Solid Citizens: The next frontier in revivals?
Just a few years ago many of the names in the "Solid Citizens" chapter of The Baby Name Wizard were considered the nadir of name fashion (if you haven't seen it feel free to take a look at it; what it mainly consists of are names whose heyday was sometime between the 1910s-1940s or so). Now it seems that more people are warming back up to some of those names (at least in the NE community where some are looking for "beyond hipster" names). It's probably a combination of factors:
With Victorian-era favorites like Amelia and Henry now well into the mainstream it's the next step in names due for a revival.
With the ongoing tough economic times maybe some are looking for more "simple" names (not necessarily a sign of a return to more conformity in naming, but rather more people liking those names with a "comfort food" feeling). (This is also why I predicted that over the course of this decade America's phobia of nicknamey-names would diminish like it did during the last major depression.)
On the same note, although I try to avoid discussing issues of a political nature here, now that the generation that these names are/were associated with's image has gone from the obstacle of unbridled capitalism (which is how many Boomers and older Xers saw things) to that of a reminder of better and more equal economic times of the past (which is how many of today's new parents are seeing it), may be helping how the names are perceived.
Lastly, this may be a sign of the Mad Men effect; four of the main characters' names (Betty, Donald, Joan, and Roger) are on the "Solid Citizens" list (and are generationally appropriate for the respective characters).
What do you think? Any names from the list that you like? (I'll share my favorites after a bit.)
Sat, 06/23/2012 - 6:06pm