How popular is the baby name Deirdre 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 Deirdre.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Deirdre


Posts that Mention the Name Deirdre

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: Letter D

derry thomas, movies, 1920s
Madge Bellamy as Derry Thomas in the movie Summer Bachelors (1926).

Looking for an uncommon D-name for your baby girl? Here’s the next installment of rare female names collected from very old films (1910s to 1940s)…

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Dabby
Dabby was a character played by actress Ruby Dandridge in the film Tap Roots (1948).

Dacia
Dacia was a character played by actress Vivian Tobin in the film The Sign of the Cross (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Dacia.

Dado
Dado Scholl was a character played by actress Gretchen Lederer in the short film The Temptation of Edwin Swayne (1915).

Dagmar
Dagmar was a character name in multiple films, including A Million A Minute (1916) and The Trial of Mary Dugan (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Dagmar.

Daire
Daire Vincent was a character played by actress Gladys Brockwell in the film Up from the Depths (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Daire.

Dale
Dale Fuller was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in California in 1885. Her birth name was Marie Dale Phillipps. Dale was also a character name in multiple films, including Top Hat (1935) and King of Alcatraz (1938).

  • Usage of the baby name Dale.

Dalla
Dalla was a character played by actress Betty Compson in the film The Female (1924).

Dalle
Dalle Aldis was a character played by actress Ruth Clifford in the film The Lure of Luxury (1918).

Danila
Danila was a character played by actress Kay Sutton in the film Flying Blind (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Danila.

Dany
Dany Robin was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1960s. She was born in France in 1927. Her birth name was Danielle Robin.

  • Usage of the baby name Dany.

Daphnia
Daphnia was a character played by actress Winifred Greenwood in the short film Daphnia (1914).

Darya
Darya Orlinsky was a character played by actress Viola Dana in the film The Cossack Whip (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Darya.

Davidina
Davidina was a character played by actress Grace Gordon in the film Spangles (1926).

Dazil
Dazil Mellows was a character played by actress Alice Brady in the film The Redhead (1919).

Dea
Dea was a character name in multiple films, including The Man Who Laughs (1928) and Typhoon (1940).

  • Usage of the baby name Dea.

Deanie
Deanie Consadine was a character played by actress Madge Evans in the film The Power and the Glory (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Deanie.

Decima
Decima Duress was a character played by actress Lois Meredith in the film An Enemy to Society (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Decima.

Dede
Dede Mason was a character played by actress Myrtle Stedman in the film Burning Daylight (1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Dede.

Dee
Dee Foster was a character played by actress Alice White in the film Broadway Babies (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Dee.

Dee Dee
Dee Dee Dillwood was a character played by actress Joan Fontaine in the film You Gotta Stay Happy (1948).

Deedee
Deedee Doree was a character played by actress Mona Barrie in the film Love, Honor and Oh-Baby! (1940).

  • Usage of the baby name Deedee.

Deirdre
Deirdre Drake was a character played by actress Dolores Moran in the film Old Acquaintance (1943).

Delaphine
Delaphine was a character played by actress Gene Gauntier in the short film The Belle of New Orleans (1912).

Delarai
Delarai was a character played by actress Merle Oberon in the film Night in Paradise (1946).

Delatorre
Princess Delatorre was a character played by actress Julia Swayne Gordon in the film Misbehaving Ladies (1931).

Delfina
Delfina Acuña was a character played by actress Barbara Brown in the film You Were Never Lovelier (1942).

Delice
Delice Brixton was a character played by actress Dorothy Phillips in the film The Flashlight (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Delice.

Delicia
Delicia was a character name in multiple films, including The Human Investment (1915) and The Ladder of Fortune (1915).

Delight
Delight was a character name in multiple films, including The Unafraid (short, 1915) and Dangerous Days (1920).

Delima
Delima Turcott was a character played by actress Rosa Rosanova in the film A Woman’s Faith (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Delima.

Deloryce
Deloryce was a character played by actress Betty Compson in the film Woman to Woman (1929).

Delphinie
Delphinie was a character played by actress Lillian Yarbo in the film Boy Friend (1939).

Delsie
Delsie O’Dell was a character played by actress Dorothy Gish in the film The Ghost in the Garret (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Delsie.

Demetra
Demetra was a character played by actress Maud Allan in the film The Rug Maker’s Daughter (1915).

Demetria
Demetria Riffle was a character played by actress Eily Malyon in the film On Borrowed Time (1939).

Dena
Dena Maxwellton was a character played by actress Iris Adrian in the film Swing It Soldier (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Dena.

Dennie
Dennie Moore was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1950s. She was born in New York in 1902. Her birth name was Florence Moore.

  • Usage of the baby name Dennie.

Derelys
Derelys Perdue was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. She was born in Missouri in 1902. Her birth name was Geraldine Perdue. Derelys was also a character played by actress Lilyan Tashman in the film Take Me Home (1928).

  • Usage of the baby name Derelys (which debuted in the data in 1924).

Deria
Deria was a character played by actress Julia Dean in the film Experiment Perilous (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Deria.

Derith
Derith was a character played by actress Claire Windsor in the film The Strangers’ Banquet (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Derith (which debuted in the data the year after The Strangers’ Banquet came out).

Derry
Derry Thomas was a character played by actress Madge Bellamy in the film Summer Bachelors (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Derry.

Desdemona
Desdemona was a character played by actress Julia Swayne Gordon in the film Othello (1908).

Despina
Despina was the 114-year-old woman featured in the short documentary The Weavers (1905), believed to be the first motion picture shot in the Balkans. (There’s no proof of Despina’s year of birth, but if she really was 114 years old, then she’s the earliest-born person ever filmed.)

Dessie
Dessie Arnhalt was a character played by actress Zasu Pitts in the film West of the Water Tower (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Dessie.

Dete
Dete was a character played by actress Mady Christians in the film Heidi (1937).

Devoria
Devoria was a character played by actress Ruby Dandridge in the film Home in Oklahoma (1946).

Dey
Dey Shevlin was a character played by actress Winifred Westover in the film The Fighter (1921).

Diantha
Diantha was a character name in multiple films, including Daughter of Mine (1919) and Cass Timberlane (1947).

Didi
Didi Bonfee was a character played by actress Alice White in the film Secret of the Chateau (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Didi.

Dierdre
Dierdre Saurin was a character played by actress Claire Windsor in the film The Claw (1927).

Dilys
Dilys was a character played by actress Patricia Roc in the film Jassy (1947).

  • Usage of the baby name Dilys.

Dione
Princess Dione was a character played by actress Claire Du Brey in the film The Reward of the Faithless (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Dione.

Diony
Diony Hall was a character played by actress Eleanor Boardman in the film The Great Meadow (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Diony.

Dita
Dita Parlo was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1960s. She was born in Germany (now Poland) in 1906. Her birth name was Grethe Gerda Kornstädt.

  • Usage of the baby name Dita.

Dixiana
Dixiana Caldwell was a character played by actress Bebe Daniels in the film Dixiana (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Dixiana (which debuted in the data in 1930).

Dodie
Dodie was a character name in multiple films, including Help Yourself (1932) and And Sudden Death (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Dodie.

Dodo
Dodo was a character name in multiple films, including Our Little Wife (1918) and Rouge and Riches (1920).

Dolce
Dolce was a character played by actress Bessie Learn in the short film Poisoned by Jealousy (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Dolce.

Dollie
Dollie was a character name in multiple films, including The Adventures of Dollie (1908) and Hero by Proxy (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Dollie.

Dolly
Dolly Larkin was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in New York in 1889. Her birth name was Margaret Larkin. Dolly was also a character played by actress Cleo Madison in the short film The Ring of Destiny (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Dolly.

Dolores
Dolores del Rio was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1970s. She was born in Mexico in 1904. Dolores Moran was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1950s. She was born in California in 1926. Dolores was also a character played by actress Hedy Lamarr in the film Tortilla Flat (1942).

Dolorita
Dolorita was a dancer who appeared in films in the 1890s and 1900s. Her first film, The Dolorita Passion Dance (1897), was the first motion picture to be banned in the United States. (It was banned in Atlantic City specifically.)

Dolorosa
Dolorosa was a character name in multiple films, including Mockery (1912) and Strangling Threads (1923).

Dominga
Dominga was a character played by actress Armida in the film Border Cafe (1937).

Domini
Domini was a character played by various actresses (such as Helen Ware and Marlene Dietrich) in various movies called The Garden of Allah, all based on the 1904 novel of the same name by Robert Smythe Hichens.

  • Usage of the baby name Domini.

Dominica
Dominica was a character played by actress Nell Craig in multiple short films in 1915, such as The Rajah’s Tunic (1915).

Donia
Donia Bussey was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1950s. She was born in Ohio in 1899. Donia was also a character played by actress Edith Storey in the short film The Chains of an Oath (1913).

  • Usage of the baby name Donia.

Donivee
Donivee Purkey was an actress who appeared in films in the 1940s. She was born in Oklahoma in 1922.

  • Usage of the baby name Donivee (which debuted in the data in 1942).

Doraldina
Doraldina was a mononymous dancer/actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in California in 1888. Her birth name was Dora Saunders.

Dorcas
Dorcas was a character name in multiple films, including Brought Home (1915) and Straight Is the Way (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Dorcas.

Doree
Doree Macy was a character played by actress Bebe Daniels in the film My Past (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Doree.

Doreen
Doreen Stockwell was a character played by actress Julie London in the film Nabonga (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Doreen.

Doric
Doric Blint was a character played by actress Julia Faye in the film Venus in the East (1919).

Dorina
Dorina was a character played by actress Pina Menichelli in the Italian film La trilogia di Dorina (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Dorina.

Dorinda
Dorinda Clifton was an actress who appeared in films in the 1940s and 1950s. She was born in California in 1928. Dorinda was also a character name in multiple films, including Rosemary, That’s for Remembrance (1914) and The Farmer’s Daughter (1940).

Dorinea
Dorinea Shirley was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. She was born in England in 1902.

Dorinne
Dorinne Adams was a character played by actress Wanda Hawley in the film Fires of Fate (1923).

Dorita
Dorita was a character played by actress Carmen Miranda in the film The Gang’s All Here (1943).

  • Usage of the baby name Dorita.

Dorothea
Dorothea Kent was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s. She was born in Missouri in 1916. Dorothea was also a character name in multiple films, including The Heart of a Child (1915) and Broken in the Wars (1919).

Dorris
Dorris Dare was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in 1899.

  • Usage of the baby name Dorris.

Dorrit
Dorrit Weixler was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Germany in 1892.

  • Usage of the baby name Dorrit.

Dot
Dot was a character name in multiple films, including Kid Millions (1934) and The Law in Her Hands (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Dot.

Dottie
Dottie was a character name in multiple films, including Victorine (1915) and Telephone Operator (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Dottie.

Dotty
Dotty Donald was a character played by actress Velma Whitman in the film Some Boy (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Dotty.

Douglamana
Douglamana was a character played by actress Laska Winter in the film Frozen Justice (1929).

Draguisha
Draguisha was a character played by actress Valerie Hobson in the film Continental Express (1939).

Dreena
Dreena was a character played by actress Nell Shipman in the films White Water (1926) and The Light on Lookout Mountain (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Dreena.

Dreka
Dreka Langley was a character played by actress Rosemary Theby in the film Pagan Passions (1924).

Dria
Dria Paola was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1940s. She was born in Italy in 1909. Her birth name was Etra Pitteo.

Drina
Drina was a character name in multiple films, including Marie, Ltd. (1919) and Dead End (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Drina.

Drowzina
Drowzina was a character played by actress Gwen Lee in the short film Candid Cameramaniacs (1937).

Drucilla
Drucilla was a character name in multiple films, including Pretty Mrs. Smith (1915) and Grim Justice (1916).

Drusilla
Drusilla was a character name in multiple films, including The Forest on the Hill (1919) and Reap the Wild Wind (1942).

Duane
Duane Thompson was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Iowa in 1903.

  • Usage of the baby name Duane.

Duenna
Duenna was a character played by actress Carrie Clark Ward in the film Thundering Hoofs (1924).

Dulcey
Dulcey Lee was a character played by actress Zasu Pitts in the film The Lady’s from Kentucky (1939).

  • Usage of the baby name Dulcey.

Dulcie
Dulcie was a character name in multiple films, including The Masqueraders (1915) and Miss Dulcie from Dixie (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Dulcie.

Dulcinea
Dulcinea was a character played by actress Fay Tincher in the film Don Quixote (1915).

Dulcy
Dulcy was a character name in multiple films, including Not So Dumb (1930) and Dulcy (1940).

  • Usage of the baby name Dulcy.

Duna
Duna was a character played by actress Sarah Padden in the film Rasputin and the Empress (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Duna.

Durgan
Durgan was a character played by Bodil Rosing in the film Broadway Babies (1929).

Dusa
Dusa was a character played by actress Helen Gardner in the short film A Daughter of Pan (1913).

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Which of the above D-names do you like best?

Source: IMDb

The Rare Name “Gig”

The odd name Gig has been on the SSA’s list a total of three times:

  • 1969: unlisted
  • 1968: 5 baby boys named Gig
  • 1967: unlisted
  • 1966: unlisted
  • 1965: unlisted
  • 1964: 6 baby boys named Gig
  • 1963: unlisted
  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: 6 baby boys named Gig [debut]
  • 1960: unlisted

The source here is actor Gig Young (1913-1978), though these years don’t quite match up with the high points in his career, such as his 1969 Oscar win.

I’m mentioning him today because yesterday, in the Fiona post, we talked about the movie The Gay Sisters (1942). One of Gig’s first notable roles was in this movie, but get this: He was hired to play the part of Gig Young. He got the the gig under his birth name, Byron Barr.

Improbably, there was already an established actor in Hollywood named Byron Barr (1917-1966) when the second Byron was starting out. So at some point during the making of the film, a publicist suggested that he adopt “Gig Young” as his stage name. And he did.

Here’s the actor (and his new name) being spotlighted in an ad for the film:

gig young, 1940s, name

Not long after this, Gig appeared in Old Acquaintance (1943) — the film that gave us the Deirdre spike of ’44.

Sadly, Gig’s life wasn’t easy. It ended in suicide, immediately after he murdered (!) his fifth wife. A 1991 biography — “an interesting look at the disintegration of yet another film actor” — was cleverly titled Final Gig.

What are your thoughts on the name Gig?

Source: In ‘Final Gig,’ Psychoanalysis Of Young Goes On To Bitter End

Contrarian Baby Names: Cliff, Janet, Steve, Wanda…

contrarian baby names, uncool baby names

“Everly” is hot…”Beverly” is not. It’s a one-letter difference between fashionable and fusty.

If you’re sensitive to style, you’ll prefer Everly. It fits with today’s trends far better than Beverly does.

But if you’re someone who isn’t concerned about style, or prefers to go against style, then you may not automatically go for Everly. In fact, you may be more attracted to Beverly because it’s the choice that most modern parents would avoid.

If you’ve ever thought about intentionally giving your baby a dated name (like Debbie, Grover, Marcia, or Vernon) for the sake of uniqueness within his/her peer group — if you have no problem sacrificing style for distinctiveness — then this list is for you.

Years ago, the concept of “contrarian” baby names came up in the comments of a post about Lois. Ever since then, creating a collection of uncool/contrarian baby names has been on my to-do list.

Finally, last month, I experimented with various formulas for pulling unstylish baby names out of the SSA dataset. Keeping the great-grandparent rule in mind, I aimed for names that would have been fashionable among the grandparents of today’s babies. The names below are the best results I got.

Contrarian Baby Names: Girls

Alberta
Anita
Ann
Annetta
Annette
Bambi
Becky
Benita
Bertha
Bessie
Beth
Betty
Beverley
Beverly
Blanche
Bobbie
Bobby
Bonita
Candy
Caren
Carlene
Carol
Carole
Cary
Caryn
Cathleen
Cathy
Charla
Charlene
Charmaine
Cheri
Cherie
Cheryl
Chris
Christi
Cindy
Claudette
Coleen
Colleen
Connie
Dale
Danette
Danita
Darlene
Dawn
Dawna
Deanne
Debbie
Debora
Debra
Deirdre
Delores
Denice
Denise
Diane
Dianna
Dianne
Dollie
Dolores
Dona
Donna
Doreen
Dori
Doris
Dorthy
Eddie
Edwina
Ernestine
Ethel
Gail
Gayle
Gena
Geralyn
Germaine
Gilda
Glenda
Glenna
Harriett
Jackie
Janet
Janice
Janis
Jayne
Jean
Jeanette
Jeanie
Jeanine
Jeanne
Jeannette
Jeannie
Jeannine
Jeri
Jerri
Jerry
Jill
Jimmie
Jo
Joan
Joann
Joanne
Jodi
Jody
Joellen
Joni
Juanita
Judi
Judy
Juli
Kandi
Karin
Kathie
Kathy
Kay
Kaye
Kerrie
Kerry
Kim
Kimberley
Kitty
Kris
Kristi
Ladonna
Laureen
Lauretta
Laurie
Lavonne
Lee
Leesa
Lois
Lorene
Lori
Lorie
Lorinda
Lorna
Lorraine
Lorrie
Lou
Louann
Lu
Luann
Luanne
Lucretia
Lupe
Lyn
Lynda
Lynn
Lynne
Madonna
Marcia
Marcy
Margie
Mariann
Marianne
Marla
Marsha
Maryjo
Maureen
Meg
Melba
Melinda
Melva
Michele
Migdalia
Mitzi
Myrna
Nanette
Nelda
Nicki
Nita
Norma
Pamela
Patrice
Patsy
Patti
Patty
Pauline
Peggy
Pennie
Phyllis
Randy
Reba
Rene
Rhonda
Rita
Robbie
Robbin
Roberta
Robin
Rochelle
Ronda
Rosanne
Roseann
Roxane
Roxann
Sandy
Saundra
Sharon
Sheila
Shelia
Shelley
Shelly
Sheri
Sherri
Sherry
Sheryl
Shirley
Sondra
Sue
Susanne
Suzan
Suzanne
Tammie
Tammy
Tena
Teri
Terri
Terry
Thelma
Theresa
Therese
Tina
Tonia
Tonya
Tracey
Traci
Tracie
Tracy
Treva
Trina
Trudy
Velma
Verna
Vicki
Vickie
Vicky
Wanda
Wendy
Willie
Wilma
Yolanda
Yvonne

Contrarian Baby Names: Boys

Adolph
Al
Alford
Alphonso
Arne
Arnie
Arnold
Artie
Barry
Barton
Bennie
Bernard
Bernie
Bert
Bill
Billie
Bob
Bobbie
Brad
Bradford
Brent
Bret
Britt
Bud
Buddy
Burl
Burt
Butch
Carey
Carleton
Carlton
Carmen
Carroll
Cary
Cecil
Chester
Chuck
Clarence
Claude
Cletus
Cleveland
Cliff
Clifford
Clifton
Columbus
Curt
Curtiss
Dale
Dan
Dana
Dannie
Darrel
Darryl
Daryl
Dave
Davie
Del
Delbert
Dell
Delmer
Denny
Derwin
Dewey
Dirk
Don
Donnie
Donny
Doug
Douglass
Doyle
Duane
Dudley
Duwayne
Dwain
Dwaine
Dwane
Dwight
Earl
Earnest
Ed
Edsel
Elbert
Ernie
Farrell
Floyd
Fred
Freddie
Fredric
Gale
Garland
Garry
Garth
Gene
Geoffrey
Gerard
Gerry
Gilbert
Glen
Glenn
Greg
Gregg
Greggory
Grover
Guy
Hal
Haywood
Herbert
Herman
Homer
Horace
Howell
Hubert
Irwin
Jackie
Jame
Jeff
Jefferey
Jeffry
Jerald
Jerold
Jess
Jim
Jimmie
Jodie
Jody
Johnie
Johnnie
Karl
Kelly
Ken
Kenney
Kennith
Kent
Kermit
Kerry
Kim
Kirk
Kraig
Kurt
Laurence
Lawrance
Len
Lenard
Lennie
Les
Leslie
Lester
Lindell
Lindsay
Lindsey
Linwood
Lloyd
Lonnie
Lonny
Loren
Lorin
Lowell
Loyd
Lynn
Marion
Marty
Matt
Maxie
Mel
Merle
Merrill
Mickel
Mickey
Millard
Milton
Mitch
Mitchel
Monty
Neal
Ned
Nicky
Norbert
Norman
Norris
Orville
Perry
Pete
Phil
Ralph
Randal
Randel
Randell
Randolph
Rayford
Rick
Rickey
Rickie
Rob
Robby
Robin
Rock
Rodger
Rogers
Rojelio
Rolf
Ron
Roosevelt
Rudolfo
Rudolph
Rufus
Russ
Rusty
Sal
Sammie
Sandy
Sanford
Scot
Sherman
Sherwood
Skip
Stan
Stanford
Steve
Stevie
Stewart
Stuart
Sylvester
Tad
Ted
Terence
Thurman
Tim
Timmothy
Timmy
Tod
Todd
Tom
Tommie
Toney
Tracey
Tracy
Val
Vernell
Vernon
Waymon
Wendell
Wilbert
Wilbur
Wilford
Wilfred
Willard
Willis
Winfred
Woody

Interestingly, thirteen of the names above — Bobbie, Cary, Dale, Jackie, Jimmie, Jody, Kerry, Kim, Lynn, Robin, Sandy, Tracey, Tracy — managed to make both lists.

Now some questions for you…

Do you like any of these names? Would you be willing to use any of them on a modern-day baby? Why or why not?

An Update on Shevawn

The baby name Shevawn debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1955.

Here’s something I didn’t expect!

A while back I posted about the baby name Siobhan, which was kicked off (in the U.S.) by Irish stage actress Siobhán McKenna in 1956. The curious part was that, in 1955, a handful of phonetic spellings of Siobhán — Shevawn, Shevon, etc. — popped up ahead of the traditional spelling.

My initial assumption was that these had emerged naturally, as often happens with names that have tricky spellings and/or names we hear rather than see. Deirdre is a good example of this.

But one variant, Shevawn, was pretty dominant. In fact, it was the top debut name of 1955.

  • 1958: 9 baby girls named Shevawn
  • 1957: 8 baby girls named Shevawn
  • 1956: 24 baby girls named Shevawn
  • 1955: 36 baby girls named Shevawn
  • 1954: unlisted

I just figured “Shevawn” was the most-liked phonetic spelling…because I had no other explanation.

Until now!

I recently came across a blog post that recapped a September 1955 episode of the live drama series The United States Steel Hour (ABC) called “A Wind from the South.” The episode prominently featured a character named Shevawn, amazingly.

Shevawn, played by stage actress Julie Harris, was an Irishwoman who ran an inn with her brother Liam. Here’s a synopsis that ran in a Texas newspaper a few days before the episode aired:

Miss Harris, in a rare television appearance, will portray Shevawn, an imaginative and winsome colleen who, with her brother, runs a country-side inn. Longing to travel to far-away places, where she believes life is full of magic and splendor, the girl becomes hopelessly enamored of an American guest, who is struck with the girl’s delicate and unspoiled nature.

So that explains Shevawn!

But you know what? Siobhán McKenna is still the explanation, ultimately. Because screenwriter James Costigan had written the role with Siobhán McKenna in mind, and hence had given the character her name. But then the show’s producers intervened. They gave the role to the more recognizable Harris and respelled the character’s name “Shevawn” to make it easier for the American audience to connect the spelling and the pronunciation.

What are your thoughts on the name Shevawn? Do you like the simplified spelling, or do you prefer the original form of the name?

P.S. Here’s the full episode, you want to see it:

Sources:

Mystery Baby Names: Open Cases

I’m a baby name blogger, but sometimes I feel more like a baby name detective. Because so much of my blogging time is spent doing detective work: trying to figure out where a particular baby name comes from, or why a name saw a sudden jump (or drop) in usage during a particular year.

If a name itself doesn’t make the answer obvious (e.g., Lindbergh) and a simple Google search hasn’t helped, my first bit of detective work involves scanning the baby name charts. I’ve learned that many search-resistant baby names (like Deatra) are merely alternative spellings of more common names (Deirdre).

If that doesn’t do it, I go back to Google for some advanced-level ninja searching, to help me zero in on specific types of historical or pop culture events. This is how I traced Irmalee back to a character in a short story in a very old issue of the once-popular McCall’s Magazine.

But if I haven’t gotten anywhere after a few rounds of ninja searching, I officially give up and turn the mystery baby name over to you guys. Together we’ve cracked a couple of cases (yay!) but, unfortunately, most of the mystery baby names I’ve blogged about are still big fat mysteries.

Here’s the current list of open cases:

  • Wanza, girl name, debuted in 1915.
  • Nerine, girl name, debuted in 1917.
  • Laquita, girl name, debuted in 1930.
  • Norita, girl name, spiked (for the 2nd time) in 1937.
  • Delphine, girl name, spiked in 1958.
  • Leshia, girl name, debuted in 1960.
  • Lavoris, girl name, debuted in 1961.
  • Djuna, girl name, debuted in 1964.
  • Latrenda, girl name, debuted in 1965.
  • Ondina, girl name, debuted in 1968.
  • Khari, boy name, debuted in 1971.
  • Jelani, boy name, debuted in 1973.
  • Toshiba, girl name, debuted in 1974.
  • Brieanna, girl name, debuted in 1979.
  • Sumiko, girl name, spiked in 1980.
  • Tou, boy name, debuted in 1980.
  • Marquita, girl name, spiked in 1983.
  • Caelan, boy name, debuted in 1992.
  • Deyonta, boy name, debuted in 1993.
  • Trayvond, boy name, debuted in 1994.
  • Zeandre, boy name, debuted in 1997.
  • Yatzari, girl name, debuted in 2000.
  • Itzae, boy name, debuted in 2011.

If you enjoy sleuthing, please give some of the above a shot! I’d love to knock one or two off the list before I start adding more mystery names in the coming weeks…

Update, 7/13/16: More still-open cases from the Mystery Monday series last summer: Theta, Memory, Treasure, Clione, Trenace, Bisceglia, Genghis and Temujin.