Biggest Baby Name Debuts of the 1970s

More decade-by-decade debuts!

Here are the biggest debuts of the 1970s, a follow-up to the biggest debuts of the 1980s.

These are all of the “100+” debut names — names that went from being given to fewer than 5 babies per year to suddenly being given to more than 100 babies in one particular year.

  1. Kizzy: 1,115 baby girls in 1977
  2. Nakia: 611 baby boys in 1974
  3. Levar: 523 baby boys in 1977
  4. Kunta: 215 baby boys in 1977
  5. Ayanna: 194 baby girls in 1971
  6. Azure: 121 baby girls in 1975
  7. Turkessa: 119 baby girls in 1975
  8. Cotina: 109 baby girls in 1972
  9. Tennille: 103 baby girls in 1975

And, again, all came from pop culture:

  • Kizzy, Levar and Kunta were inspired by the TV miniseries Roots (1977).
  • Nakia was inspired by short-lived TV show Nakia (1974).
  • Ayanna was inspired by Ayanna, daughter of Dick Gregory.
  • Azure was inspired by Azure Dee, both a character and a song (sung by Telly Savalas himself) in an episode of Kojak.
  • Turkessa was inspired by Turkessa, daughter of Mary Wilson of the Supremes.
  • Cotina was inspired by soap opera Where the Heart Is.
  • Tennille was inspired by Captain & Tennille.

Nineties next!

5 thoughts on “Biggest Baby Name Debuts of the 1970s

  1. Agreed.

    And I have to wonder if any name will ever achieve a debut as high as that again.

    Especially now that it’s a lot easier (via the internet) to predict which names are about to become popular (and hence avoid them, as is the goal for many parents).

  2. In the top 1,000 — yes.

    It skyrocketed up to 280th in 2007, thanks to the movie Marley & Me.

    But the decade-by-decade lists I’m putting together are based on raw numbers instead of rankings.

    So, in terms of *these* types of debuts — no.

    Miley’s first SSA list appearance was way back in 1889, in fact.

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