Mystery Monday: The Baby Name Dollinda

The baby name Dollinda has appeared in the U.S. baby name data twice:

  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: 12 baby girls named Dollinda
  • 1958: 18 baby girls named Dollinda [debut]
  • 1957: unlisted

That’s an impressive debut — just a few babies away from Tequila, which appeared the same year thanks to a hit song.

But I can’t figure out what gave Dollinda a boost. I don’t see the name anywhere in typical pop culture places (e.g., TV) and I also don’t see any telling similarities among the late-’50s Dollindas I’ve found online (e.g., birthplaces, middle names).

One interesting fact is that the spelling “Dolinda” is nowhere to be seen in the data. It’s just Dollinda. This makes me think two things. First, the source must have had a visual component in order to anchor the spelling. Second…is there some sort of “doll” association here? Was this the name of a toy? Hm.

Around the same time Dollinda was in the data, Dorinda was seeing peak usage. A little later, in the early ’60s, Delinda peaked. I’m not sure if these names had any influence on Dollinda, though.

Any thoughts on this one?


6 thoughts on “Mystery Monday: The Baby Name Dollinda

  1. newspapers.com lists 151 hits in Mississippi, 36 in Pennsylvania, 27 in Louisiana, 26 in Florida. That is an extremely unusual distribution and could be a clue.

  2. @Fiona – They do sound a like, but I’m not sure if there’s a connection, as “Dollina” isn’t in the data. (“Dolline” is, though, and it falls off the list the same year Dollinda debuts, which is interesting.)

  3. @Frank – Could be! Thank you for checking.

    I did find a ’58 Dollinda buried in Mississippi, but I’m not sure if she was born there. I found another ’58 Dollinda buried in Iowa.

    In terms of birth records for both ’58 and ’59, I saw one Dollinda born in NC, one in CA, and two in TX. Haven’t found the others yet.

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