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Popularity of the Baby Name Melinda

Number of Babies Named Melinda

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Melinda

List of Female Names from 1888

female names, 1888

A while ago I found a book called “A Collection of Original Acrostics on Ladies’ Christian Names” that was published in Toronto in 1888.

I won’t post any of the poems, which are all pretty cheesy, but author George J. Howson does include an intriguing selection of names. He notes that he wrote acrostics for “all the most popular feminine christian names of the day, and many more that, while not in common use, are known to exist in actual life.”

Here’s the list:

Abigail
Ada
Adelaide
Adelle
Adeline
Addie
Aggie
Agnes
Alberta
Alecia
Aletha
Alfretta
Alice
Allie
Alma
Almeda
Almira
Alta
Althea
Alvira
Alzina
Amanda
Amelia
Amy
Ann
Anna
Annabell
Annas
Annette
Angelia
Angeline
Annie
Athaliah
Athelia
Augusta
Aura
Avis
Barbara
Beatrice
Bell
Bella
Berdie
Bertha
Bertie
Bessie
Beulah
Blanche
Bridget
Calista
Carrie
Carlotta
Cassie
Catherine
Cecilia
Cela
Celia
Celicia
Celis
Charlotte
Chloe
Christie
Christine
Clara
Clarissa
Cleanthe
Clementina
Constance
Cora
Cordelia
Corinne
Cornelia
Cynthia
Cyrena
Debbie
Delia
Della
Diana
Diantha
Dinah
Dollie
Dora
Dorcas
Dorinda
Dorothy
Edith
Edna
Effie
Ella
Eleanor
Eleanora
Electa
Ellen
Elfie
Eliza
Elma
Elsie
Emma
Emmeline
Emily
Ena
Erma
Estelle
Esther
Ethel
Ethelind
Ettie
Eugenie
Eula
Eunice
Euphemia
Euretta
Eva
Evalina
Eveline
Evelyn
Fannie
Felicia
Flora
Florence
Floss
Frances
Frank
Gay
Georgie
Georgina
Geraldine
Gertie
Gracie
Hagar
Hannah
Harriet
Hattie
Helen
Helena
Henrietta
Hulda
Ida
Irene
Isabel
Isabella
Isadora
Jane
Janet
Janie
Jeannette
Jemima
Jennet
Jennie
Jessie
Jerusha
Joanna
Josephine
Josie
Julia
Kate
Kathleen
Katie
Keziah
Lany
Laura
Leah
Leila
Lena
Lera
Lettie
Levina
Levinia
Libbie
Lida
Lilian
Lillie
Lizzie
Lola
Lora
Lorretta
Lottie
Lou
Louisa
Louise
Lucinda
Lucretia
Lucy
Luella
Lula
Lulu
Lydia
Mabel
Madelaine
Maggie
Malvina
Mamie
Marcella
Margaret
Maria
Marilla
Marion
Mary
Marsena
Martha
Mattie
Maud
Maudie
May
Melinda
Mellissa
Mercy
Mertie
Mildred
Millie
Mina
Minerva
Minnie
Mintha
Miranda
Mollie
Muriel
Myra
Myrtle
Nancy
Naomi
Nellie
Nettie
Nina
Nora
Ollie
Olive
Olivia
Ormanda
Ophelia
Pauline
Pearl
Phoebe
Phyllis
Priscilla
Prudence
Rachel
Rebecca
Rhoda
Robena
Rosa
Rosabel
Rosalie
Rosalind
Rosamond
Rose
Ruby
Ruth
Sabina
Sadie
Sally
Samantha
Sarah
Selina
Sophia
Sophronia
Stella
Susanna
Susie
Sybil
Teresa
Theodocia
Theresa
Tillie
Una
Verna
Victoria
Vida
Viola
Violet
Wilhelmina
Winifred
Zuba

Have any favorites?

Hulda/Huldah is one I like. It’s one of those names that I always see on old New England gravestones but never come across in real life. Wonder when that one will become stylish again.

BTW, has anyone ever seen a good name acrostic? Like, one that’s actually well-written and/or thought-provoking? Because I don’t think I ever have.

Source: A Collection of Original Acrostics on Ladies’ Christian Names by George J. Howson


Female Names in Texas, 1860

Vicki Betts, a librarian at the University of Texas, put together a neat list of female names using the 1860 census records for Smith County, Texas.

Here’s some background information, per Vicki:

Ninety per cent of the people had emigrated to the county within the preceding ten years, 95.8% born in the states of the future Confederacy, 1.8% in the border states, 1.6% in northern states, and 0.8% in foreign countries. Therefore, these name should be fairly representative of Southern female names in general, with the exception of Alamo, Texas, Texana, etc.

And now the names! Here are the names that appeared most frequently on the 1860 Smith County census:

Mary, 501
Sarah, 271
Martha, 247
Elizabeth, 218
Jane, 199
Ann, 198
Nancy, 176
Margaret, 98
Susan, 95
Frances, 94
Eliza, 74
Amanda, 65
Louisa, 61
Laura, 52
Lucinda, 50
Rebecca, 50
Emily, 49
Catherine, 48
Caroline, 41
Julia, 39
Anna, 31
Isabella, 28
Ellen, 26
Josephine, 25
Harriet, 24
Emmer, 22
Lucy, 22
Rachel, 22
Melissa, 18
Adeline, 17
Malinda, 17
Matilda, 16
Allice, 15
Mariah, 15
Virginia, 15
Minerva, 14
Ella, 13
Eveline, 13
Charlotte, 12
Cynthia, 10
Evaline, 10
Victoria, 10
Emeline, 9
Hannah, 9
Hellen, 9
Theodosia, 9
Angeline, 8
Eudora, 8
Eugenia, 8
Mahala, 8
Ophelia, 8
Permelia, 8
Dorotha, 7
Fannie, 7
Missouri, 7
Olive, 7
Samantha, 7
Tabitha, 7
Ada, 6
Charity, 6
Delilah, 6
Flora, 6
Georgia, 6
Tennessee, 6

Names in the 2-to-5 range:

  • 5: Clementine, Cyntha, Florence, Ida, Joannah, Narcissa, Priscilla, Serena, Texana, Texas
  • 4: Almeda, Amelia, Augusta, Celia, Clara, Cornelia, Dicy, Dora, Henrietta, Janetta, Louisiana, Louvenia, Lulah, Mollie, Parmelia, Penelope, Ruth, Susannah
  • 3: Alma, Amarillo, Angelina, Antonette, Carrie, Casandra, Christiana, Clarissa, Cora, Cordelia, Edna, Emma, Ester, Fanny, Irena, Jemima, Kesiah, Leona, Leonora, Lucretia, Lyddia, Manerva, Maranda, Morando, Mildred, Milly, Narcissus, Olevia, Piety, Rhoda, Sallie, Sefrona, Sophrona, Telulah, Zelida
  • 2: Abigal, Adaline, Adelia, Agnes, Alabama, Alcasarah, America, Amy, Annetta, Araminta, Armelia, Arrenia, Candis, Caledonia, Celina, Easter, Eller, Elvira, Epsey, Exer, Henryetta, Jaly, Judy, Leah, Luella, Madora, Malissa, Marsileet, Medorah, Melinda, Mattie, Minnie, Moranda, Nelly, Olivia, Priscella, Rhody, Roxana, Salena, Sirena, Sophia, Temperance, Viola, Willie

Finally, names that appeared only once:

Abbigal
Abi
Absaly
Adah
Adalade
Adaline
Addia
Adelade
Adella
Ader
Aimenetta
Alamanzer
Alamo
Alcisty
Alis
Allethia
Almanda
Alphine
Alsey
Althie
Alvarado
Alvira
Amarantha
Amarylles
Amazor
Ameda
Americus
Amira
Ansebell
Appy
Arabella
Arainetta
Aramintha
Aranda
Arcadia
Ardalla
Armedilla
Armel
Armelda
Arminda
Artele
Arvezene
Arvilla
Atha
Audella
Aurire
Azeline
Barbary
Belzora
Bendett
Bernessa
Bethania
Bethany
California
Callie
Camella
Camilla
Candas
Candice
Cansandra
Carrentha
Casandre
Castero
Cecily
Celistia
CerroGordo
Christana
Cicily
Claranda
Claricinda
Conzada
Darcus
Deannah
Debra
Delila
Delitha
Della
Delmar
Derinda
Deziah
Dicey
Dilla
Dilly
Disha
Dlia
Dola
Domaris
Dorothea
Dovy
Drucilla
Dulcena
Dyca
Eddie
Edith
Editha
Elander
Eleanor
Elisa
Ellenor
Elmina
Elsy
Elvy
Elwina
Elzina
Elzona
Emaline
English
Eunis
Euphema
Euphemia
Euratasa
Evy
Falby
Fenette
Fillmore
Flore
Florida
Fransina
Georgana
George Eller
Georgiana
Harmoner
Hazeltine
Heepsebeth
Heland
Hester
Hetty
Hilery
Hutoka
Idella
Imogenia
Indiana
Inez
Irine
Isabelle
Isadora
Jeannah
Jerusha
Jessie
Joana
Joicy
Joly
Judah
Judith
Juliett
June
Kasandre
Kasana
Keburah
Keturah
Lailah
Larresa
Larrissa
Laurena
Lavacca
Lela
Leora
Leuella
Levega
Levina
Lewella
Lilla
Lillian
Lilly
Lina
Livana
Livona
Lizza
Loreey
Loreta
Lourana
Lourena
Lourenia
Louretta
Louvena
Louvina
Lova
Lovena
Lucretice
Lurana
Lurena
Lutitia
Luvena
Lydda
Madella
Madosa
Malabry
Mariella
Marietta
Marinda
Marion
Marbre
Marcella
Marcena
Marg
Matta
McReudry
Medarah
Melbry
Melvina
Mercena
Milley
Millison
Minor
Missoura
Mitty
Molly
Morinua
Mouring
Mourmen
Mourning
Nannett
Narcisa
Nebraska
Neome
Neomia
Nicy
Nina
Nisse
Occo
Octavia
Oja
Oliva
Omino
Orpha
Oudelia
Paralee
Paralie
Parilee
Parolee
Parthena
Pauline
Pemelia
Pernetta
Pernisia
Petrona
Phebe
Pheby
Phereby
Philliss
Pleasant
Pope
Prascovia
Pricilla
Prudence
Recella
Resalla
Reozia
Resiah
Rhina
Rosana
Rosanna
Rosena
Sabra
Sabrina
Salina
Samaria
Saphona
Saphrona
Sareta
Sebrina
Sefrone
Seleta
Selethia
Selina
Shaby
Sharlotti
Silena
Sina
Sirena
Sobrina
Sofrona
Solona
Sonora
Sophier
Stacy
Surana
Tabetha
Taletha
Talitha
Telpha
Teressa
Texanah
Texanna
Theodora
Theressa
Tranquilla
Trephemia
Ululie
Vanburena
Vandalia
Varlinda
Vashti
Vasti
Verlinda
Vertula
Victora
Victorier
Vina
Vinolia
Violet
Vunavista
Wennyford
Wilford
Wilmouth
Wineford
Winerfred
Winnaford
Winnfred
Zarilla
Zeban
Zeleame
Zira
Zouley

See any names you like? Any that make you curious?

Here are some thoughts I had:

  • Location names were more common than I thought they’d be. Seven females named Missouri? Six named Tennessee? Huh.
  • I love that Emmer appeared 22 times, while Emma appeared a mere 3 times.
  • The Battle of Cerro Gordo (1847) inspired a handful of namesakes. Cerro gordo is Spanish for “fat hill.”
  • Hutoka: Or, The Maid of the Forest: a Tale of the Indian Wars (1846) by Osgood Bradbury inspired several hundred namesakes nationwide. The book claimed that the fictitious Native American name Hutoka meant “springing fawn.”
  • Martin Van Buren — no doubt the inspiration behind Vanburena — was president of the U.S. from 1837 to 1841.
  • I’m thinking Vunavista was based on buena vista, Spanish for “good view.”

Source: Female First Names in the 1860 Smith County, Texas, Census, via Vicki Betts

Name Quotes for the Weekend #8

From Kim Gillespie of the Bay of Plenty Times:

Yes, some want unique names for their babies. Others are happy to choose traditional or family names with meaning. Either way, having labelled your kid for life, how about mums and dads concentrate on growing a human being who will stand out, make a difference and be loved for who they are, not for what they’re called.

From the American Name Society [pdf]:

“Malala” was chosen as the Personal Name of the Year. The first name of Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban for refusing to abandon her campaign for girls’ education, is now known worldwide as a symbol for women’s rights.

The overall Name of the Year was Sandy.

From CatholicMom.com’s Meg Matenaer, who named her first son Augustine:

When our oldest son Augustine was born, there was lots of confusion on the part of people asking what his name was. Either they misheard (“Justin? What a nice name.” or “Augustus?”) or they mispronounced it, especially if they were from a different faith tradition. Many a nurse has called for Augusteen across a crowded waiting room.

And named her second son Ignatius:

In the days following his birth, I tried not to worry about how other people perceived his name. Everyone had been very polite and remarked on what a beautiful or interesting name it was. No one actually said what they might have been thinking, “Are you serious?” Filling out the birth certificate paperwork, I tried to banish thoughts of how our little guy might grow up to hate us.

From Nina Badzin, writing for TC Jewfolk:

I speak from the experience of not waiting to announce my kids’ names. Of course after the birth of our first three children, my husband and I let approximately twenty-two seconds pass before broadcasting our name choices. But with our fourth child due in a few weeks, we’ve decided to hold out until the proper ceremony (we don’t know if we’re having a boy or a girl) before telling anyone the name. Practically speaking, there’s something cool and uniquely private about forcing ourselves to rise above the fast-paced announce everything on Facebook three minutes after it happens culture.

From a Fortune article about finance guru Ramit Sethi:

Sethi says his name was originally supposed to be Amit, not Ramit. But when his parents realized that Amit Singh Sethi’s initials spelled out a profanity, they went back to the registrar and convinced him that he had erroneously dropped an “R.” “Like true immigrants, they didn’t request a name change, because that would be, like, $50,” he says.

From Elizabeth Walne of UK genealogy blog Your Local History:

Some first names can be very helpful in providing an approximate birth date for an individual if you are unsure. I once researched a family with sons Foch, Petain and Joffre – all Marshals of France during WWI, effectively ‘dating’ them to around 1914-18.

Another example with less specific dates is the girl’s name ‘Adelaide’ which became popular with Adelaide, wife of William IV (born 1792, crowned Queen Consort 1831 and died 1849) and then fell in popularity – but importantly for red herring purposes didn’t disappear completely – after the turn of the century.

From Melinda Ozongwu of This Is Africa (via A Mitchell):

These days it isn’t uncommon to meet young African parents who’ve succumbed to one naming trend or the other, naming their children after celebrities, for instance: the Blue Ivy’s and all the rest of it. It’s quite a new thing, as the form and parameters of African names have traditionally been fairly standard, unlike in the West where spellings of names change, new names get invented, names rise and fall in popularity from one year to the next and so on. Recently it seems that Africans are more likely to include popular English names as well as ‘trend’ names when naming their children. It must be quite frustrating for the older generation to see the younger generations opting out of using traditional names, especially so for those who were around during our countries’ liberation from colonialism, many of whom are proud traditionalists, and many of whom are already exhausted by the younger generation abridging and altering their culture in other ways.

From Bella Clarke of the blog Glitz and Pram:

Chose a middle name first. You might want a family name as a middle name, or have a name that you’ve always loved but don’t think it seems right as a forename. For some reason it’s a lot easier to decide on a middle name for your baby and I found that having this choice set in stone made it easier to eliminate some of my forename choices.

From Drew Magary of Deadspin:

I’m waiting for Utah parents to seize upon the W as the next replacement vowel. If you don’t think there’s a Jwcwlwnn in our future, you are dead wrong. Eventually, all American baby names will resemble some kind of old Welsh dialect.

Previously: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7

Baby Names Needed – Girl Names for Fourth Baby

A reader named Klaudia is expecting her fourth child, a baby girl, and she’d like some help brainstorming for a first and a middle name. Here’s what Klaudia says:

We like…unusual names. I mean, not names that sound “made-up” but real names. At least, not trendy, popular names.

Juniper was at the top of their list, but then a friend used it, so now they’re back to the drawing board.

A few more details:

  • The first name should have 3 syllables.
  • The middle name should have 2 syllables and start with an n.
  • The surname will be a one-syllable s-name.
  • The older siblings are named Kendra Darlene, Carmen Nellie and Matteo Kendell.

I think Juniper paired with an n-name would have sounded nice, so I tried to come up with a lot of name suggestions that also include the letter n:

Acacia
Adelaide
Adina
Allegra
Angela
Annabelle
Belinda
Bethany
Bettina
Bianca
Cynthia
Daniela
Dominique
Felicia
Francesca
Genevieve
Henriette
Honora
Juliet
Justina
Lucinda
Lydia
Marcella
Melinda
Minerva
Miranda
Monica
Priscilla
Ramona
Regina
Sabrina
Simona
Sunniva
Susanna
Sylvia
Valerie
Rosemary
Venetia
Winifred
Yolanda

None of the above are currently in the top 100.

Now middles. It’s tricky to pick a middle if the first isn’t already in place, but here are some possibilities. Names on the left have a stress on the first syllable, names on the right have a stress on the second syllable.

Nina
Nita
Nola
Norah
Norma
Nadine
Nanette
Nicole
Noelle
Noreen

What first names would you suggest for the sibling of Kendra, Carmen and Matteo? What middle names would you pair with those first names?

Baby Name Needed – Middle Name for a Female Reid

A reader named Andy writes:

My wife and I are looking at using “Reid” for a girl (we don’t know what we’re having but we have the boy named locked down). My middle name is Reid, which comes from my grandmother’s maiden name. We are struggling with a middle name to sandwich between Reid and our last name, Roney* (pronounced with a long O). We want it to identify that Reid is a girl’s name.

I think a clearly feminine middle is a great idea. Let’s see…how about:

Abigail
Alyssa
Amanda
Amelia
Anastasia
Angelina
Bianca
Calista
Elizabeth
Emilia
Felicia
Genevieve
Isabella
Johanna
Juliette
Kathleen
Louise
Lydia
Melinda
Nicola
Olivia
Sophia
Susan
Susannah
Sylvia
Vanessa

I avoided R-names for obvious reasons, but I’m now wondering: would a middle containing an R sound nice? I’m kind of on the fence about it, but who knows–maybe one the following could work:

Audrianna
Beatrice
Catrina
Gabriela
Katherine
Patricia
Sabrina
Victoria

Do you guys like any of the above with the first name Reid? What other middle names would you suggest to Andy?

*The actual surname is not Roney, but it’s similar.