Thursday, August 13, 2015

Throwback Thursday #1 - The I's have it

Hello followers! (or just my boyfriend and supportive friends)

This Throwback Thursday is brought to you by the letter I. Originally a very popular first letter, I-names declined significantly in the 1920's and 30's. Towards the 1980's and 90's, however, the I-names skyrocketed again. Check out this graph (thanks Baby Name Voyager!)

Right now, Isabella, Isaac, Isaiah and Isla (and variants) are topping the charts. But are there names from the past that might fit in nicely as well? Let's look at some of these vintage I-names (from the top 200 in 1890) and find out!


Ida - "industrious one"
Currently a favorite in Scandinavia, Ida could be a great alternative to the popular Ava and rising Isla. It dropped off the top 1000 entirely in 1984 - is it time for a comeback?

Inez - "pure, virginal"
Off the list for quite some time, this Latin variant of Agnes has resurfaced in recent pop culture - check out Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris or the recent musical Hairspray. The ending Z adds a zip, but this name might be too mature for a child to pull off. 

Irene - "peace"
With a beautiful meaning, this divine name has a very serene feel. There's also an historical Irene for every type: the actress Irene Dunne, the scientist Irene Joliot-Curie, the fictional Irene Adler (the only woman to outsmart Sherlock Holmes). 

Iva - "willow tree"
This name works well on its own, as a bright alternative to Ivy, or as a nickname for Ivonne or Ivanna. It would also work well with a long last name without being too short or plain. 

Ina - feminine name suffix
No meaning of its own, and somehow very lackluster next to Ida or Iva. Nickname possibility perhaps? Angelina, Katerina, and Marina are all examples of pretty names with popular nicknames - Ina could help a little girl stand out. 

Irma - "universal, complete"
Although it's got a great meaning, Irma still hasn't yet dropped its grandmotherly image. What popular name has the same meaning? Number one darling Emma, of course!


Ira - "watchful one"
With short Hebrew boy's names ending in A making a comeback - Noah, Ezra, Asa - Ira might fit in perfectly on the playground. NPR's Ira Glass and music's Ira Gershwin are popular namesakes. 

Irvin - "handsome"
Somehow incomplete, despite popularity over its brother name, Irving. I'd stick with Ivan

Irving - "green water"
There are quite a few historical Irving's, whether the name came first or last. More complete than Irvin, but it would take a lot of confidence to pull it off. 

What do you think? Are there I-names I didn't mention that you love? Did I totally mischaracterize a name? Tell me in the comments!


  1. I'd love to see Idony/Idonia be revived!

  2. Beautiful! I've never heard of Idony/Idonia...