How popular is the baby name Clifford in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Clifford.
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In late 1941, Clifford “Cliff” Olson — coach of the football team at Pacific Lutheran University (near Tacoma, Washington) — adopted a baby boy.
He and his wife Ella named the baby Marvin James.
The Marvin was for Olson’s two “Marvelous Marvs,” Tommervik and Harshman, graduating seniors and the big stars of Northwest small college football the past two years. Marv (Tommygun) Tommervik has won a halfback’s berth on the Associated Press football team both the past two years and Fullback Harshman honorable mention.
The James was for Dave James, Tacoma sports writer.
From 1939 to 1941, PLU went on an 18-game winning streak — including a “16-13 upset victory in 1940 over then-major college power Gonzaga [that] catapulted Pacific Lutheran into the national spotlight.”
Years ago, I discovered three documents with relatively complete lists of births for the city of Providence, Rhode Island, for the years 1866, 1867, and 1868. I’ve already created Providence’s baby name rankings for 1866 and 1867 using the first two documents, and today (finally!) I’ve got the third set of rankings for you.
Let’s start with some stats:
1,762 babies were born in Providence in 1868, by my count. According to the introduction of the document I’m using a source, however, the total number is 1,866. I don’t know how to account for this discrepancy.
1,617 of these babies (791 girls and 826 boys) had names that were known at the time of publication. The other 145 babies got blank spaces. Either their names hadn’t been registered yet, or they hadn’t been named yet, or perhaps these babies died young and never received a name.
284 unique names (143 girl names and 141 boy names) were shared among these 1,617 babies.
And now, on to the names!
A quick look at the top 5 girl names and boy names in Providence in 1868:
Top baby girl names
Top baby boy names
1. Mary 2. Catherine 3. Sarah 4. Ellen 5. Margaret
1. John 2. William 3. James 4. Charles 5. George
All Girl Names
Mary, 149 baby girls
Clara & Martha, 11 each (tie)
Hannah & Lucy, 10 each (tie)
Bridget, Grace, Jennie, Julia & Maria, 9 each (5-way tie)
Annie, Florence, Jane, Minnie & Susan, 8 each (5-way tie)
Agnes, Caroline, Cora, Ella & Harriet, 7 each (5-way tie)
The answer seems to be a cute 2-year-old named Gayleen Williams. In December of 1932, her photo ran in newspapers nation-wide. It was accompanied by captions like this one:
Little Gayleen Williams, just past two, is the “best all around girl” in Mormondom, according to judges at a recent baby show at Ogden, Utah, who fell victim to her smile, her dimples, and her pretty set of teeth. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Williams of Ogden.
Before I discovered baby Gayleen, my only guess on this name was a pair of vaudeville “acrobat dancers” called the Gaylene Sisters, who performed on tour and in at least one movie during the ’30s. The baby name Gaylene didn’t see an equivalent spike in usage in 1933, though.
Do you like the name Gayleen? Would you use it?
Source: “Best “All Around Girl” at Two.” Oil City Derrick 19 Dec. 1932: 3.
“Everly” is hot…”Beverly” is not. It’s a one-letter difference between fashionable and fusty.
If you’re sensitive to style, you’ll prefer Everly. It fits with today’s trends far better than Beverly does.
But if you’re someone who isn’t concerned about style, or prefers to go against style, then you may not automatically go for Everly. In fact, you may be more attracted to Beverly because it’s the choice that most modern parents would avoid.
If you’ve ever thought about intentionally giving your baby a dated name (like Debbie, Grover, Marcia, or Vernon) for the sake of uniqueness within his/her peer group — if you have no problem sacrificing style for distinctiveness — then this list is for you.
Years ago, the concept of “contrarian” baby names came up in the comments of a post about Lois. Ever since then, creating a collection of uncool/contrarian baby names has been on my to-do list.
Finally, last month, I experimented with various formulas for pulling unstylish baby names out of the SSA dataset. Keeping the great-grandparent rule in mind, I aimed for names that would have been fashionable among the grandparents of today’s babies. The names below are the best results I got.