When I was young, Donna was a quite fashionable name. “Acceptable” – that was the lofty standard my parents were aiming for. There were several Donnas in my class and my best friend then was a Donna.
But now the name is rarely given to babies now.
From government statistics I found the rise and fall of the name. It first appeared in the 1920s ranking #104 for girls. When I was born in the 1940s, it was up to #17. Ritchie Valens sang “Donna” in 1958. The name peaked in the 1960s at #8. It sunk to #64 in the 1970s and was never ranked again in the top 200.
So now I have an old fashioned name, like Bertha or Edith or Agatha would have been in my youth. I hadn’t thought of myself as a Bertha, but that’s what others must hear when I say ‘Donna.’
I’m not at all upset. I feel it puts me in a group of tough old women, like Flossie Beadle was when I was young. She was a staunch defender of local history in my little town – I thought she was wonderful. I’m happy to be in the ranks of Bertha and Flossie.