The Baby Name Velveeta

the baby name velveeta

We may not be able to stop the Cheesepocalypse, but while we’re waiting it out, we can talk about how Velveeta isn’t just a product name — it’s also a baby name! The name Velveeta first appeared on the SSA’s baby name list in the 1950s:

  • 1971: 8 baby girls named Velveeta
  • […]
  • 1966: 5 baby girls named Velveeta
  • […]
  • 1959: 6 baby girls named Velveeta
  • 1958: 5 baby girls named Velveeta
  • 1957: 7 baby girls named Velveeta [debut]

These numbers don’t give the full picture, though. Usage of the name (and of the product itself) was highest in the middle of the century, but I’ve found people named Velveeta born as early as the 1930s and as late as the 1980s.

So where does the word “Velveeta” come from?

The product was invented in the late 1910s by Swiss-born cheesemaker Emil Frey. The Kraft-Phenix company (later just Kraft) ended up acquiring the processed cheese spread and naming it “Velveeta” for its velvety consistency.

Velveeta was introduced nationally in the late 1920s, right around the start of the Great Depression. Here’s a Velveeta ad from 1929 telling people about the “delicious new cheese product.”

What do you think of the name Velveeta?

Do you know anyone with the name? How do they like it?

(Other food product baby names I’ve blogged about so far include Calizza, Dijonnaise and Oleomargarine. And, while we’re talking Velveeta, we can’t forget to mention Cheesette.)

Sources: A Cheesy Meltdown: Kraft Warns Of Velveeta Shortage, And it was all yellow
Image: the beast by stumptownpanda

4 Responses to The Baby Name Velveeta

  1. If I had to choose a product placement type name it wouldn’t be Velveeta! Not sure what I’d go with…Sony maybe? Disney? But not Velveeta.

  2. I think I’d look to tea brands first — Tetley and Lipton and the like.

  3. I get that it’s very similar to the name Velvet – but it’s processed cheese! At least pick an actual cheese, like Colby or Derby.

  4. “At least pick an actual cheese” — hehe :)

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