How popular is the baby name Elinor 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 Elinor.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Elinor

Posts that Mention the Name Elinor

Inconspicuous anagram baby names: Blake/Kaleb, Hale/Leah


I recently updated my old anagram baby names post to make it much more comprehensive. As I worked on it, though, I noticed that many of those sets of names had obvious similarities, such as the same first letters and/or the same rhythm.

So I thought I’d make a second, shorter list of anagram names that were less conspicuously similar. Specifically, I wanted the second list to feature sets of names with different first letters and different numbers of syllables.

And that’s what you’ll find below — pairs of anagram names that are relatively distinct from one another. So much so that, at first glance (or listen), some might not even strike you as being anagrammatic at all. :)

Click on any name to check out its popularity graph…

Most of the names above have a clear number of syllables, but a few do not. (I categorized them according to my own interpretation/accent.) So, if you’re interested in using any of these pairings, just remember to test the names out loud first!

Which of the pairs above do you like best?

Starlet names from the early 1900s

WAMPAS baby stars 1928

Ever heard of the WAMPAS Baby Stars?

They were young actresses on the cusp of movie stardom back in the 1920s and 1930s.

About 13 Baby Stars were selected by the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers every year from 1922 to 1934 (minus 1930 and 1933).

Some of those young women did indeed achieve stardom. Among the Baby Stars were Clara Bow (’24), Mary Astor (’26), Joan Crawford (’26), Fay Wray (’26) and Ginger Rogers (’32).

I thought the names of the Baby Stars — the oldest of whom were born in the final years of the 1800s, the youngest of whom were born in the mid-1910s — would make an interesting set. But I wanted birth names, not stage names, so I tracked down as many birth names as I could. Here’s the result, sorted by frequency (i.e., seven women were named Dorothy).

  • 7: Dorothy
  • 6: Helen
  • 4: Elizabeth
  • 3: Frances, Ruth, Virginia
  • 2: Anita, Ann, Barbara, Betty, Clara, Doris, Dorothea, Eleanor, Evelyn, Gladys, Gwendolyn, Hazel, Jacqueline, Katherine, Laura, Louise, Lucille, Margaret, Maria, Marian, Marie, Marion, Mary, Patricia, Violet
  • 1: Adamae, Alberta, Alma, Anne, Audrey, Augusta, Blanche, Carmelita, Caryl, Constance, Derelys, Dolores, Duane, Edna, Eleanor, Ena, Enriqueta, Ethel, Ethlyne, Evalyn, Flora, Gisela, Gloria, Gretchen, Hattie, Helene, Ina, Ingeborg, Jacquiline, Jean, Joan, Jobyna, Josephine, Juanita, Julanne, Kathleen, Kathryn, Kitty, Launa, Laurette, Lena, Lenore, Lilian, Lola, Lu Ann, Lucile, Madeline, Marceline, Martha, Mildred, Myrna, Natalia, Natalie, Nellie, Neoma, Olive, Olivia, Patsy, Rita, Rochelle, Rose, Sally, Suzanne, Sidney, Toshia, Vera, Vina

And here are the leftover stage names:

  • 5: Sally
  • 4: Mary
  • 3: Joan, June
  • 2: Betty, Jean, Judith, Pauline
  • 1: Alice, Bessie, Boots, Claire, Colleen, Dolores, Dorothy, Elinor, Evelyn, Fay, Frances, Gigi, Ginger, Gladys, Gloria, Gwen, Iris, Janet, Joyce, Julie, Karen, Kathleen, Lila, Lina, Lois, Lona, Loretta, Lucille, Lupe, Marian, Molly, Mona, Natalie, Patricia, Sue

(Often stage names were the real-life middle names of these women.)

Finally, a few interesting details:

  • “Derelys” was Derelys Perdue, whose first name at birth was actually Geraldine. I’m not sure how she came up with her stage name, but, in March of 1923, her film studio (FBO) tried to re-rename her “Ann.” (They’d sponsored a name contest in a magazine called Film Fun. The winner got $50.) Derelys brought an injunction against the studio in April to prevent the name change from happening, and the story ended up in the newspapers. This extra visibility is likely what boosted the name Derelys into the U.S. baby name data for the first and only time in 1924.
  • “Jobyna” was Jobyna Ralston, who was named for actress Jobyna Howland, daughter of a man named Joby Howland. The name Jobyna debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1927.
  • “Lina” was Lina Basquette, who I mentioned in last week’s name quote post.
  • “Sidney” was Sidney Fox, a female who was given the name Sidney long before the name (in particular, the spelling Sydney) became trendy for baby girls.

Which of all the names listed above do you like best? Why?


How did “Gone with the Wind” influence baby names?

The character Melanie Hamilton (played by Olivia de Havilland) from the movie "Gone with the Wind" (1939).
Melanie from “Gone with the Wind

We already know that Gone with the Wind had an effect on the usage of Scarlett and Tara. But what other baby names did it influence?

The main character, Scarlett O’Hara, had sisters named Suellen (a contraction of “Susan Elinor”) and Carreen (“Caroline Irene”). She also had a a sister-in-law named Melanie Hamilton. All three of these names were given a double-boost by Gone with the Wind — first, after the release of the book in mid-1936, and, second, after the release of the film in late 1939.


Here’s the U.S. usage of the name Suellen. (In the movie, the character was played by actress Evelyn Keyes.)

  • 1942: 144 baby girls named Suellen
  • 1941: 159 baby girls named Suellen [peak]
  • 1940: 141 baby girls named Suellen
  • 1939: 40 baby girls named Suellen
  • 1938: 31 baby girls named Suellen
  • 1937: 30 baby girls named Suellen
  • 1936: 5 baby girls named Suellen [debut]
  • 1935: unlisted
  • 1934: unlisted

The name saw peak usage in 1941 — also the year that variant form Sueellen debuted. After that, usage petered out.


Here’s the U.S. usage of the name Carreen. (In the movie, the character was played by actress Ann Rutherford.)

  • 1942: unlisted
  • 1941: 8 baby girls named Carreen
  • 1940: 6 baby girls named Carreen
  • 1939: unlisted
  • 1938: unlisted
  • 1937: 8 baby girls named Carreen [debut]
  • 1936: unlisted
  • 1935: unlisted
  • 1934: unlisted

The name Carreen appeared in the data a few more times in the ’60s and ’70s, but that’s it. Interestingly, the variant form Careen, which debuted in 1936, has seen more usage in the U.S. overall.


Here’s the U.S. usage of the name Melanie from the mid-’30s to the early ’40s. (In the movie, the character was played by actress Olivia de Havilland.)

  • 1942: 388 baby girls named Melanie
  • 1941: 308 baby girls named Melanie
  • 1940: 200 baby girls named Melanie
  • 1939: 57 baby girls named Melanie
  • 1938: 53 baby girls named Melanie
  • 1937: 39 baby girls named Melanie
  • 1936: 13 baby girls named Melanie
  • 1935: 9 baby girls named Melanie
  • 1934: 9 baby girls named Melanie

The name Melanie is quite old — it comes from an ancient Greek word meaning “black” or “dark” — but its usage was revived by Gone with the Wind. It went on to crack the top 100 for the first time in 1968 and has been popular ever since. It ranked 82nd in 2010.

Where did the baby name Morella come from in 1923?

The characters Theodora and Hector (played by Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino) from the movie "Beyond the Rocks" (1922)
Theodora and Hector from “Beyond the Rocks

The rare name Morella has only appeared in the U.S. baby name data a handful of times, starting in 1923:

  • 1925: unlisted
  • 1924: unlisted
  • 1923: 5 baby girls named Morella [debut]
  • 1922: unlisted
  • 1921: unlisted

Data from the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) shows a similarly small spike in usage that year:

  • 1925: 2 people with the first name Morella
  • 1924: 0 people with the first name Morella
  • 1923: 5 people with the first name Morella
  • 1922: 0 people with the first name Morella
  • 1921: 1 people with the first name Morella

What was the influence?

A secondary character from the silent film Beyond the Rocks (1922), which happens to be the only movie that featured Rudolph Valentino and Gloria Swanson together as co-stars.

The main character, Theodora (played by Swanson), was a young woman trapped in a loveless marriage to an middle-aged millionaire. She couldn’t help but fall in love with the dashing Hector, Lord Bracondale (played by Valentino) — especially after he rescued her twice (first from drowning, then from falling off a cliff in the Alps).

Morella Winmarleigh (played by Gertrude Astor), however, wished to have Hector all to herself. So, toward the end of the film, she tried to thwart their relationship by retrieving two of Theodora’s outgoing letters — one to Hector, the other to the millionaire husband — and switching the contents before returning them to the mailbox.

Though Morella wasn’t one of the good guys in the film, audiences would have seen her unusual name on-screen repeatedly, thanks to the intertitles. And that was enough to have a slight influence on U.S. baby names. (The names Hector and Theodora, both of which ranked well inside the top 1,000 in the early 1920s, were seemingly unaffected.)

The film was based on the romance novel Beyond the Rocks (1906) by Elinor Glyn.

What are your thoughts on the name Morella?

Sources: Beyond the Rocks (1922) – TCM, Beyond the Rocks (film) – Wikipedia, SSA