Spotlight on: Geraldine

Earlier this week, we discussed Beyonce Knowles and Jay-Z’s choice of Blue Ivy for their first child. This week’s spotlight name was inspired by another celebrity name choice.

There has been some discussion in the name-world about Rebecca Gayheart and Eric Dane’s choice of Georgia Geraldine for their second daughter. Therefore, a spotlight on Geraldine is only fitting.

Some are complimenting the alliteration of the combo, a pattern repeated from their first daughter’s name, Billie Beatrice. But for me, personally, the real appeal is Geraldine, a name reflecting a popular hipster style, that has yet to appear on many parent’s name lists. While Georgia has been heard often among the hipsters, Geraldine had been incognito – until now that is.

Geraldine was given to 207 baby Girls in 2010. Geraldine hasn’t ranked in the top 1000 since 1990, and had a previous long absence from 1976 – 1987. Her heyday was the depression era 1930s where she ranked in the 40’s. She peaked at 38 in 1931.

The celebrity baby is not the first time I have seen Geraldine. One of my daughter’s favorite books is The Very Fairy Princess, co-written by Julie Andrews (yes from The Sound of Music) and Emma Walton Hamilton. The main character is a little girl, Geraldine, who loves being a fairy princess.

Unlike other princess themed books, The Very Fairy Princess paints princesses in an empowering light, rather than a kind, passive, docile, appearance-obsessed light. While Cinderella takes her evil stepmother’s crap until she is rescued by the Prince, Princess Geraldine knows that skinned knees “are the price you pay,” when running late for the school bus, and sometimes it’s necessary to speak up, even if speaking up means interrupting class.

Such a positive, endearing association like The Very Fairy Princess adds to Geraldine’s charm. These two subtle references will cause people to remember hearing the name somewhere, even if they can’t put their finger on where.

Geraldine isn't afraid to get her fingernails dirty.

But these subtle cultural references aren’t the only factors that poise Geraldine for a revival. These factors could up Geraldine’s revival quotient:

  • Geraldine peaked around 80 years ago, positioning her for rediscovery in the next ten years based on the typical 80-120 year revival pattern of many names such as Emma, Anna, Alice, and Claire.
  • The current economy has been compared to the Great Depression of the 1930s, and oddly some stylists have been inspired by the 1930s as a result. Perhaps Depression era names could get an additional boost from this, besides the fact that they are due to come back anyway.
  • Geraldine fits a popular style pattern of feminized versions of masculine names, just like currently popular Charlotte and Josephine. She also shares a boyish nickname: Charlie, Jo (or Joey) and Gerry (or Gerri).

Readers: What do you think? Is Geraldine a dusty old relic or ready for revival?



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  1. Your new header looks very nice. 🙂

    Guess I’m not a real fan of the name Geraldine, but the book you describe sounds fantastic!!

  2. I would certainly consider her as a middle name in a similar fashion to Georgia Geraldine, but I don’t think I love her enough to put her as a first name.

    • You know, that was my initial thought too – that I love Geraldine as a middle name only. And then, when I told my husband I had posted about Geraldine he told me he went to high school with a girl named Geraldine and her last name was an Italian last name that sounded like “something-something-enelli.” And I thought, I kind of like Geraldine with that kind of last name.

  3. My beloved Lated MIL’s name is Geraldine. & since I was raised my Nana & Grampa, They passed on the tradition of keeping manes in the family & using at least 1 biblical name.


  1. […] / Andy (or maybe Rina?) Antonia / Toni Fredricka / Freddie (or maybe Ricka?) Georgia / Georgie Geraldine / Gerry Hariette / Hattie Henrietta / Hattie or Etta Maxine / Max Philippa / Pippa Roberta / Bobbie […]

  2. […] the idea to spotlight George this week came from two places. First there was the announcement of Rebecca Gayheart and Eric Dane’s choice of Georgia* for their daughter a few weeks ago. Secondly, Swistle Baby Names highly endorsed George to a […]

  3. […] 1990’s. After a 20+ year absence, Geraldine is back. Since Geraldine was one of our Spotlight Names, it’s no secret I feel this time Geraldine will stick around awhile. The name manages to seem […]

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