Thursday, February 16, 2023

Fantastic Names From The Past: Another Visit To The 1930s!

Previously on this blog, I've marveled at names from several Franklin High School yearbooks circa 1936-1937 and 1938-1939. But! Unbeknownst to the people of Franklin, just eight miles away, Jefferson High School was blithely educating its own set of fantastically-monikered teenagers at the same time! 

The 1930s may have been the era of the Great Depression, but there's nothing depressing about these names!

Kitty Ritter ('34)

Sophie Economus ('36)

Ward Sigafoos ('34)

Esther Erna Arnas ('36)

Elmer L. Hamm ('36)

Selma Zitzer ('34)

Joyce Aurelia Wilkes ('37)

Salola Roach ('35)

Celestia Hise Livermore ('37)

Virginia Marlea Mitts ('37)

Velda May Curry ('37)

Janness Judith Jewell ('37)

Zenetta Britt ('37)

Shirley B. Lash ('37)

Jenelle L. Long ('37)

Sophy Povovich ('37)

Fritzi Helen Ditt Brenner ('37)

Dell Rundle Hayes ('37)

Elmer Harold Helenius ('37)

Mason V. Carlson ('37)

Jack Wade Pattee ('37)

Violet Bender ('37)

Jack E. Gleeson ('34)

Jack Lothrop Bellah ('37)

John Fred Facer ('32)

Doxine A. Fix ('32)

Lloyd Lister ('36)

Homer Douglas Rambo ('36)

Marjorie Ora Stout ('36)

Brunette Berselle ('37)

Hortense A. Karp ('36)

Leonard Ward DeYoung ('34)

Inos Rainwater ('34)

Marciabelle Swina ('34)

Clark Van Vlert ('34)

Thelma Trout ('34)

Wilma W. Wynkoop ('37)

Delbert D. Delzer ('37)

Forrest Woodward Landeen ('35)

David Gustar O'Ehme ('35)

Margaret Passarge ('36)

Bettylou Swartout ('36)

Rollo Stowaser ('36)

Edrow Virginia Look ('34)

Eileen Engeldinger ('34)

Sylvester Lindekugel ('34)

Orville Gentry ('36)

Myrtle Spanke ('36)

Esther Metzler ('36)

Vurl Virginia Mallory ('36)

Tura Claudia Millet ('34)

Eleanor Irene Dalrymple ('34)

Lavelle Kelly ('34)

Charles Virgil Darby ('37)

Vinson Victor Sly ('37)

May Rae Rolph ('37)

John Beresford Delapoer ('34)

Wanda Cozette Swett ('37)

And finally, my Top 10 Fantastic Names from 1930s Jefferson High School are:

10. Shirley Ardita Struble ('37)

9. Ruby Victory Winterburn ('36)

8. Lovell DeVere Rousseau ('37)

7. Kaliope Varkados ('34)

6. Jewell Irene Goble ('35)

5. Waive Flues ('34)

4. Iris Cordelia Pease ('32)

3. Delight Brockmeier ('36)

2. Elwood Gerald Bizeau ('37)


1. Worthy Horsman ('32)

Friday, January 13, 2023

Fantastic Names From The Past: 1936-1937 Edition

The students of Benjamin Franklin High School circa 1936-1937 didn't all have fantastic names -- there were plenty of boring monikers on the roll call (Bill Johnson, Harry Carson, Jean Lewis, etc.) as well as a few... um... unfortunate names (Moron Meeker and Dolly Leaky, I am so sorry... Sandy Sanderson, the jury's still out.) There was also a lot of repetition: dozens of Donalds, Bettys, Mildreds, Earls and Roberts.

Thankfully, though, this was a big school, and there were still plenty of fantastic names to be found on these pages -- even considering these yearbooks had some overlap with the 1938-1939 ones featured in this post (How've you been, Gaynor Petrequin? 102? Sorry I asked.)

So without any further ado, I present these fantastic names....

Lena Yaconetti

Halsey Bigger

Virginia Much

Solomon Menashe 

Jack Fruit

Velda Yeska

Ivadel Beth Beaman

Irmgard Zorn

Lorilee McQuarrie

Jacqueline Montchalin

Illif VanRonk

Joauleta Johnson

Babe Lundgren

Benson Mates

Avice Ryel

Earnest Stefar

Hawley Bloomquist

Munson Dorais

Melvin DesVoigne

Harry Degermark

Viola McAllister

Rosaleen Obelisk

Mary Lois Ditto

Blossom Dobson

Esther Bridelle Swarts

Phyllis Mae Grow

Flora Frances Prideaux

Harland Max Hafter

Florence Afton O'Dill

Haruko Tsuboi

Rudolph Winters

Kerma Rowclitte

Orville Oris McCoy

Dorothy LaVonne Darling

Mildred Mae Cahoon

LaVonne McBee

Phillip Sonny Petrarca

Esther Bridelle Swartz

Erwin VanBlaricom 

And, finally, my Top 10 Fantastic Names From 1936-1937:

10. Yoreka Inzurka

9. Carlyle McKnight

8. Juanita Wafler

7. Audrea Lord Slattery

6. Wava W. Wells

5. Lulu Heist

4. Valoris Iona Whetstine

3. LaJeanne Marjorie Stroup

2. Ella May Rock


1. Valories Evelsizer

(who I can only assume went on to pursue villainy)

These folks are all 100+ or dead, now.

And on that happy note -- I wish you a fantastic day!

Monday, December 26, 2022

Fantastic Names From The Past: 1950s and 60s "What To Name The Baby" Edition

 Deciding on a name for a newborn can be a daunting task, but it's a challenge that has plagued parents for quite some time, including our very own grandparents, as evidenced by this book from 1946 (updated in 1953): "What To Name The Baby (A Treasury Of Names) -- 15,000 Names To Choose From."

15,000. Let that sink in. 

Among those names are, of course, the most popular names (in the U.S.) from 1953: Mary, Linda, Deborah, Patricia, Susan, Barbara, Debra, Nancy, Karen, Pamela, Sandra and Cynthia for girls, and Robert, James, Michael, John, David, William, Richard, Thomas, Charles, Gary, Steven and Mark for boys.

But there are ever so many more within this book's pages... names I'd never heard of, names I was surprised were around in 1953, and names I hope have never been given to a single innocent baby in the last 70 years. I was also amused by some of the given definitions -- are they accurate? Maybe not. Are they funny? Heck yeah.

So take this for what it is: Information from one book that perhaps helped a bunch of baby boomers' parents choose their kids' names.

That Was A Name Back Then? Who Knew?

These names feel more modern to me, but I guess some babies were actually given these monikers during the Eisenhower era... 

("m" indicates the name was found in the book's "male names" section; "f" means it came from the "female" section.)

Aidan (m)

Ainsley (m)

Blaze (m)

Braden (m)

Cadence (f)

Chiara (f)

Colton (m)

Hayden (m)

Holden (m)

Hudson (m)

Huxley (m)

Keegan (m) 

Kenley (m)

Keira (f)

Kenna (m)

Knox (m)

Landon (m)

Lennox (m)

Liam (m)

Oakley (m)

Paxton (m)

Raina (f)

Ryder (m)

Rylan (m)

Samara (f)

Savannah (f)

Names With Amusing Definitions

The name itself might be fine, but its meaning? -- well, maybe just keep that a secret from the kid's classmates.

Achilles (m) - "Without lips"

Algernon (m) - "With the mustache" (I guess if ever there's a baby born with a mustache, his parents will know exactly what to name him)

Attila (m) - "Fatherlike" (the real Attila allegedly did have a ton of kids...)

Boyne (m) - "White cow"

Caleb (m) - "A dog"

Hepatica (f) - "The liver-shaped

Hippolyta (f) - "horse destruction" (nooo!)

Hulda (f) - "a weasel"

Phryne (f) - "the toadlike"

Riccadonna (f) - "Rich and hard lady" (Lady Riccadonna De Bourgh does have a certain ring to it...)

Not A Bad Name... How Popular Was It In 2021?

Listen up, parents of today... some of these names are kind of cool, and you can argue that they're not modern. Because who wants that?

Adley (m) - A mere 615 U.S. babies got this name in 2021 - 606 f / 19 m

Albion (m) - Shucks. 0 kids named Albion in 2021, but 5 males were named Albino, 10 were named Albi and 17 were named Albie, so we're inching closer...

Alula (f) - 14 babies - 5 f / 9 m

Arber (m) - 14 Arbers and 31 Arbors

Cataline (m) - 0 babies named Cataline. Not even any girls?!

Leander (m) - 85 m

Cerelia (f) - 5 f

Eliadia (f) - 0

Endredi (f) - 0

Laelia (f) - 15 f

Lycoris (f) - 0 (This name is only cool if the second, not the first, syllable gets stressed.)

Nyx (f) - 69 babies - 61 f / 8 m. ("Onyx" is distinctly more popular, with 928 babies - 169 f / 759 m)

Let's Just Erase These Name From Future Baby Books, Thanks...

People were actually given these names? Who? What? Why? How? What other questions am I omitting?

Adelbert (m)

Adorabelle (f)

Aladdin (m)

Amabalis (m)

Amyot (m)

Aprilette (f)

Aristarch (m)

Arkwright (m)

Athanasia (f)

Babtist (m)

Bambalina (f)

Benigna (f) 

Biddulph (m) 

Birdella (f)

Blagden (m)

Bland (m)

Blenda (f)

Boniface (m)

Bozo (m)

Burbank (m)

Cadwallader (m)

Caradoc (m) 

Chrystostom (m)

Clematis (f)

Clothilda (f)

Coma (f)

Conception (f)

Dandie (m)

Dearborn (m)

Dempster (m) 

Dextra (f)

Druce (m)

Dubadeasa (f)

Ethelburga (f)

Flogelind (f)

Gift (f)

Gladusa (f)

Gouverneur (m)

Gritty (short for Griselda or Margaret) (f)

Head (m)

Honeyball (f)

Increase (m)

Intrepid (m)

Innocent (m)

Juvenal (m)

Petty (m)

Marmaduke (m)

Mayo (f)

Meiklyohn (m)

Minty (f)

Nap (short for Napoleon) (m)

Nye (m)

Odd (m)

Ordway (m)

Parthenope (f)

Pendrod (m)

Pentecoste (f)

Perfecta (f)

Purcifer (m)

Plantagenet (m)

Quenburga (f)

Quirio (f)

Ring (m)

Seabert (m)

Thorncroft (m)

Toner (m)

Twitchell (m)

Throth  (f)

Vignette (f)

Walpurga (f)

Welcome (f)

Weltrude (f)

If you have a kid with one of those names... I don't want to know.


Here are some unbelievable but totally real names from the 1964 edition of 3000 Names For Boys!




















Sunday, October 9, 2022

Fantastic Names From The Past: Early 1960s Edition

We're back with even more fantastic names -- straight out of yearbooks of old! 

Well, semi-old. Many of these people could still be alive and kicking.

Although maybe just with slightly less pep nowadays.

Born between 1942 and 1948, these former teens mainly bore the names popular in their time -- Gene, Barbara, Jack, Rick, Jim, Sherry, Carl, Sue, Peggy, Gordon, et al.

But some of them had parents who had a more artistic sense -- and/or a sense of humor.

Let's give a shout out to those kids... the ones with these fantastic names.

Clyde Fry

Adeana Poff

LaVonne Gasatis

Arleen Klingsporn

Cliff Cofer

Paul Petrequin

Sigurd Gustafson

Valene Jansik

Kip Nagely

Pat Paist

Norman Pekkola

LaRue Poisel

Merlin Buser

Dick Weidenkeller

Laraine Latourette

Paulette DeShores

Dean Popp

Joe Shade

Challys Estabrook

Clydenia Starr

Les Leatherberry

Otto Witte

Kirk Skyles

Jerri Quantiance

Penny Miner

Twilla Kittelson

Bill Wriglesworth

Dinah Irish

Connie Pommerening

Durwood McDowell

And now...

My Top 10 Fantastic Names Of 1961-1964

10. Charity Lionberger

9. Rusty Rico

8. Marjorie McQuowen

7. Genelle Groat

6. Anita Hart

5. JoDee Liberty

4. Treasure Sullivan

3. Lila Zalonia

2. Peggy Pickelsimer


1. Yvonna Zirkle

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Lost & Found: A Box Of Slides From the 1960s

 It's not unusual to run across vintage photos and slides while pawing through the GoodWill Bins. I sometimes come home with photos. But slides have, in the past, been a bit harder to commit to. What am I going to do with them, make art? Then, last year, I bought a digital scanner for photo negatives and slides. Aha! The sudden ease... the possibilities!

Last fall I brought home a small box of 1960s-era slides. Some of the shots are definitely better than others, but I'm including them all here, because even the blurry ones capture a moment in time that may be significant to some.

Chicago is represented in many of these photos (Wrigley Building Restaurant, National Boulevard Bank of Chicago, Wendella Boat Rides, Park Place Motor Inn, Bill Thomas' Restaurant, Park Place, the Chicago Tribune.) Take note of the vintage cars and the people's clothing! Ah, 1960s, if only I'd known thee....