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LISTS

106 of the Least Popular Baby Names in American History

Arika Okrent
ThinkStock
ThinkStock / ThinkStock
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The SSA website gives the top 1000 boy and girl names (as reported on Social Security card applications) for each year from 1880 onward. If you look at the low end of the top 1000 names for 2012, you see boys’ names like Dangelo, Foster, Jaidyn, Briggs and Davon. For girls, you see names like Katalina, Hayleigh, Sloan, Karlie, and Meadow. These names are a bit different, but not all that unusual. Even the 1000th most popular name represents a few hundred babies, or even a few thousand if added up over four or five years. However, in the early years of SSA data, the population was much smaller, so the low end of the list represents fewer babies. And there are some pretty fabulous names in there: In the first 53 years of the SSA records, the best boy and girl names from the 900 to 1000 range include monkiers like Orange and Leafy (1893), Henery and Florance (1897), or Fount and Icy (1885).

If you’re looking for a baby name and want something truly original, but with historical precedent, here’s your list (the rank of each name is in parentheses):

1880
Boy: Handy (970)
Girl: Parthenia (914)

1881
Boy: Okey (972)
Girl: Erie (1000)

1882
Boy: Ab (943)
Girl: Dove (944)

1883
Boy: Commodore (925)
Girl: Lovey (992)

1884
Boy: Spurgeon (958)
Girl: Kathern (974)

1885
Boy: Fount (989)
Girl: Icy (977)

1886
Boy: Squire (953)
Girl: Texie (987)

1887
Boy: Bliss (946)
Girl: Lockie (907)

1888
Boy: Boss (930)
Girl: Indiana (989)

1889
Boy: Starling (962)
Girl: Easter (967)

1890
Boy: Lawyer (999)
Girl: Pinkey (918)

1891
Boy: Manley (962)
Girl: Chestina (974)

1892
Boy: Little (914)
Girl: Odell (1000)

1893
Boy: Orange (1000)
Girl: Leafy (933)

1894
Boy: Flem (1000)
Girl: Ova (986)

1895
Boy: Toy (969)
Girl: Sister (974)

1896
Boy: Josephine (937)*
Girl: Clifford (935)*

1897
Boy: Henery (1000)
Girl: Florance (1000)

1898
Boy: Pleasant (973)
Girl: Tiny (915)

1899
Boy: Fate (972)
Girl: Cuba (884)

1900
Boy: Gorge (935)
Girl: Electa (948)

1901
Boy: Joesph (999)
Girl: Buelah (923)

1902
Boy: Rolla (917)
Girl: Bama (942)

1903
Boy: Ples (992)
Girl: Capitola (982)

1904
Boy: Council (989)
Girl: Pearly (993)

1905
Boy: Son (912)
Girl: Wava (967)

1906
Boy: Virgle (999)
Girl: Carry (971)

1907
Boy: Geo (956)
Girl: Arizona (949)

1908
Boy: Lillian (992)
Girl: Lilyan (991)

1909
Boy: Murl (1000)
Girl: Flonnie (1000)

1910
Boy: Lemon (964)
Girl: Classie (994)

1911
Boy: Wash (978)
Girl: Lavada (806)

1912
Boy: Christ (940)
Girl: Almeta (940)

1913
Boy: Louise (982)
Girl: Louis (974)

1914
Boy: Stephan (1000)
Girl: Vella (1000)

1915
Boy: Mayo (990)
Girl: Dimple (980)

1916
Boy: Green (929)
Girl: Golden (908)

1917
Boy: Elza (968)
Girl: Loyce (984)

1918
Boy: Curley (998)
Girl: Ivory (979)

1919
Boy: Metro (982)
Girl: Louvenia (993)

1920
Boy: Berry (941)
Girl: Merry (934)

1921
Boy: Reno (969)
Girl: Glendora (976)

1922
Boy: Author (950)
Girl: Gaynell (981)

1923
Boy: Burley (994)
Girl: Dorathy (995)

1924
Boy: Dorman (954)
Girl: Mardell (982)

1925
Boy: Buddie (973)
Girl: Bobbye (990)

1926
Boy: Wardell (929)
Girl: Willodean (941)

1927
Boy: Estel (914)
Girl: Gregoria (970)

1928
Boy: Gust (996)
Girl: Hildred (998)

1929
Boy: Vester (984)
Girl: Jettie (953)

1930
Boy: Otho (972)
Girl: Charlsie (951)

1931
Boy: Early (1000)
Girl: Ferne (1000)

1932
Boy: Dock (928)
Girl: Jack (992)

* Not an error!


See Also...

8 Countries With Fascinating Baby Naming Laws

11 Baby Naming Trends of the Past

Dog Naming Trends Through the Ages

A version of this story ran in 2013; it has been updated for 2022.

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