Zombie Names: 30 Baby Names That Came Back From the Dead

Oct 29th 2015


They're ba-ack. Names left for dead for generations have come back to life and are prowling – or at least crawling – America's playgrounds.

These are no mere antique revivals. Antiques like Amelia and Oliver are enjoying renewed popularity today, but they never really went away. Neither name has ever fallen off the top 500 names list. The zombie names were dead and buried, in fashion terms. They fell out of the top 1000, and stayed out for half a century or more. And now they're back.

The revived include gentleladies like Aurelia and Cordelia, biblical heirlooms like Hezekiah and Ephraim, and buttoned-down surnames like Miller and Hayes. Some of the names, like Magnolia and Emmaline, carry the flavor of bygone times with them. Others, like Mina and Oakley, seem reborn in new skins. (If you met a little Mina today, I doubt you'd think the name was short for Wilhelmina.)

Like all zombies, these names can sneak up and surprise people. Ephraim was gone for 99 years, so few adults have ever met anyone by that name. To some, a baby Ephraim will sound downright shocking. But in an age when zombie tales are the toast of Hollywood, zombie names make perfect fashion sense.

GIRLS

Name   Departed     Reanimated     Current Rank    Years Gone
Charlie   1951   2005   #229   54
Adelaide   1948   2005   #316   57
Mina   1944   2002   #687   58
Clementine     1953   2014   #943   61
Aurelia   1950   2012   #832   62
Cordelia   1950   2014   #993   64
Adelina   1945   2010   #531   65
Annabel   1932   2000   #448   68
Evie   1941   2014   #501   73
Magnolia   1940   2013   #831   73
Nova   1938   2011   #287   73
Lilian   1922   1997   #506   75
Amalia   1934   2011   #884   77
Luna   1921   2003   #143   82
Emelia   1921   2008   #625   87
America   1909   1998   #846   89
Emmaline   1915   2012   #880   97

BOYS

Name   Departed     Reanimated     Current Rank     Years Gone
Lawson   1950   2000   #485   50
Lucian   1952   2005   #608   53
Josiah   1919   1975   #64   56
Theo   1945   2010   #509   65
Miller   1943   2014   #876   71
Malachi   1910   1987   #179   77
Hayes   1931   2009   #545   78
Hezekiah     1923   2004   #774   81
Mathias   1918   2003   #582   85
Finley   1917   2006   #374   89
Oakley   1920   2011   #657   91
Ephraim   1914   2013   #962   99
Harper   1906   2006   #728   100

 

Comments

2
October 30, 2015 3:50 PM

Oakley and Harper have been reanimated all right, but mostly as girl's names. I didn't know zombies could suffer from gender identity disorder. :)

3
October 30, 2015 4:15 PM

Rarely do I like a list of trendy names as much as this one.  I had no idea my style was "zombie"!

4
October 31, 2015 11:38 AM

Heh. This list doesn't surprise me in the least, as I personally know parents who contributed to the reanimation of Adelina, Mina, and Theo, and a number of the other names are on my own list.  Fascinating.

5
By PJ
November 3, 2015 8:32 PM

I'm so curious about what caused the resurgence of America as a name in 1998? Any theories about what led to that upswing in Patrotism at that time?

6
By mk
November 5, 2015 4:59 PM

Well, the Lewinsky scandal and embassy bombings of Kenya and Tanzania were both in 1998, but not sure if that would affect baby naming trends. Though, you do see a bigger increase in 2001 and 2002, so maybe?

7
November 6, 2015 1:10 AM

We actually have a chicken named Mina, short for Wilhelmina! RIP Esther, Cleo, and Bess (all named for queens, in case that interests anyone!). 

I also know of two Denver families who each have a Clementine AND a Magnolia. I bet they didn't think they were picking zombie names. :-D

8
November 9, 2015 10:07 AM

I thought actress America Ferrera was the motivation behind the use of America as a name, but she wasn't in movies/TV until 2002.  Maybe there was a character in a TV show or movie with that name?

9
November 11, 2015 9:56 PM

Not sure if is why the name America became popular but in 98 the book Where the Heart is was on Oprah's book club and in the book the baby is named Americus. Not a fan of Americus so maybe people went with America? 

10
November 21, 2015 3:59 PM

America is a popular name in Latin America.  I bet the influx of Latino families in the U.S. is a big factor in its popularity here.  The same could be said for names like Carlos (#117), Jesus (#111), and Ximena (#142).