The baby name Manina debuted in the U.S. data in 1951:
1953: 6 baby girls named Manina
1952: 7 baby girls named Manina
1951: 6 baby girls named Manina
Where did it come from?
The movie September Affair, which was released in the U.S. in late 1950. One of the main characters was a prominent concert pianist named Marianne “Manina” Stuart (played by Joan Fontaine).
In the film, Manina meets a married American businessman while traveling. When they’re both mistakenly presumed dead (in a plane accident that would have killed them, had they not missed the flight) they take the opportunity to to start new lives together in Italy. But the affair only lasts until their past lives catch up with them.
Manina’s nickname happens to be the Italian word for “small or delicate hand” — fitting for a professional pianist, I suppose, though it might sound silly to an Italian.
The tagline of the film — “it happened in Capri!” — foreshadows the baby name Capri, which popped up on the charts just a few years later.
The Italian island of Capri has been inhabited for millennia, but very few Americans were naming their babies “Capri” before Ford introduced the Lincoln Capri in the early 1950s:
1955: 6 baby girls named Capri
1954: 5 baby girls named Capri
1953: 7 baby girls named Capri [debut]
The car was on the market from 1952 to 1959 and, as far as I can tell, it was the very first car-inspired baby name to appear in the data. Since then, many different cars have inspired baby names (e.g., Camry, DeLorean, Miata, Porsche).
These days the name Capri is given to close to 200 baby girls per year, which puts it pretty close to the top 1,000.
The origin of the island name “Capri” isn’t known for certain, but it could be derived from the ancient Greek word kapros, meaning “wild boar,” or from the Latin word capreae, meaning “goats.”
Do you like the name Capri? Would you use it for a baby girl?