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.