Saturday, October 13, 2018

Fantastic Names (And Where To Find Them): Historical Edition

A while back, I was perusing a list of recently-published novels when I noticed a strange trend. It seemed that many of the books' main characters had names that were kind of... quirky. From "Cedar McLeod" to  "Eyelet Elsworth" to "Petunia Beanly," colorful names seemed to be all over modern literature. So, naturally, I blogged about the phenomenon. I also came up with a few reasons why writers might bestow such monikers upon their characters.

But unusual names aren't limited to fictional characters. They're all around us. Within the past month, I've actually met people named Dy'Nastie (dynasty), Destaney (destiny), and Phaith (faith). And before you start fretting about "parents nowadays," you should know... I recently came across a whole bunch of strange, awesome, quirky names, in a rather unlikely place...

The 1920s.

Yes, those 1920's. That decade of jazz, prohibition, and what should have been an acute sense of impending doom.

These names were found in three yearbooks, from 1924, 1925, and 1926. If my math's correct, that means these graduates were born in the Edwardian era, so I guess we can blame (praise?) their parents, who would have been Victorians.
To be fair, some Victorian parents kept to traditional names. These yearbooks feature plenty of Johns and Marys, Williams and Margarets... and, to my surprise, a whole lotta Dorothys.

But the rest... the unusual names? Well. Below are actual names of actual high school students who graduated between 1924 and 1926 in Portland, Oregon.


Actual Names Of Real High School Graduates From 1924-1926

Talmadge Rose

Melba Stebbins

Jack Winklebleck

Carolyn Octolony Jones

Millard Grimm

Oral Read

Irma Lindercrantz

Lela Van Groos

Florence Riffle

Margaret Micklewait

Gus Utter

Artiola Tethrow

Lloyd Goodwill

Priscilla Villa

Myrtle Skooge

Lucille M. Umbdenstock

Leif Sandberg

Retha Brill

Sterling McAlpine

Veola Hoselton

Guertin Carroll

Ethel Sylvester

Hugo Klingbeil

Autumn Sprague

Faun Peret

Jack King

Jewel Hall

Mildred E. Weed

Wayfe Hockett

Zella Halley

Concordia George

Herbert Eisenschmidt

Boatner Chamberlain

Marion Merservey

and introducing the heroine of my next novel:

Adelaide Embody!!!

Rest in peace, fantastically-named folks....

No comments: