data the year Sky Murder came out).
Kathlyn Williams was an actress who appeared in films from the 1900s to the 1930s. She was born in Montana in 1879. Her birth name was Kathleen Mabel Williams. Kathlyn was also a character played by actress Bessie Eyton in the film The City of Purple Dreams (1918).
Katina Paxinou was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1970s. She was born in Greece in 1900. Her birth name was Ekaterini Konstantopoulou. Katina was also a character played by actress Sonja Henie in the film Iceland (1942).
Katuma was a character played by actress Tsuru Aoki in the short film A Relic of Old Japan (1914).
Katyusha Maslova was a character played by various actresses (such as Florence Lawrence, Pauline Frederick, Dolores del Rio, Lupe Velez) in various movies called Resurrection, all based on the novel of the same name by Leo Tolstoy.
Kawista was a character played by actress Edith Storey in the short film Return of Ta-Wa-Wa (1910).
Kay Laurel was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1890. Her birth name was Ruth Leslie. Kay Aldridge was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s. Aldridge was born in Florida in 1917. Kay was also a character name in multiple films, including The Scarlet Honeymoon (1925) and Mrs. Miniver (1942).
Kittens Reichert was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in New York in 1910. Her birth name was Catherine Alma Reichert. Kittens was also a character played by actress Dorothy Abril in the film Rouge and Riches (1920).
Kittie Swasher was a character played by actress Madge Kennedy in the film The Girl with the Jazz Heart (1921).
Kitty Gordon was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in England in 1878. Her birth name was Constance Blades. Kitty was also a character name in multiple films, including Five Star Final (1931) and The Challenge (1948).
A few weeks ago, I got an email from a reader looking for lists of old-fashioned double names. She was aiming for names like Thelma Dean, Eula Mae, and Gaynell — names that would have sounded trendy in the early 1900s. She also mentioned that she’d started a list of her own.
So I began scouring the interwebs. I tracked down lists of old-fashioned names, and lists of double names…but I couldn’t find a decent list of double names that were also old-fashioned.
I loved the idea of such a list, though, so I suggested that we work together to create one. She generously sent me the pairings she’d collected so far, and I used several different records databases to find many more.
I restricted my search to names given to girls born in the U.S. from 1890 to 1930. I also stuck to double names that I found written as single names, because it’s very likely that these pairings were used together in real life (i.e., that they were true double names and not merely first-middle pairings).
Pairings that seemed too timeless, like Maria Mae and Julia Rose, were omitted. I also took out many of the pairings that feature now-trendy names — think Ella, Emma, and Lucy — because they just don’t sound old-fashioned anymore (though they would have a few decades ago).
The result isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a decent sampling of real-life, old-fashioned double names. I’ve organized them by second name, and I also added links to popularity graphs for names that were in the SSA data during the correct time period (early 1900s).
All this recent interest in mining Bitcoin is making me think of a gold rush.
And that reminds me…I have yet to talk about the many dozens of babies named after the Klondike Gold Rush (1896-1899).
Here are some examples of people named Klondike:
Klondike Counsell, born in Utah in May, 1897
Klondike Winters, born in Michigan in May, 1897
Harry Klondike Hayes, born in Washington in June, 1897
Klondyke Alaska Slaughter, born in Kentucky in July, 1897
Klondike McKinley Smith born in Oregon in August, 1897
Klondike A. Bogardeus, born in Ohio in August, 1897
Harold Klondike Hathaway, born in Massachusetts in August, 1897
Klondike P. Flint, born in Ohio in September, 1897
Klondike DeMoss Tucker, born in Indiana in September, 1897
Klondyke A. Applegate, born in Kansas in September, 1897
Klondike Goldy Kelly, born in Ohio in October, 1897
Goldy Klondike Fletcher, born in Nebraska in December, 1897
Pearl Klondike Lincoln, born in Pennsylvania in December, 1897
Kittie Klondike Hughes, born in Texas in January, 1898
Klondyke Dodd, born in Texas in January, 1898
Klondike D. Ator, born in Texas in January, 1898
Loren Klondike Philleo, born in Washington in January, 1898
Dewey Klondike Livingston, born in Oklahoma in February, 1898
Klondyke Kirkendall, born in West Virginia in March, 1898
Vannie Klondyke Smith, born in West Virginia in June, 1898
Earl Klondike Kinahan, born in Illinois in June, 1898
Joseph Klondike Dawson, born in Tennessee in September, 1898
Roy Klondike Temple, born in Oregon in September, 1898
John Klondike Griffith, born in Massachusetts in October, 1898
Klondike Dewey Sengelmann, born in Texas in December, 1898
Some of the above take the Klondike theme even further with names like “Goldy” and “Alaska.” Others commemorate war hero Commodore George Dewey or 25th U.S. President William McKinley.
The baby name Klondike has never appeared on any SSA list, but I think it could (should?) have in 1897 and 1898, if a complete set of data had been collected those years.
Where does the word Klondike come from? The Klondike River was originally called Tr’ondëk in the Hän language. Tr’ondëk means “hammerstone water,” as the people who originally inhabited the area would “hammer stakes into the riverbed and weave branches between them to create weirs that guided fish into carefully set basket traps.”
Alanson H. Tifft (1843-1903) and his wife Esther (1848-1922) of Brooklyn, NY, had three children. Their first, a baby girl born in 1868, was named Kittie. Their second, a baby girl born in 1873, was named Mary. Their third and last was a baby boy, born in 1878.
What was he named?
He wasn’t. He didn’t get a first name.
He was simply known as “Tifft” or “Mr. Tifft” throughout his life.
Said Tifft: “My father, Alanson Herbert Tifft, never liked his first name. Most people called him Herbert. When I was born, he and my mother couldn’t agree on a name for me. So father suggested that the matter of choosing a name be left up to me.”
But he never did choose a first name for himself. “I grew up without a first name, and I’ve never felt like appropriating one. Seems to me that I’ve gotten along just as well without one.”
His lack of a first name made headlines periodically. For instance, his marriage was announced in TIME:
Married. Mr. Tifft, paper box manufacturer of Brooklyn, N. Y., and one Ruth Esther Petersonn, of Fryburg, Me.; in South Berwick, Maine. A parental tiff over names left Mr. Tifft first nameless; he remains so, is listed in the telephone book as TIFFT.
(He called his manufacturing company “Tifft Bros.,” even though he had no brother.)
His mononym sometimes gave him trouble–when it came time to vote, for instance–but overall he was pleased with it. “You can sum it up this way: I’ve never been miffed at just being Tifft.”
He even managed to acquire a nickname; his wife called him “Tiff-it.”
But he didn’t carry on the tradition with his two sons, Robert Lincoln and Alanson Herbert. “I rather regret that now. We could have just called him Tifft II.” All of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren have first and middle names as well.
“Man with no given name declares he is quite satisfied.” Niagara Falls Gazette 20 Jul. 1939: 27.
“Retired Lumber Dealer Lives 78 Years Without First Name.” Tonawanda News 12 Dec. 1956: 6.
“Tifft Is Only Name He Has, But It Goes Well on Checks; He Never Had a First Name.” Brooklyn Daily Eagle 23 Dec. 1923: 16 D.
Tifft, Maria E. A partial record of the descendants of John Tefft, of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and the nearly complete record of the descendants of John Tifft, of Nassau, New York. Buffalo, NY: The Peter Paul Book Company, 1896.