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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Don

Number of Babies Named Don

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Don

Rhyming Nicknames – Polly, Dolly, Molly, Lolly

New York City businessman Isaac Rice, founder of the Electric Boat Company (maker of the first modern submarine used by the U.S. Navy), married his wife Julia in 1885. They had six children:

  • Muriel
  • Dorothy
  • Isaac
  • Marion
  • Marjorie
  • Julian

All six went by nicknames — mostly rhyming nicknames (for the girls):

  • Dolly
  • Polly
  • Tommy
  • Molly
  • Lolly
  • Babe

Several decades later, actor Don Ameche also had six kids, most of whom also had rhyming nicknames.

P.S. Julia Rice founded the Society for Suppression of Unnecessary Noise in the early 1900s.


First C-Section Quads Get Rhyming Names, Mostly

A set of quadruplets was delivered via Caesarean section for the first time ever on November 1, 1944. The quads — 3 girls and 1 boy — were born to Kathleen and Joseph Cirmnello of Philadelphia. TIME magazine noted several weeks later that the quadruple C-section was “a feat unique in medical history.”

The foursome had been known as A, B, C and D. However, Cirminello named the boy Michael on Saturday and the mother picked Kathleen for girl B’s name. The other two Monday were named Maureen and Eileen.

Kathleen, Maureen, Eileen, and…Michael. Do you think Michael ever felt left out because his name didn’t rhyme with his sisters’ names?

(Another rhyming sibset: Don Ameche’s Rhyming Children.)

Sources:

  • “Medicine: Quadruple Caesarean.” TIME Nov. 13, 1944.
  • “Cirminello Quads Named; Father Goes Back to Work.” Miami News Nov. 6, 1944: 2-A.

The Baby Name Leimomi

the surfers - on the rocksLeimomi, a Hawaiian name that means “pearl lei” or “pearl necklace,” debuted on the SSA’s baby name list in 1959:

  • 1963: unlisted
  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: 6 baby girls named Leimomi
  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: 8 baby girls named Leimomi [debut]
    • 5 born in Hawaii specifically
  • 1958: unlisted
  • 1957: unlisted

The debut was likely inspired by the song “Leimomi,” written by Alvin Kaleolani Isaacs and recorded by Hawaiian foursome The Surfers (Alan Naluai, Clayton Naluai, Patrick Kalani Sylva and Bernie Ching) for their debut album On the Rocks (1958).

The Surfers — like [Don] Ho, Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman — were in the first wave of musicians to bring the Islands’ music to the post-statehood Mainland audience.

The name Leimomi has been on and off the SSA’s list since then, last appearing in 1990. What do you think of it?

Sources: Alan Naluai of The Surfers dead at 62, Patrick ‘Pat’ Sylva, pioneering local musician, dies at 69

Baby Named after Notre Dame Coach

Francis William “Frank” Leahy, who played football at Notre Dame under Knute Rockne, went on to coach the Notre Dame football team himself for 11 seasons (1941-43, 1946-53).

“While at Notre Dame, Leahy had six undefeated seasons, five national championship teams and an unbeaten string of 39 games in the late 1940s.”

Leahy retired for health reasons in 1954.

A week after he retired, Arnold and Mildred Penza of Kenosha, Wisconsin — parents of Don Penza, captain of Leahy’s 1953 Notre Dame team — welcomed their 10th child.

The baby boy was named Frank Leahy Penza, after Coach Leahy.

(The names of all 10 Penza kids, from oldest to youngest, were Donald, John, George, Dennis, Thomas, Joan, James, Mary Lynn, Diane, and Frank.)

Sources:

Stickers with Names from the ’60s

In 1969, dozens of “Mod Generation” stickers — each of which featured a drawing of a young person and a name — were distributed inside packs of Topps chewing gum.

(The outfits and hairstyles seem a lot more hippie than mod to me, but oh well.)

Female names used on the stickers include Alice, Ann, Barbara, Betty, Connie, Diane, Donna, Dotty, Ellen, Esther, Fay, Frances, Gloria, Helen, Jackie, Joan, Judy, Lois, Marie, Mary, Millie, Minda, Nancy, Natalie, Phyllis, Rose, Shelly and Susan.

Mod Generation Sticker BettyMod Generation Sticker DonnaMod Generation Sticker Minda

Male names used on the stickers include Barry, Bert, Bill, Charlie, Chris, Dave, Don, Fred, George, Herb, Irv, Jerry, Joe, John, Larry, Louis, Michael, Paul, Pete, Ray, Richard, Roy, Teddy and Tony.

Mod Generation Sticker IrvMod Generation Sticker LarryMod Generation Sticker Terry

While of these female and male names do you like most? How about least?

Source: 1969: “Mod Generation” Stickers, Mod Generation – 1969

Don Ameche’s Rhyming Children

In yesterday’s post about the name Drene, I mentioned actor/entertainer Don Ameche.

Don, born Dominic Felix Amici in 1908, married his wife Honoré in 1932. They had six children:

  • Dominic
  • Ronald
  • Thomas
  • Lawrence
  • Barbara (adopted)
  • Cornelia (adopted)

The kids were known by nicknames, though, and most of those nicknames were perfect rhymes:

  • Donnie
  • Ronnie
  • Tommie
  • Lonnie
  • Bonnie
  • Connie

What do you think about a sibset with rhyming nicknames: yea or nay? (Does it depend upon the size of the sibset?)

Source: Houseman, Victoria. Made in Heaven: The Marriages and Children of Hollywood Stars. Chicago: Bonus Books, 1991.

Drene, The Shampoo-Inspired Baby Name

The first and only time the baby name Drene made it onto the SSA’s list was 1946:

  • 1947: unlisted
  • 1946: 6 baby girls named Drene [debut]
  • 1945: unlisted

Drene Shampoo The inspiration?

Drene shampoo…kind of.

Drene, the first shampoo to use synthetic detergent instead of soap, had been introduced by Procter & Gamble in 1934. So the product had been on the market for more than a decade by the mid-1940s.

What drew people’s attention to Drene in 1946 specifically, then?

“Drene Time,” a late-night radio variety show sponsored by Procter & Gamble. The 30-minute program, which featured singing and comedy, is where the sketch comedy series The Bickersons (starring Don Ameche and Frances Langford) got its start.

“Drene Time” only lasted from mid-1946 to mid-1947, but that gave it enough time to influence the baby name charts, if only slightly.

Drene shampoo continued to be sold until the 1970s, at which point P&G stopped production in the U.S.

Source: Drene Shampoo, Medium, 3 oz. | National Museum of American History