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Edgar’s Awards

The crew here at Edgar’s Name Pages has decided to hand out a few awards to some our favorite names and name-stories. Please understand that these awards are highly subjective in nature and are given purely in the spirit of fun. Here we go!

Most Consistently Popular English Name - Feminine
Winner - Elizabeth
Elizabeth has been a popular name in the English speaking world since the Middle Ages. During the 1600s one of every four girls was christened Elizabeth. Even in the 20th century, with its plethora of naming options, nearly one in ten American women are dubbed Elizabeth.
Elizabeth has never left the top fifty lists of United States, Britain, Australia, Scotland, and Canada, and is even common in Ireland.
In addition, Elizabeth is still going strong, and shows little sign of declining.

Runner-Up - Katherine/Catherine

Most Consistently Popular English Name - Masculine
Winner - William
While John still has better numbers overall, William has shown to be a more consistently popular name. In the United States, it has never dropped past the 25th most popular spot and is actually rebounding, rather than declining. In England, William was more popular than John in the 13th century, the 19th century, and today. More English kings (4) and princes have been named William than have been named John (only 1).

Runner-Up - John

Greatest Drop in Popularity
Winner - Mahala
A Biblical name, Mahala was revived by 17th century English Puritans and brought to the United States. In 1850 it was among the top 150 names given to girls. In 1875, it was still among the top 300. By 1900, it was no longer among the top 1,000.

Most Nicknames
Winner - Elizabeth
Check ‘em out!

Babette, Bet, Beth, Bethina, Bess, Bessie,Bessy, Betsey, Betsy, Betta, Bette, Bettie, Bettina, Bettine, Betty, Buffy, Elisa, Elise, Elissa, Elisse, Eliza, Ella, Ellie, Elsa, Else, Elsie, Ilse, Lib, Libbie, Libby, Lil, Lilian, Lillie, Lilo, Lily, Lilybet, Lilybeth, Lis, Lisa, Lisabet, Lisabeth, Lisbet, Lisbeth, Lise, Lisette, Lissa, Liz, Liza, Lizabeth, Lizbet, Lizbeth, Lize, Lizette, Lizolet, Lizza, Lizzie, and Lyssa.
In the United States, almost twice as many women are named with a diminutive of Elizabeth, than are named Elizabeth

Most Unlikely Doublet
A doublet is a pair of two different words or names that derive from the same source.

Winner - Alice (English/French) and Heidi (Swiss)
Both are from the Germanic name Adelheidis.
Runner-Up #1 -Absalom (English) and Axel (Scandinavian)
Runner-Up #2 - Agnes (English) and Inéz (Spanish)

Best History
Winner - Neil
Neil has one of the more fascinating name histories. It began in Ireland as Niul (later becoming the modern Irish Niall). The name Niul was taken up by the Vikings who took it to Iceland as Njal (Njál, Njála). Njal then moved from Iceland to the rest of Scandinavia. Scandinavian Vikings spread the name to England, where it survived for a time, and into the Latin language (where it became Nigellus, and later Nigel).
About the 8th century, Scandinavian Vikings also settled in Normandy, France becoming the Normans. The Normans soon spoke French, instead their native Scandinavian languages, and Njal became Nel. Nel then turned into Neil (and the surnames Neal and Nelson) and became especially popular in the Scottish-English border regions. It also continued to flourish in Ireland. In the 20th century, Neil has continued to spread to the rest of the English-speaking world.

Most Neglected Name that Ought to Be Popular
Winner - Augusta
Augusta is regal, old-fashioned, and harmonious with lots of "uhs" and "ahs." It has never been popular before, and is thus “unusual” for the unconventional parent. It has a pedigree that stretches back through the British and German royal families all the way down to Roman times for the tradition-minded parent. It means “Great” for those who prize pleasurable meanings. Why isn’t this name popular?
Runner-Up - Octavia
Again, this name has the soft “ay” and “ah” sounds. It is also “old-fashioned” used by the Romans and Shakespeare. Octavia also has the “unusual” letter O besides.

Most Unfortunate Etymological Meaning
Winner - Kennedy, an Irish surname meaning "Ugly Head."
Runner-Up - Mallory, a Norman French surname meaning “Unhappy.”
Runner-Up - Dolores, a Spanish name meaning "Sorrows."
Runner-Up - Cameron, a Scottish surname meaning "Crooked Nose."

Greatest Misinterpretation of a Biblical Phrase
Winner - Ebenezer
Ebenezer is not a name. It is a phrase meaning “Stone of Help.”
Runner-Up - Aphra, a word meaning “Dust” and found in Micah in the phrase “House of Aphra.”
Runner-Up - Sharon, a word meaning “Plain” and found in phrase “Rose of Sharon.”

Most Unappealing Connotations
Winner - Delilah.
Delilah was a seductress found in the Bible. A great villainess
Runner-Up - Deirdre. Deirdre is a name from an old Irish legend, and a tragic story
Runner-Up - Jade. Jade is a “jewel-name” taken from the precious stone that was originally called “piedra de ijata,” in Spanish meaning “stone of the bowels” because the jewel was commonly used in medicine. In English, a “jade” was a slang term for a worn-out horse, and a disagreeable woman.

Oddest Name Popularized by a Song
Winner - Brandy. The name Brandy was almost certainly created after the 1972 popular song “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass.

Runner-Up - Misty. The name Misty was first used in any great numbers after the song “Misty” by Errol Garner (lyrics by Johnny “I’m as helpless as a kitten up a tree” Mathis) came out in 1954, and especially after the Clint Eastwood movie “Play Misty for Me” was released in 1971.

In addition, the names Ramona and Mandy became common after the songs Ramona and Mandy were popular.

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