How popular is the baby name Nydia 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 Nydia.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Nydia


Posts that Mention the Name Nydia

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

letters

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?

Where did the baby name Cherrill come from?

Charlie Chaplin and Virginia Cherrill in the movie "City Lights" (1931).
Charlie Chaplin & Virginia Cherrill in “City Lights

I had to follow yesterday’s post about Nydia with a post about Cherrill. Why? Because both names were inspired by fictional blind girls selling flowers. How random is that?

While Nydia came from a 19th-century book, Cherrill comes from a 20th-century film. But not just any film — one of the best romantic comedies of all time, according to those in the know.

The baby name Cherrill popped up in the SSA’s baby name data for the very first time in 1931. (This was more than a decade before the similar-sounding name Cheryl started becoming popular.)

  • 1933: 8 baby girls named Cherrill
  • 1932: 6 baby girls named Cherrill
  • 1931: 9 baby girls named Cherrill [debut]
  • 1930: unlisted
  • 1929: unlisted

The reason? Charlie Chaplin’s silent film City Lights, which was released in early 1931 and featured Hollywood newcomer Virginia Cherrill as a blind flower-seller (the romantic interest of Chaplin’s famous “Little Tramp” character).

Chaplin had auditioned many young actresses before he noticed twenty-year-old Virginia Cherrill when they both sat ringside at a boxing match at the Hollywood Legion Stadium. Although a beautiful blonde, it was the manner in which she coped with her near-sightedness that earned her the role.

Despite the fact that talkies had largely replaced silent films by 1931, City Lights did extremely well at the box office.

And the film has stood the test of time. In 1991, the Library of Congress inducted City Lights into the National Film Registry. In 2008, the American Film Institute ranked City Lights the #1 romantic comedy of all time.

Virginia Cherrill, who was born in Illinois in 1908, never aspired to be a film star. (She was only visiting California when she was spotted by Chaplin.) She appeared in several more films after City Lights, but stopped acting after marrying actor Cary Grant in 1934. (They divorced the next year. Grant went on to marry Barbara Hutton and become a father figure to Barbara’s son Lance.)

What do you think of the baby name Cherrill?

Sources:

The Baby Name Nydia

baby name nydia

The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in the year 79 A.D. buried a number of nearby communities, including the now-famous ancient city of Pompeii.

The city was forgotten for centuries, rediscovered in 1599, forgotten again, then rediscovered a second time in 1748. Excavations finally began in the mid-1700s, and the rest of the world soon came to know of Pompeii and its sad fate.

After Russian painter Karl Bryullov visited the ruins in 1828, he was inspired to create The Last Day of Pompeii (1830-1833), which depicts the destruction of Pompeii as Vesuvius erupts in the background. The massive painting (which measures 15 feet high by 21 feet long) became extremely popular.

English writer Edward Bulwer-Lytton (of “It was a dark and stormy night” fame) saw the painting while it was on display in Italy. It inspired him to write the book The Last Days of Pompeii (1834), which also became extremely popular.

One of the book’s main characters is a blind slave-girl named Nydia (pronounced NID-ee-ah) who sells flowers to earn money for her owner.

She’s a memorable, tragic character who has since been portrayed in other works of art, most notably the sculpture Nydia, the Blind Flower Girl of Pompeii (see above) by American sculptor Randolph Rogers. Here’s a description:

[Nydia] struggles forward to escape the dark volcanic ash and debris of Mount Vesuvius as it erupts and buries the ancient city of Pompeii. Clutching her staff and cupping hand to ear, she strains for sounds of Glaucus (a nobleman with whom she has fallen desperately in love) and his fiancée Ione. Accustomed to darkness, blind Nydia uses her acute hearing to find the two, leading them to safety at the shore; but in the end, despairing of the impossibility of her love, she drowns herself.

In the book, Nydia tells Ione that she originally came from Greece:

“What is your name, fair girl?”
“They call me Nydia.”
“Your country?”
“The land of Olympus–Thessaly.”

Her name was not used in ancient times, though, and the author doesn’t offer any clues about how he coined this (ostensibly Greek) name. Many sources echo the theory that the name Nydia was based on the Latin word nidus, meaning “nest,” but this shouldn’t be interpreted as fact.

So…has the literary name Nydia ever been used as a real-life baby name?

Yes, but the name has never been very common. Here’s the number of U.S. baby girls that have been given the baby name Nydia since the turn of the century:

  • 2014: 27 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2013: 16 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2012: 26 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2011: 30 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2010: 31 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2009: 29 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2008: 52 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2007: 53 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2006: 52 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2005: 53 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2004: 62 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2003: 69 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2002: 69 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2001: 72 baby girls named Nydia
  • 2000: 82 baby girls named Nydia

While a handful of people were named Nydia prior to the publication of Bulwer-Lytton’s book, consistent usage of the name began only after the book came out. Usage was at its highest during the last quarter of the 20th century. Even then, though, the name never managed to earn a spot among the top 1,000 girl names in the nation. Usage has been in decline ever since. (The spelling Nidia has followed a similar trajectory.)

So, not only is Nydia a relatively young name that originates in literature, it’s also a relatively rare name that’s reminiscent of more familiar options (like Lydia and Nadia). So it might be particularly appealing to parents who like literature names and/or “sweet spot” names (that is, names that are uncommon but not unheard of).

What do you think of the baby name Nydia?

Sources:

Image: Adapted from Full Length view of Nydia by Mary Harrsch under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.