American Girl Redux
In August, I wrote about the names of the American Girl doll series with a focus on their latest historical character, Rebecca Rubin. Her name, I concluded, was a reasonable choice but not really representative of the early-20th Century period. I suggested Sadie as an alternative that would "hit the quadruple-bullseye of Jewish heritage, period feel, informal style and modern appeal."
Fast forward to this week. My eight-year-old daughter just read Meet Rebecca, the doll's accompanying storybook. She eagerly related the highlights, including Rebecca's struggles with her annoying older sisters Sophie and...Sadie.
I tip my cap. You can't put anything over on those American Girl folks. In fact, the book's gallery of Rebecca's family and friends reads like a sibling set from the Baby Name Wizard book. Sophie, Sadie, Leo, Benny and Max sit right at the fashionable intersection of "Antique Charm" and "Guys and Dolls."
For girls, further options abound -- Lillie, Ruby, Lena, Lucy, Ella, Molly, Nell, and on and on. For boys, though, it's slimmer pickings. If you're looking for a dark horse candidate, there's just one more name in the Rebecca gallery: Victor. In America today, Victor is usually heard as a Spanish name. Back in fictional Rebecca Rubin's time, though, it sounded more like Sophie, a multi-ethnic classic with Mitteleuropa gravitas but a twinkle in its eye.