Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Barely Used Boy Names: Idris, Wiley & Boaz [Part Six]


Welcome to Part Six of our Barely Used Boy Names series!! This list has some interesting and unsual options for you.

Idris (138 births - #1286)   Idris possibly means "interpreter" in Arabic and it is the name of an ancient prophet in the Qur'an, typically equated with the biblical Enoch. Idris is also a Welsh name meaning "ardent lord". This name ranked at #280 in England and Wales recently, as well as #447 in France. It gained usage in the US for males in 1971 and has slowly been gaining births per year but it has yet to reach the Top 1000.

Sheldon (137 births - #1294)  There are several locations in England called Sheldon. It generally means "valley with steep sides" and was both a place name and a surname before it was ever a given name. In the US, Sheldon has been given to boys on record since 1881. It has also been used infrequently for girls from 1931 to 2002. For boys, it gained entry to the Top 1000 in the early 1900s, earning as many births per year as 608 in 1992. It dipped back down below the Top 1000 again in 2009, 2011 and has stayed below since 2013. Could it rise again?

Lucius (136 births - #1299)  Lucius comes from the Latin lux meaning "light" and was a Roman praenomen. The name belonged to several important Romans and three popes. It wasn't regularly used by Christians until after the Renaissance. Here in the US, people have given their son the name since records began in 1880. It even ranked in the Top 1000 until 1960. It's dipped down to double-digit births per year but is back on the rise again. Could it rejoin the Top 1000?

Pierson (134 births - #1310)  Pierson seems to be related to Piers which is a medieval form of Peter taken from the Old French Pierre. Pierson (along with Pearson and Peirson) were typically used as surnames. As a given name, Pierson is rare. It first popped up in the US with a handful of births in 1912 but it didn't catch on until it finally gained regular yearly usage in the 1980s. It remains nowhere near the Top 1000 but its climbing!

Atreyu  (133 births - #1314)  Atreyu is a literary name created by German author Michael Ende and originally spelled Atréju.  It was the name of the hero in his 1979 fantasy novel "Die unendliche Geschichte" which is "The Neverending Story" in English.  It's said to mean "son of all" in the book's fictional language since the orphaned character was raised by a village. In the US, the name popped up in the mid-1980s but despite gaining usage over the years, it has never been in the Top 1000. Will it ever get there or is the name too unusual?

Jarvis (133 births - #1318)   Jarvis comes from a surname that was taken from the male French name Gervais, which came from the German Gervasius partially meaning "spear". If you look for the Marvel comic book meaning, you'll find that Tony Stark's AI computer J.A.R.V.I.S stands for "Just A Rather Very Intelligent System". The name Jarvis has been in use in the US since 1882 and even ranked in the Top 1000 between the 1950s and 2006. It's declined in popularity now, but could it make a comeback?

Wiley (133 births - #1321)  Wiley comes from a surname derived from am Old English place name meaning "temple clearing". It can also be used in reference to the word "wily" and given originally as a nickname to a person who was, well, wily. This name has actually been given to boys since 1880 in the US, ranking within the Top 1000 until 1974. Could it come back on the charts again soon? It's also been given to a handful of girls in recent years.

Boaz (132 births - #1325)  Boaz is a Biblical Hebrew name meaning "swiftness".  It was never a popular one, though. Boaz first popped up on the US charts in 1965 but it's never been near the Top 1000. In 2015, it received the most births it has ever had in a single year. Will it catch on soon?

Forest (132 births - #1326)   Forest is the less-popular spelling of Forrest. Both names come from an English surname that refers to an actual forest. Both of the spellings have been in use in the US since 1880. Forest ranked in and out of the Top 1000 through the 1960s and 1980s, and it ranked again in the early 1990s, but since then it's declined. However, its starting to trend upward again. Would you use Forest or Forrest?

Francesco (131 births - #1338)  Francesco is the Italian form of the Late Latin Franciscus which means "Frenchman." While Francisco has always been well-used, the spelling Francesco is rarely used. It only gained usage in 1906, but it managed to rank in the Top 1000 from 1967-200, save a few years. Now it has fallen off the charts. Is Francisco just a superior spelling?

What do you think of this list? Would you use any of these names?

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