The name Blythe has that spunky feel that I love, and I love the happy, joyous meaning. It seems classy and sophisticated. But, in practice, it's difficult to say and sounds a bit like "blight" to me. Curious to see what others think of this name.
I too am curious to know what people think of the name Blythe! I've seen it on a few name lists recently, which makes me think it may be coming into style. My own opinion is affected by how difficult I find the name to say aloud: for a name with only one syllable, it has so many sounds.
I looked it up on the Social Security Administration's web site, and I see it hasn't been in the Top 1000 for the entire online portion of the data (1880-2011). I looked in the individual year files for each decade, to get a sample of how many Blythes were born in various years):
1880: (none in data base)
1890: (none in data base)
1900: (none in data base)
1910: (none in data base)
1920: (none in data base)
And in 2011, there were 105.
The Oxford Dictionary of First Names says it's a modern coinage, most likely based on the word blithe. To me it sounds French and elegant and wealthy (gold cigarette case, fur cape, lovely long neck with hair in a French twist)---but quite elderly, like Blanche: the hair I'm picturing is white. That's the sort of impression that turns on a dime when the next batch of babies start receiving the name: I remember when the names Eloise and Ruby seemed elderly to me, and now not at all!
Let's have a poll over to the right to see what everyone else thinks! [Poll closed; see results below.]
(Also see our follow-up post: How Do You Pronounce the Name Blythe?)
Poll results for "What do you think of the name Blythe?" (605 votes total):
I love it! I'd want to use it! - 67 votes (11%)
I like it! I'd want to consider it! - 126 votes (21%)
I like it for someone else's baby - 242 votes (40%)
No particular opinion - 26 votes (4%)
Slight dislike - 93 votes (15%)
Strong dislike - 51 votes (8%)