Pert: Possible baby name?

Actress Pert Kelton (1907-1968)
Pert Kelton

Recently I’ve spotted several female movie characters named Pert:

  • Pert Martin in the movie Take It Big (1944)
  • Pert (no surname) in the movie Danger! Women at Work (1943)
  • Pert Kelly in the movie Why Be Good? (1929)
  • Pert Barlow in the movies Gold Heels (1924), Checkers (1919), and Checkers (1913)

There was also a movie actress named Pert Kelton who appeared in a number of comedies during the 1930s. In fact, Pert Kelton was named after the Checkers character Pert Barlow — whose real first name, according to the book, was Persis.

Despite this occasional usage of “Pert” for females in early Hollywood, the name never caught on. It has never appeared in the U.S. baby name data (for either gender), and the small amount of usage I’m seeing in the records tends to be masculine (perhaps associated with the forename Rupert, or the family name Pert).

I’m a little surprised there haven’t been more girls named Pert, given the vocabulary word’s pleasing definitions (such as “lively,” “alert,” and “attractive”). In this era of word-names (e.g., Brave, Valor, Moxie, Sassy), do you think Pert has a place? Would you use it?

Sources: Pert Kelton – Wikipedia, Pert – Wiktionary

Image: Adapted from Pert Kelton 1942 (public domain)

3 thoughts on “Pert: Possible baby name?

  1. I’ve liked Pert since catching a movie starring Pert Kelton on TCM a few years ago. I had no idea about any of this information, so I found this post really interesting! Love the suggestion of Perpetua nicknamed Pert.

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