How popular is the baby name Clint in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Clint and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Clint.
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It’s the end of The Week of Int! We’ve looked at the names Clint, Flint, Quint, and Vint — all four of which were associated with TV cowboys during the second half of the 1950s, and all four of which saw increased usage on the baby name charts in the ’50s thanks to these associations.
So now it’s your turn. Which of these -int names is your favorite?
The baby name Vint debuted in the baby name data in 1958:
1963: 5 baby boys named Vint
1961: 9 baby boys named Vint
1960: 15 baby boys named Vint
1959: 35 baby boys named Vint
1958: 21 baby boys named Vint [debut]
The influence? Vint Bonner, the main character of the TV Western The Restless Gun (1957-1959).
Vint was a “freelance cowpoke” who traveled alone through the post-Civil War West. The character was played by John Payne, who had starred in Miracle on 34th Street a decade earlier. Payne say of the character: “If there’s such a thing as a next-door neighbor in a Western that’s Vint Bonner.”
The series was based on a radio show (The Six Shooter, 1953-1954) in which the main character was named Britt Ponset. For TV, the character’s personality was altered slightly and his name was changed from “Britt” to “Vint” (…perhaps to make it sound more like Clint?).
Do you like the name Vint?
Marill, Alvin H. Television Westerns: Six Decades of Sagebrush Sheriffs, Scalawags, and Sidewinders.. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2011.
“TV Goes Wild Over Westerns.” LIFE 28 Oct. 1957: 99-106.
Clint was already seeing moderate usage in the early ’50s, but usage increased considerably in mid-1950s:
1959: 482 baby boys named Clint (rank: 357th)
1958: 474 baby boys named Clint (350th)
1957: 398 baby boys named Clint (385th)
1956: 258 baby boys named Clint (469th)
1955: 115 baby boys named Clint (682nd)
1954: 81 baby boys named Clint (803rd)
1953: 106 baby boys named Clint (693rd)
1952: 84 baby boys named Clint (767th)
1951: 79 baby boys named Clint (793rd)
1950: 60 baby boys named Clint (886th)
The reason for the rise? My money’s on Clint Walker, the actor who played the part of Cheyenne Bodie in the successful TV Western Cheyenne (1955-1963), which happened to be TV’s first hour-long Western.
Cheyenne Bodie was “a former frontier scout who drifts through the old West, traveling without any particular motivation from one adventure to another.”
The series was held together not so much by its premise as by its charismatic star, Clint Walker, who rose from obscurity to become one of the icons of the TV western. With his powerful physique and towering height, Walker commanded the small screen through sheer presence; his performance gained gravity simply from the way his body dominated the screen.
According to the Nielsen ratings, Cheyenne was a top-20 series for three seasons straight (1957-1958, 1958-1959, and 1959-1960).
The show also boosted the male usage of Cheyenne during the second half of the 1950s and through most of the 1960s.
But I should mention that Clint Walker and Cheyenne are only part of the story, as several other gun-slinging Clints also emerged around this time:
Clint Tollinger, a character played by Robert Mitchum in the movie Man with the Gun (1955).
Clint Reno, a character played by Elvis Presley in the movie Love Me Tender (1956).
Clint Travis, a character played by and Paul “Kelo” Henderson in the TV series 26 Men (1957-1959).
There was also a non-gun-slinging teenager named Clint in the short Micky Mouse Club serial The Adventures of Clint and Mac (most episodes aired in January of 1958).
The rise of Clint didn’t continue into the ’60s, despite a continued Clint presence in pop culture:
Clint Eastwood, the actor who played Rowdy Yates on the TV series Rawhide (1959-1966).
Clint McCoy, a character played by Rory Calhoun in the movie Young Fury (1965).
But usage picked back up in the ’70s. Clint saw peak popularity in 1980. These days, usage is roughly back down to pre-Cheyenne levels.
Do you like the name Clint? Would you use it for your baby boy?
The list was created by amateur genealogist G. M. Atwater as a resource for writers. It contains names and name combinations that were commonly seen in the U.S. from the 1840s to the 1890s. Below is the full list (with a few minor changes).
Victorian Era Female Names
Victorian Era Male Names
Abigale / Abby
Almira / Almyra
Ann / Annie
Dorothy / Dot
Elizabeth / Eliza / Liza / Lizzy / Bess / Bessie / Beth / Betsy
The black-and-white TV western Rawhide (1959-1966) was set in the 1860s, just after the Civil War. It depicted a group of men who drove cattle from San Antonio northward via the Sedalia Trail to Sedalia, Missouri.
One of those men was Rowdy Yates, the group’s ramrod (second-in-charge after the trail boss). Rowdy was played by a young Clint Eastwood. The show’s popularity helped launch Eastwood’s career.
It also helped launched the baby name Rowdy, which appeared for the first time on the Social Security Administration’s baby name list in 1959:
1966: 29 baby boys named Rowdy
1965: 40 baby boys named Rowdy
1964: 39 baby boys named Rowdy
1963: 38 baby boys named Rowdy
1962: 45 baby boys named Rowdy
1961: 29 baby boys named Rowdy
1960: 27 baby boys named Rowdy
1959: 22 baby boys named Rowdy [debut]
Unlike many pop culture baby names, Rowdy didn’t fade away after the show left the airwaves.
Two or three dozen baby boys got the name every year for the next few decades, until the 1990s, when usage actually picked up.
Here are the most recent numbers for Rowdy:
2012: 108 baby boys named Rowdy
2011: 127 baby boys named Rowdy
2010: 100 baby boys named Rowdy
2009: 133 baby boys named Rowdy
2008: 140 baby boys named Rowdy
2007: 106 baby boys named Rowdy
2006: 107 baby boys named Rowdy (+ 5 named Rowdie, + 5 girls named Rowdy)
2005: 79 baby boys named Rowdy
A large proportion of all this usage happened in Texas specifically.
Here are the same years as above, but for Texas only:
2012: 27 baby boys named Rowdy in Texas
2011: 36 baby boys named Rowdy in Texas
2010: 23 baby boys named Rowdy in Texas
2009: 21 baby boys named Rowdy in Texas
2008: 27 baby boys named Rowdy in Texas
2007: 21 baby boys named Rowdy in Texas
2006: 25 baby boys named Rowdy in Texas
2005: 27 baby boys named Rowdy in Texas
There were also a good number of Rowdys born in Oklahoma.
So, what does the word rowdy mean, and where does it come from?
It’s a specifically American word that was first recorded as a noun in the early 1800s. It originally meant “lawless backwoodsman” and was probably based on the word row, “noisy commotion.” Today, a rowdy is “a rough, quarrelsome person.” The adjective rowdy is synonymous with words like “disorderly,” “unruly” and “boisterous.”