The Debut of Dokken

Beast from the East, album, Dokken, 1980s, rock music
Dokken album “Beast from the East” (Nov. 1988)

The unusual baby name Dokken debuted in 1989 and never came back, making it a one-hit wonder in the U.S. baby name data.

  • 1991: unlisted
  • 1990: unlisted
  • 1989: 5 baby boys named Dokken [debut]
  • 1988: unlisted
  • 1987: unlisted

Where did it come from?

My guess is the ’80s rock band Dokken, which “was a fixture on MTV in the eighties and enjoyed a string of best-selling albums through the decade.”

The band formed in 1979 and became a commercial success in the mid-1980s. The Dokken song “Dream Warriors” was featured in the slasher movie A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987).

In 1989, Dokken scored its first and only Grammy nomination (in the brand new “Best Metal Performance” category) with the live album Beast from the East. But — along with Faith No More, Queensrÿche, and Soundgarden — they ended up losing to Metallica.

The band was named after vocalist Don Dokken, whose Norwegian surname can be traced back to an Old Norse geographical word meaning “hollow, depression.”

…And now it’s time for the question of the day! The Dokken-like, cologne-inspired baby name Drakkar popped up in the data just a few years before Dokken did. Which late ’80s name do you prefer, Dokken or Drakkar?

Sources:

  • Dokken – Wikipedia
  • Hanks, Patrick. (Ed.) Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Phillips, William and Brian Cogan. Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal Music. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2009.

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