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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Shirley

Number of Babies Named Shirley

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Shirley

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).

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:


The Trio in Rio – Leila, Liina, Lily

Next Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, 30-year-old identical (and alliterative) triplets Leila, Liina, and Lily Luik of Estonia are expected to run the women’s marathon. This will make the “Trio in Rio,” as they call themselves, the first set of triplets to compete in an Olympics.

In comparison, about 200 sets of twins have competed in the Olympics over the years. Here are some of the Olympic twins with similarly alliterative names:

  • Åke & Arne (Sweden) [not technically alliterative; see JJ’s comment]
  • Catarina & Christina (Sweden)
  • Darius & Donatas (Lithuania)
  • Darrin & Dan (USA)
  • Dennis & Duane (USA)
  • Dionísio & Domingos (Portugal)
  • Jean-Jacques & Jean-Marc (France)
  • Jodie & Julie (Canada)
  • Jules & Julian (Belgium)
  • Katalin & Krisztina (Hungary)
  • Katrine & Kristine (Norway)
  • Lívia & Lucia (Slovakia)
  • Madeline & Margaret (Puerto Rico)
  • Marianne & Mildred (Netherlands)
  • Sandy & Sonia (Zimbabwe)
  • Malcolm “Mal” & Melville “Mel” (Jamaica)
  • Mark & Michael (Canada)
  • Maureen & Melanie (Netherlands)
  • McJoe & McWilliams (Puerto Rico)
  • Mikuláš & Miloslav (Slovakia)
  • Pascal & Patrick (France)
  • Paula & Peta (Bermuda)
  • Paulo Miguel & Pedro Miguel (Portugal)
  • Pavol & Peter (Slovakia)
  • Randolph & Robert (USA)
  • Rhoda & Rhona (Canada)
  • Ricardo & Rodrigo (Chile)
  • Sharon & Shirley (Canada)
  • Stanley & Sydney (Great Britain)
  • Tami & Toni (USA)
  • Terry & Tom (USA)
  • Valeriy & Volodymyr (Ukraine)
  • Valj & Vita (Ukraine)
  • Veronika & Viktoriya (Belarus)
  • Vida & Vidette (South Africa)
  • Zlatko & Zoran (Yugoslavia)

You can see a full list of Olympic twins in the OlympStats post Twins at the Olympics.

Have you been tuning in to the Olympics? If so, have you spotted any interesting names so far?

Popular Baby Names in Providence, RI, 1867

providence baby names 1867The registrar of Providence, Rhode Island, published a series of documents listing all “of the names of persons deceased, born and married in the city of Providence” during years 1866, 1867 and 1868. The series may have been longer, but these are the only documents I could find online.

I’ve finally finished creating a set of rankings using one of the documents — 1867. But before we get to the rankings, here are some stats:

  • 1,547 babies were born in Providence in 1867, going by the number of babies listed in the document itself. According to the document’s introduction, though, the number is 1,625. Not sure what to make of this discrepancy.
  • 1,431 of these babies (713 girls and 718 boys) had names that were registered with the government at the time of publication. The other 116 babies got blank spaces. Either their names hadn’t been registered yet, or they hadn’t been named yet, or perhaps they died young and never received a name.
  • 254 unique names (141 girl names and 113 boy names) were shared among these 1,431 babies.

And now, on to the names…

Top 5

A quick look at the top 5 girl names and boy names in Providence in 1867:

Top Baby Girl Names Top Baby Boy Names
1. Mary
2. Catherine
3. Ellen
4. Margaret
5. Sarah
1. John
2. William
3. James
4. Charles
5. George

Girl Names

Notice how the #1 name, Mary, was bestowed three times as often as the #2 name, Catherine.

  1. Mary, 138 baby girls
  2. Catherine, 46
  3. Ellen, 37
  4. Margaret, 34
  5. Sarah, 31
  6. Annie, 19
  7. Elizabeth, 16
  8. Alice, 15
  9. Florence, 14
  10. Ann, Emma & Ida, 12 each (3-way tie)
  11. Minnie, 11
  12. Harriet & Julia, 9 each (2-way tie)
  13. Anna, Caroline, Carrie, Jennie, Joanna & Louisa, 8 each (6-way tie)
  14. Cora & Eliza, 7 each (2-way tie)
  15. Agnes, Clara, Edith, Rosanna & Theresa, 6 each (5-way tie)
  16. Bertha, Grace, Hannah, Hattie, Jane, Lillian, Maria, Martha, Nellie & Susan, 5 each (10-way tie)
  17. Eleanor, Fannie, Gertrude, Helen, Isabella, Lucy & Rosa, 4 each (7-way tie)
  18. Anne, Bridget, Ella, Emily, Esther, Eva, Lizzie, Mabel, Matilda & Ruth, 3 each (10-way tie)
  19. Ada, Amelia, Charlotte, Dora, Eleanora, Elvira, Henrietta, Jessie, Josephine, Kate, Louise, Lydia, Maggie & Rosella, 2 each (14-way tie)
  20. Abby, Addie, Adelaide, Adelia, Almina, Almira, Amanda, Amey, Amy, Anastasia, Angelie, Annis, Antoinette, Augusta, Aurelia, Bethiah, Cecelia, Celia, Clarissa, Clementina, Corielynn, Cornelia, Drusilla, Effie, Emeline, Estella, Ethelin, Fanny, Florentina, Frances, Gelie, Genevieve, Georgiana, Georgianna, Helena, Honora, Irene, Isabel, Issie, Juliann, Julietta, Katie, Laura, Leah, Leonora, Lillie, Lillis, Lily, Lottie, Luella, Margaretta, Margery, Margret, Marietta, Maude, May, Millie, Myra, Nelly, Phebe, Robie, Rosalthe, Rose, Selina, Sophia, Susanna, Susannah, Vienna, Viola, Vira, Virginia & Winifred, 1 each (72-way tie)

Boy Names

  1. John, 87 baby boys
  2. William, 75
  3. James, 64
  4. Charles, 50
  5. George, 45
  6. Thomas, 40
  7. Joseph, 30
  8. Walter, 21
  9. Edward, 16
  10. Francis & Michael, 14 each (2-way tie)
  11. Patrick, 13
  12. Arthur & Robert, 12 each (2-way tie)
  13. Frank, Frederick & Henry, 11 each (3-way tie)
  14. Albert, 9
  15. Daniel & Peter, 8 each (2-way tie)
  16. David, Eugene, Howard & Samuel, 6 each (4-way tie)
  17. Alexander, Louis & Stephen, 5 each (3-way tie)
  18. Harry, Herbert, Hugh & Martin, 4 each (4-way tie)
  19. Carl, Edgar, Everett, Jeremiah & Willie, 3 each (5-way tie)
  20. Abraham, Alfred, Clarence, Cornelius, Dennis, Ernest, Ezra, Franklin, Freddie, Jacob, Jesse, Lewis, Luke, Nicholas, Philip, Sylvester, Theodore, Timothy, 2 each (18-way tie)
  21. Abner, Adam, Adolph, Amos, Andrew, Appleton, Archibald, Ashel, August, Benjamin, Benno, Bernard, Bertram, Burt, Byron, Clifford, Davis, Dexter, Dunlap, Edmund, Edwin, Elmer*, Embert, Forrest, Freddy, Gustav, Herman, Isaac, Jeffrey, Jerome, Josiah, Lucian, Malcolm, Matthew, Maurice, Milton, Nathan, Nehemiah, Nelson, Oren, Oscar, Otto, Owen, Paul, Ralph, Reginald, Richard, Sanford, Seth, Shirley, Sullivan, Terence, Theobald, Victor, Wanton, Warren, Weston, Wheelan, Wilford, 1 each (59-way tie)

*Elmer, who had the middle initial “E.,” was likely named after Civil War casualty Elmer E. Ellsworth.

Twins & Triplets

Twenty-one sets of twins and two sets of triplets were born in Providence in 1867. (All of these names were accounted for above — I just thought it’d be fun to check out the sibsets.)

Twins (b/b) Twins (b/g) Twins (g/g) Triplets
Abraham & George
Charles & George
Charles & John
Daniel & David
Dunlap & Frank
Eugene & Timothy
George & John
George & William
James & John
John & Martin
Albert & Harriet
Ashel & Ida
George & Grace
James & Mary
Maurice & Ann
Annie & Fannie
Annie & Mary
Ann & Ellen
Jennie & Minnie
Margaret & Martha
(blank) & (blank)
Carl, (blank) & (blank)
James, Alexander & Sarah

I’ll post Providence’s 1866 and 1868 rankings as soon I get them done. Until then, here are two older posts featuring uniquely named Rhode Islanders: Aldaberontophoscophornia (b. 1812) and Idawalley (b. 1842).

Sources:

Popular Girl Names: Biblical vs. Non-Biblical

The ratio of Biblical names to non-Biblical names in the girl’s top 20 is about the same today as it was 100 years ago, though the ratio did change a bit mid-century.

(In contrast, there’s been a steady increase in the number of Biblical-origin names among the top boy names.)

Here’s the color-coded table — Biblical names are in the yellow cells, non-Biblical names are in the green cells, and several borderline names (which I counted as non-Biblical) are in the orange cells:

Popular girl names: Biblical vs. non-Biblical, from Nancy's Baby Names.
Popular girl names over time: Biblical (yellow) vs. non-Biblical. Click to enlarge.
  • Biblical names: Abigail, Anna, Betty (via Elizabeth), Chloe, Danielle, Deborah, Debra, Elizabeth, Hannah, Isabella (via Elizabeth), Janet, Jean, Joan, Judith, Judy, Julie, Lillian (via Elizabeth), Lisa (via Elizabeth), Lois, Marie, Marilyn, Mary, Mia (via Maria), Michelle, Nancy (via Anne), Rachel, Rebecca, Ruth, Sandra (via Alexander), Sarah, Sharon, Stephanie, Susan, Tammy (via Tamar/Tamara)
  • Non-Biblical names: Alexis, Alice, Alyssa, Amanda, Amber, Amelia, Amy, Angela, Ashley, Aubrey, Avery, Barbara, Brenda, Brianna, Brittany, Carol, Carolyn, Catherine, Charlotte, Christina, Christine, Crystal, Cynthia, Diane, Donna, Doris, Dorothy, Edna, Ella, Emily, Emma, Evelyn, Florence, Frances, Gladys, Grace, Harper, Heather, Helen, Irene, Jennifer, Joyce, Karen, Kathleen, Kayla, Kelly, Kimberly, Laura, Lauren, Linda, Lori, Louise, Madison, Margaret, Marjorie, Megan, Melissa, Mildred, Natalie, Nicole, Olivia, Pamela, Patricia, Rose, Shannon, Shirley, Sofia, Sophia, Taylor, Tiffany, Victoria, Virginia
  • Borderline names:
    • Ava (could be based on the Germanic root avi or the Biblical name Eve)
    • Jessica (literary invention, but Shakespeare may have based it on the Biblical name Iscah)
    • Samantha (possibly inspired by the Biblical name Samuel)

Again, feels pretty weird to put overtly Christian names like Christina and Christine in the non-Biblical category, but oh well.

Here are the year-by-year tallies:

Year Top 20 names
given to…
# Biblical # Non-Biblical
1914 31% of baby girls 6 (30%) 14 (70%)
1924 31% of baby girls 7 (35%) 13 (65%)
1934 32% of baby girls 9 (45%) 11 (55%)
1944 35% of baby girls 8 (40%) 12 (60%)
1954 34% of baby girls 9 (45%) 11 (55%)
1964 24% of baby girls 9 (45%) 11 (55%)
1974 24% of baby girls 8 (40%) 12 (60%)
1984 26% of baby girls 6 (30%) 14 (70%)
1994 19% of baby girls 6 (30%) 14 (70%)
2004 14% of baby girls 6 (30%) 14 (70%)
2014 12% of baby girls 5 (25%) 15 (75%)

Just like with the boy names, though, there’s a big difference between the 1914 and 2014 sample sizes — 31% and 12%. So let’s also look at the 2014 top 100, which covers 31% of female births.

By my count, last year’s top 100 girl names were about a quarter Biblical, three-quarters non-Biblical:

Biblical names (27) Non-Biblical/Borderline names (73)
Isabella (via Elizabeth), Mia (via Maria), Abigail, Elizabeth, Chloe, Addison (via Adam), Lillian (via Elizabeth), Hannah, Anna, Leah, Gabriella, Sadie (via Sarah), Sarah, Annabelle, Madelyn (via Magdalene), Lucy (via Lucius), Alexa (via Alexander), Genesis, Naomi, Eva, Lydia, Julia, Khloe, Madeline (via Magdalene), Alexandra, Gianna (via Joanna), Isabelle (via Elizabeth) Emma, Olivia, Sophia, Ava, Emily, Madison, Charlotte, Harper, Sofia, Avery, Amelia, Evelyn, Ella, Victoria, Aubrey, Grace, Zoey, Natalie, Brooklyn, Lily, Layla, Scarlett, Aria, Zoe, Samantha, Audrey, Ariana, Allison, Savannah, Arianna, Camila, Penelope, Claire, Aaliyah, Riley, Skylar, Nora, Hailey, Kaylee, Paisley, Kennedy, Ellie, Peyton, Caroline, Serenity, Aubree, Alexis, Nevaeh, Stella, Violet, Mackenzie, Bella, Autumn, Mila, Kylie, Maya, Piper, Alyssa, Taylor, Eleanor, Melanie, Faith, Katherine, Brianna, Ashley, Ruby, Sophie, London, Lauren, Alice, Vivian, Hadley, Jasmine

Faith, Grace, Angela, Nevaeh, Natalie…all technically non-Biblical.

27%-73% is remarkably similar to both 25%-75% (smaller 2014 sample) and 30%-70% (1914 sample).

So here’s the question of the day: If you had to choose all of your children’s names from either one group or the other — Biblical names or non-Biblical names — which group would you stick to, and why?

Named Shirley? Join the Club.

Seriously — join the Shirley Club.

The Shirley Club, exclusively for people named Shirley, was created in Australia in 1996 by a woman named Shirley Brown.

More than 120 Shirleys showed up at the inaugural Shirley convention in Alice Springs in 2001, establishing a Guinness record for the most people with the same name in one place. (The record was soon broken by a Maria gathering Spain, then by a Mohammed gathering in Dubai.)

Here’s the website for original Shirley Club, and here’s the link to Shirley Club USA, founded in 2009 by Shirley Rose.

According to the Shirley Club USA FAQ, people with alternative spellings of the name are also eligible for membership: “Even if you spell it Shirlee, Shirlie or some other unique way, if you look up when someone calls out “Shirley”, then you qualify!”