Here are some names that have fallen out of popularity in recent times. Which are your favourite?
This name was #2 in Britain in 1932. It means “stone” and connotes a strong “rock foundation”.
Variations: Piers (English (British)), Petrus (German), Petrus, Pieter, Pier (Dutch), Peder, Petter (Swedish)
This name was #9 in 1932 in Britain.
It is an anglicized version of the Scottish COINNEACH and CINÁED. According to Behind The Name, “this name was borne by the Scottish king Kenneth (Cináed) mac Alpin, who united the Scots and Picts in the 9th century. It was popularized outside of Scotland by Sir Walter Scott”
Variations: Cináed, Coinneach (Scottish), Kennith, Kenith (English), Kennet (Swedish)
This name means was #2 in Britain and #9 in North America in the ’30s. It means “Rich Guard” coming from two Old English words. It was the name of many Anglo Saxon kings as well as about 8 kings of England. Ed, Ned and Ted are all diminutives.
Variations: Eadweard (Anglo-Saxon), Edvard (Armenian), Edorta (Basque), Eduard (Catalan)
This named landed at #27 in popularity in 1932. It means “Brave Lion”, derived from two German words.
Variations: Léonard (French), Leonardo (Italian), Lennart (Norwegian), Lelle (Swedish)
This is the anglicized form of a Scottish surname meaning “Dark River”. The short form is, of course, Doug. Douglas was #44 on the list in 1932.
Variation/original: Dubhghlas (Scottish)
This name was #15 in the USA in the 1930s.
What does Arthur mean? According to Behind the Name, the meaning is unknown: “It could be derived from the Celtic elements artos “bear” combined with viros “man” or rigos “king”. Alternatively it could be related to an obscure Roman family name Artorius.”
Diminutives: Art, Tuur (Dutch)
Joseph was #7 in the 1930s. It’s a Hebrew name that mean “he will add” or “God will add”. You may know the story from the book of Genesis about Joseph and his colourful coat, his brothers who sold him as a slave and how he became a high level leader in Egypt saving the nation from starvation during a famine.
(If you just started singing a tune from Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, you and I should be friends!)
Variations: Yousef, Youssef, Yusef, Yusuf (Arabic) Yosef (Biblical Hebrew) José, Pepe, Pepito (Spanish)
This names was #32 in the 1930s. It doesn’t register in the Top 100 anymore. It’s another Hebrew name and it means “name of God” or “God has heard”.
Variations: Samuli (Finnish), Shmuel (Hebrew)
From the Greek Theodoros, the name means “Gift of God”.
According to Nameberry,
“When Theodore Roosevelt took office in 1901, the name Theodore was in the Top 40, with Teds and Teddys everywhere. After some damaging stereotypes—the chubby Chipmunk Theodore and Beaver Cleaver’s real name—Theodore went into a decline…”
But, it’s gaining popularity again.
Variations: Tewodros (Amharic), Theodoros (Ancient Greek), Toros (Armenian), Teodor, Todor (Bulgarian), Teo (Croatian)
Diminutives: Theo, Theo (pronounced Tay-Oh), Teddy, Ted, Teddy Bear, Little Bear, BuhBear, Handsome Bear, Theo (Tay-Oh) Potato
Ok. So some of those diminutives are just my son’s nicknames!
We named my son Theodore because we knew his middle name would be Barclay. Barclay is a Scottish name that has been carried by all the first born males in my husband’s family line. While it’s my husband’s middle name, his grandfather’s first name was Barlclay.
Grandpa Barclay fought with the Canadian army in World War Two, helping to liberate Holland. Theodore went perfectly because it was the name of my great uncle who fought with the Dutch Resistance during WWII. Tying the two family histories together in my son’s name was just perfect.
(Grandpa Barclay lived until he was 94 years old and met our daughter as well as 3 of his other great grandchildren. Theodore, along with his brother, Hermanus, were captured and executed by the Nazis. My Opa, their little brother, named his first son after both of them. That Theo, my uncle, is wonderful and I’m glad my son shares his name. )
Do you know any children with these names? Which name do you like best?