Thanks to Sara for suggesting Jory as our Baby Name of the Day.
Jory: A Little George, A Lot of Corey
Back in the 1970s and 80s, George was a grandpa name, as in Burns – the comedian old enough to play God in 1977’s smash hit flick, “Oh, God!” and a pair of sequels.
Cory and Corey were stylish kid names, as in young actors Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, paired together on memorable big screen escapades like The Lost Boys, License to Drive, and Dream a Little Dream.
Statistics proved it: George was a Top Ten staple through the 1930s, but fell steadily afterwards, leaving the US Top 100 in 1992.
Corey, on the other hand, came from obscurity to enter the US Top 100 in 1969. Corey stayed there through 1996. Alternate spelling Cory also charted in the US Top 100 in the 80s.
Jory is a Cornish form of George, from the Greek georgos – farmer, the name of a popular saint best known for slaying a dragon. This should make Jory as much of a classic as Elspeth or Diego, or any foreign form of an evergreen name.
It’s also sometimes a surname, again from George, but this seems to be French. There’s a village called Saint-Jory in southwestern France, where the native language would once have been Occitan.
Soundwise, he’s more of a spin on Corey, respelled with a J, than a recognized classic.
Jory: On the Fringes
Jory made the US Top 1000 once in the 1950s, twice in the 1970s, and every year from 1985 through 1991.
Some of the credit goes to the rise of Corey and company. But pop culture gave the name a boost, too:
- Actor Victor Jory had a long career in movies and television, including police drama Manhunt, from the 1930s into the 80s.
- In 1973, a teenaged Robby Benson starred in the Western Jory.
- Blockbuster book series Flowers in the Attic introduces a boy named Jory in the second book, Petals on the Wind. His name comes from his father, Julian, as well as his late uncle, the ill-fated Cory. Petals was published in 1980.
- 1986 sitcom Head of the Class included Joher Coleman – billed as Jory Husain – as an exchange student from India in the gifted students’ program at a fictional Manhattan high school.
Jory: Game of Thrones
All of these uses are too obscure to inspire interest in the name in 2015.
But here’s Jory’s potential ticket to wider use: Game of Thrones.
George RR Martin has boosted Aria and Arya, and convinced at least a handful of parents to use names like Khaleesi and Bran.
Jory Cassel is a member of House Stark, who dies early – in the first season of the HBO adaptation, after appearing in just five episodes. Scottish actor Jamie Sives played the role on HBO. So he’s not a major figure, and maybe not one that we hear much about.
And yet – Game of Thrones names are not easy to ignore.
Jory: 2015 Possibility
Jory has faded in recent years. Just 26 boys and 12 girls were given the name in 2013.
But with Rory on the rise, Jory seems like the kind of intriguing rarity that might be worth a second look today.
What do you think of Jory? Does it have potential in 2015?