Friday, November 9, 2012

Where Are They Now? - 1911 Top 10

via Wikipedia

There is a so-called "100 year rule" in baby naming. Names have a good chance of becoming popular again after 100 years. This isn't necessarily the case all the time, as we all know that the rise and fall of names can happen drastically and unpredictably. But for fun, let's look back to 1911 and see where the top 10 names lie in 2011:

1911 Top 10

1 John - #27 and falling
2 William - #3 and rising (after falling to #20)
3 James - #17 and steady
4 George - #165 and falling
5 Robert - #61 and falling
6 Joseph - #22 and falling
7 Charles - #62 and falling
8 Frank - #308 and falling
9 Edward - #148 and falling
10 Thomas - #63 and falling

1 Mary - #112 and falling
2 Helen - #427 and falling
3 Margaret - #187 and falling
4 Dorothy - #937 and steady
5 Ruth - #362 and falling
6 Anna - #38 and falling (after falling and rising again)
7 Elizabeth - #11 and steady
8 Mildred - fell off the Top 1000 after 1984
9 Marie - #599 and falling
10 Frances - #789 and falling

Besides William, James, and Elizabeth, all of these names are still falling in popularity. Looking a little further into the top 100 of 1911, several "old-fashioned" names have made a return, examples include: Emma at #35 in 1911, fell to #458 before rising back up to #3 in 2011; Violet at #83 in 1911, fell off the Top 1000 chart before rising back up to #101 in 2011; and Ruby at #22 in 1911, fell to #401 before rising back up to #109 in 2011. Maybe the rule can be expanded a bit, because I feel like some of the Top 10 names from 1911 are due for a comeback in the next generation. I mean, if Hattie can come back from oblivion (was #86 in 1911, fell off to Top 1000 for 40 years, and just reentered at #993 in 2011), why can't Helen make a comeback?

Which of these names deserve to be rising stars again?



  1. I've never been fond of old fashioned names, though for some reason I do really like James and Marie. (I prefer Marie as a middle name or nickname and Maria as a first name though.) I definitely think those should make a comeback =)

    I really hope these do NOT make a comeback (because I don't like them at all):
    ~ Frank
    ~ Margaret
    ~ Dorothy
    ~ Ruth
    ~ Mildred
    ~ Frances

    Several of these probably will make a comeback though, since it seems like a lot of people like them (unfortunately for me -__-).

  2. It's not usually the Top 10 names that make those big comebacks (in fact, they're often names that never go away, like William and Elizabeth).

    Isabella was in the 300s in 1911, but that's made a huge comeback! Jacob and Oliver were only just outside the Top 100 in 1911.

    Some names from 1911 I can see becoming popular or fashionable again:

    Florence, Rose, Ruby, Hazel, Edith, Clara, Beatrice, Elsie, Mabel, Pearl, Eleanor

    Arthur, Frederick, Stanley, Theodore, Vincent, Harvey, Everett, Julius, Hugh, Otis

    Definitely rich pickings when looking for names.

    1. i see the Top 10 names as very fluid. only 3 out of the 20 names in 1911's Top 10 haven't gone away. the rest of them are still falling, and i was thinking it would be interesting if they did come back up. i see what you are saying though, that the names that were lower in ranking in 1911 are the ones making a comeback. i was wanting to take a look at the Top 10 and the names that were high in ranking, fell, and then came back within 100 years. out of the names you listed, i am absolutely in love with Arthur and i hope it does come back! :)


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