Time for another baby name mystery! Today we’ve got Tish, which saw a distinct spike in usage in 1971. Here’s the data:
- 1973: 25 baby girls named Tish
- 1972: 27 baby girls named Tish
- 1971: 63 baby girls named Tish
- 1970: 25 baby girls named Tish
- 1969: 33 baby girls named Tish
I do have a decent guess on this one — a bizarre film called The Baby Maker that came out in late 1970 and starred Barbara Hershey (a.k.a. Barbara Seagull) as Tish, “a free spirit who agrees to bear a child for a childless couple.” I can’t find any box office data on the film, though, so I can’t figure out how many people actually saw it.
A better guess would have been African-American model Tish Hammock…but the year she was being featured regularly in Jet magazine was 1969 — a bit too early for a ’71 spike.
Another guess would have been the character Clementine “Tish” Rivers from the James Baldwin novel If Beale Street Could Talk…except it wasn’t published until 1974.
Have any thoughts on this one? Any other theories?