How popular is the baby name Aquanette in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Aquanette and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Aquanette.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Aquanette

Number of Babies Named Aquanette

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Aquanette

The Mysterious Baby Name LaQuita

When the popularity of a particular baby name spikes, there’s always an explanation.

Most of the time, the explanation isn’t hard to come up with. Hundreds of baby girls were named Rhiannon after Fleetwood Mac’s Rhiannon was released in 1976, dozens of baby boys were named Rambo after the Rambo movies started coming out in the early 1980s, and so forth.

Sometimes, the explanation isn’t as conspicuous. I didn’t immediately see the connection between the name Aquanette and B-movie actress Burnu Acquanetta, for instance. Only after mulling it over for a while was I able to link the name Kasara to a long-forgotten Lisa Lisa song.

Today’s name belongs in that latter group. In fact, the explanation for today’s name is *so* inconspicuous that I haven’t been able to piece it together, even after months of trying.

So I’m giving up. I’m just going to post what I know and hope that some wise soul leaves a comment that helps me unravel the mystery. :)

The name is Laquita. (It’s often written LaQuita in obituaries.) It debuted on the SSA’s baby name list in 1930, coming out of nowhere to be given to an impressive 68 baby girls that year.

Now, the number 68 might seem trivial. Today’s most popular names are given to tens of thousands of babies each, after all. As far as newbie names go, though, 68 is huge. Especially when you’re talking about the early 20th century. Here’s some context:

  • Top debut names of 1926: Narice, 13; Bibb, 15
  • Top debut names of 1927: Sunya, 14; Bidwell, 14
  • Top debut names of 1928: Joreen, 22; Alfread & Brevard, 9
  • Top debut names of 1929: Jeannene, 26; Donnald, Edsol, Rhys & Wolfgang, 8
  • Top debut names of 1930: Laquita, 68; Shogo, 11
  • Top debut names of 1931: Joanie, 12; Rockne, 17
  • Top debut names of 1932: Carolann, Delano & Jenine, 11; Alvyn, Avelardo, Elena, Mannon & Wenford, 7
  • Top debut names of 1933: Gayleen, 23; Skippy, 10
  • Top debut names of 1934: Carollee & Janean, 12; Franchot, 9

Laquita jumped into the top 1,000 right away, ranking 874th. It remained there for the next three years.

Here’s a final fact that could be helpful. Of the 25 1930-Laquitas listed in the SSDI so far, most were born during the last half of the year — 2 in May, 3 in June, 3 in July, 5 in August, 5 in September, 3 in October, 1 in November, 3 in December. This may mean that a mid-year event triggered the spike.


Aquanette – Hair Spray Baby Name?

First of all, yes, Aquanette is a name. At least 22 Aquanettes have been born in the U.S. so far:

  • 1958 – 5 baby girls named Aquanette
  • 1966 – 6 baby girls named Aquanette
  • 1972 – 5 baby girls named Aquanette
  • 1974 – 6 baby girls named Aquanette

Second of all, yes, Aqua Net Hair Spray has been around since the 1950s. I don’t know exactly which year it was introduced, but I’ve seen Aqua Net ads in newspapers from as early as 1956.

So…is there a connection between the name and the product? Did people see Aqua Net in their local drugstores and say to themselves, “Now that would make a great name for a baby!”

Probably not. And here’s why.

Back in the 1940s and early 1950s, there was a string of campy B-movies that starred an actress named Burnu Acquanetta, sometimes billed simply as Acquanetta. She played an ape-woman in Captive Wild Woman (1943) and Jungle Woman (1944), a leopard-woman in Tarzan and the Leopard Woman (1946), and a native girl in Lost Continent (1951).

The name Acquanetta debuted on the SSA’s baby name list in the 1944:

  • 1944 – 6 baby girls named Acquanetta
  • 1945 – 6 baby girls named Acquanetta
  • 1946 – 13 baby girls named Acquanetta
  • 1947 – 5 baby girls named Acquanetta
  • 1948 – 12 baby girls named Acquanetta
  • 1949 – 9 baby girls named Acquanetta
  • 1950 – 11 baby girls named Acquanetta
  • 1951 – 17 baby girls named Acquanetta
  • 1952 – 29 baby girls named Acquanetta
  • 1953 – 20 baby girls named Acquanetta
  • 1954 – 16 baby girls named Acquanetta
  • 1955 – 11 baby girls named Acquanetta
  • 1956 – 13 baby girls named Acquanetta

It made the list intermittently in the ’60s and ’70s, then one last time in 1986.

At the height of the name’s popularity in the early 1950s, the variants Aquanetta and Acquanette popped up. And later in the decade, Aquanette appeared. So I think it’s far more likely that the first Aquanettes were named with Acquanetta (and perhaps fashionable -ette names like Annette and Jeanette) in mind, and not after the hair spray.

But then that leaves us with another mystery: Where did Burnu Acquanetta’s surname come from?

Good question.

A LIFE article from 1942 stated that both of Acquanetta’s parents were Native American and that her surname meant “laughing water.” Her 2004 obituary in The Independent says she claimed to be “part-Arapaho Indian and part-English aristocrat” and that her name means “burning fire, deep water.”

I’m not sure about her ethnicity or her birth name, but I doubt Burnu and Acquanetta are genuine Native American names. They look more like fanciful extended forms of burn and aqua that, in the ’40s, could have sounded exotic enough to pass as Native American. If this is the case, Acquanetta is simply a made-up name based on the Latin word for “water.”


  • Acquanetta.” Independent [London]. 19 August 2004.
  • “Venezuelan Volcano.” LIFE Magazine 24 Aug. 1942: 57.