How popular is the baby name Chevelle 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 Chevelle.
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So here’s an interesting case. The baby name Chevette debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1965:
1969: 5 baby girls named Chevette
1967: 8 baby girls named Chevette
1966: 6 baby girls named Chevette
1965: 6 baby girls named Chevette [debut]
You’d think it’d be the car, right? The Chevrolet Chevette? Except, the car didn’t arrive until 1975. You can see the corresponding spike in usage in 1976:
1977: 7 baby girls named Chevette
1976: 17 baby girls named Chevette [peak]
1975: 6 baby girls named Chevette
The only pop culture reference I can find for the mid-1960s is, weirdly, another car: a custom-build race car. Created by engineer Bob McKee, it was called the “Chevette” because it was made out of parts from the Chevelle and the Corvette. It was driven in various American road races in 1964 and 1965, but I can’t find any press coverage.
Another (more likely) possibility is that the name emerged naturally, given the stylishness of -vette names during the ’60s. The name Yvette saw peak usage (125th) in 1967, for instance, and the Chevette-like names Charvette and Jevette popped up in the data just before Chevette did.
What are your thoughts on this one?
Source: Pace, Harold and Mark Brinker. Vintage American Road Racing Cars 1950-1969. St. Paul, MN: Motorbooks International, 2004.
The baby name Wrangler debuted on the U.S. baby name charts in 1987.
So here’s the mystery: What caused the debut? Was the name inspired by Wrangler Jeans, or by the Jeep Wrangler? Or both?
Wrangler Jeans, which have been around since the 1940s, were available in trendy, tight-fitting “designer” styles during the ’80s (just like Jordache and Murjani). Wrangler commercials from that time period (e.g., 1, 2, 3) all featured the same catchy “live it to the limit in Wrangler” theme song.
The Jeep Wrangler was introduced in 1986. The Jeep Wrangler ads weren’t as eye-catching as the Wrangler Jeans ads, but it’s hard to overlook the correlation between the year the car came out and the year the name debuted, and the fact that new cars with decent names often do inspire baby name debuts (e.g., Chevelle, Allante, Miata).
My opinion? I think both products had some influence here.
A small number babies born prior to 1987 were named Wrangler, and I’m sure a few of them were named with the Jeans in mind. (Favorite example: James Levi Wrangler Dunlap, born in 1984.)
But I think the Jeep Wrangler is what gave the name enough of a boost in 1987 for us to see it on the baby charts.
What do you think?
(Interestingly, the baby name Wrangler was only on the SSA’s list once in the ’80s and a few more times during the ’90s, but it has appeared consistently on the charts since the turn of the century. Its best showing so far was in 2011, with 16 baby boys named Wrangler that year.)