Where the the baby name Willona come from?

Willona Woods photo

The sitcom Good Times aired from early 1974 until mid-1979.

The main characters were the five members of the Evans family–James Evans, Florida Evans, and their three kids J.J., Thelma and Michael.

But the character who often stole the scene was Willona Woods (played by Ja’net Dubois). Willona — Florida’s fashionable, fun-loving best friend — lived across the hall and regularly popped in for visits.

Willona debuted on the SSA’s baby name list the year Good Times debuted on television, and it hung on until the year the series ended:

  • 1980: not listed
  • 1979: 12 baby girls named Willona
  • 1978: 12 baby girls named Willona
  • 1977: 14 baby girls named Willona
    • 10 more with the name Wilona (a one-hit wonder)
  • 1976: 13 baby girls named Willona
  • 1975: 16 baby girls named Willona
  • 1974: 15 baby girls named Willona [debut]
  • 1973: not listed

That’s at least 92 baby girls with names inspired by Willona Woods.

What do you think of the name Willona?

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