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Forgotten Names Making a Comeback
Forgotten Names Making a Comeback
Apr 19, 2024 5:30 AM

  Looking for a niche source of rare baby names? Try the comeback kids of 2022.

  These names were once used for babies in the US, but then vanished for decades. Just when you might think they were lost forever, they've re-appeared in the official baby name data for 2022.

  The longest gap for a returning name is an astonishing 108 years! Rivera was last given to 5 girls in 1914, then disappeared until it was again chosen for 5 girls in 2022. Other names with a century-long gap are Endie for girls (last seen in 1918), and Ambros and Tullis for boys (last used in 1920 and 1922 respectively).

  In total, 179 baby boy names and 163 baby girl names are back on the charts after a gap of 10 years or more.

  The biggest comeback for girls was Thena — given to 25 baby girls last year having not been seen since 1978 — inspired by Angelina Jolie's character in Eternals, or maybe just the similarity to Athena. The highest returning boy names were Jereth (last seen in 2000) and Symeir (MIA since 2009): both were chosen for 11 baby boys in 2022.

  Here's our pick of the best, coolest, and quirkiest long-lost names. Which ones would you like to see back for good?

  The year in brackets is the last time a name was on the US charts, before 2022.

  

Best of... Vintage Revivals

Some of this year's comebacks had a vintage vibe — not surprising for those that haven't been seen for nearly a century.

  Girls: Dorah (1923), Doretta (2004), Etta-Mae (1932), Lulla (1950), Virgie (1997)

  Boys: Alfonse (1998), Dolph (1994), Florence (1968), Leverett (1965), Lyall (2008), Rauf (2008)

  

Best of... Modern-Sounding Names

These have a contemporary sound, but they’ve been around long enough to go out of use and make a comeback.

  Girls: Alayzah (2010), Artis (1984), Azaia (2007), Kienna (2009), Kimana (2007), Makaira (2006), Nerina (1975), Xaira (2007), Xenna (2005), Zoanne (1969)

  Boys: Adari (2004), Azareel (2008), Bodan (2007), Brye (2003), Dreylin (2010), Jekhari (2009), Kenzy (2008), Minos (1946), Quaylen (2003), Symeir (2009), Vero (1928)

  

Best of… Word Name Comebacks

Returning word names this year are especially rich in virtuous and nature names. For some, the only surprise is that they weren't used sooner.

  Girls: Friday (1982), Jolly (2007), Opaline (1954), Sincerely (2006), Strawberry (2006), Vista (1976), Wave (1927)

  Boys: Daisy (2010), Eternal (2010), Fern (1970), Gold (1923), Herald (1997), Hickory (1973), Laurel (1993), Luckie (2005), Marsh (1994), Quetzalcoatl (2000), Timberland (2006), Vesper (1928)

  

Best of... Forgotten Last Names and Place Names

Places and last names as first names are full of rare but highly usable options — like these, which have just returned to the rankings.

  Girls: Bryden (2009), Chapell (1989), Cheslie (1993), Fenley (2008), Hardy (1932), Mclean (2004)

  Boys: Barrie (1997), Beecher (2008), Brigden (2010), Delman (1969), Dover (1973), Ferrari (1991), Harlowe (1935), Hershey (1982), Hoover (1988), Hoy (1976), Kantrell (2009), Lowe (1966), Marden (2002), Wilburn (2008), Woodford (1969)

  

Best of... Maximalist Names

Like your names long, elaborate, and dramatic? These tick all the boxes.

  Girls: Artemisa (2005), Aviara (2002), Carletta (2007), Damina (1990), Ismaela (2007), Kaliyanna (2010), Meleya (2006), Odetta (1976), Robina (1993), Savilla (2009), Vivana (2006), Zenora (1959),

  Boys: Alpheus (1993), Emeril (2009), Lauriano (2004), Melquiades (2009), Valeriano (2005)

  

Best of... Worldwide Names

The best non-traditional-anglo names that have returned to the US charts.

  Girls: Catalin (2003), Duniya (2009), Eilin (2008), Enika (1982), Esenia (1992), Esmerai (2008), Florecita (2009), Gio (2006), Keahi (2009), Lieselotte (1970), Nilay (2009), Onelia (1991), Pavlina (1997), Renuka (2005), Ronak (1982), Sapir (2006)

  Boys: Aciano (2010), Adetola (1989), Benedicto (2009), Enno (1925), Ephron (1996), Juri (1974), Kealoha (2009), Luisandro (1997), Mardochee (2007), Nisan (1994), Olav (1972), Rameez (1999), Romolo (1994), Salil (2008), Wenzel (1952), Zuberi (1995)

  

Best of... Long-Lost Nicknames

These forgotten diminutives are full of energy and character — and now parents are putting them back on birth certificates.

  Girls: Elvi (1927), Lissie (2010), Mac (2001), Maiken (2004), Nonie (1985), Richie (1981), Roz (1964), Tessy (2001), Texie (1956), Trudi (2009), Val (1985)

  Boys: Arri (2010), Bubba (1991), Cejay (2010), Fredo (1985), Geordie (2007), Goldie (1997), Marti (2009), Pedrito (1995), Radu (2007), Rik (2009)

  

Best of... Pop Culture Revivals

A few comebacks were clearly inspired by sport, film, and television.

  Girls: Osha (2005), Thena (1978)

  Boys: Mufasa (1995), Orbelin (2004), Tchalla (1975)

  Want more of this? Discover the long-lost names of 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017.

  

About the Author

  

Clare Green

  Clare Green has been writing for Nameberry since 2015, covering everything from names peaking right now to feminist baby names, and keeping up-to-date with international baby name rankings. Her work has featured in publications such as The Independent and HuffPost. Clare has a background in linguistics and librarianship, and recently completed an MA dissertation researching names in multilingual families. She lives in England with her husband and son. You can reach her at clare@nameberry.com

  View all of Clare Green's articlesChevron - Right

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