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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Wilhelmina

Number of Babies Named Wilhelmina

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Wilhelmina

Poll: Favorite “Feminine Blend”?

Nope, this isn’t a post about a pink smoothies. “Feminine blend” was a phrase Henry Louis (H. L.) Mencken used in his 1921 book The American Language to describe a female name created by blending two other names together. Here are the feminine blends he lists:

Adelloyd
(Addie + Lloyd)

Adnelle
(Addison + Nellie)

Adrielle
(Adrienne + Belle)

Armina
(Ardelia + Wilhelmina)

Bethene
(Elizabeth + Christine)

Birdene
(Birdie + Pauline)

Charline
(Charles + Pauline)

Leilabeth
(Leila + Elizabeth)

Lunette
(Luna + Nettie)

Marjette
(Marjorie + Henrietta)

Maybeth
(May + Elizabeth)

Olabelle
(Ola + Isabel)

Olouise
(Olive + Louise)

Romiette
(Romeo + Juliette)

Rosella
(Rose + Bella)

If you had to use one of the above in real life, which one would you choose?

Favorite "feminine blend"?

View Results

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Source: H. L. Mencken. The American Language. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1921.


More Names from Boston Burials – Ziba, Buttolph, Fear

Granary, Boston
Granary Burying Ground, Boston
Last month I posted about interesting names that can be found at King’s Chapel Burying Ground, one of the two cemeteries on Boston’s Freedom Trail.

Today let’s check out interesting names that can be found at the other cemetery on the Trail, Granary Burying Ground (est. 1660).

Here’s what I spotted (using a book of inscriptions):

  • A: Azor, Appoline, Adelbart, Adino, Adna, Affia, Albion, Alfrena, Alithere (female), Alletta, Angalesa, Anjennette, Areton, Aroline, Atsey, Avid
  • B: Barachiah, Bethulia, Buttolph
  • C: Cassander, Clarenia, Collford, Cornwall, Crispus (Crispus Attucks), Cushing
  • D: Danforth, Dering, Duty (male)
  • E: Egatha, Electa, Eudoxa, Euphaime, Eustis
  • F: Fessenden, Fitzwilliam, Fear, Fidealia
  • G: Gad, Geradine, Grisell
  • J: Jacquith, Jenevie, Jennet, Jocastia
  • K: Knight
  • L: Laban, Lately, Lisley, Llewellyn, Lodusky (female), Loungo
  • M: Mahala, Malvina, Maranda, Melatiah (female), Metcalf, Moody
  • N: Nahum
  • O: Olimpia, Olander, Onesiphorus, Orinda, Ozias
  • P: Patterick, Peace (male), Pearly, Peletiah, Pepperell, Peregrin, Person, Philobeth (male), Phineas, Pilgrim, Plummer, Prosillo (female)
  • R: Rasilla, Reconcile, Roxana (“from Roxbury”)
  • S: Samartha, Seath, Seferanna, Sophronia, Stoddard, Stanhope, Sylvender
  • T: Tamer, Theophilus, Thusia, Trueman
  • W: Waitstill, Welthea, Wilhelmina, Winthrop
  • Z: Zera, Ziba (male)

All of the above were listed just once. Notable names that appeared more than once in the book include Almira/Elmira, Bathsheba, Dewitt, Doritha, Elbridge, Epes (relatives of Epes Sargent), Gamaliel, Gershom, Gillam, Increase, Jotham, Keziah, Louisiana, Mehitable/Mehetable, Nabby, Pamelia/Permelia, Persis, Rozamond/Rozamund, Silence, Sylvanus and Tamzen.

Source: Gravestone inscriptions and records of tomb burials in the Granary Burying Ground, Boston, Mass. (1918) by Ogden Codman

Princess Baby Names – Beatrix, Irene, Margriet, Maria

Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands had a total of 4 children, all girls:

  1. Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard (b. January, 1938)
  2. Irene Emma Elisabeth (b. August, 1939)
  3. Margriet Francisca (b. January, 1943)
  4. Maria Christina “Marijke” (b. February, 1947)

The middle daughters were both named with current events in mind:

  • Irene, born just before World War II began, was named after the Greek goddess of peace. According to Prince Bernhard, “we chose Irene, which means peace, because of the serious international situation.” Here’s how one newspaper put it:

    So now against all the war machines and bombers and the marching millions, there stands a little baby, named Irene, to personify the tiny hope that lies within the hearts of the millions, the hope of peace.

  • Margriet, born during WWII, “was named after the marguerite flower, the national symbol of resistance [to Nazi Germany] in the Netherlands.” (The family was taking refuge in Canada during the war, and her hospital room “was decreed to be Dutch territory for the occasion so that the princess would be a Dutch citizen.”)

Which of these two names do you like more, Irene or Margriet?

Sources:

  • “Baby Princess Carried to Birth Registration.” Montreal Gazette 8 Aug. 1939: 7.
  • Goddard, Lance. Canada and the Liberation of the Netherlands, May 1945. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2005.
  • “So They Named Her Irene.” Meriden Daily Journal 18 Aug. 1939: 6.

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

Multiple Middle Names

Many babies born into the British upper class are bestowed with a string of given names.

But it wasn’t always this way.

Centuries ago, multiple middles were unheard of. They began creeping in only when “two names had ceased to be a distinction.” The trend started at the very top:

The court again set the example, and in 1738, George III was baptized by the names George William Frederic. But for many years this fashion was regarded as too absurd for Englishmen to follow.

This explains why, when John Dawnay, 4th Viscount Downe, gave his firstborn two middles in 1764 he was ridiculed by fellow society member George “Gilly” Williams:

Downe’s child is to be christened this evening. The sponsors I know not, but his three names made me laugh not a little, John Christopher Burton. I wish to God, when he arrives at the years of puberty, he may marry Mary Josephina Antonietta Bentley.

Oliver Goldsmith mocked the fad as well with the character Carolina Wilhelmina Amelia Skeggs in his novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1766).

But, as we all know, the fad stuck. Despite the detractors.

I’ve posted about British WWI officers with names like Berkeley George Andrew and Frederick Charles Doveton.

And Prince William, married just the other day, has three middle names: Arthur, Philip and Louis. So does his brother, Prince Harry: Charles, Albert and David.

Do you know anyone with more than one middle name? (No problem if the person isn’t British and/or a member of the upper class.)

Sources:

  • Bardsley, Charles Wareing Endell. Curiosities of Puritan Nomenclature. London: Chatto & Windus, 1897.
  • Jesse, John Heneage. George Selwyn and His Contemporaries. Vol. 1. London: John C. Nimmo, 1901.

Baby Names Needed for Fraternal Twins, Boy & Girl

A reader named Abby is expecting fraternal twins, a boy and a girl, in October. She and her husband already have a son named Leo Sebastian.

They’re aiming for vintage names (with kind of a quirky/British feel) that aren’t too popular. These are their favorites so far, top picks in italics.

Boy Names Girl Names
Her Picks: Edward (Teddy)
Henry
Jasper
Jude
Maxwell (Max)
Oliver
Alice
Elsa (Elsie)
Ivy
Juliet
Violet
His Picks: August (Auggie/Gus)
Dashiell (Dash)
Beatrix
Felicity
Matilda
Penelope (Nellie)
Ramona

Abby says, “He thinks mine are slightly boring, I think his are a tad too flamboyant.”

They’d like our opinions on two things:

  1. What other boy and girl names would we suggest?
  2. Out of the current favorites, what are the best pairings?

The twins’ surname will be similar to Waters.

Here are my thoughts…

1. First, name suggestions. Most of these names have a vintage feel, and none of are currently in the top 100 (though several are heading that way).

Boy Names Girl Names
Archer
Byron
Calvin
Elias
Felix
Gideon
Graham
Grant
Heath
Hugh
Niles
Oscar
Pierce
Roman
Rufus
Seth
Silas
Simon
Theodore (Teddy)
Tobias
Adele/Adeline
Camille
Cecily
Celia
Corinne
Daphne
Eloise
Esme
Eugenia
Flora
Hazel
Helena
Iris
Jane
Josephine
Marion
Millicent (Millie)
Nicola
Rosamund
Stella

I didn’t include any w-names, but I was tempted to throw in Willa and Winifred (Winnie). Maybe even Wilhelmina (Minnie).

2. Out of the current favorites, Henry and Penelope are the two I like best for twins. I also like Maxwell and Beatrix (because both have that quirky x).

What other names/pairings would you suggest to Abby?

Baby Name Needed – Girl Name for Genevieve’s Sister

A reader named Jen has a daughter named Genevieve Grace. She’s now expecting her second daughter and she’d like some baby name ideas. She writes:

[W]e are looking for another delicate, feminine, pretty name that is not over used, is traditional, and goes well with our last name. So far we like Penelope, but I don’t know if I’m sold on that or not.

The baby’s surname starts with D and has just one syllable, so Jen would like the baby’s first name to contain at least two syllables. (And end with something other than D, probably.)

Here are some names that I think might work:

Anastasia
Angeline
Aurelia
Beatrice
Cassandra
Clarice
Claudia
Clementine
Coralie
Cordelia
Cynthia
Eleanor
Eloise
Eugenia/Eugenie
Evangeline
Frances/Francesca
Harriet
Helena/Helen
Isadora
Johanna
Josephine
Letitia
Lucinda
Lydia
Marguerite
Marianne
Marlena
Meredith
Miriam
Oriana
Sophronia
Sylvia
Tatiana
Theodora
Theresa
Valencia
Venetia
Vivienne
Wilhelmina

Which of the above do you like best with Genevieve? What other girl names would you suggest to Jen?