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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Bonanza

Number of Babies Named Bonanza

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Bonanza

Drene, The Shampoo-Inspired Baby Name

Drene Shampoo

The first and only time the baby name Drene made it onto the SSA’s list was 1946:

  • 1947: unlisted
  • 1946: 6 baby girls named Drene [debut]
  • 1945: unlisted

The inspiration?

Drene shampoo…kind of.

Drene, the first shampoo to use synthetic detergent instead of soap, had been introduced by Procter & Gamble in 1934. So the product had been on the market for more than a decade by the mid-1940s.

What drew people’s attention to Drene in 1946 specifically, then?

Drene Time (NBC), the Sunday night radio series sponsored by Procter & Gamble. The 30-minute variety show featured singing and comedy and was co-hosted by Don Ameche and Frances Langford. It only lasted from mid-1946 to mid-1947, but that gave it enough time to influence the baby name charts, if only slightly.

Don Ameche and Frances Langford went on to co-star in the sketch comedy radio series The Bickersons (1947-1951), which featured characters they’d played on Drene Time.

Drene shampoo continued to be sold until the 1970s, at which point P&G stopped production in the U.S.

Source: Drene Shampoo, Medium, 3 oz. | National Museum of American History

Pop Culture Baby Name: Bonanza

The word bonanza is a Spanish loanword meaning “prosperity.”

In mining, a bonanza refers specifically to a rich vein of ore.

Sometimes, even more specifically, it refers to a lode of silver ore discovered in western Utah Territory in 1859 called the Comstock Lode.

This “Comstock Lode” definition is where the TV western Bonanza got its name, as the show was set in the time and same place (1860s Utah Territory).

Bonanza (TV western)
Bonanza (TV western)

The series featured the fictional Cartwright family, who lived on the fictional Ponderosa Ranch, which was located near the nonfictional Virginia City, located in what is now the state of Nevada.

The show went on the air in 1959. A year later, several U.S. baby boys were named Bonanza:

  • 1961: unlisted
  • 1960: 7 baby boys named Bonanza [debut]
  • 1959: unlisted

Though Bonanza was one of the longest-running westerns on television, the baby name Bonanza showed up on the SSA’s baby name list only once.

Update, 5/31/15: Usage of the baby name Tessa more than tripled from 1963 to 1964. Looks like the jump was caused by an episode of Bonanza called “Bullet for a Bride” (Feb. 1964) which featured a character named Tessa Caldwell.

Update, 3/17/2018: The name Petina debuted in 1965 thanks to a single-episode Bonanza character named Petina, an aerialist who appeared in “The Deadliest Game” (Feb. 1965).