English: Drew Barrymore at the premiere for He...

Celebrity baby names week 2014 continues with a boyish, retro name that could be all the rage.

Drew Barrymore’s new baby girl is the reason our Baby Name of the Day is Frankie.

Frankie: Hattie’s Sister

First came Sadie.  Then Hattie and Winnie.

In April 2014, Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman welcomed daughter #2 – Frankie, a little sister for Olive.

Sassy, retro, ends-in-ie names for girls are stylish.  But adding an ‘ie’ or a ‘y’ to a masculine name was long a popular way to come up with a feminine form.  Bobbie, Billie, Willie, and Johnnie have all ranked in the girls’ Top 1000.

Frankie: In the Key of Francis

Francis is a classic, worn by the current Pope.

Plenty of forms currently rank in the US Top 1000, including:

  • Francisco, up to #218 in 2013.
  • Rising surname-name Franklin.
  • Just Frank, Frankie, and Franco, all in the boys’ Top 1000.
  • Francis for boys and Frances for girls, both of which are climbing.
  • The fashionable, Italian Francesca.

With the exception of surname Franklin – which comes from franc – free, they’re all tied to Francis, meaning Frenchman, a name that originates with a famous thirteenth century saint.

Frankie: Family Name

When Drew announced her daughter’s name, she noted that her mother-in-law’s maiden name was Franco.

Is a form of Frank on your family tree?

  • Frank was a Top Ten name from the nineteenth century into the 1920s.  The name remained in the Top 100 through the 1980s.
  • That’s not counting Francis, also in the Top 100 through the 1950s.
  • Frances – the usual feminine form – was in the girls’ Top Ten from 1911 through 1926, and stayed in the Top 100 right through 1955.

Factor in surname forms and other versions, and there’s a good chance you might have a Frankie on your family tree.

Frankie: Johnny’s Girl

Poster for the off-Broadway production

Frankie might be Hattie’s sister, but she’s Johnny’s girl.

There’s a folk song based on a real life heartbreak-turned-crime.  A girl (Frankie) catches her guy (Johnny) flirting with another woman.  Frankie shoots her faithless beau, and the rest is … rich inspiration for storytellers.

The song has been recorded hundreds of times, and stage plays and movies have adapted the tale.  Elvis Presley and Al Pacino have played various versions of Johnny.

In 1991, Al’s Frankie was played by Michelle Pfeiffer.

Neither version was faithful to the folk song.  Elvis’ version took place on a riverboat.  Al & Michelle’s was a diner.

Other female Frankies include:

  • Halle Berry has played a Frankie
  • There’s television’s mom on The Middle and the kid sister on The Haunted Hathaways
  • Monster High includes Frankie Stein
  • There’s also British pop star Frankie Bridge

Plenty of men answer to the name – singers Lymon and Valli, former teen idol Avalon, actor Muniz.

Frankie: Ready for a Comeback

With Frank names on upswing, no question Frankie has a shot at a comeback.

The name fits with current trends.  Australian Olympic swimmer Michael Klim and his model wife Lindy have three kids with on-trend names: son Rocco, daughters Stella and Frankie.

Frankie could be a nickname for plenty of the names, like Amanda Peet’s daughter, Frances Pen.

As of 2013, the name was given 264 boys and 144 girls.  We’ll have to wait a few more months to see if the newest Barrymore has any impact on the numbers.

For now, if you’re considering a sassy, retro name, one that might honor an ancestral Frank, Frankie is an on-trend possibility for a daughter.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

You May Also Like:

What do you think?

1 Comment

  1. Frankie is very cute and spunky. Makes me think of the Frankie Heck, the mom on the TV show “The Middle” played by actress Patricia Heaton.