The baby name Colt has a distinctive popularity graph: usage begins in the 1950s, shoots up in the early 1980s, shoots up again in the early 2000s, and shoots up again in the late 2010s.
The initial usage was triggered by the TV Western Colt .45 (1957-1960), which was loosely based upon a 1950 film of the same name. The main character, Christopher Colt, was an undercover government agent posing as a pistol salesman. (The Colt .45 was a type of pistol that was particularly popular in the Old West.)
The name Colt debuted in the SSA’s data the year the show premiered:
1959: 8 baby boys named Colt
1958: 10 baby boys named Colt
1957: 7 baby boys named Colt [debut]
The show may have given the name Christopher a boost as well, though it’s hard to tell, as the name was already on the rise in the late ’50s.
But the name that got the biggest boost from the show wasn’t Colt or Christopher — it was Wayde, from actor Wayde Preston, who played Christopher Colt. The name saw peak usage in 1959:
1960: 135 baby boys named Wayde [rank: 674th]
1959: 252 baby boys named Wayde [rank: 493rd]
1958: 153 baby boys named Wayde [rank: 622nd]
1957: 33 baby boys named Wayde
1956: 15 baby boys named Wayde
But getting back to Colt…the name remained relatively rare until another show, The Fall Guy (1981-1986), introduced TV audiences to the character Colt Seavers, played by Lee Majors. This character wasn’t a gunslinger but a stuntman (who moonlighted as a bounty hunter).
The name jumped straight into the top 500 in 1982:
1983: 351 baby boys named Colt [rank: 444th]
1982: 344 baby boys named Colt [rank: 459th]
1981: 20 baby boys named Colt
1980: 9 baby boys named Colt
The next rise in usage was kicked off by football quarterback Daniel “Colt” McCoy, who had a successful college career at the University of Texas (2005-2009) before going pro in 2010.
2009: 820 baby boys named Colt [rank: 369th]
162 (19.8%) born in Texas
2008: 500 baby boys named Colt [rank: 532nd]
85 (17.0%) born in Texas
2007: 428 baby boys named Colt [rank: 593rd]
67 (15.7%) born in Texas
2006: 212 baby boys named Colt [rank: 910th]
38 (17.9%) born in Texas
2005: 186 baby boys named Colt [rank: 943rd]
21 (11.3%) born in Texas
2004: 143 baby boys named Colt [outside top 1,000]
13 (9.1%) born in Texas
And the most recent rise in usage seems to be attributable to the Netflix series The Ranch, which premiered in mid-2016 and stars Ashton Kutcher as a character named Colt Reagan Bennett.
So, going back to the beginning now….where did the name of the Colt .45 pistol come from?
The pistol was made by Colt’s Manufacturing Company of Connecticut. The company was named for founder Samuel Colt (1814-1862), whose English surname originated as “a metonymic occupational name for someone who looked after asses and horses, or a nickname for an obstinate or frisky person.”
What do you think of the baby name Colt? (Do you like it as a standalone name, or do you prefer it as a nickname for Colton?)
Source: Hanks, Patrick. (Ed.) Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
According to Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Estadistica, the most popular baby names in the country in 2019 were (again) Lucia and Hugo.
Here are Spain’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:
Lucia, 3,621 baby girls
Hugo, 3,536 baby boys
Both top 10 lists include the same 10 names as the year before, but in a different order.
The top names in the Basque Country specifically were Ane and Markel. (Ane is a form of Anna, whereas Markel comes from the Roman name Martialis.)
And did you know that Spain has two autonomous cities on the coast of Africa? They’re Melilla and Ceuta. The top names in Melilla were Amira/Nour (tie) and Mohamed, while the top names in Ceuta were Yasmin and Amir/Mohamed (tie).