“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.
Katinka, Sari, Ella, Mici, Terka, Liza and Klara were the names of the seven sisters in the lost silent film The Seven Sisters (1915), which was based on a Hungarian play.
A 1916 advertisement for the movie, which was a vehicle for silent film actress Marguerite Clark, offered the following summary:
The story is as simple and as sweet and dainty as Little Marguerite herself. She is the fourth of a family of seven sisters. Under an old Hungarian marriage law she must not marry until the elder sisters have gone off. How she and her lover clear the way with the aid of that young man’s marriageable friends affords scope for some delightful comedy amid the quaintest and most beautiful old-world surroundings ever portrayed.
The names Katinka, Sari, Ella, Mici, Terka, Liza and Klara are Hungarian versions (or diminutives of Hungarian versions) of the names Katherine, Sarah, Eleanor (or some other El- or -ella name), Mitzi, Theresa, Elizabeth and Clara.
And now for today’s question…which Hungarian girl name do you like best? Why?
Bacon, George Vaux. “Seven Sisters.” Photoplay Magazine Sept. 1915: 112-120.
If you’re a huge Oz fan — or just a fan of old-fashioned names generally — here’s a list of (most of) the people who played Munchkins in the legendary 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz”:
Adam Albert Arnold August Bela Bernard Billy (2) Carl (2) Carlos Charles (4) Charley Clarence Colonel Dominick Eddie Elmer Emil Eugene Eulie Frank (3) Franklin Franz Fredreich Garland George (2) Gerard Gus Harry Harvey Henry Howard Jack Jakob (2) James (2) Jimmie Jessie John (2) Johnny (3) Joseph (2) Karl Kurt Lajos Leon Lewis Matjus Matthew Meinhardt Mickey Murray Nels Nicholas Parnell Prince Robert Sandor Theodore Tommy Victor Walter Willi William (2)
Addie Alta Ann Betty (2) Carolyn Charlotte Christie Dolly Donna Elizabeth Elly Elsie Emma Ethel Eva Fern Freda Frieda Gertrude Gladys (2) Gracie Hazel (2) Helen (2) Hilda (2) Hildred Jeane Joan Josefine Leona Lida Lillian Margaret (3) Marguerite Marie Mitzi Nita Nona Olga Patsy Priscilla Ruth (2) Shirley Stella Thaisa Valerie Viola Yvonne
While the majority of the 132 Munchkins in the film were played by little people, a handful of the female Munchkins were actually played by child actresses.
I read something about actress/singer/dancer Mitzi Gaynor today, and it prompted me to take a look at the data for the baby name Mitzi, which barely ranked in the top 1,000 most years of the 1940s, then suddenly became popular in the early 1950s:
1954: 358 baby girls named Mitzi [rank: 468th]
1953: 305 baby girls named Mitzi [rank: 499th]
1952: 212 baby girls named Mitzi [rank: 597th]
1951: 98 baby girls named Mitzi [rank: 933rd]
1950: 101 baby girls named Mitzi [rank: 887th]
Gaynor’s first films came out in the early 1950s, and the name correspondingly jumped in usage from 1951 to 1953.
She retired from films in the early ’60, and the name consequently dropped out of the top 500 in 1965.
When Mitzi Gaynor was born in Chicago in 1931, she was given a much longer name: Francesca Marlene de Czanyi von Gerber. (She’s of Hungarian extraction.)
“Mitzi” was her childhood nickname, and “Gaynor” was chosen for her at the start of her career:
[A]t 17, Mitzi Gerber was signed to a seven-year deal at 20th Century Fox. She recalled that a producer there thought her name sounded like a delicatessen, “so he said, ‘How about Gaynor, [like] Janet Gaynor?’ My father loved it.”
What are your thoughts on the baby name Mitzi? Would you use it?