I’m putting together a list of names that are both rare and not increasing in significant numbers, for parents looking for “safe” names to give their babies. One of the criteria is that the name be under 300 uses on the 2014 list. Here are a few names that fit that criterion but I’ve left off the list for other reasons (generally because they’re getting more popular, but in the case of Gertrude it’s because I think it’s fugly).
Coralie [#1052] — This name rarely saw more than a dozen uses in a year before the 2000s. As of 2014, it’s in its peak year at 81 uses. That still makes it quite rare, but tread carefully if choosing this name for its lack of popularity–with a trendy sound and an “old lady” vibe, it’s poised for racing up the charts.
Gertrude [#3409] — The quintessential “ugly old lady name,” Gertrude peaked in 1917 with 6300 uses. Its low point was in 1998, when it nearly fell off the charts. This name can be considered both extremely rare, with only 19 uses in 2014, and not for the faint of heart. It might be chosen by brave parents who don’t care about the negative kneejerk reaction most people have to hearing it.
Astrid [#787] — Astrid saw consistent use in low numbers (<80) until it started taking off in the late 1980s. It’s currently peaking at 293 uses and will very likely see much higher numbers over the next decade.
Ingrid [#794] — Ingrid’s numbers have stayed in the 200-500 range since the mid-1940s. Its peak years were 1967 (577 uses) and 2008 (564 uses). There doesn’t appear to be much of a pattern to this name’s use, and for that reason I hesitate to make any predictions. This would be a good choice for parents who want an easily pronounced, recognizable name that’s also not too common.
Violeta [#800] — This name, along with its sister Violet, is currently enjoying its most popular era in history. Although it only had 286 uses in 2014, it’s sure to keep growing in popularity until Violet sputters out years from now.
Clementine [#803] — Clementine saw fair to middling use in the first half of the 20th century, but petered out and was seldom used until its revival around 2005. Its current numbers are the highest they’ve ever been and will probably increase considerably over the next few years.
Promise [#805] — This wasn’t used as a name in the United States until 1975, and has been slowly but steadily increasing in popularity since its debut. It has more than doubled since 2005 and by all appearances will keep growing.
Cordelia [#816] — Cordelia has been used consistently over the past century, seeing its highest use before now exactly 100 years ago. In 2002 the name started moving up the charts once again, and in 2014 hit a record high 264 uses. Like Coralie and Astrid, this name has a fashionable vibe and big potential to grow.