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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Clovia

Number of Babies Named Clovia

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Clovia

Normandie, Take Two

Normandie from Terry and the Pirates (comic strip)
The elusive Normandie Drake!
Last year I guessed that the 1935 debut of Normandie on the SSA’s list was inspired by the maiden voyage of the SS Normandie.

Just a few weeks ago, though, I stumbled upon a theory that makes a lot more sense.

I was in the middle of researching the name Terrylea (a one-hit wonder from 1948 — any guesses?) when I found myself on the IMDB page for Terry and the Pirates (1940).

IMDB pages are full of names, so whenever I land on one I feel compelled to skim. And on this particular page I happened to spot the character name “Normandie Drake.”

It made me think of the baby name Normandie, of course, but the release year didn’t match up to any of the SSA data, so…dead end, right?

Well, turns out the movie was based on a popular comic strip of the same name by cartoonist Milton Caniff. The strip was first published in late 1934.

And which character was introduced in January of 1935? Normandie Drake.

Very intriguing — especially when you consider that a number of baby name debuts from that era were inspired by comic strip characters (e.g., Clovia, Dondi).

Another interesting point: Normandie Drake wasn’t featured in every storyline, and her comings and goings in the comic seem to correspond with the fluctuating usage of the name.

In 1942, for instance, she reappeared after an absence. That same year, the usage of Normandie increased:

  • 1945: unlisted
  • 1944: 9 baby girls named Normandie
  • 1943: 9 baby girls named Normandie
  • 1942: 14 baby girls named Normandie
  • 1941: unlisted
  • 1940: unlisted
  • 1939: unlisted
  • 1938: unlisted
  • 1937: 11 baby girls named Normandie
  • 1936: unlisted
  • 1935: 7 baby girls named Normandie [debut]
  • 1934: unlisted

Not only that, but she brought along her young daughter Merrily* and the baby name Merrily** promptly skyrocketed into the top 1,000:

  • 1944: 71 baby girls named Merrily
  • 1943: 120 baby girls named Merrily [ranked 914th]
  • 1942: 201 baby girls named Merrily [ranked 698th]
  • 1941: 13 baby girls named Merrily [ranked 513th]
  • 1940: unlisted

A magazine interview with Milton Caniff from a few years later (1945) included a photo of two little girls named Merrily after the character. The caption also mentioned young girls named Normandie after Normandie Drake and April after another Terry character, April Kane.

So, in light of all this new information, I have to admit that my first theory was incorrect. The debut was much more likely caused by Normandie Drake than by the SS Normandie. (Although I do think the ocean liner could have been a secondary influence here.)

Sorry I didn’t have the full story on this one before posting about it initially. Better late than never, though. :)

*Milton Caniff named and modeled Merrily after Mary Lee Engli, the daughter of fellow cartoonist Frank Engli.
**The baby names Merrilee and Merrilie were also affected.


Clovia – Comic Strip Baby Name

Clovia comic strip character
Clovia the character
The baby name Clovia debuted on the SSA’s baby name list in 1949:

  • 1952: 5 baby girls named Clovia
  • 1951: 5 baby girls named Clovia
  • 1950: 13 baby girls named Clovia
  • 1949: 22 baby girls named Clovia [debut]
  • 1948: unlisted

It was the 4th-highest girl name debut that year after Rainelle, Rainell and Randye.

Where did it come from?

A comic strip. Gasoline Alley characters Skeezix and Nina welcomed a baby girl in May of 1949 and named her Clovia.

Why “Clovia”?

Nina got stuck in traffic on the way to the hospital and was forced to give birth in a taxi. On the infant’s wrist was a birthmark in the shape of a four-leaf clover.

Clovia doll
Clovia the doll
And Clovia wasn’t just a comic strip character. For a time, she was also a doll.

In mid-1949, a few weeks after Clovia’s introduction, Clovia dolls became available in retail stores. (Dolls based on comic strip babies had become trendy in the 1940s.)

The baby name Clovia remained on the national baby name list through the 1950s, but usage petered out in the 1960s.

(Dondi, another comic strip-inspired name, had more staying power. Sparkle, on the other hand, lasted only a year.)


  • “Comic Strip Dolls.” Life 19 Oct. 1953.
  • Cushman, Philip. Constructing the Self, Constructing America. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 1995.

Images © Life.

Baby Name Needed – Middle Name for Elle

Patience and her husband are expecting a baby girl in June. They plan to name her Elle, but they’re having a tough time choosing a middle name:

My maiden name is Lewis, and my husband’s middle name is Louis. […] I don’t like Louise…but it would be cool to play on the similarity of our names for her middle name. Then again I don’t know how I feel about: Elle L. Wagner.

(Their real surname isn’t Wagner, but it does start with a W and have two syllables.)

I’m not too sure about “Elle L.” either. Putting a name and a letter that sound exactly alike side-by-side will probably cause a lot of confusion. Also, Elle followed by any L-name is going to be tricky to say aloud.

Unfortunately, though, many Louis-derived female names start with L. Most of those that don’t (e.g. Clovia, Aloysia) are fairly exotic. The only two I’d consider are Gia and Gina, which are distant cousins of Louis via the Italian Luigia.

A compound name might work. Marylou, Marylouisa, Annalou, Annalouisa…any short-ish name could be the first element, and a Louis-based name could be the second. Length would be an issue, but Elle is quite short, so I think a longer middle wouldn’t be too much of a burden.

The only other idea I had was to look at names that have consonants in common with Lewis and Louis, such as:


None of the above are in the Louis family, but they could be seen as “tribute” names in a sense.

What other ideas would guys offer to Patience?