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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Bette


Posts that Mention the Name Bette

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: Letter M (part 1)

maris wrixon, movie, name, 1940sHere’s the next installment of rare female names collected from old films (1910s-1940s).

The list of M-names was long, so I split it in two. The second half will be posted in a few weeks.

Maartje
Maartje Poole was a character played by actress Gladys Brockwell in the film So Big (1924).

Mab
Mab was a character played by actress Mignon Anderson in the short film Lost: A Union Suit (1914).

Mabella
Mabella was a character played by actress Eva Novak in the film The Man from Hell’s River (1922).

Mabs
Mabs was a character played by actress Doris Lloyd in the film The Careless Age (1929).

Macushla
Macushla Westmacott was a character played by actress Jean Adrienne in the film Father O’Flynn (1935).

Madelinette
Madelinette was a character played by actress Agnes Ayres in the film The Lane That Had No Turning (1922).

Madelon
Madelon was a character name in multiple films, including as Fanchon, the Cricket (1915) and The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931).

Madge
Madge Evans was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in New York in 1909. Her birth name was Margherita Evans. Madge Kennedy was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1970s. She was born in Illinois in 1891. Madge was also a character name in multiple films, including The Tragedy of Ambition (short, 1914) and The Peace of Roaring River (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Madge.

Madlaine
Madlaine Traverse was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Ohio in 1875.

Mado
Mado was a character played by actress Lana Turner in the film Dramatic School (1938).

Mady
Mady Christians was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in Austria-Hungary (now Austria) in 1892. Her birth name was Marguerite Maria Christians.

  • Usage of the baby name Mady.

Mafalda
Mafalda was a character played by actress Paulette Duval in the film No Other Woman (1928).

Magda
Magda Foy was a child actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in New York in 1905. Her birth name was Magdalena Patricia Foy. Madga was also a character played by actress Gertrude Michael in the film I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby (1940).

  • Usage of the baby name Magda.

Magdalen
Magdalen was a character played by actress Julia Swayne Gordon in the film The Battle Cry of Peace (1915).

Maggia
Maggia was a character played by actress Lydia Yeamans Titus in the film A Burglar for a Night (1918)

Mahaly
Mahaly was a character played by actress Florence Short in the film Kildare of Storm (1918).

Mahbubah
Mahbubah was a character name in multiple films, including Chu-Chin-Chow (1925) and Chu-Chin-Chow (1934).

Mahina
Mahina was a character played by actress Raquel Echeverría in the film Waikiki Wedding (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Mahina.

Mahlee
Mahlee was a character played by actress Alla Nazimova in the film The Red Lantern (1919).

Mahwissa
Mahwissa was a character played by actress Eulalie Jensen in the short film West Wind (1915).

Mahyna
Mahyna was a character played by actress Betty Compson in the film She Got What She Wanted (1930).

Mai
Mai Wells was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in California in 1862. Mai was also a character played by actress Myrna Loy in the film Don Juan (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Mai.

Maida
Maida was a character name in multiple films, including The Grey Sisterhood (short, 1916) and The Island of Intrigue (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Maida.

Maidel
Maidel Turner was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1950s. She was born in Texas in 1888.

Maimiti
Maimiti was a character played by actress Mamo Clark in the film Mutiny on the Bounty (1935).

Mait
Mait Stanley was a character played by actress Leila Hyams in the film Sandra (1924).

Maizee
Maizee was a character played by actress Winnie Lightner in the film She Had to Say Yes (1933).

  • Usage of the baby name Maizee.

Malbro
Malbro was a character played by actress Bette Davis in the film The Rich Are Always with Us (1932).

Maletta
Countess Maletta was a character played by actress Claire Trevor in the film The Desperadoes (1943).

Maleva
Maleva was a character played by actress Maria Ouspenskaya in the films The Wolf Man (1941) and Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943).

Malissa
Malissa Milton was a character played by actress Marguerite Courtot in the short film Fate’s Midnight Hour (1914).

Malita
Malita was a character played by actress Rafaela Ottiano in the film The Devil-Doll (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Malita.

Malmama
Malmama was a character played by actress Ormi Hawley in the short film Women of the Desert (1913).

Malva
Malva was a character played by actress Lya De Putti in the film Malva (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Malva.

Malvina
Malvina Longfellow was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in New York in 1889. Malvina Polo was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. She was born in California in 1903. Malvina was also a character name in multiple films, including Ann Vickers (1933) and Let’s Make Music (1941).

Malvolia
Malvolia Brown was a character played by actress Juanita Quigley in the film National Velvet (1944).

Mamie
Mamie was a character name in multiple films, including Public Enemy (1931) and You Live and Learn (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Mamie.

Mamo
Mamo Clark, often credited simply as Mamo, was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s. She was born in Hawaii in 1914.

Manette
Manette was a character name in multiple films, including Monsieur Nikola Dupree (short, 1915) and An Obvious Situation (1930).

Manon
Manon was a character name in multiple films, including When a Man Loves (1927) and Lady of the Tropics (1939).

  • Usage of the baby name Manon.

Manora
Manora Thew was an English actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in India in 1891.

Manya
Manya was a character name in multiple films, including The Wedding Night (1935) and Paris Honeymoon (1939).

  • Usage of the baby name Manya.

Marah
Marah was a character played by actress Lila Leslie in the short film Marah, the Pythoness (1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Marah.

Marama
Marama was a character name in multiple films, including The Adorable Savage (1920) and The Hurricane (1937).

Marcel
Marcel was a character name in multiple films, including Silent Years (1921) and Crossed Wires (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Marcel.

Marcelle
Marcelle Corday was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1950s. She was born in Belgium in 1890. Marcelle Hontabat was an actress who appeared in 1 film in 1916. She was born in New York in 1897. Marcelle was also a character name in multiple films, including The Way Out (1918) and 50 Million Frenchmen (1931).

Marcene
Marcene Elliot was a character played by actress Pauline Starke in the film The Broken Butterfly (1919).

Marcolina
Marcolina was a character played by actress Paulette Duval in the film Blarney (1926).

Marda
Marda was a character name in multiple films, including Ramona (1928) and Blame the Woman (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Marda.

Marea
Marea was a character played by actress Florence Turner in the film As Ye Repent (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Marea.

Marga-Jane
Marga-Jane Hastings was a character played by actress Adele Mara in the film I, Jane Doe (1948).

Marge
Marge was a character name in multiple films, including Merry-Go-Round (1932) and Charter Pilot (1940).

  • Usage of the baby name Marge.

Marget
Marget MacTavish was a character played by actress Mary Pickford in the film The Pride of the Clan (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Marget.

Margia
Margia Dean was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1960s. She was born in Illinois in 1922. Her birth name was Marguerite Louise Skliris.

  • Usage of the baby name Margia.

Margit
Margit was a character name in multiple films, including Double Wedding (1937) and Moonlight Sonata (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Margit.

Margolotte
Margolotte was a character played by actress Leontine Dranet in the film The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1914).

Margy
Margy was a character played by actress Marie Prevost in the film The Runaround (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Margy.

Marianela
Marianela was a character played by actress Marquita Madero in the film Two Latins from Manhattan (1941).

Mariata
Mariata was a character played by actress Eugenie Forde in the short film Jim’s Atonement (1913).

Maribelle
Maribelle was a character played by actress Adele Mara in the film Grissly’s Millions (1945).

Marienka
Marienka was a character played by actress Lillian Leighton in the film The Hostage (1917).

Marietta
Marietta was a character name in multiple films, including The Van Warden Rubies (short, 1913) and Naughty Marietta (1935).

Mariette
Mariette was a character name in multiple films, including Rouged Lips (1923) and The Doctor and the Girl (1949).

Marija
Marija was a character played by actress Alice Marc in the film The Jungle (1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Marija.

Marilla
Marilla was a character name in multiple films, including Anne of Green Gables (1919) and Anne of Green Gables (1934).

Mariposa
Mariposa Ginsbotham was a character played by actress Barbara Jo Allen in the film Priorities on Parade (1942).

Maris
Maris Wrixon was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1950s. She was born in Washington in 1916. Her birth name was Mary Alice Wrixon.

  • Usage of the baby name Maris.

Marise
Marise La Noue was a character played by actress Enid Bennett in the film The Red Lily (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Marise.

Mariska
Mariska was a character played by actress Betty Blythe in the film The Undercurrent (1919).

Marita
Marita was a character played by actress Ann Blyth in the film Top o’ the Morning (1949).

  • Usage of the baby name Marita.

Maritana
Maritana was a character played by actress Alice Hollister in the film Don Caesar de Bazan (1915).

Mariusha
Mariusha was a character played by actress Julia Faye in the film The Volga Boatman (1926).

Marja
Marja was a character played by actress Rosemary Theby in the short film Playing with Fire (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Marja.

Marjanah
Marjanah was a character played by actress Pearl Argyle in the film Chu-Chin-Chow (1934).

Marna
Marna was a character name in multiple films, including The Quality of Faith (1916) and Rough Romance (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Marna.

Marny
Marny was a character played by actress Barbara Bedford in the film Old Loves and New (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Marny.

Maroussia
Maroussia Dimitrevitch was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1950s.

Marquitta
Marquitta was a character played by actress Marie-Louise Iribe in the film Marquitta (1927).

Marsa
Marsa was a character played by actress Pauline Frederick in the film Her Final Reckoning (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Marsa.

Marsari
Princess Marsari was a character played by actress Marguerite Snow in the short film The Heart of the Princess Marsari (1915).

Masha
Masha was a character played by actress Renée Adorée in the film Redemption (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Masha.

Marsinah
Marsinah was a character name in multiple films, including Kismet (1920) and Kismet (1930).

Marthe
Marthe was a character played by actress Dorothy Mackaill in the film One Year to Live (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Marthe.

Marthy
Marthy was a character name in multiple films, including Anna Christie (1923) and Anna Christie (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Marthy.

Martie
Martie Beemish was a character played by actress Sarah Edwards in the film People Will Talk (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Martie.

Martita
Martita Hunt was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1960s. She was born in Argentina in 1899.

Marty
Marty McKenzie was a character played by actress Vivian Martin in the film You Never Saw Such a Girl (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Marty.

Marua
Marua was a character played by actress Dorothy Sebastian in the film The Isle of Forgotten Women (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Marua.

Maruja
Maruja de Costa was a character played by actress Rosita Marstini in the film The Moral Law (1918).

Marvel
Marvel Rea was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Nebraska in 1901.

  • Usage of the baby name Marvel.

Marya
Marya was a character name in multiple films, including The Yellow Ticket (1931) and Dracula’s Daughter (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Marya.

Maryan
Maryan Garner was a character played by actress Helen Twelvetrees in the film Swing High (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Maryan.

Maryana
Maryana was a character played by actress Renée Adorée in the film The Cossacks (1928).

Marybelle
Marybelle was a character name in multiple films, including The Mask (1918) and Laughter in Hell (1933).

Maryeruth
Maryeruth Boone was an actress who appeared in 1 film in 1932.

Mary-‘Gusta
Mary-‘Gusta was a character played by actress Vivian Martin in the film A Petticoat Pilot (1918).

Maryla
Maryla Sokalska was a character played by actress Ketty Galanta in the film Empty Pockets (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Maryla.

Maryland
Maryland was a character name in multiple films, including The Heart of Maryland (1915) and The Heart of Maryland (1927).

Marylee
Marylee Depue was a character played by actress Gloria Joy in the film The Midnight Burglar (1918).

Mary-Will
Mary-Will Tellfair was a character played by actress Marjorie Daw in the film Fifty Candles (1921).

Mata
Mata was a character played by actress Mary Treen in the film Tahiti Nights (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Mata.

Matafay
Matafay was a character played by actress Lou-Scha-Enya in the film Whoopee! (1930).

Mataoka
Mataoka was a character played by actress Cleo Madison in the film Unseen Hands (1924).

Mathilde
Mathilde was a character played by actress Lois Meredith in the film The Seats of the Mighty (1914).

Matrona
Matrona Pavlovna was a character played by actress Jessie Ralph in the film We Live Again (1934).

Maud
Maud Allan was an actress who appeared in 1 film in 1915. She was born in Canada in 1873. Her birth name was Beulah Maude Durrant. Maud was also a character played by actress Miriam Cooper in the film Daughters of the Rich (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Maud.

Maude
Maude was a character name in multiple films, including Prisoners of Conscience (1916) and We’re Rich Again (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Maude.

Maudie
Maudie Dunham was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in England in 1902. Maudie was also a character name in multiple films, including Tell Your Children (1922) and Night After Night (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Maudie.

Maui
Maui was a character played by actress Gale Storm in the film Lure of the Islands (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Maui.

Mauna
Mauna was a character played by actress Valerie Hobson in the film Strange Wives (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Mauna.

Mauree
Mauree was a character played by actress Louise Beavers in the film West of the Pecos (1934).

Maurine
Maurine was a character name in multiple films, including Mother and Son (1931) and Rhythm of the Saddle (1938).

Maurya
Maurya was a character played by actress Sara Allgood in the short film Riders to the Sea (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Maurya.

Mavity
Mavity Bence was a character played by actress Inez Ranous in the film The Power and the Glory (1918).

Maxene
Maxene Andrews, one of the Andrews Sisters, was a singer and actress who appeared in films from the 1940s. She was born in Minnesota in 1916.

  • Usage of the baby name Maxene.

Maxie
Maxie Carewe was a character played by actress Vivienne Osborne in the film So You Won’t Talk (1940).

  • Usage of the baby name Maxie.

Maybelle
Maybelle was a character name in multiple films, including The Wedding Gown (short, 1913) and Rings on Her Fingers (1942).

Mayda
Mayda St. Maurice was a character played by actress Eugenie Forde in the film The Courtesan (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Mayda.

Mayflower
Mayflower was a character played by actress Gladys Hulette in the film Secrets of Paris (1922).

Mayme
Mayme Kelso was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Ohio in 1867. Mayme was also a character name in multiple films, including One Hundred Percent American (short, 1918) and The Mighty (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Mayme.

Mayo
Mayo Methot was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s. She was born in Oregon in 1904.

  • Usage of the baby name Mayo.

Mayre
Mayre Hall was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Ohio in 1895.

  • Usage of the baby name Mayre.

Maysie
Maysie was a character played by actress Adda Gleason in the film Peggy, of Primrose Lane (short, 1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Maysie.

Mazie-Rosie
Mazie-Rosie Carden was a character played by actress Vivian Martin in the film Little Miss Optimist (1917).

Which of the above do you like best?

Name Quotes #45 – Traxton, Sadi, Yeimary

Ready for more name quotes?

From an essay by Hans Fiene about BuzzFeed’s criticism of Chip And Joanna Gaines’ church:

“People who give their kids weird names are unsophisticated morons,” I thought to myself when I was 23 years old and busy substitute-teaching a class full of kids named Brysalynn and Traxton.

[…]

Then, a few years later, one of my closest friends had a kid and named him something dumb. At the moment of said dumb-named kid’s entrance into this world, two options stood before me. Option A: I was wrong about baby names, and it was, in fact, possible to be an interesting, intelligent person while also being sweet on absurd baby monikers. Option B: Despite having a mountain of evidence that my friend was interesting and intelligent, this was all a ruse and he had been a moron the entire time.

From The Toast, an in-depth look at “ship names” — short for relationship names, i.e., name blends that represent fan-created relationships between fictional characters:

Onset conservation is also why we get Drarry (Draco/Harry), Dramione (Draco/Hermione), Klaroline (Klause/Caroline), Sterek (Stiles/Derek), Stydia (Stiles/Lydia), Clex (Clark Kent/Lex Luthor), Chlex (Chloe/Lex), Phrack (Phryne/Jack), Cherik (Charles/Erik), CroWen (Cristina/Owen), Bedward (Bella/Edward), Brucas (Brooke/Lucas), Brangelina (Brad/Angelina), and so on.

(“Olicity Is Real” was trending on Twitter recently…I wonder how long it’ll be before we start seeing ship names on birth certificates.)

From the 2007 New York Times obituary of The Mod Squad actor Tige Andrews (whose name was one of the top debut names of 1969):

Tiger Andrews was born on March 19, 1920, in Brooklyn; he was named after a strong animal to ensure good health, following a Syrian custom.

From a footnote in a 1986 translation of the book Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire (1824) by French scientist Nicolas-Léonard “Sadi” Carnot:

Sadi was named after the thirteenth-century Persian poet and naturalist, Saadi Musharif ed Din, whose poems, most notably the Gulistan (or Rose Garden), were popular in Europe in the late eighteenth century. It seems likely that Lazare [Sadi’s father] chose the name to commemorate his association, in the 1780s, with the Société des Rosati, an informal literary society in Arras in which a recurring theme was the celebration of the beauty of roses in poetry.

From Ed Sikov’s 2007 book Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis (spotted while doing research for the Stanley Ann post):

Manly names for women were all the rage [in Hollywood movies] in 1941: Hedy Lamarr was a Johnny and a Marvin that year, and the eponymous heroines of Frank Borzage’s Seven Sweethearts were called Victor, Albert, Reggie, Peter, Billie, George, and most outrageous of all, Cornelius.

Speaking of Cornelius…some comedy from John Oliver‘s 2008 special Terrifying Times:

[A] friend of mine emailed me and he said that someone had created a Wikipedia entry about me. I didn’t realize this was true, so I looked it up. And like most Wikipedia entries, it came with some flamboyant surprises, not least amongst them my name. Because in it it said my name was John Cornelius Oliver. Now my middle name is not Cornelius because I did not die in 1752. But obviously, I want it to be. Cornelius is an incredible name. And that’s when it hit me — the way the world is now, fiction has become more attractive than fact. That is why Wikipedia is such a vital resource. It’s a way of us completely rewriting our history to give our children and our children’s children a much better history to grow up with.

From Piper Laurie‘s 2011 memoir Learning to Live Out Loud:

It never occurred to me that I didn’t have to change my name. For the last twenty or thirty years, I’ve admired and envied all the performers who have proudly used their real names. The longer and harder to pronounce, the better.

(Was Mädchen Amick one of the performers she had in mind? They worked together on Twin Peaks in the early 1990s…)

From a New York Times interview with Lisa Spira of Ethnic Technologies, a company that uses personal names to predict ethnicity:

Can you give an example of how your company’s software works?

Let’s hypothetically take the name of an American: Yeimary Moran. We see the common name Mary inside her first name, but unlike the name Rosemary, for example, we know that the letter string “eimary” is Hispanic. Her surname could be Irish or Hispanic. So then we look at where our Yeimary Moran lives, which is Miami. From our software, we discover that her neighborhood is more Hispanic than Irish. Customer testing and feedback show that our software is over 90 percent accurate in most ethnicities, so we can safely deduce that this Yeimary Moran is Hispanic.

From Duncan McLaren’s Evelyn Waugh website, an interesting fact about the English writer and his first wife, also named Evelyn:

Although I call the couple he- and she-Evelyn in my book, Alexander [Evelyn Waugh’s grandson] has mentioned that at the time [late 1920s] they were called Hevelyn and Shevelyn.

(Evelyn Waugh’s first name was pronounced EEV-lyn, so I imagine “Hevelyn” was HEEV-lyn and “Shevelyn” SHEEV-lyn.)

Want more name-related quotes? Here is the name quotes category.

Obama’s Mama: Stanley Ann

It’s election day!

While we wait for news about the next U.S. president, let’s talk about Stanley, the late mother of the current U.S. president.

Stanley Ann Dunham was born in 1942 to Stanley and Madelyn Dunham of Wichita, Kansas. According to most sources, her father had been hoping for a baby boy. When a baby girl arrived instead, he stubbornly decided to pass his name down regardless.

But Pulitzer-winning journalist David Maraniss has another theory: “The naming of Stanley Ann had less to do with the dictates of a presumptuous father than with the longing for sophistication of a starstruck mother.” He explains:

Since her teenage years as a moviegoer at the commodious Augusta Theatre, Madelyn had devoutly followed the film career of Bette Davis, her favorite actress. A new picture starring Davis and Olivia de Havilland reached Kansas during the summer of 1942, while Madelyn was pregnant. In the movie, In This Our Life, Davis and de Havilland played the two Timberlake sisters, each with a man’s name: Davis was Stanley and de Havilland was Roy.

In This Our Life, Bette Davis, Stanley
Bette Davis as Stanley in the movie In This Our Life

According to Maraniss, this is what inspired Madelyn to name the baby Stanley, and the fact that the baby’s father was also named Stanley was just a coincidence.

The movie In This Our Life was based on a Pulitzer-winning novel of the same name by author Ellen Glasgow. The 1941 novel is set in Glasgow’s home state of Virginia — one of the many states throughout the South in which family surnames were often bestowed upon baby girls (especially in families without many sons).

Stanley Ann Dunham “was teased mercilessly for her name” as a youngster, according to Barack Obama in his book Dreams from My Father. She ended up dropping “Stanley” and simply going by “Ann” as an adult.

Where did her father get his name? “His mother, an avid reader, named him in honor of one of her favorite historical characters, Sir Henry Morton Stanley, the British newspaperman and adventurer who became famous probing the nether regions of interior Africa.”

Interestingly, Sir Henry Morton Stanley was born John Rowlands; he created the name “Henry Morton Stanley” for himself upon emigrating to America from England.

What do you think of the name Stanley for a baby girl?

Sources:

  • Maraniss, David. Barack Obama: The Story. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2012.
  • Obama, Barack. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. New York: Crown Publishers, 1995.

The Ultimate ’80s Name-Song Tournament: Final Round

80s name-song tournament, final round

We’re down to the final 2 songs!

You can vote in the ultimate round of the Ultimate ’80s Name-Song Tournament from now until Saturday, but you can only pick one song this time, so choose wisely!

I’ll announce the winner on Monday, April 6th.

Early ’80s Finalist: “Come on Eileen” (1982) by Dexys Midnight Runners

  • “Come on Eileen” reached #1 on The Billboard Hot 100 in April, 1982.
  • In this tournament, “Come on Eileen” beat “Gloria,” “Jack and Diane,” “Rosanna” and “Valerie” in Round 1a and semi-finalists “Bette Davis Eyes,” “Billie Jean” and “Oh Sherrie” in Round 2.

Late ’80s Finalist: “Rock Me Amadeus” (1986) by Falco

  • “Rock Me Amadeus” reached #1 on The Billboard Hot 100 in March, 1986.
  • In this tournament, “Rock Me Amadeus” beat “Sara,” “Oh Sheila,” “Nikita” and “Suzanne” in Round 1b and semi-finalists “You Can Call Me Al,” “Luka” and “Veronica” in Round 2.

Which of these songs should be crowned the Ultimate '80s Name-Song?

  • "Come on Eileen" (1982) by Dexys Midnight Runners (60%, 12 Votes)
  • "Rock Me Amadeus" (1986) by Falco (40%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 20

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The Ultimate ’80s Name-Song Tournament: Round 2

80s name-song tournament, round 2

We’ve advanced to Round 2 in the Ultimate ’80s Name-Song Tournament!

In this round, we’ll narrow the pool down from 8 semifinalists to 2 finalists: one from the early ’80s, one from the late ’80s.

As usual, the round begins early Monday and ends early Saturday (so you have exactly 5 days to vote) and you can select up to 2 answers per poll.

Let the Round 2 battles begin!

The battles are over! Check below for the winners.

Battle 1

WINNER: “Come on Eileen” (1982) by Dexys Midnight Runners

This battle will determine the name-song finalist representing the early ’80s (Round 1a). The contestants:

  • Bette Davis Eyes” (1981) by Kim Carnes
    • ‘Bette Davis’ refers to actress Bette Davis (1908-1989).
  • Come on Eileen” (1982) by Dexys Midnight Runners
    • ‘Eileen’ refers to the first girlfriend of vocalist Kevin Rowland.
  • Billie Jean” (1983) by Michael Jackson
    • ‘Billie Jean’ refers to a real person, but in the song it’s symbolic of groupies in general.*
  • Oh Sherrie” (1984) by Steve Perry
    • ‘Sherrie’ refers to Sherrie Swafford, former girlfriend of Steve Perry.

(Links open music videos in a new window.)

Which song(s) do you like best? Choose up to 2:

  • "Come on Eileen" (1982) by Dexys Midnight Runners (36%, 14 Votes)
  • "Billie Jean" (1983) by Michael Jackson (31%, 12 Votes)
  • "Bette Davis Eyes" (1981) by Kim Carnes (26%, 10 Votes)
  • "Oh Sherrie" (1984) by Steve Perry (8%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 25

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Battle 2

WINNER: “Rock Me Amadeus” (1986) by Falco

This battle will determine the name-song finalist representing the late ’80s (Round 1b). The contestants:

  • Rock Me Amadeus” (1986) by Falco
    • ‘Amadeus’ refers to composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791).
  • You Can Call Me Al” (1986) by Paul Simon
    • ‘Al’ and ‘Betty’ are based on ‘Paul’ (Simon) and ‘Peggy’ (Simon’s first wife).
  • Luka” (1987) by Suzanne Vega
    • ‘Luka’ refers to a real person, but in the song it refers to a victim of child abuse.**
  • Veronica” (1989) by Elvis Costello
    • ‘Veronica’ refers to Costello’s grandmother (not sure if it’s her real name).

(Links open music videos in a new window.)

Which song(s) do you like best? Choose up to 2:

  • "Rock Me Amadeus" (1986) by Falco (41%, 15 Votes)
  • "You Can Call Me Al" (1986) by Paul Simon (22%, 8 Votes)
  • "Luka" (1987) by Suzanne Vega (19%, 7 Votes)
  • "Veronica" (1989) by Elvis Costello (19%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 24

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Anyone care to guess which of the name-songs above will be crowned the winner in a couple of weeks?

*”Billie Jean is kind of anonymous. It represents a lot of girls. […] They would hang around backstage doors, and any band that would come to town they would have a relationship with, and I think I wrote this out of experience with my brothers when I was little. There were a lot of Billie Jeans out there.” -MJ, via MTV

**”Where did you get the name from?” “A 9-year-old boy who lives in my building. Who is not abused, by the way. I like the name Luka, it’s universal. It could be a girl or boy and it could be any nationality.” -SV, via NYT