Date: Tue, 11 Oct 1994 14:19:32 CDT


Subject: Aunt Rhody

I've had only three responses to my 'Aunt Rhody' query. More interesting

topics intervened. No problem. This isn't a big item.

By the way (i.e., BTW), I don't mind seeing short responses to requests

for info/help; that tells me where there are linguists/dialectologists

who are interested in particular topics and who they are. So I don't see

my colleagues' postings as intrusions, not on this list.

Dennis Preston posted a query about Rhody/Rhoda. According to THE GUINNESS

BOOK OF NAMES, 6th ed (1993), 'Rhoda' is listed (p. 41) under "Some biblical

first names for girls":

Rhoda -- Greek 'rose'

In the section titled "First name profiles" the following statistics are cited

for the incidence of the name per 10,000 girls born in the year indicated.

The statistics are for births in England and Wales (p. 72)

1900 16, 1925 8, 1935 4, 1950 2, 1955 2, 1970 4, 1980 2, 1990 1

The name Rhona is listed among "Some Scottish first names for girls":

Rhona -- Scottish place name 'rough isle'

Rhona came into general use, so says Guinness, in England and Wales in 1870,

with the following frequencies of use:

1935 2, 1935 4, 1950 6, 1955 8, 1965 4, 1980 2

I added Rhona because of the folk uses of "Rhony" as well as "Rhody".

You may wonder about Rhonda (different vowel sound). Guinness doesn't list

an etymological source for it, but it was the 44th most popular girl's

name in the USA in 1970 (p. 53). It came into general use in England and

Wales in 1927, with the following frequencies reported (p. 72):

1950 5, 1955 2, 1960 6, 1965 2, 1975 2

The name was not in the top 50 names in the USA in years other than 1970.

More'n you ever wanted to know, but here it is.