The name Tootie appeared on the SSA’s baby name list for the first and only time in 1958:
- 1959: unlisted
- 1958: 5 baby girls named Tootie [debut]
- 1957: unlisted
What gave the usage of Tootie a boost that year?
My guess is 13-year-old Dorothea “Tootie” Stevens of Washington, D.C., whose picture ran in the newspapers in August of 1958. (I couldn’t find a non-watermarked copy, unfortunately, so this will have to do.)
Why was her picture in the papers?
Because she’d just received “a letter from the top of the world” — the North Pole. The letter came from a family friend by the name of Richard F. Dobbins, who was at that time serving as medical officer aboard the nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus, which had just made the very first undersea transit of the Arctic ice cap.
What do you think of the name Tootie — does it work on its own, or is it better as a nickname?