Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: Letter I

In need of an uncommon girl name with an old-fashioned feel?

Here’s the next installment in the early cinema series: a list of rare female I-names associated with the initial decades of the motion pictures (1910s to 1940s).

For those names that have seen enough usage to appear in the SSA data, I’ve included links to popularity graphs.

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Ianthe
Ianthe Dorland was a character played by actress Virginia Field in the film The Primrose Path (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Ianthe.

Idalene
Idalene Nobbin was a character played by actress Colleen Moore in the film The Wall Flower (1922).

Idina
Idina Bland was a character played by actress Fanny Ferrari in the film Passion’s Playground (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Idina.

Idy
Idy Peters was a character played by actress Irene Rich in the film They Had to See Paris (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Idy.

Ilani
Ilani was a character played by actress Maria Montez in the film Moonlight in Hawaii (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilani.

Ilanu
Ilanu was a character played by actress Raquel Torres in the film Aloha (1931).

Ilda
Ilda was a character name in multiple films, including Rasputin, the Black Monk (1917) and Darkest Russia (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilda.

Ilka
Ilka Chase was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1960s. She was born in New York in 1905. Ilka was also a character name in multiple films, including Ambassador Bill (1931) and The President’s Mystery (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilka.

Ilma
Ilma was a character name in multiple films, including The Game of Life (short, 1915) and The Seven Pearls (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilma.

Ilona
Ilona Massey was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1950s. She was born in Hungary in 1910. Ilona was also a character name in multiple films, including Ilona (1921) and The Stolen Bride (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilona.

Ilonka
Ilonka was a character played by actress Elena Verdugo in the film House of Frankenstein (1944).

Ilsa
Ilsa Lund was a character played by actress Ingrid Bergman in the film Casablanca (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilsa (which debuted in the data in 1943).

Ilse
Ilse Wagner was a character played by actress Ruth Robinson in the film The Match King (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Ilse.

Immada
Immada was a character played by actress Laska Winter in the film The Rescue (1929).

Imogene
Imogene was a character name in multiple films, including Retribution (short, 1913) and They Won’t Forget (1937).

Imperia
Imperia was a character played by actress Phyllis Haver in the film Don Juan (1926).

Ina
Ina Claire was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in Washington, D.C., in 1893. Ina was also a character played by actress Arlette Marchal in the film Forlorn River (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Ina.

Inah
Inah Dunbar was a character played by actress Ann Forrest in the film Her Decision (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Inah.

Inda
Independence “Inda” Palmer was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in Ohio on July 4, 1853.

  • Usage of the baby name Inda.

Indora
Indora was a character played by actress Colleen Moore in the film The Devil’s Claim (1920).

Inga
Inga was a character played by actress Carol Dempster in the film Isn’t Life Wonderful (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Inga.

Iola
Iola was a character name in multiple films, including Iola’s Promise (short, 1912) and The Heart of a Lion (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Iola.

Iolante
Iolante was a character played by actress Maude Fealy in the short film King Rene’s Daughter (1913).

Iolanthe
Iolanthe McSwatt was a character played by actress Flora Finch in the short film There’s Music in the Hair (1913).

Ione
Ione Holmes was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. She was born in the U.S. in 1890. Ione was also a character name in multiple films, including The Flirt and the Bandit (short, 1913) and The Last Days of Pompeii (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Ione.

Iphigenie
Iphigenie Castiglioni was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1960s. She was born in Austria-Hungary in 1895.

Iras
Iras was a character name in multiple films, including Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925) and Cleopatra (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Iras.

Irena
Irena was a character name in multiple films, including The Fall of the Romanoffs (1917) and Mark of the Vampire (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Irena.

Irenya
Irenya was a character played by actress Marjorie Daw in the short film The Unafraid (1915).

Irmingarde
Princess Irmingarde was a character played by actress Lillian Drew in the short film Every Inch a King (1914).

Isambeau
Isambeau was a character played by actress Lillian Leighton in the film Joan the Woman (1916).

Ishya
Ishya was a character played by actress Burnu Acquanetta in the film Arabian Nights (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Ishya.

Isobelle
Princess Isobelle was a character played by actress Mary Fuller in the short film The Master Mummer (1915).

Isola
Isola was a character name in multiple films, including The Nightingale (1914) and Thunder Island (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Isola.

Isolla
Isolla was a character played by actress Marion Leonard in the short film The Awakening of Donna Isolla (1914).

Istra
Princess Istra was a character played by actress Marguerite Courtot in the film Bound and Gagged (1919).

Ivis
Ivis was a character name in multiple films, including The Glorious Lady (1919) and Three Live Ghosts (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Ivis.

Izette
Izette was a character played by actress Lillian Leighton in the short film A Detective’s Strategy (1912).

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Which of the above I-names do you like best?

Source: IMDb

Uplifting Baby Names

I have a soft spot for word names with inspiring definitions. I love how they can often double as one-word mantras.

So here are five word names with two things in common. First, each one has appeared in the U.S. data within the last few years. And, second, each one has a definition pertaining to height or upward movement — which signifies, to me, motivating concepts like progress* and improvement.

Click the links to see the popularity graphs.

  • Summit means “peak” or “highest point.” It can be traced back to the Latin word summus, meaning “highest.”
  • Meridian can mean “highest point” by way of its literal meaning, “mid-day,” from the Latin word meridianum (medius, “middle,” plus dies, “day”). Mid-day is when the sun is at its highest point.
  • Zenith, in astronomy, refers to the point in the sky vertically above a given position and, by extension, means “peak” or “highest point.” The origin is an an Arabic phrase meaning “the way over the head.”
  • Crown can refer to the “top part” of various things (a head, a hill, a hat, an arch, etc.) by extension of its best-known definition, “royal headdress.”
  • Rise means “to move upwards.” It was derived from the Old English word risan, which essentially had the same meaning. (Don’t confuse Rise with Risë!)

Which of the above would you be most likely to use as a baby name? Can you think of any similar names you’d add to the list?

*Progress itself has been used as a name before — it popped up in Alberta data just recently — but it has yet to appear in the U.S. data.

Source: Online Etymology Dictionary

Five Name Friday: Girl name for Rehmi’s Sister

It’s Five-Name Friday! Here’s today’s baby name request:

We are having a girl this time around and want something uncommon (we already have an Asa and a Rehmi). We really like old names and short names but are open to anything.

Can you come up with five great baby name suggestions for this person?

Here are the rules:

  • Be independent. Choose your five names before looking at anyone else’s five names.
  • Be sincere. Stick to legit recommendations you would offer a real-life friend.
  • Five names total in your comment. If you go over, I’ll have to delete the extras.

Which five baby names are you going to suggest?

[You can also send me your own 2-sentence baby name request using the contact form.]

Visionary Baby Names for 2020

Most of the babies conceived during 2019 will be delivered during 2020 — a year that happens to mirror “20/20,” the term we use for perfect vision. It’s such a strong association that, just for fun, I put together a list of vision-related baby names for all those parents anticipating the arrival of 2020 babies…

  • Aisling, Irish, “vision” or “dream.”
  • Basar, Arabic, “sight.”
  • Butta-kuz, Mongolian, “camel eyes.” Implies “wide, beautiful eyes” like Maha and Najla, below.
  • Charopus, ancient Greek, “glad-eyed” or “bright-eyed.” Also spelled Charops.
  • Daisy, from Old English dægeseage, “day’s eye.” Daisies open during the day and close at night.
  • Drishti, Hindi, “gaze.”
  • Hawkeye, originally a character in The Last of the Mohicans (1826).
  • Hitomi, Japanese, “pupil [of the eye].” Can mean other things as well, though, depending on the kanji.
  • Lochan/Lochana, Hindi, “eye.”
  • Maha, Arabic, “wide, beautiful eyes.” Refers to either wild cow eyes or oryx eyes specifically.
  • Maka, Hawaiian, “eyes.” Also: Namaka, “the eyes,” and Makanui, “big eyes.”
  • Mantius/Manto (masc./fem.), from ancient Greek mantis, “seer, prophet.”
  • Najla, Arabic, “wide, beautiful eyes.” Refers to either wild cow eyes or oryx eyes specifically. Also spelled Nagla.
  • Nayan, Hindi, “eye.”
  • Nayra, Aymara, “eye,” “sight,” or “past.”
  • Nazir, Arabic, “observant” or “spectator.” Can mean other things as well, though.
  • Panope/Panopea, ancient Greek, “all-seeing.”
  • Rana, Arabic, “eye-catching.”
  • Ruya, Arabic, “vision” or “dream.”
  • Sibyl, ancient Greek, “prophetess.” Also spelled Sybil.
  • Sullivan, Irish, “descendant of the little dark-eyed one.”
  • Tarisai, Shona, “look at, behold.”
  • Vision, which began appearing in the U.S. baby name data nearly 20 years ago.

And, finally, a few Esperanto words that could potentially be used as baby names:

  • Vidi, “see.”
  • Vidinda, “worth seeing.”
  • Vido, “sight, view.”
  • Vizio, “vision.”

Which of the names above do you like best?

If you’re expecting a baby in 2020, will you consider using a vision-themed baby name?

Five Name Friday: Boy Name for Zion’s Brother

It’s Five-Name Friday! Here is today’s baby name request:

We’re expecting our third child, and I’ve got a feeling we’ll end up with another boy. The older children are named Zion and Isaiah, but there’s no need stick to biblical names.

Can you come up with five solid baby name suggestions for this person?

Here are the rules:

  • Be independent. Choose your five names before looking at anyone else’s five names.
  • Be sincere. Stick to legit recommendations you would offer a real-life friend.
  • Five names total in your comment. If you go over, I will have to delete the extras.

Which five baby names are you going to suggest?

[You can also send me your own 2-sentence baby name request using the contact form.]