Pearl Harbor’s Influence on the Name “Pearl”

more baby girls named pearl in 1942, after pearl harbor

The attack on Pearl Harbor happened on December 7, 1941 — 77 years ago today.

The next year, usage of the baby name Pearl, which had been trending downward since the 1920s, increased nearly 31%:

  • 1945: 654 baby girls named Pearl [rank: 265th]
  • 1944: 757 baby girls named Pearl [rank: 238th]
  • 1943: 878 baby girls named Pearl [rank: 223rd]
  • 1942: 1,092 baby girls named Pearl [rank: 191st]
  • 1941: 835 baby girls named Pearl [rank: 212th]
  • 1940: 908 baby girls named Pearl [rank: 197th]
  • 1939: 901 baby girls named Pearl [rank: 198th]

Some of these post-1941 babies got first-middle combos like “Pearl Victory” and “Pearl Harbor.” (Here’s a “Victory Pearl Harbor.”)

After that 1942 uptick, Pearl’s downward trend continued. Usage was lowest during the last three decades of the 20th century. Since then, usage has picked up somewhat.

Do you like the name Pearl?


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