As an English name, Abigail first became common after the Protestant Reformation, and it was popular among the Puritans. The biblical Abigail refers to herself as a servant, and beginning in the 17th century the name became a slang term for a servant, especially after the release of the play The Scornful Lady (1616), which featured a character named Abigail. The name went out of fashion at that point, but it was revived in the 20th century.
This name was fairly common in France, England and the United States in the early 20th century. It became quite popular in France and England at the end of the 20th century, just when it was at a low point in the United States. It quickly climbed the American charts and entered the top ten in 2014.
This was a popular name in the 20th century (especially the middle decades) in French, German, and English-speaking countries. In the United States Christina has been more common since 1973, though both forms are currently floundering on the charts.
It was rare as an American given name before 1975. In the mid-1980s it began growing in popularity for boys, and it peaked ranked 56th in 1995. It is now more common as a feminine name, probably due to the fame of the actress Dakota Fanning (1994-).
The popularity of the name Eleanor in England during the Middle Ages was due to the fame of Eleanor of Aquitaine, as well as two queens of the following century: Eleanor of Provence, the wife of Henry III, and Eleanor of Castile, the wife of Edward I. More recently, it was borne by first lady Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), the wife of American president Franklin Roosevelt.
This name has been used in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. In America it received a boost in popularity after the birth of Esther Cleveland (1893-1980), the daughter of President Grover Cleveland .
This is not the usual spelling in any of the Scandinavian languages (in Sweden and Denmark it is Freja and in Norway it is Frøja) but it is the common spelling of the goddess's name in English. In the 2000s it became popular in Britain.
A famous bearer of the surname was James Madison (1751-1836), one of the authors of the American constitution who later served as president (and after whom Madison Avenue was named).
As an English name it has been very popular since the Middle Ages. It was the top name for girls in England and Wales in the 1920s, 30s and 40s, but it declined in the latter half of the 20th century.
Other saints by this name include a queen of Scotland and a princess of Hungary. It was also borne by Queen Margaret I of Denmark, who united Denmark, Sweden, and Norway in the 14th century. Famous literary bearers include American writer Margaret Mitchell (1900-1949), the author of Gone with the Wind, and Canadian writer Margaret Atwood (1939-). Others include American anthropologist Margaret Mead (1901-1978) and British prime minister Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013).
Famous bearers include Peyton Randolph (1721-1775), the first president of the Continental Congress, and American football quarterback Peyton Manning (1976-).
The name was common among Jews in the Middle Ages, but it was not generally used as a Christian name in the English-speaking world until after the Protestant Reformation. It was only moderately popular in the first half of the 20th century, but starting in the 1960s it steadily rose, reaching highs in the 1980s and 90s. The character Rachel Green on the American sitcom Friends (1994-2004) may have only helped delay its downswing.
Notable bearers include American conservationist Rachel Carson (1907-1964), British actress Rachel Weisz (1970-), and Canadian actress Rachel McAdams (1978-).
As a Christian name, Ruth has been in use since the Protestant Reformation. It became very popular in America following the birth of "Baby" Ruth Cleveland (1891-1904), the daughter of President Grover Cleveland.
Its modern use as a feminine name may have been influenced by the British-American author Taylor Caldwell (1900-1985). Since 1990 it has been more popular for girls in the United States. Other England-speaking regions have followed suit, with the exception of England and Wales where it is still slightly more popular for boys. Its popularity peaked in America the mid-1990s for both genders, ranked sixth for girls and 51st for boys. A famous bearer is the American musician Taylor Swift (1989-).
Though in use elsewhere in Europe, the name was very rare in the English-speaking world until the 19th century, when Queen Victoria began her long rule of Britain. She was named after her mother, who was of German royalty. Many geographic areas are named after the queen, including an Australian state and a Canadian city.
As an English name, Zoe (sometimes with a diaeresis as Zoë) has only been in use since the 19th century. It has generally been more common among Eastern Christians (in various spellings).