Image from the show's official page
Last night's episode of Project Runway included a group of senior ladies who were the clients and models for the designers. While fashion is what the show is about, I couldn't help but be captivated by the models' names and knew it was a blog post waiting to happen.
My guess would be that the ladies were born in the 1930s/1940s/1950s. They were all fascinating women, some with great humor, some with a quieter disposition, and some with simple elegance. When I first heard their names, none of them surprised me. I asked myself, "Could their names work today?" Myself has her own opinions, but I also want to know what you think! Let's take a look at the names and their history. For purposes of comparison, I used the names' ranks in 1942 as the basis for their popularity at the time they were given.
Beatrice - #146 in 1942 and #707 in 2011 - Beatrice was ranked the highest in the 1910s and is currently rising slowly, as it should, after being off the charts just six years ago.
Bonnie - #34 in 1942 and not ranked in 2011 (fell off after 2003) - Bonnie was at its height in the 1940s and doesn't seem to be as favorable now. That makes me sad because I think it's lovely.
Deborah - #264 in 1942 and #808 in 2011 - Deborah rose quickly after 1942 and reached #2 in 1955. Upswing Baby Names recently posted on the name Deborah, and I think it's a great read.
Holly - #489 in 1942 and #426 in 2011 - Holly reached its highest ranks in the 1970s and 1980s. Since it was more popular in recent decades, it would probably be considered too dated to rise any higher now.
Iris - #245 in 1942 and #303 in 2011. Iris has been somewhat steady throughout the years... never falling off the Top 1000, but never going higher than #196. For some reason I feel as though this name should be more popular than it is, but instead I'll call it a gem.
Joan - #18 in 1942 and not ranked in 2011 - Joan was very popular in the 1930s and then gradually fell until it dropped off the Top 1000 after 1993. While June and Jane seem to be slow risers currently, Joan is on an opposite path.
Patricia - #3 in 1942 and #667 in 2011 - Patricia was in the Top 10 for the 1930s through the 1950s and into the 1960s, but now seems to be steadily falling. I don't see it rising again soon, but Trixie is a cute and current nickname if you want to use it to honor someone special.
Rosily - has never been ranked - Rosily may have never been ranked, but Rosalie (which is how Rosily is pronouned) was #158 in 1942 and #548 in 2011. Rosily is a great twist on the name Rose, which currently on the rise.
Sheryl - #399 in 1942 and not ranked in 2011 - Sheryl rose quickly from the time it entered the Top 1000 in 1936 until it reached its heights in the 1950s and 1960s and then fell out of the ranks after 1987. The name's sound does not make it a hip comeback contender.
Sue - #73 in 1942 and not ranked in 2011 - Sue is known as a nickname for Susan, but it reached the Top 100 as a given name in the 1940s and gradually fell out of the Top 1000 after 1984. And as a given name, I think it's close to disappearing.
Susan - #21 in 1942 and #781 in 2011 - Susan was very popular from the 1940s through the 1970s, and reached #2 in the late 1950s. I think it was popular for too long to make a rise any time soon.
Which of these names do you think is most wearable today?