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Parenting

Unusual Baby Names Parents Picked 100 Years Ago

Parents in 1918 chose names like Hymen, Wealthy, Virgin and Lawyer.

A well-known rule of baby naming says that it takes about 100 years for a name to come back into fashion. That’s why we recently wrote a list of century-old names that are ready for a revival.

But not every vintage name is destined to be revived. We don’t predict the return of Hyman, for instance. Or Normal. Or Butler. Or Rube. Or Walburga. All these names were in use in 1918, given to at least five babies born that year, but that’s not the case today.

They’re not alone. Nameberry analyzed Social Security data to discover over 5,000 names that were given to babies a century ago but have now gone extinct.

Some of these names were relatively obscure names, like Tsuyako and Mieczyslaw. Others were unusual variant spellings of names that have declined in popularity, like Ulysees and Lauraine. A few are usable, or even elegant.

But a lot of them are just plain funny to us now. We combed through the list to find the most interesting and hilarious of these extinct names from 1918 — and couldn’t whittle it down to fewer than 200. Here they are, in all their glory, along with the number of children given each name in 1918:

Damned by Faint Praise

Apparently a lot of parents in 1918 wanted to set achievable expectations for their kids.

Constant: 20 boys

Bland: 14 boys

Pleasant: 12 boys

Normal: 10 boys

Carless: 7 boys

Square: 6 boys

Vanilla: 6 girls

Terms of Endearment

Some of these are now so outmoded, you wouldn’t even use them in conversation, much less as a legal first name.

Buddie: 33 boys

Budd: 23 boys

Girlie: 14 girls

Sweetie: 9 girls

Milady: 8 girls

Doll: 6 girls

Bunny: 6 girls

Chick: 6 boys

Miladie: 5 girls

Ruined By Pop Culture

For every Atticus and Khaleesi that make it big after being featured in fiction, there are five Boos and Tyrions that are sullied by the spotlight.

Hedwig: 159 girls

Garfield: 119 boys

Alf: 32 boys

Lassie: 29 girls

Gilmore: 25 boys

Rosebud: 22 girls

Simpson: 22 boys

Holmes: 20 boys

Bilbo: 11 boys

Cinderella: 7 girls

Hey, Man!

This is just a small sampling of the many, many -man names in common use a century ago.

Furman: 73 boys

Newman: 58 boys

Dorman: 44 boys

Ferman: 25 boys

Lehman: 17 boys

Rodman: 16 boys

Quitman: 12 boys

Hickman: 10 boys

Goldman: 7 boys

Layman: 7 boys

Wellman: 7 boys

Willman: 6 boys

Stillman: 6 boys

Redman: 5 boys

Beyond Bertha

Ironically, the phrase Big Bertha, which was instrumental in depopularizing the name Bertha, derives from a kind of artillery used in World War I, which would obviously be fresh in the minds of parents in 1918.

Albertha: 129 girls

Hertha: 51 girls

Gertha: 49 girls

Birtha: 48 girls

Lubertha: 13 girls

Berthe: 12 girls

Robertha: 9 girls

Albirtha: 7 girls

Berthina: 6 girls

Berthenia: 5 girls

Gay Pride

“Gay” was a relatively popular component of 1918 baby names.

Gaylord: 139 boys

Gaynell: 61 girls

Gaynelle: 34 girls

Gaylon: 14 boys

Gaylen: 11 boys

Gayland: 7 boys

Gaye: 7 girls

Gaynel: 5 girls

Trumped

As you may have heard, the name Donald took a big hit around the 2016 election ― but it’s still in use, unlike these variants for boys and girls.

McDonald: 19 boys

Donalda: 14 girls

Donelda: 10 girls

MacDonald: 5 boys

Close Calls

You change a few letters, you get to a word you don’t necessarily want associated with your child.

Dillard: 79 boys

Foch: 58 boys

Aliene: 31 girls

Okey: 23 boys

Hassell: 16 boys

Hassel: 11 boys

Clorine: 11 girls

Clorene: 10 girls

Voyd: 7 boys

Rejected From The Seven Dwarves

Not every word ending in the -y sound needs to be a baby name ― especially not in the post-Snow White era.

Manley: 61 boys

Classie: 29 girls

Icie: 29 girls

Oralee: 26 girls

Woody: 26 boys

Icy: 24 girls

Moody: 23 boys

Manly: 15 boys

Worthy: 12 boys

Dicy: 11 girls

Nicie: 11 girls

Wealthy: 10 girls

Jolly: 9 boys

Piney: 8 girls

Chattie: 7 girls

Curly: 7 boys

Viney: 5 girls

Sin In The Heart

These two have lost their luster.

Luster: 25 boys

Letcher: 9 boys

A For Effort

It seems many parents in 1918 thought that adding an “a” to the end of a word automatically made it a girls’ name.

Yetta: 182 girls

Creola: 44 girls

Mozella: 41 girls

Jesusa: 31 girls

Pasqualina: 31 girls

Refugia: 28 girls

Leonarda: 26 girls

Fortunata: 25 girls

Congetta: 24 girls

Jesusita: 21 girls

Capitola: 20 girls

Candida: 18 girls

Walburga: 9 girls

Missouria: 5 girls

Wilburta: 5 girls

Nestora: 5 girls

Misplaced

We have trouble seeing any of these as the next Brooklyn or Madison.

Norwood: 67 boys

Roswell: 45 boys

Melbourne: 33 boys

Irvine: 24 boys

Modena: 29 girls

Burma: 14 girls

Armenia: 13 girls

Iowa: 8 girls

Watts: 5 boys

Abstinence Only

This type of virtue name may never come back into style.

Hyman: 333 boys

Modesta: 34 girls

Hymen: 31 boys

Virgina: 24 girls

Sister: 12 girls

Inocencia: 9 girls

Immaculate: 8 girls

Virgin: 8 girls

Modest: 6 girls

Modestine: 6 girls

Words, Words, Words

Though we tend to think of weird word names as a recent invention, these names prove they’ve been around for ages.

Arch: 55 boys

Metro: 35 boys

Colon: 27 boys

Carry: 23 girls

Olden: 22 boys

Wash: 20 boys

Veto: 16 boys

Orange: 15 boys

Canary: 14 girls

Leather: 10 girls

Media: 10 girls

Hobby: 9 boys

Dude: 8 boys

Clearance: 7 boys

Chess: 6 boys

Famous: 5 boys

Fountain: 5 boys

Jock: 5 boys

Method: 5 boys

Speed: 5 boys

Ride Of The Valkyrie

While these names may have felt just right in a Minnesota town populated exclusively by farmers from Bavaria and Norway, they’re slightly tougher sells today.

Hortense: 218 girls

Hildegarde: 77 girls

Elfrieda: 57 girls

Hildreth: 40 girls

Dagmar: 28 girls

Borghild: 27 girls

Hildur: 27 girls

Ingeborg: 15 girls

Gunhild: 11 girls

Hildagarde: 11 girls

Valborg: 11 girls

Ragnhild: 7 girls

Irmgard: 6 girls

Gerturde: 5 girls

Straight-Up Insults

Presumably these had different connotations in 1918. (Also, the last one is still only an insult if you’re speaking with a lisp.)

Pansy: 229 girls

Guido: 104 boys

Rube: 15 boys

Nimrod: 13 boys

Flake: 8 boys

Coker: 7 boys

Athol: 6 boys

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, No

Parents a century ago leaned a little too heavily on the suffix -ene.

Earnestine: 133 girls

Lurline: 58 girls

Ethelene: 36 girls

Eulene: 16 girls

Wilhelmine: 15 girls

Rogene: 12 girls

Edwardine: 7 girls

Fayrene: 7 girls

Howardine: 7 girls

Murlene: 7 girls

Forestine: 6 girls

Mauline: 6 girls

Adolphine: 5 girls

Chesterine: 5 girls

Isolene: 5 girls

It’s A Job

Nothing wrong with an occupational name ― Mason is one of the most popular boys’ names in the country ― but something about these particular professions as names just feels off.

Author: 30 boys

Colonel: 28 boys

Lawyer: 23 boys

Butler: 21 boys

Commodore: 17 boys

Doctor: 15 boys

Admiral: 13 boys

Pope: 12 boys

Proctor: 12 boys

Miner: 10 boys

Governor: 9 boys

Rector: 9 boys

Farmer: 6 boys

Lieutenant: 6 boys

Body Con

Parents in 1918 seemed rather fond of physical attribute names.

Pinkie: 79 girls

Dimple: 58 girls

Everlean: 17 girls

Pinkey: 11 girls

Dimples: 8 girls

Brunette: 7 girls

Pinky: 7 girls

Slim: 7 boys