Mystery Monday: The Baby Names Genghis & Temujin

genghisMongol leader Genghis Khan, born Temüjin [pron. tem-OO-jeen], lived from about 1162 until 1227.

Clearly he wasn’t personally influencing U.S. baby names in the 1970s, but something was, as both Genghis and Temujin debuted on the baby name charts in 1972.

Genghis was a one-hit wonder…

  • 1973: unlisted
  • 1972: 6 baby boys named Genghis [debut]
  • 1971: unlisted

…but Temujin had more success, hopping on and off the charts several more times after that:

  • 1978: unlisted
  • 1977: 5 baby boys named Temujin
  • 1976: unlisted
  • 1975: unlisted
  • 1974: unlisted
  • 1973: 6 baby boys named Temujin
  • 1972: 6 baby boys named Temujin [debut]
  • 1971: unlisted

Pop culture must be involved here. I can’t figure out how, though. Typically the more recent the debut, the easier it is to find an explanation…but I’ve checked all the usual suspects (TV, movies, etc.) and still can’t manage to pinpoint a source.

Can you think of anything Genghis Khan-related that might have been going on circa 1971-1972?

Source: Living the Nomad’s Life: Genghis Khan

5 thoughts on “Mystery Monday: The Baby Names Genghis & Temujin

  1. In April 1971, John Kerry gave a speech to a senate committee about the “Winter Soldier Investigation” in which he described the atrocities of an incident during the Veitnam War as reminiscent of the action of Gehghis Khan.

  2. Might be from books, I think. There were at least two books about Khan and his legacy published in 1971-72, “The Successors of Genghis Khan” by Rashid al-Din (translated by John Andrew Boyle) and “The History of the Mongol Conquests” by J.J. Saunders. Both are cited in a bunch of more recent bibliographies, so I assume they sold fairly well for history books and the authors may have made the talk show circuit.

    And then a variant of the name was used for a conflict during the Indian-Pakistani war of 1971 ( Could that have lead to an increased awareness of Khan in general?

  3. Thanks everyone!

    I did come across those books — they didn’t strike me as things that would have any influence on the baby name charts, but maybe I’m wrong? Hm…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *