The Tennille Trend

music, 1970s, baby name, tennille
Captain and Tennille

The baby name Tennille debuted impressively in the U.S. baby name data in 1975. In fact, it was one of the top debut names of the entire decade. It also inspired dozens of variant spellings (even more than Deneen had!):

Name1974197519761977
Tanielle5*.77
Tennille.103*769425
Tenille.18*124107
Taneal.11*9.
Tanelle.5*10.
Tyneal.5**..
Tennile..32*26
Tennelle..20*19
Taneil..14*5
Tenelle..13*8
Tennielle..13**.
Teneil..12*7
Teneal..11*.
Tenile..11*.
Tanille..10*.
Teneille..10*5
Tannille..8**.
Tenneal..8**.
Tennell..8*5
Tenneil..7*.
Tennillie..7**.
Taniel..6*.
Tenniel..6*.
Tinelle..6**.
Taneille..5**.
Teneile..5**.
Tenneill..5**.
Tenneille...5**
Tennill...5**
Tinnelle...5**
TOTALS51421,136629

*Debut; **One-hit wonder

Tennille’s trendiness only lasted a few years, but the name was popular enough to reach the top 1,000 for three years straight in the late 1970s:

  • 1981: 87 baby girls named Tennille
  • 1980: 140 baby girls named Tennille
  • 1979: 113 baby girls named Tennille
  • 1978: 141 baby girls named Tennille [rank: 984th]
  • 1977: 425 baby girls named Tennille [rank: 462nd]
  • 1976: 769 baby girls named Tennille [rank: 300th]
  • 1975: 103 baby girls named Tennille (debut)
  • 1974: unlisted
  • 1973: unlisted

So, where did the name come from?

The musical duo Captain & Tennille, made up of married couple “Captain” Daryl Dragon and Cathryn Antoinette “Toni” Tennille. Their first hit song was the very ’70s-sounding “Love Will Keep Us Together,” which was released in April of 1975 and peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in June.

The band got even bigger in 1976: “Love Will Keep Us Together” won the Grammy for Record of the Year, “Muskrat Love” became their second hit, and they began hosting the weekly Captain and Tennille variety show on television. (It lasted 20 episodes.)

The surname Tennille is probably of French origin. My guess is that it’s a variant of Tenniel, which is thought to derive from the French place name Thénioux.

Do you like Tennille as a baby name? Would you use it? (How would you spell it?)

Sources:

P.S. Did you know that there are two Canadian country singers named Tenille?

Popular Baby Names in France, 2019

According to France’s National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), the most popular baby names in the country last year were (again) Emma and Gabriel.

Here are France’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Emma, 3,944 baby girls
  2. Jade, 3,820
  3. Louise, 3,752
  4. Alice, 3,294
  5. Lina, 2,948
  6. Chloé, 2,862
  7. Rose, 2,704
  8. Léa, 2,689
  9. Mila, 2,681
  10. Ambre, 2,654

Boy Names

  1. Gabriel, 4,987 baby boys
  2. Léo, 4,653
  3. Raphaël, 4,454
  4. Arthur, 4,005
  5. Louis, 3,947
  6. Lucas, 3,737
  7. Adam, 3,668
  8. Jules, 3,542
  9. Hugo, 3,493
  10. Maël, 3,383

In the girls’ top 10, Ambre replaces Anna.

The boys’ top 10 includes the same 10 names, but in a different order.

Finally, names that saw notable increases in usage from 2018 to 2019 include:

  • Girl names: Joy, Arya, Octavia, Nola, Liyah, Chelsea
  • Boy names: Tiago/Tyago, Ayden, Owen

Sources: Classement des prénoms en France depuis 1900 – Insee, Prénoms des Français: Emma et Gabriel bientôt détrônés?

Popular Baby Names in ACT (Canberra), 2020

According to Access Canberra, the most popular baby names in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in 2020 were Charlotte and Henry.

Here are the ACT’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2020:

Girl Names

  1. Charlotte
  2. Amelia
  3. Matilda
  4. Isla
  5. Emily
  6. Chloe [tie]
  7. Evelyn [tie]
  8. Zoe
  9. Eleanor [3-way tie]
  10. Grace [3-way tie]
  11. Olivia [3-way tie]

Boy Names

  1. Henry
  2. Noah
  3. William
  4. Leo
  5. Charlie [tie]
  6. Oliver [tie]
  7. Theodore
  8. George [tie]
  9. Jack [tie]
  10. Alexander [4-way tie]
  11. Harvey [4-way tie]
  12. James [4-way tie]
  13. Thomas [4-way tie]

These 2020 rankings are based on provisional data covering the year up to December 7th; by that time, the ACT had 5,865 registered births.

In 2019, the top two names were Amelia and Oliver. (I didn’t blog about the 2019 rankings, but I did post the 2018 rankings.)

Sources: ACT’s most popular baby names 2020, Pick the ACT’s most popular baby names for 2020, Most popular baby names by year

Was Kamala Harris Named After an Actress?

With the presidential inauguration just two days away, now is a good time to take a closer look at the baby name Kamala.

Most Americans already know that Kamala Devi Harris’ first name is pronounced KAH-mah-lah (or “comma-la“). And I bet some also know that the Sanskrit name Kamala means “lotus,” and is sometimes used to refer to the Hindu deity Lakshmi.

But here’s an intriguing fact that isn’t very well known: usage of the baby name Kamala peaked in 1964 — the year that Kamala Harris was born.

  • 1967: 46 baby girls named Kamala
  • 1966: 51 baby girls named Kamala
  • 1965: 91 baby girls named Kamala
  • 1964: 105 baby girls named Kamala [rank: 1,064th]
  • 1963: 44 baby girls named Kamala
  • 1962: 20 baby girls named Kamala
  • 1961: 10 baby girls named Kamala

Here’s the graph:

What caused the spike?

I believe the influence was half-Indian, half-English actress Kamala Devi (birth name: Kamala Devi Amesur). She came to the U.S. from India around 1960, and over the course of the decade appeared in two U.S. films and on about ten TV shows (including My Three Sons).

The thing that put her name in the papers, though, was her 1963 marriage to actor Chuck Connors, her co-star in the 1962 film Geronimo. (You can see several press photos of the pair at one Chuck Connors fan site.) Here’s what Louella Parsons wrote about the couple in mid-1963:

The Brooklyn-born Irishman and the Bombay-born East Indian, married in April, are as unlikely a combination as you could dream up, but they seem ideally mated. Chuck and Kamala met when both played in “Geronimo.” She was the last actress to be interviewed for the lead opposite him. “I took one look at her,” says Chuck, “and that was it.”

So, now, back to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

I have never seen anything that explicitly connects Kamala Devi Harris to Kamala Devi, but the fact that Harris’ middle name is Devi (which means “goddess”), and the fact that she was born in 1964, makes me think Harris’ parents were probably influenced by the actress — whether they were aware of it or not.

(Her parents, Donald Harris of Jamaica and Shyamala Gopalan of Tamil Nadu, met as graduate students in California in the fall of 1962. They married in July of 1963 and welcomed their first daughter, Kamala, the following year in October. Their second daughter, Maya Lakshmi, was born in early 1967.)

What are your thoughts on this?

Sources:

Babies Named for Sailing Ships (A)

Back when sea voyages were the only way to reach distant lands, many babies ended up being born aboard ships. And many of these ship-born babies were given names that reflected the circumstances of their birth. A good portion of them, for instance, were named after the ships upon which they were born.

I’ve gathered hundreds of these ship-inspired baby names over the years, and I think it’s finally time to post what I’ve found. So here’s the first installment…

  • Abergeldie:
    • Emma Abergeldie Walsh, born in 1884
  • Abernyte:
    • Eva Abernyte Congdon, born in 1875
  • Abington:
    • Herbert Bealie Abington Tait, born in 1884
  • Abyssinia:
    • Abyssinia Louise Juhansen, born in 1870
    • Abyssinia Elfkin, born in 1872
    • Louise Abyssinia Bellanger, born in 1874
  • Achilles:
    • John Achilles Denchey, born in 1871
  • Actoea:
    • U. Actoea Jones, born in 1868
  • Adriatic:
    • John Adriatic Gateley Collins, born in 1879
    • Adriatic O’Loghlin Gould, born in 1880
    • Agnes Adriatic Cook, born in 1880
  • Agamemnon:
    • Frederick Agamemnon Dingly, born in 1876
  • Alaska:
    • Mary Alaska Magee, born in 1884
  • Alcester:
    • Gertrude Alcester Dart, born in 1884
  • Alcinous:
    • Mary Duncan Alcinosa Greenwood, born in 1887
  • Aldergrove:
    • Aldergrove Andrew Fullarton Feathers, born in 1875
    • Ethel Aldergrove Winning, born in 1883
  • Aleppo:
    • Rosalia Aleppo Rosenthal, born in 1866
    • Aleppo Atalanta Boardsen, born in 1883
  • Alexandrina:
    • Caroline Alexandrina Phillips, born in 1873
    • Mary Alexandrina Hedges, born in 1874
    • Alexandrina Horsnell, born in 1874
  • Algeria:
    • Louis Algeria Noizet, born in 1872
  • Aliquin:
    • Edward Aliquin Poley, born in 1860
  • Allanshaw:
    • Joseph Allanshaw Moss, born in 1883
    • Frederick Allanshaw Shields, born in 1883
  • Almora:
    • Almora May Leech, born in 1856
    • Emily Almora Hamper, born in 1883
    • Joseph Henry Almora Alford, born in 1883
    • Mary Almora Clothier, born in 1887
    • Almora Merten, born in 1887
  • Alnwick Castle:
    • William Alnwick Bull, born in 1861
  • Alpheta:
    • Mary Alpheta Stone, born in 1877
  • Alsatia:
    • Alsatia Campbell Carnalian, born in 1877
  • Altmore:
    • Eliza Altmore Harris, born in 1883
  • Alumbagh:
    • Alumbagh Eleanor Bright, born in 1868
    • Sarah Louise Alumbagh Hancock, born in 1868
  • Alvington:
    • Alvington Oak Silvester, born in 1879
  • Amoor:
    • William Amoor Walker, born in 1864
  • Anchoria:
    • Anchoria Adelaide Williams, born in 1890
  • Angerona:
    • Mary Angerona Harwood, born in 1875
  • Anglesey:
    • Clara Anglesey Oakley, born in 1859
    • Emma Jane Anglesey Conbrough, born in 1874
  • Anglia:
    • James Craig Anglia Watt, born in 1871
    • Emma Anglia Hewitt, born in 1873
    • Margaret Anglia Smith Mulholland, born in 1874
  • Anglo Saxon:
    • Mary Saxon Copeland, born in 1860
  • Antiope:
    • Lilias Antiope Carrick, born in 1884
  • Aorangi:
    • Arthur Aorangi Burrow, born in 1884
    • Aorangi Millar, born in 1885
    • Ellen Corbet Aorangi Browne, born in 1891
  • Arabic:
    • Isabella Arabic East, born in 1887
  • Arcadia:
    • Arcadia Herbert, born in 1877
  • Archer:
    • Archer Grainger Bryans, born in 1883
    • Beatrice Archer Shambers, born in 1885
  • Argo:
    • Sigri Argo Larsen, born in 1877
  • Arica:
    • Aricania Pereg, born in 1883
  • Arizona:
    • Helen Arizona Erickson, born in 1881
    • Sarah Arizona Duggan, born in 1881
    • Ole Arizona Melting, born in 1881
    • Agnes Arizona Kane, born in 1884
    • Elenor Arizona Poulteny, born in 1884
    • Elizabeth Arizona Harvey, born in 1887
    • Marie Arizona Malm, born in 1887
  • Arundel Castle:
    • Arundal Sheal Davis, born in 1870
    • Leopold Arundel Hofmeyer, born in 1876
    • George Arundel Baylis, born in 1876
    • Charles Arundel Holden, born in 1876
  • Arvonia:
    • Herbert John Arvon Hughes, born in 1881
  • Ashmore:
    • James Alfred George Henry Ashmore Curtis, born in 1882
  • Astria:
    • Jessie Astria Santon, born in 1875
  • Atalanta:
    • Anne Atalanta McCormack, born in 1861
  • Atlanta:
    • Elizabeth Atlanta Harrington, born in 1871
    • Elizabeth Atlanta Earp, born in 1871
  • Auckland:
    • Jane Auckland Peacock, born in 1872
  • Australia:
    • Australia Dominica Scioli, born in 1880
  • Avalanche:
    • Avalanche Isaac Hughes, born in 1874
    • Gabrielle Stella Avalanche Newson, born in 1876
  • Avoca:
    • Margaret Avoca Randall, born in 1878
  • Avonmore:
    • Gwendoline Avonmore Corfield, born in 1876

Do any of the ship names above work particularly well as human names? Wdyt?

Source: FamilySearch.org