Mystery Monday: The Baby Name Versie

According to the U.S. baby name data, one of the fastest-rising baby names of 1894 was the girl name Versie. The SSDI similarly indicates a spike in the usage of Versie in 1894.

Usage of Versie (SSA)Usage of Versie (SSDI)
189616 baby girls16 people
18957 baby girls14 people
189421 baby girls21 people
18935 baby girls11 people
1892unlisted7 people

What caused it?

I’m not sure! I’ve tried searching for an explanation, but so far I’ve come up short.

The 1894 spike isn’t related to the usage of the similar name Versa (which disappeared from the data that year, in fact). And I haven’t found any news stories or pop culture from that era that would have spotlighted the name.

All I can tell you is that, according to the records I’ve seen, usage was primarily in the South (in states like Texas, Georgia, Arkansas, and Tennessee). Also, usage was primarily in white families, though I did find Versies in African-American families as well.

Any ideas on this one?

P.S. Incidentally, versie means “version” in Dutch.

2 thoughts on “Mystery Monday: The Baby Name Versie

  1. Could be an alternative spelling for Versailles. Depending on the area of the south I could absolutely see it being pronounced Ver-sy instead of Ver-see.

  2. @A. Waguespack – That’s an interesting theory! I’m looking for “Versailles” being spotlighted somewhere (e.g., news, literature) in 1893-1894, though, and so far I’m not finding anything.

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