How popular is the baby name Patricia 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 Patricia.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Patricia


Posts that Mention the Name Patricia

Popular Baby Names in NYC, 1990-2019

Did you know that New York City’s website hosts vital statistics reports (PDFs) going all the way back to the 1960s? And that, from 1991 onward, these annual reports include baby name rankings for NYC?

I don’t want you to have to comb through a whole bunch of PDFs to find the city’s historical top-ten lists, though, so I gathered all the lists into a single blog post.

The name tables in the reports also incorporate several older sets rankings (from 1990, 1985, 1980, 1948, 1928, and 1898 specifically) for comparison, and those are here well — just scroll to the bottom.


2019

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2019. (Here’s my post about the 2019 NYC rankings.)

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2019)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2019)
1. Emma
2. Olivia
3. Sophia
4. Mia
5. Isabella
6. Leah
7. Ava
8. Chloe
9. Amelia
10. Charlotte
1. Liam
2. Noah
3. Ethan
4. Jacob
5. Lucas
6. Aiden
7. Daniel
8. Michael
9. David
10. Matthew

2018

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2018. (Here’s my post about the 2018 NYC rankings.)

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2018)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2018)
1. Emma
2. Isabella
3. Sophia
4. Mia
5. Olivia
6. Ava
7. Leah
8. Sarah
9. Amelia
10. Chloe
1. Liam
2. Noah
3. Ethan
4. Jacob
5. Aiden
6. David
7. Lucas
8. Matthew
9. Daniel
10. Alexander

2017

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2017. (Here’s my post about the 2017 NYC rankings.)

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2017)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2017)
1. Emma
2. Olivia
3. Mia
4. Sophia
5. Isabella
6. Ava
7. Leah
8. Emily
9. Sarah
10. Abigail
1. Liam
2. Noah
3. Jacob
4. Ethan
5. David
6. Lucas
7. Matthew
8. Jayden
9. Aiden
10. Daniel

2016

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2016. (Here’s my post about the 2016 NYC rankings.)

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2016)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2016)
1. Olivia
2. Sophia
3. Emma
4. Isabella
5. Mia
6. Ava
7. Emily
8. Leah
9. Sarah
10. Madison
1. Liam
2. Jacob
3. Ethan
4. Noah
5. Aiden
6. Matthew
7. Daniel
8. Lucas
9. Michael
10. Dylan

2015

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2015. (Here’s my post about the 2015 NYC rankings.)

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2015)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2015)
1. Olivia
2. Sophia
3. Emma (tie)
4. Mia (tie)
5. Isabella
6. Leah
7. Emily
8. Ava
9. Chloe
10. Madison
1. Ethan
2. Liam
3. Noah
4. Jacob
5. Jayden
6. Matthew
7. David
8. Daniel (tie)
9. Dylan (tie)
10. Aiden

2014

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2014. (Here’s my post about the 2014 NYC rankings.)

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2014)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2014)
1. Sophia
2. Isabella
3. Olivia
4. Mia
5. Emma
6. Emily
7. Leah
8. Ava
9. Sofia
10. Chloe
1. Ethan
2. Jacob
3. Liam
4. Jayden
5. Noah
6. Daniel
7. Michael
8. Alexander
9. David
10. Matthew

2013

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2013.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2013)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2013)
1. Sophia
2. Isabella
3. Emma
4. Olivia
5. Mia
6. Emily
7. Leah
8. Sofia
9. Madison
10. Chloe
1. Jayden
2. Ethan
3. Jacob
4. Daniel
5. David
6. Noah
7. Michael
8. Matthew
9. Alexander
10. Liam

2012

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2012.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2012)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2012)
1. Sophia
2. Isabella
3. Emma
4. Olivia
5. Emily
6. Mia
7. Chloe
8. Madison
9. Leah
10. Ava
1. Jayden
2. Ethan
3. Jacob
4. Daniel
5. Matthew
6. Michael
7. Aiden
8. David
9. Ryan
10. Alexander

2011

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2011. (Here’s my post about the 2011 NYC rankings.)

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2011)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2011)
1. Isabella
2. Sophia
3. Olivia
4. Emma
5. Mia
6. Emily
7. Madison
8. Leah
9. Chloe
10. Sofia
1. Jayden
2. Jacob
3. Ethan
4. Daniel
5. Michael
6. Matthew
7. Justin
8. David
9. Aiden
10. Alexander

2010

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2010.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2010)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2010)
1. Isabella
2. Sophia
3. Olivia
4. Emily
5. Madison
6. Mia
7. Emma
8. Leah
9. Sarah
10. Chloe
1. Jayden
2. Ethan
3. Daniel
4. Jacob
5. David
6. Justin
7. Michael
8. Matthew
9. Joseph
10. Joshua

2009

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2009.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2009)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2009)
1. Isabella
2. Sophia
3. Mia
4. Emily
5. Olivia
6. Madison
7. Sarah
8. Ashley
9. Leah
10. Emma
1. Jayden
2. Daniel
3. Ethan
4. Michael
5. David
6. Justin
7. Matthew
8. Joshua
9. Alexander
10. Christopher

2008

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2008.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2008)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2008)
1. Sophia
2. Isabella
3. Emily
4. Olivia
5. Sarah
6. Madison
7. Ashley
8. Mia
9. Samantha
10. Emma
1. Jayden
2. Daniel
3. Michael
4. Matthew
5. David
6. Joshua
7. Justin
8. Anthony
9. Christopher
10. Ethan/Ryan (tied for 10th)

2007

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2007. (Here’s my post about the 2007 NYC rankings.)

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2007)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2007)
1. Isabella (tie)
2. Sophia (tie)
3. Emily
4. Ashley
5. Sarah
6. Kayla
7. Mia
8. Olivia
9. Samantha
10. Rachel
1. Daniel
2. Jayden
3. Michael
4. Matthew
5. Justin
6. Joshua
7. David
8. Anthony
9. Christopher
10. Joseph

2006

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2006. (Here’s my post about the 2006 NYC rankings.)

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2006)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2006)
1. Ashley
2. Emily
3. Isabella
4. Sarah
5. Kayla
6. Sophia
7. Mia
8. Madison
9. Brianna (tie)
10. Samantha (tie)
1. Michael
2. Daniel
3. Matthew
4. Joshua
5. Justin
6. David
7. Christopher
8. Joseph
9. Anthony
10. Jayden

2005

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2005.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2005)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2005)
1. Emily
2. Ashley
3. Kayla
4. Sarah
5. Isabella
6. Samantha
7. Sophia
8. Nicole
9. Olivia
10. Rachel
1. Michael
2. Daniel
3. Joshua
4. David
5. Justin
6. Matthew
7. Anthony
8. Christopher
9. Joseph
10. Nicholas

2004

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2004.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2004)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2004)
1. Emily
2. Ashley
3. Kayla
4. Sarah
5. Samantha
6. Isabella
7. Brianna
8. Sophia
9. Nicole
10. Olivia
1. Michael
2. Daniel
3. Matthew
4. Justin
5. Joshua
6. David
7. Anthony
8. Christopher (tie)
9. Joseph (tie)
10. Ryan

2003

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2003.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2003)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2003)
1. Emily
2. Ashley
3. Kayla
4. Sarah
5. Samantha
6. Brianna
7. Isabella
8. Nicole
9. Rachel
10. Jessica
1. Michael
2. Justin
3. Daniel
4. Matthew
5. Christopher
6. Anthony
7. David
8. Joshua
9. Joseph
10. Kevin

2002

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2002.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2002)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2002)
1. Ashley
2. Emily
3. Kayla
4. Brianna
5. Samantha
6. Sarah
7. Nicole
8. Jessica
9. Michelle
10. Isabella
1. Michael
2. Justin
3. Daniel
4. Matthew
5. Christopher
6. Joseph
7. Anthony
8. Joshua
9. Nicholas
10. David

2001

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2001.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2001)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2001)
1. Ashley
2. Kayla
3. Samantha
4. Emily
5. Jessica
6. Brianna
7. Nicole
8. Sarah
9. Destiny
10. Michelle
1. Michael
2. Justin
3. Christopher
4. Daniel
5. Matthew
6. Joseph
7. Anthony
8. David
9. Joshua
10. Kevin

2000

The most popular baby names in New York City in 2000.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 2000)Top Boy Names (NYC, 2000)
1. Ashley
2. Samantha
3. Kayla
4. Emily
5. Brianna
6. Sarah
7. Jessica
8. Nicole
9. Michelle
10. Amanda
1. Michael
2. Justin
3. Christopher
4. Matthew
5. Daniel
6. Anthony
7. Joshua
8. David
9. Joseph
10. Kevin

1999

The most popular baby names in New York City in 1999.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 1999)Top Boy Names (NYC, 1999)
1. Ashley
2. Samantha
3. Emily
4. Sarah
5. Nicole
6. Kayla
7. Jessica
8. Brianna
9. Amanda
10. Jennifer
1. Michael
2. Justin
3. Matthew
4. Christopher
5. Joseph
6. Daniel
7. Anthony
8. David
9. Kevin
10. Joshua

1998

The most popular baby names in New York City in 1998.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 1998)Top Boy Names (NYC, 1998)
1. Ashley
2. Samantha
3. Jessica
4. Amanda
5. Nicole
6. Emily
7. Jennifer
8. Sarah
9. Brianna
10. Stephanie
1. Michael
2. Christopher
3. Justin
4. Joseph
5. Matthew
6. Anthony
7. Daniel
8. Brandon
9. Nicholas
10. David

1997

The most popular baby names in New York City in 1997.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 1997)Top Boy Names (NYC, 1997)
1. Ashley
2. Samantha
3. Jessica
4. Nicole
5. Amanda
6. Sarah
7. Stephanie
8. Jennifer
9. Emily
10. Brianna
1. Michael
2. Christopher
3. Joseph
4. Matthew
5. Justin
6. Daniel
7. Anthony (tie)
8. Brandon (tie)
9. David
10. Jonathan

1996

The most popular baby names in New York City in 1996.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 1996)Top Boy Names (NYC, 1996)
1. Ashley
2. Jessica
3. Samantha
4. Stephanie
5. Nicole
6. Amanda
7. Jennifer
8. Sarah
9. Michelle
10. Emily
1. Michael
2. Christopher
3. Anthony
4. Kevin
5. Daniel
6. Joseph
7. Matthew
8. Justin
9. Jonathan
10. David

1995

The most popular baby names in New York City in 1995.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 1995)Top Boy Names (NYC, 1995)
1. Ashley
2. Jessica
3. Amanda
4. Samantha
5. Stephanie
6. Jennifer
7. Nicole
8. Sarah*
9. Michelle
10. Emily
1. Michael
2. Christopher
3. Kevin
4. Daniel
5. Jonathan
6. Joseph
7. Anthony
8. Matthew
9. David
10. Justin

*The name was spelled “Sara” (without the h) in the 1995 annual report, but “Sarah” (with the h) on all the other reports. So, assuming that “Sara” was a typo, I’ve spelled it with the h here.

1994

The most popular baby names in New York City in 1994.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 1994)Top Boy Names (NYC, 1994)
1. Ashley
2. Jessica
3. Stephanie
4. Samantha
5. Amanda
6. Nicole
7. Jennifer
8. Michelle
9. Tiffany
10. Danielle
1. Michael
2. Christopher
3. Kevin
4. Anthony
5. Jonathan
6. Daniel
7. Joseph
8. Matthew
9. David
10. Brandon

1993

The most popular baby names in New York City in 1993.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 1993)Top Boy Names (NYC, 1993)
1. Ashley
2. Stephanie
3. Jessica
4. Amanda
5. Samantha
6. Nicole
7. Jennifer
8. Michelle
9. Melissa
10. Christina
1. Michael
2. Christopher
3. Kevin
4. Jonathan
5. Anthony
6. Daniel
7. Joseph
8. David
9. Matthew
10. John

1992

The most popular baby names in New York City in 1992.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 1992)Top Boy Names (NYC, 1992)
1. Ashley
2. Stephanie
3. Jessica
4. Amanda
5. Samantha
6. Jennifer
7. Nicole
8. Michelle
9. Melissa
10. Christina
1. Michael
2. Christopher
3. Jonathan
4. Anthony
5. Joseph
6. Daniel
7. David
8. Kevin
9. Matthew
10. John

1991

The most popular baby names in New York City in 1991.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 1991)Top Boy Names (NYC, 1991)
1. Stephanie
2. Ashley
3. Jessica
4. Amanda
5. Samantha
6. Jennifer
7. Nicole
8. Michelle
9. Melissa
10. Christina
1. Michael
2. Christopher
3. Jonathan
4. Anthony
5. Joseph
6. Daniel
7. David
8. Matthew
9. Kevin
10. John

1990

The most popular baby names in New York City in 1990.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 1990)Top Boy Names (NYC, 1990)
1. Stephanie
2. Jessica
3. Ashley
4. Jennifer
5. Amanda
6. Samantha
7. Nicole
8. Christina
9. Melissa
10. Michelle
1. Michael
2. Christopher
3. Jonathan
4. Anthony
5. David
6. Daniel
7. Joseph
8. Matthew
9. John
10. Andrew

1985

The most popular baby names in New York City in 1985.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 1985)Top Boy Names (NYC, 1985)
1. Jennifer
2. Jessica
3. Christina
4. Stephanie
5. Melissa
6. Nicole
7. Elizabeth
8. Amanda
9. Danielle
10. Lauren
1. Michael
2. Christopher
3. Daniel
4. David
5. Anthony
6. Joseph
7. Jonathan
8. Jason
9. John
10. Robert

1980

The most popular baby names in New York City in 1980.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 1980)Top Boy Names (NYC, 1980)
1. Jennifer
2. Jessica
3. Melissa
4. Nicole
5. Michelle
6. Elizabeth
7. Lisa
8. Christina
9. Tiffany
10. Maria
1. Michael
2. David
3. Jason
4. Joseph
5. Christopher
6. Anthony
7. John
8. Daniel
9. Robert
10. James

1948

The most popular baby names in New York City in 1948.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 1948)Top Boy Names (NYC, 1948)
1. Linda
2. Mary
3. Barbara
4. Patricia
5. Susan
6. Kathleen
7. Carol
8. Nancy
9. Margaret
10. Diane
1. Robert
2. John
3. James
4. Michael
5. William
6. Richard
7. Joseph
8. Thomas
9. Stephen
10. David

1928

The most popular baby names in New York City in 1928.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 1928)Top Boy Names (NYC, 1928)
1. Mary
2. Marie
3. Annie
4. Margaret
5. Catherine
6. Gloria
7. Helen
8. Teresa
9. Joan
10. Barbara
1. John
2. William
3. Joseph
4. James
5. Richard
6. Edward
7. Robert
8. Thomas
9. George
10. Louis

1898

The most popular baby names in New York City in 1898.

Top Girl Names (NYC, 1898)Top Boy Names (NYC, 1898)
1. Mary
2. Catherine
3. Margaret
4. Annie
5. Rose
6. Marie
7. Esther
8. Sarah
9. Frances
10. Ida
1. John
2. William
3. Charles
4. George
5. Joseph
6. Edward
7. James
8. Louis
9. Francis
10. Samuel

NYC typically waits until the following December to release their baby name rankings, so I don’t expect the 2020 rankings to be available until the end of this year.

Sources: New York City‘s Summary of Vital Statistics for 2018 (pdf), 2017 (pdf), 2016 (pdf), 2015 (pdf), 2014 (pdf), 2013 (pdf), 2012 (pdf), 2011 (pdf), 2010 (pdf), 2009 (pdf), 2008 (pdf), 2007 (pdf), 2006 (pdf), 2005 (pdf), 2004 (pdf), 2003 (pdf), 2002 (pdf), 2001 (pdf), 2000 (pdf), 1999 (pdf), 1998 (pdf), 1997 (pdf), 1996 (pdf), 1995 (pdf), 1994 (pdf), 1993 (pdf), 1992 (pdf), 1991 (pdf)

Baby Names from “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” Pageant

The Most Beautiful Girl in the World Pageant, 1984

In January of 1984, a one-of-a-kind beauty pageant called “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” was broadcast live on television from Oahu, Hawaii.

What made it unique? The fact that viewers at home could participate in picking the winner!

Back in 1984, this was a novel idea — so novel that, even though creator Dick Clark had come up with the concept back in the late ’60s, he wasn’t able to garner any interest in it until decades later.

The show was hosted by Jayne Kennedy and David Hasselhoff. In fact, the Hoff was featured in the TV commercial for the pageant:

The Most Beautiful Girl in the World tv commercial, David Hasselhoff

Twenty-one young women from around the globe were chosen as contestants. Here are their names and the regions they represented (in order of introduction):

  • United States: Susanne Ashley Trimble
  • India: Safira Afzaal
  • Great Britain: Debi Brett
  • Japan: Yoko Ami
  • Swaziland: Zanella Tutu
  • Denmark: Lene Nyholm Jensen
  • Spain: Maria Jose Bustos
  • Italy: Antonia Dell’Atte
  • Brazil: Carmen Carolina Baldelli
  • Germany: Birgit Wiemann
  • Saipan: Zelma Tomokane
  • Puerto Rico: Deborah Carthy Deu
  • The Philippines: Yoraidyl (YOR-ah-dil) Diaz Stone
  • Canada: Elizabeth Stimson
  • Mexico: Jaqueline De La Vega Pineda
  • Singapore: Julie Nickson
  • Morocco: Nadia Bahy
  • France: Patricia Talazac
  • Hong Kong: Tracy Chan
  • Australia: Melanie Ivanhoe
  • Israel: Yarden Levinson

I want to draw your attention to two of these contestants, Safira Afzaal and Yarden Levinson, because the rare names Safira and Yarden both debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1984 specifically:

Safira usageYarden usage
1986unlistedunlisted
1985unlistedunlisted
198418 baby girls6 baby girls
1983unlistedunlisted
1982unlistedunlisted

(Safira may be based on the Islamic name Safeerah, meaning “messenger”; Yarden, the Hebrew name of the Jordan River, is derived from a Hebrew word meaning “descend” or “flow down.”)

Here’s how these two contestants looked during the introductions…

Safira:

Safira Afzal, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, beauty pageant, 1984

Yarden:

Yarden Levinson, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, beauty pageant, 1984

Over the course of the two-hour program, the field of contestants was reduced three times: from 21 to 10 (by a panel of judges), from 10 to 3 (again by the judges), and finally from 3 to 1 (by popular vote).

Both Safira and Yarden survived the first cut. The second portion of the show featured the ten remaining women modeling in swimsuits, modeling in evening gowns, and, rather unusually, doing aerobic exercise. (How ’80s is that?)

Here’s Safira doing aerobics:

Safira Afzal, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, beauty pageant, 1984

And here’s Yarden:

Yarden Levinson, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, beauty pageant, 1984

Before the three finalists were announced, David Hasselhoff explained that each of the three would be assigned a specific “1-900” phone number.

To cast a vote for your favorite girl, you simply dial her phone number. It’s that easy. Your vote will automatically be registered in the phone company’s computer in Kansas City, Missouri, and there’ll be a telephone charge of 50 cents. The total number of calls received at the end of the ten-minute period by the phone company’s computer in Kansas City will be transmitted to us, five thousand miles away, in Hawaii, and we will know our winner.

The three finalists? Debi, Jaqueline, and Yarden. (Not Safira, sadly.)

Here’s Yarden, right after being named a finalist:

Yarden Levinson, finalist in The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, beauty pageant, 1984

During the next ten minutes, viewers saw (among other things) clips of the finalists talking about themselves. Yarden mentioned that, in Israel, every girl goes into the military and “learns how to fight,” and that she “served in a rescue unit in the Air Force.” She also said:

I come to the competition and they look at me and they say, ‘You’re Israeli? You’re blonde, I mean, how can that be?’

Alas, Yarden finished in third place with just 17.48% of the vote.

The winner was Debi Brett, the Brit, with 53.46% of the vote. (She received over $100,000 in cash and prizes, including a 30-day round-the-world trip, a full-length mink coat, a grand piano, a diamond ring, a Dodge 600 convertible, and a Ricoh 35mm camera.)

So, neither Safira nor Yarden won the pageant. But their names live on the U.S. baby name data, which is arguably far cooler. :)

I’m not sure what became of Yarden after the pageant, but I can tell you a bit about Safira (whose last name is actually spelled Afzal). She was born in Pakistan, raised in England, and went on to earn a law degree and become a barrister.

(Other post-pageant careers: Debi became photographer; Antonia became a model/TV personality; Deborah won Miss Universe 1985 and became an actress/TV personality; “Jaqueline” (actually spelled Jacqueline) became a model/TV personality; and “Julie” (Julia) became an actress — in fact, she played the female lead in the second Rambo movie.)

So what are your thoughts on the names Safira and Yarden? Which one would you be more likely to use for a baby girl?

I'd go with...

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Sources:

Where did the baby name Patsy Ann come from?

The compound name Patsyann (Patsy Ann) was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. baby name data, making its single appearance during the 1930s:

  • 1935: unlisted
  • 1934: unlisted
  • 1933: 7 baby girls named Patsyann [debut]
  • 1932: unlisted
  • 1931: unlisted

What put it there? I think the influence was the mystery tale Outrageous Fortune by British author Patricia Wentworth. The story was serialized in many U.S. newspapers in the autumn of 1933.

The mystery involved a shipwrecked man with amnesia. A woman named Nesta* claimed the man was her husband…but really she thought he might know the location of a certain priceless emerald necklace. In the meanwhile, the man’s cousin, a woman named Caroline, tracked him down and tried to help him recover his memory.

The protagonist was clearly Caroline, but Caroline’s roommate Patsy Ann “provide[d] an innocent diversion to the main story with her romantic life.”

In the UK the same year, Outrageous Fortune was published in book form, but under the title Seven Green Stones. Another difference between was Patsy Ann’s name: Pansy Ann in the UK. Perhaps the name had been changed from “Pansy” to “Patsy” for American readers because Patsy sounded trendier than Pansy in the U.S. at the time. The slang meaning of pansy, though relatively new in the ’30s, might have been a factor as well.

(If “Patsy Ann” sounds familiar to longtime readers, I blogged about Patsy Ann, the famous dog from Alaska, a couple of years ago.)

Sources: Patricia Wentworth – Wikipedia, Outrageous Fortune by Patricia Wentworth – Northern Reader, Pansy – Online Etymology Dictionary

*The name Nesta got a boost in 1934.

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: A (part 1)

Looking for an under-the-radar girl name with a retro feel?

Check out this post and the rest of the “early cinema” series, featuring thousands of uncommon female names collected from old movies (1910s-1940s).

Many of these names have never appeared in the SSA data before. For those that have, I’ve included links to the popularity graphs.

Enjoy!

*

Abbasah
Abbasah was a character played by actress Helen Gardner in the film The Miracle (1912).

Acquanetta
Burnu Acquanetta, often credited simply as Acquanetta, was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1990s. She was born in Wyoming in 1921. Her birth name was Mildred Davenport.

Adamae
Adamae Vaughn was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Kentucky in 1905.

  • Usage of the baby name Adamae.

Adda
Adda Gleason was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1950s. She was born in Illinois in 1888.

  • Usage of the baby name Adda.

Adorée
Adorée was a character name in multiple films, including A Maid of Belgium (1917) and The Auction Block (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Adoree.

Adraste
Adraste was a character played by actress Alice White in the film The Private Life of Helen of Troy (1928).

Adrea
Adrea Spedding was a character played by actress Gale Sondergaard in the Sherlock Holmes film The Spider Woman (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Adrea.

Adrean
Adrean Wainwright was a character played by actress Ruth Clifford in the film The Thrill Seekers (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Adrean.

Aelita
Aelita was a character played by actress Yuliya Solntseva in the film Aelita: Queen of Mars (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Aelita.

Afy
Aphrodite “Afy” Hallijohn was a character played by various actresses (such as Madge Kirby and Belle Bennett) in various movies called East Lynne, all based on the novel of the same name by Ellen Wood.

Aggie
Aggie was a character name in multiple films, including Her Better Self (1917) and Women Won’t Tell (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Aggie.

Agia
Agia was a character played by actress Eugenie Forde in the film The Virgin of Stamboul (1920).

Agostina
Agostina was a character played by actress Patricia Medina in the film Children of Chance (1949).

Aho
Aho was a character played by actress Maude George in the film The Marriage Ring (1918).

Ailea
Ailea Lorne was a character played by actress Gertrude McCoy in the film series The Chronicles of Cleek (1913-1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Ailea.

Airleen
Airleen MacGregor was a character played by actress Adrienne Kroell in the short film The Laird’s Daughter (1912).

Aisla
Aisla Crane was a character played by actress Belle Chrystall in the film The Frightened Lady (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Aisla.

Aissa
Aissa was a character played by actress Laura Winston in the film The Demon (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Aissa.

Akanesi
Akanesi was a character played by actress Lily Phillips in the film The Adorable Savage (1920).

Alabam
Alabam Lee was a character played by actress Carole Lombard in the film Lady by Choice (1934).

Alaire
Alaire Austin was a character played by actress Anna Q. Nilsson in the film Heart of the Sunset (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Alaire.

Alathea
Alathea Bulteel was a character played by actress Harriet Hammond in the film Man and Maid (1925).

Alatia
Alatia Marton was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in Texas in 1894.

Alayne
Alayne Archer was a character played by actress Kay Johnson in the film Jalna (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Alayne.

Albany
Albany Yates was a character played by actress Dorothy Lamour in the film Chad Hanna (1940).

  • Usage of the baby name Albany.

Alberta
Alberta Vaughn was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Kentucky in 1904. Alberta was also a character played by actress Helene Chadwich in the film The Challenge (1916).

Albertine
Albertine was a character played by actress Sarah Padden in the film Assignment in Brittany (1943).

Albina
Albina was a character played by actress Kate Toncray in the film The Narrow Street (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Albina.

Albine
Albine was a character played by actress Polly Moran in the film The Passionate Plumber (1932).

Alcolma
Alcolma was a character played by actress Eva Moore in the film Chu-Chin-Chow (1923).

Alda
Alda was a character played by actress Katharine Alexander in the film Death Takes a Holiday (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Alda.

Aldyth
Aldyth was a character played by actress Clara Kimball Young in the short film The Last of the Saxons (1910).

  • Usage of the baby name Aldyth.

Alene
Princess Alene was a character played by actress Mary Charleson in the film serial The Road o’ Strife (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Alene.

Aleska
Aleska was a character played by actress Malvina Longfellow in the film Betta the Gypsy (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Aleska.

Aleta
Aleta Doré was an actress who appeared in 1 film in 1925. Aleta was also a character played by actress Lois Collier in the film Slave Girl (1947).

  • Usage of the baby name Aleta.

Alexandrine
Alexandrine Zola was a character played by actress Gloria Holden in the film The Life of Emile Zola (1937).

Algeria
Algeria was a character played by actress Linda Darnell in the film The Walls of Jericho (1948).

Alida
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 in 1921. Her birth name was Alida Maria Laura Altenburger von Marckenstein-Frauenberg. Alida was also a character name in multiple films, including The Lure of Jade (1921) and Crimson Romance (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Alida.

Aliette
Aliette Brunton was a character played by actress Isobel Elsom in the film The Love Story of Aliette Brunton (1924).

Aline
Aline MacMahon was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1960s. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1899. Aline was also a character name in multiple films, including Seeds of Wealth (short, 1913) and A Fool and His Money (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Aline.

Alis
Alis Porter was a character played by actress Vera Reynolds in the film The Million Dollar Handicap (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Alis.

Alisande
Alisande La Carteloise was a character played by actress Rhonda Fleming in the film A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1949).

Alisia
Alisia Stafford was a character played by actress Anna Q. Nilsson in the film Tide of Battle (1912).

  • Usage of the baby name Alisia.

Alita
Alita Allen was a character played by actress Bebe Daniels in the film Daring Youth (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Alita.

Alix
Alix was a character name in multiple films, including The Call of Home (1922) and The Little French Girl (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Alix.

Alixe
Alixe was a character played by actress Helen Gardner in the short film Alixe; or, The Test of Friendship (1913).

  • Usage of the baby name Alixe.

Alla
Alla Nazimova, often credited simply as Nazimova, was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in Russia (now Ukraine) in 1879. Her birth name was Miriam Edez Adelaida Leventon. Alla was also a character played by actress Sally Crute in the film The Cossack Whip (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Alla.

Allaine
Allaine Grandet was a character played by actress Dorothy Dalton in the film Tyrant Fear (1918).

Allana
Allana was a character played by actress Constance Bennett in the film Son of the Gods (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Allana (which debuted in the data in 1930).

Allane
Allane Houston was a character played by actress Beverly Bayne in the film The Voice of Conscience (1917).

Allayne
Allayne was a character name in multiple films, including The Poison Pen (1919) and The Net (1923).

Allegheny
Allegheny Briskow was a character played by actress Anna Q. Nilsson in the film Flowing Gold (1924).

Allene
Allene was a character name in multiple films, including Flattery (1925) and The Love Route (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Allene.

Allida
Allida Bederaux was a character played by actress Hedy Lamarr in the film Experiment Perilous (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Allida (which debuted in the data in 1945).

Allifair
Allifair McCoy was a character played by actress Gigi Perreau in the film Roseanna McCoy (1949).

Allisa
Allisa Randall was a character played by actress Mildred Harris in the film The Inferior Sex (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Allisa.

Allouma
Allouma was a character played by actress Violet MacMillan in the film The Dragoman (1916).

Alluna
Alluna was a character played by various actresses (such as Neola May and Sara Haden) in various movies called The Barrier, all based on the novel of the same name by Rex Beach.

Aloha
Aloha was a character played by actress Nina Campana in the film Honolulu Lu (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Aloha.

Alois
Alois was a character played by actress Mignon Anderson in the short film A Dog of Flanders (1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Alois (which debuted in the data in 1915).

Aloisa
Aloisa Weber Lange was a character played by actress Conchita Montenegro in the film Eternal Melodies (1940).

Aloma
Aloma was a character played by actresses Gilda Gray in the film Aloma of the South Seas (1926) and by actress Dorothy Lamour in the film Aloma of the South Seas (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Aloma.

Alouette
Alouette DeLarme was a character played by actress Louise Glaum in the film A Law Unto Herself (1918).

Alta
Alta Wilton was a character played by actress Mona Barrie in the film A Tragedy at Midnight (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Alta.

Alva
Alva was a character name in multiple films, including Revenge (1918) and Friends of Lovers (1931)

  • Usage of the baby name Alva.

Alvah
Alvah Morley was a character played by actress Pauline Starke in the film If You Believe Me, It’s So (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Alvah.

Alvarez
Alvarez Guerra was a character played by actress Carmelita Geraghty in the film This Thing Called Love (1929).

Alvern
Alvern Adams was a character played by actress Margaret Lindsay in the film Louisiana (1947).

  • Usage of the baby name Alvern.

Alverna
Alverna was a character name in multiple films, including Mantrap (1926) and Untamed (1940).

Alvira
Alvira was a character name in multiple films, including The Scarlet Shadow (1919) and Along Came Auntie (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Alvira.

Alys
Alys was a character name in multiple films, including Cutie Plays Detective (short, 1913) and Ermine and Rhinestones (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Alys.

Alysia
Alysia Potter was a character played by actress Billie Dove in the film Polly of the Follies (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Alysia.

*

…Which of the above names do you like best?

Source: IMDb

What turned Sway into a baby name?

sway, gone in 60 seconds, movie, character
Angelina Jolie as Sara “Sway” Wayland

The word Sway popped up for the first time in the U.S. baby name data in 2001:

  • 2003: 14 baby girls and 5 baby boys named Sway
  • 2002: 12 baby girls named Sway
  • 2001: 8 baby girls named Sway [debut]
  • 2000: unlisted
  • 1999: unlisted

For a long time I assumed the main influence was MTV personality Sway Calloway. But, while I still think Sway had an influence on male usage, I’ve since discovered a much better explanation for the 2001 debut as a female name.

One of the main characters in the 2000 car heist film Gone in 60 Seconds was mechanic-slash-bartender Sara “Sway” Wayland (played by Angelina Jolie). She was the love interest of protagonist Randall “Memphis” Raines (played by Nicolas Cage), who was tasked with stealing 50 specific, expensive cars inside of 72 hours.

The film didn’t get great reviews, but I do remember appreciating the fact that each of the 50 cars was assigned a feminine code-name:

Mary, Barbara, Lindsey, Laura, Alma, Madeline, Patricia, Carol, Daniela, Stefanie, Erin, Pamela, Olga, Anne, Kate, Vanessa, Denise, Diane, Lisa, Nadine, Angelina, Rose, Susan, Tracey, Rachel, Bernadene, Deborah, Stacey, Josephine, Hillary, Kimberley, Renee, Dorothy, Donna, Samantha, Ellen, Gabriela, Shannon, Jessica, Sharon, Tina, Marsha, Natalie, Virginia, Tanya, Grace, Ashley, Cathy, Lynn, Eleanor

So, how do you feel about the name Sway? If you were having a baby girl, would you be more likely to name her something modern, like Sway, or something traditional, like Sara or Susan?

Sources: Gone in 60 Seconds (2000 film) – Wikipedia, Talk:Gone in 60 Seconds (2000 film) – Wikipedia