Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Allison

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English, French, German
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 34
Simple meaning:
Noble one

Characteristics of Allison

  • Independent
  • Individualistic
  • Ambitious
  • Strong-willed
  • Inventive
  • Successful

Etymology & Historical Origin - Allison

Allison is an alternate spelling of Alison, a name made popular in medieval England from Alice. Basically, here’s what happened. The Norman-French brought a wagon-full of continental European names over to England after the Conquest of 1066. Alis was one such name, derived from the Old French Adelais, itself a short form of the ancient German female name Adalheidis (Adelaide), from the Germanic elements “adal” (noble) and “heid” (kind, type, sort). The reason for Adelaide’s enduring popularity in the Middle Ages (and thus the many linguistic off-shoots of her name) is owed to a 10th century saint. Saint Adelaide of Italy was one of the most prominent and well-known women in her day (a medieval celebrity of sorts). Her first marriage was a planned alliance during a time of great political chaos in Italy; however, her husband soon died and his usurper tried to force the young Adelaide (then barely 20) to marry his son. When she refused, she was forced to flee and threw herself at the mercy of Otto the Great of Germany. Otto had other plans – taking advantage of this precarious situation, he went ahead and conquered Italy for himself and then took Adelaide as his wife. Husband and wife were soon crowned Emperor and Empress of the Holy Roman Empire by Pope John XII. Adelais was an Old French form of the name which was shortened to Alis which became Alice in England and eventually Alison (Heidi is a German diminutive also derived from Adelaide). Alison was an extremely common name in England during the later Middle Ages and persisted in popularity until the 16th century when it fell from favor. It never lost its luster among the Scots, however, so Alison will forever hold a certain Scottish appeal. Allison with two “L”s is now the more common spelling in the United States – where the name has endured with the most success.

Popularity of the Name Allison

Americans most likely adopted the name Alison from Scottish immigrants in the early 20th century. As mentioned earlier, Allison is now the most popular spelling choice of Alison but both must still compete with many other creative American respellings. Allison (with two Ls) first appeared on America’s Top 1000 list in 1946, but it wasn’t until the 1970s before she emerged as a favorite (landing a position on the Top 100 list in 1974). In the last 20 years, Allison has seen most of her success; the name’s peak popularity came in 2009 when she was ranked #30 in the nation. The popular pet forms Allie and Ally have become independently given names in their own right.
Popularity of the Girl Name Allison
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Allison

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Allison

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Allison

    Alison (“The Miller’s Wife” in The Canterbury Tales) The Millers Tale was one of the Canterbury Tales written by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century (circa 1385). The character of Alison is introduced as the beautiful, wild and desirable young wife of a much older carpenter. A young student persuades Alison to have sex with him (stories were a bit racy back in the 14th century). They dupe the old carpenter into thinking a Great Flood is coming so that he must prepare tubs (hanging from the rafters) to provide floatation when the flood arrives. This keeps the carpenter preoccupied so the young lovers can get down to business. As the outlandish story unfolds, another suitor, the parish clerk, appears begging Alison for a kiss at her small bedchamber window. In the dark of night, she presents her rear end at the window so that he "kissed her naked arse full savorly.”

    Allie (Allison) Hamilton (The Notebook) Allie is the heroine of Nicholas Sparks’ 2004 bestseller, The Notebook, a sentimental love story about a young woman who must choose between an appropriate suitor and the man she really loves. As the story of the romance unfolds, narrated by the love of her youth, Noah, we are told of young Allie’s story side-by-side with that of the old Allie, who is dying of Alzheimer’s disease. Containing all the elements of melodrama, including a world war, hidden love letters, misunderstandings, teen-age angst and elderly frailty, this story pours it on like maple sugar, and is actually just as satisfying.

    Allison McKenzie (Peyton Place) Allison is the protagonist of Grace Metalious’ scandalous 1956 novel, Peyton Place, as well as the movie version. It also became one of television’s first “night-time soaps”, starring a young Mia Farrow in 1964. Set in a tranquil all-American community in New Hampshire, the novel exposes an underbelly of that same American life, one which includes rape, illegitimacy, incest, infidelity, and just about anything else you can think of. Allison represents a hopeful, youthful idealism, one which looks to the future and overcomes the obstacles of the past and present, no matter how challenging.

  • Popular Songs on Allison

    Popular Songs on Allison

    Alison - a song by Elvis Costello

    Alison - a song by Linda Ronstadt

    Alison's Starting to Happen - a song by the The Lemonheads

    Allison - a song by Jimmy Holiday

    Allison - a song by the Pixies

    Allison Road - a song by the Gin Blossoms

    Poor Little Allison - a song by Gordon Lightfoot

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Allison

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Allison

    Alison Rides the Rapids (Nina Alexander) - When a disastrous math test shakes her self-confidence, Alison goes through the magic mirror and finds her skills and courage tested as a junior river guide on a white-water rafting trip. Recommended for ages 7-11.

    Allison (Allen Say) - When Allison receives a beautiful kimono from her grandmother she realizes she looks more like her doll Mei Mei than her parents. She struggles with the idea of being adopted, until she is finally reassured by her own adoption of a stray cat. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Are You in the House Alone? (Richard Peck) - A sixteen-year-old girl, Alison, with a steady boyfriend suddenly begins receiving threatening phone calls while she is babysitting and anonymous notes in her high school locker. Recommended for ages Young Adult.

  • Famous People Named Allison

    Famous People Named Allison

    Famous People Named Allison - We cannot find any popular celebrities or famous people with the first name Allison.

  • Children of Famous People Named Allison

    Children of Famous People Named Allison

    Famous People who Named their Daughter Allison - Robert Urich (actor); Sally Jesse Raphael (TV personality); Tom Berenger (actor)

  • Historic Figures

    Allison - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Allison - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Allison.

Personality of the Girl Name Allison

The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged.  They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.

Variations of the Baby Name - Allison

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