The Debut of Mardeen

mardeen, baby name, comic, 1950
Mary Worth – July 30, 1950

The name Mardeen has appeared in the U.S. baby name data just twice — once in 1950, then again a couple years later:

  • 1953: unlisted
  • 1952: 5 baby girls named Mardeen
  • 1951: unlisted
  • 1950: 14 baby girls named Mardeen [debut]
  • 1949: unlisted

Other variants of the name (Mardene and Mardine) had been in the data before this, but neither has ever been given to as many as fourteen babies per year.

So where did Mardeen come from? My best guess is a secondary character from the nationally syndicated comic strip Mary Worth. Mardeen made appearances regularly in 1950, from June through August.

Mardeen worked as a housekeeper for fellow character K. T. “Katy” Farrell, who was the 35-year-old, “brilliantly successful” head of a publishing house. Katy was involved in a romance — well, a love triangle — with “young novelist” Gregory Ford, one of Mary Worth’s friends. (Despite the title, Mary herself didn’t often make appearances in the strip.)

The comic Mary Worth, which has been around since the late 1930s, was being written by Allen Saunders and drawn by Ken Ernst at that time.

What do you think of the name Mardeen? How would you spell it?

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