Where Did “Trampas” Come From?

The baby name Trampas debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1964.

In yesterday’s post on the name Clu, I mentioned The Virginian (1962-1971), television’s first 90-minute Western.

The show was set in Wyoming in the 1890s, and, interestingly, the two main characters — ranch foreman “The Virginian” (played by James Drury) and ranch hand Trampas (played by Doug McClure) — did not use first names.

Despite not being a first name, Trampas ended up in the baby name data in the mid-1960s:

  • 1967: 6 baby boys named Trampas
  • 1966: 5 baby boys named Trampas
  • 1965: 6 baby boys named Trampas
  • 1964: 5 baby boys named Trampas [debut]
  • 1963: unlisted

Spelling variants Trampus and Trampis also appeared in the data around that time.

The show was loosely based on the 1902 novel The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains by Owen Wister (after whom Mount Wister in Grand Teton National Park was named). In the novel, Trampas was the antagonist. His name was based on the Spanish noun trampa, meaning “trap” or “snare.”

Source: The Virginian – TV Guide


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