American Names · Analysis

October Name Sightings

Happy Halloween! Since November starts tomorrow, it’s time to review the most interesting and unusual names I spotted in October.

I met:

  • Everly – Adult woman, 20s. This was certainly a surprising encounter! The vast majority of people named Everly are under the age of 5, considering the name only officially became popular in 2012. Current U.S. rank: #107.
  • Wallis “Wallie” – adult woman, probably in her 70s. I didn’t get a chance to ask, but I wonder if she was named after Wallis Simpson, who was the American wife of King Edward VIII…and the main reason why Elizabeth II is queen, since Edward was forced to abdicate to his brother Albert (King George VI) for marrying a two-time divorcée. 8 girls were named Wallis last year in the U.S.
  • Benita – adult. I don’t remember how old she was, but I was surprised to learn that Benita spent much of the 20th century in the top 1000. Peak usage was in the early 1960s. 14 girls were named Benita (the Spanish form of Benedicta) in 2016.
  • Blair – teenage boy.  This was popular for both sexes between 1980 and 1995. Blair was last in the top 1000 for boys in ’95, and then dropped out for girls after 2000. It has since returned for girls. Current rank: #521, representing 594 girls.  There were also 83 boys given the name last year.
  • Breandan – teenager. Interesting spelling of Brendan; sounds slightly drawled. Maybe his parents are Brendan and Breanna and decided to smash their names together? Anyway, 9 boys were given this spelling in 2016.

Mentioned in Newspapers:

  • Daugherty – Unsure of gender. Probably long deceased as was mentioned in an obit as a parent of decedent.
  • Unity – probably a child or young adult. 30 girls were named Unity in 2016.
  • Aonika – early teens. Variant of Annika?
  • Ada-Marie – adult.  Since double-barrels aren’t a thing in SSA data, we have to look to Adamarie, which was in fact used 6 times last year.
  • Helge – male. This hasn’t appeared in extended birth data since 1930! Helge is the masculine form of Helga.

I also spotted an amazing couple of names last night during the starting credits for The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a 1921 film which made actor Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926) a household name. Since it’s in the public domain, you can watch it anywhere online for free – here’s a link. Incidentally, Four Horseman was the top-grossing movie of its year.

The starting credits of this movie had a few absolutely eye-catching rare names!
  • Pomeroy Pomeroy Cannon (1870-1928) was listed before Valentino in the credits. Not much seems to be known about him.
  • BrodwitchBowditch Turner (1877-1933). Yes, there’s a slight difference between his name and credit.

There’s also a Bridgetta listed in the credits. It wasn’t her real name, and Four Horseman was her first movie. Judging by the SSDI, it’s improbable that her stage name affected baby naming at all. However, Rudolph Valentino most definitely did have an effect. When he died in 1926, Valentino entered the top 1000 for the first time (staying until 1928) and already-popular Rudolph was temporarily boosted.

What do you think of these names? Did you spot any interesting names this month?  Let me know in the comments! 

Previous name round-ups from this year:

2 thoughts on “October Name Sightings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s