A Girl (and 10 Babies) Named Sooner

Here’s an odd name — Sooner. It debuted on the SSA’s national baby name list in 1975, and it was only on the list for two years before disappearing again:

  • 1977: unlisted
  • 1976: 5 baby girls named Sooner
  • 1975: 5 baby girls named Sooner [debut]
  • 1974: unlisted

What inspired a handful of parents to name their baby girls named Sooner in the mid-1970s? The TV movie A Girl Named Sooner (1975), which was based on a Suzanne Clauser novel of the same name. The 8-year-old main character had been “born too soon” and hence named Sooner. (Reminds me of Speedy Long, the U.S. Representative who was also born early and named accordingly.)

But Sooner also has other meanings. According to Merriam-Webster, a Sooner is “a person settling on land in the early West before its official opening to settlement in order to gain the prior claim allowed by law to the first settler after official opening.” It’s can also refer to a resident of Oklahoma.

Related: A Woman Named Fancy


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