Rare 1915 girl names range from oddities – what inspired the 46 girls named Dimple? – to names that sound completely at home today.
Why look to the past for baby naming inspiration? If you love Evelyn and Amelia, but feel they’re too common, the past is rich with fresh vintage choices. Or if you’re simply looking for something different, there’s no harm in seeing what working for our grandparents – or great-great-grandparents – generation!
This marks the fourth post in the series:
All of the lists share a few things in common. First, these names were all above the 500 mark on the US popularity list for the given year. As of today, they have never cracked the US Top 100, even if some of them eventually did become slightly more common. They’re not very popular by today’s standards, but they feel on-trend and could catch on – if only parents were aware of them!
So if you’re looking for a name with history, but still nicely underused, check out these great 1915 girl names.
Rare 1915 Girl Names: A – B
Afton – A Robert Burns poem transformed Afton from mere river name to occasional given name. (Though in the 1791 poem Sweet Afton, the sweetheart answered to Mary.) It was set to music many times, and it looks like a new version may have been released around 1905 or 1907. That explains the name’s use in 1915, when it ranked #945.
Bess – Evergreen Elizabeth never falls out of style. The name’s many short forms, on the other hand, come and go. Once quite common, Bess has retreated into the shadows. And yet, Tessa and Tess feel very much in favor today. If you love slim, trim names for girls, but want something less common, Bess deserves a look. Bessie charted in the Top 100 in 1915, while the sparer Bess came in at #589.
Rare 1915 Girl Names: C
Clementine – Darling Clementine boasts plenty of history, from the folksy ballad to Mrs. Winston Churchill. Back in 1915, it ranked #560 – far from the top spot, but not unknown. After more than half a century of obscurity, Clementine returned to the US Top 1000, but remains quite rare.
Consuelo – Love virtue names? Looking for an English-Spanish crossover less common than Isabella or Sophia/Sofia? Consider Consuelo. The name means consolation, and comes from a title for the Virgin Mary. But in 1915, it brought to mind American socialite Consuelo Vanderbilt. It ranked #590 way back in 1915.
Rare 1915 Girl Names: D – E
Eugenie – Eugene seems stuck in style limbo, but royalty keeps reviving Eugenie. Pronounced differently in French, as well as British and American English, the name can take a long EE or AY sound. Back in 1915, Eugenie stood at #908. Today the name feels much rarer.
Rare 1915 Girl Names: F – G
Georgette – Everybody loves Georgia. A traditional, feminine choice that feels like a modern place name, Georgia reached the Top 100 in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Today Georgia is climbing again. Meanwhile, Georgette – #959 back in 1915 – remains neglected. One notable use? Melissa McCarthy named her younger daughter Georgette in 2010.
Gwen – Gwen shortens long and lovely names, like the medieval Guinevere and Gwendolen. It also feels slim and trim, just like Bess, but maybe even more modern. Back in 1915, Gwen ranked #686. Gwendolyn – with the y spelling – came in twice as high. While Gwen remains relatively underused, the name’s popularity is on the upswing again.
Rare 1915 Girl Names: H – M
Magnolia – At first, I assumed Magnolia owed its burst of popularity in the early twentieth century to Show Boat. But that doesn’t track! The musical debuted in 1927, with a lead character named Magnolia, also known as Nolie. Instead, the name ranked a rare – but respectable – #593 in 1915, around the peak year for the name’s use. Other nature names like Hazel, Violet, Opal, Ruby, and June ranked in the Top 100 back then, so no surprise that other nature names found favor, too.
Mariam – Don’t mistake Mariam for sunny Mary Anne. While they’re both forms of the enduring Mary-Maria family, this spelling is familiar in Arabic, as well as the Greek version of the Old Testament. It’s just the tiniest bit exotic, a twist on the traditional. Back in 1915, Mariam ranked #597. Today, it’s slightly more popular – but still relatively rare.
Rare 1915 Girl Names: N – S
Sabina – Ancient and international, Sabina fits right in with plenty of favorites for girls. Think of Sophia and Savannah. The unrelated Sabrina has fared reasonably well, but Sabine and Sabina remain overlooked. Back in 1915, Sabina ranked a respectable – but rare – #751.
Sigrid – Quick – think of a Scandinavian heritage name! There’s Ingrid and Astrid, of course, but how about Sigrid. The formal version of Siri, Sigrid is seldom heard in the US today. Back in 1915, though, Sigrid came in at #967.
Rare 1915 Girl Names: The Rest of the Alphabet!
Theodora – Theodore is trending for boys, and Thea feels quite stylish for girls. So why not Theodora? This feminine form of the name ranked #568 back in 1915. It’s been years since the name cracked the Top 1000 in the US, but there’s every reason to imagine this antique would wear well today.
Do you have any of these rare 1915 girl names on your shortlist?