Saturday, May 04, 2013

A Trendy Name...From 1897

The movie "What Maisie Knew" is opening this weekend. The story (and title) is taken from an 1897 novel, but you'd be forgiven for thinking the name was created in 2013 to describe the spawn of Brooklyn hipsters.

Maisie (or the more common spelling of Maisy) comes across as a completely modern name. A co-worker of mine was surprised to hear the title was from a Henry James book, rather than the result of a screenwriter picking a popular kids' name.

Just look at its chart on

I haven't seen the movie, but apparently the setting of the story has been updated to current times. It's fortunate that the character name so easily made the transition.

"What Ethel Knew" (the eighth-most-popular name in 1897) would probably not have worked as well.