Thursday, December 18, 2014

Decades List - The Boys of the 1910s

Continuing our Decades List series... These are the Top 100 names historically that made the list for the 1910s decade because the average percentage of use for these names in that ten year period was the highest out of all of the decades. Meaning, this is the decade in which these names were used the most since 1880.

I will need to split the rest of the series into boys and girls because there are too many names to put in one post. So, let's look at the boys of the 1910s!

Carl - Peaking in 1915, Carl reached as high as #22 and was a steady presence in the Top 100 from 1880 through 1979. As a variant of the popular Charles, it is still one of the top 600 names in the US, but slowly slipping in the ranks.

Chester - Even though it left the Top 1000 after 1995 and continues to show decreasing numbers, Chester was a top name for almost 50 years around the turn of the century. It attained the rank of #53 in 1919.

Clifford - Clifford's popularity was at its height in 1918, although its highest rank was #57 in 1909. While Clifford no longer ranks in the Top 1000 and its nickname Cliff may not bring too many to its side, can we consider the up-and-comer Ford? That option could make the name more attractive to those wanting to honor a special Clifford in their lives.

Edwin - Speaking of honor, Edwin is a name present on both sides of my family and was therefore one of the first names on my radar. It ranked as high as #52 in 1919, but had its highest percentage of use in 1915. Edwin is still one of the top 300 names in the United States and is the real first name of astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

Francis - A very popular saint name, Francis ranked at #29 in 1915. Its female counterpart, Frances, soared during the same decade, topping out at #8 in 1918. Needless to say, there were a lot of baby Francis/Franceses around in the 1910s/1920s. A new wave of Francis/Franceses may be on the horizon however, as both names have recently made the turn in the ranks from downward to upward.

Howard - Howard may have only fell out of the Top 1000 after 2012, but it actually ranked as high as #24 in 1919 and 1920. If it were to ever make a comeback, one of the main reasons would have to be the adorable nickname Howie.

Irving - Irving only got as high as #93 in 1911 and was only in the Top 100 for 3 years. The most interesting factoid about the name is that it was popular among Jews as an "American-sounding form of Hebrew names beginning with I such as Isaac, Israel, and Isaiah." (

Joseph - Joseph is a powerhouse, having been in the Top 100 for every year since 1880. In the 1910s, more than 2 boys per 100 were named Joseph. It was ranked at #5 for 6 of the decade's years. Currently, it is tied for the second lowest rank it has ever been at #20 (lowest rank was #22 in 2011).

Julius - A name that jumped off and on the Top 100 list between 1880 and 1912, Julius reached its highest rank in 1883 at #88, but had its highest percentage of use in 1912. Its usage has slowly decreased in subsequent years, and currently remains in the Top 400.

Lester - While it was a pretty steady presence in the Top 100 for almost 50 years, Lester never got above #52 in the ranks and that was in 1906. Its highest percentage of use for the decades was in the 1910s however, and it has only gone down from there, falling out of the Top 1000 after 1999.

Lloyd - Lloyd attained its highest popularity in 1918 when it ranked #51. It has since left the Top 1000 (after 2002), but is hanging around a bit as it hasn't dropped too far below it.

Louis - The regal Louis had its highest ranking in 1882 at #18, but its peak percentage of use was in 1914. It has decreased in usage since then, but has never fallen below #353 and is currently on a slight upswing.

Maurice - The saint name Maurice and its counterpart, Morris, both peaked in the 1910s. Maurice reached #94 in 1914 and still ranks among the top 600 names in the United States.

Milton - Milton reached its pinnacle at #64 in 1912. Seemingly considered an "old guy" name, it hasn't ranked since 2008, but is still considered popular in Sweden.

Morris - As mentioned above, Morris rose along with Maurice, climbing to #82 in 1912. Even though Morris ranked higher than Maurice, the French version of the name still ranks, while Morris fell out of the Top 100 after 1994.

Russell - Russell's highest percentage was in 1914, while its highest rank was #48 in 1904. It still remains one of the top 500 names in the US.

Sidney - Like Francis, Sidney has a female equivalent. Unlike Francis, Sidney for boys was popular many years before Sydney was for girls and never ranked as high. Sidney reached its height in 1912 at #80. It is also still in the Top 1000, but just barely.

Stanley - Stanley peaked at #34 in the mid-1910s. While it has become a top 100 name in England, it is slowly falling away in the States, ranking at #679 in 2013.

Victor - Victor has one of the most, if not the most, irregular record when it comes to the Top 100. Between 1885 and 2003, the name entered and left the Top 100 18 times. It reached its pinnacle at #63 in 1918. Currently, Victor is #142, the lowest rank it has ever had.

Vincent - Another very irregular record is the one held by Vincent. Between 1910 and 1994, Vincent entered and left the Top 100 nine times. Oddly enough, and as proof of its weird track, it reached its highest percentage of use and highest rank (#58) in the 1960s but had its highest use in a decade in the 1910s. Even now, it is possibly on its way back into the top rankings as it sits at #101 after falling to #123 in 2002.

Virgil - Virgil was present in the Top 100 for several years between 1904 and 1922, but never ranked higher than #93 (1907). It fell out of the Top 1000 after 1991.

Wilbur - Wilbur was only in the Top 100 for nine years, mostly in the 1910s. It peaked at #91 in 1913, which happens to closely coincide with the death of Wilbur Wright in 1912. Not sure if there really was an influence there, but other than the pig in Charlotte's Web, Mr. Wright is probably the most famous Wilbur out there.

Willard - Another "Will" name, Willard reached #58 in 1915 and slid down from there, exiting the Top 1000 after 1989.

Woodrow - There is no question where the popularity of Woodrow came from. Woodrow Wilson ran for President in 1912, the same year the name Woodrow entered the Top 100 (it ranked at #234 in 1911). It remained in the Top 100 for the majority of his two terms in office, peaking at #44 in 1913 and has since decreased in use by a large amount.

Wow! What a great list! I especially love Victor and Vincent and wonder why their popularity wavers so much. It surprised me to find that Maurice still ranked while Morris did not. Is it the French twist to the name that makes Maurice more popular or is it the link to the cat in the 9Lives commercials that makes Morris less popular? I personally would love to see Morris rise again, but the numbers do not show that possibility any time soon.



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