On paper, Downton Abbey should be a must watch for me—so I don't know why I'm coming so late to the game. British + Maggie Smith + drama + history = perfect show in my book. Plus, as a name nerd, there's lots of names to love on the female side of the cast. (Alas, they stuck with some pretty standard and popular fare for the boys, like Thomas and Robert.)
Granted some names, like Violet and Rose, started on the road to popularity before the show aired. But there are still some names that are under the radar—and they're names that could fit into the current passion for old-fashioned names. Try these on for size:
Cora is the mother of the three Crawley daughters, an American woman who married into British nobility. Her name means "maiden," and was already launching a comeback before the show aired—it's currently the 155th most popular baby name for girls.
Mary was the most popular name for girls for centuries, but in recent decades it's been on the decline. Maybe Lady Mary Crawley, the eldest daughter in the wealthy family who lords over Downton Abbey, can help restore its luster.
Edith is probably my favorite of the sisters' names—it means prosperous, and after a sharp decline over the past 50 years, it started climbing back up the charts as soon as the show started airing.
Sybil is the youngest and most modern Crawley daughter, who ends up marrying one of her family's staff members. Her name means prophetess, and hasn't been in the top 1000 in decades. Perhaps it's ready for a comeback now?
Isobel is the Scottish variant spelling of the ever popular Isabella, which means pledged to God. And unlike the #3 name Isabella, Isobel hasn't been in the top 1000 in nearly a century.
Anna has been a top 100 baby name for over a century—and it's the name for one of the stalwarts of the Downton Abbey staff. It means grace—and is a perfect choice for the kind and honorable lady's maid Anna.
What's your favorite Downton Abbey name? Share it in the comments.
If you're still looking for baby names, try our Baby Name Finder!
Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name
Image: Downton Abbey by Dutourdumonde Photography/Shutterstock.com