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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Duane

Number of Babies Named Duane

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Duane

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: Letter N

nayda, nameNeed a rare, retro N-name?

Here’s the next installment of uncommon female names associated with very old films (released from the 1910s to the 1940s).

I’ve included links to popularity graphs for names that have seen enough usage to appear in the SSA data.

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Nabby
Nabby Goode was a character played by actress Virginia Weidler in the film Maid of Salem (1937).

Nadina
Nadina was a character name in multiple films, including A Polar Romance (1915) and Runaway Queen (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Nadina.

Nadira
Princess Nadira was a character played by actress Malvina Longfellow in the film The Indian Love Lyrics (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Nadira.

Nadje
Nadje was a character played by actress Patricia Palmer in the film The Leopard’s Bride (1916).

Nadji
Nadji was a character name in multiple films, including Chandu the Magician (1932) and The Return of Chandu (1934).

Naela
Sun Priestess Naela was a character played by actress Lil Dagover in the film The Spiders (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Naela.

Nahaku
Nahaku was a character played by actress Helen Lindroth in the short film The Dance of Death (1914).

Naida
Naida Lessing was an actress who appeared in 1 film in 1918. Naida was also a character name in multiple films, including The Jungle Lovers (short, 1915) and A Cafe in Cairo (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Naida.

Naidra
Naidra was a character played by actress Mignon Anderson in the short film Naidra, the Dream Woman (1914).

Naio
Naio was a character played by actress Adda Gleason in the short film The Red Blood of Courage (1915).

Nairaini
Nairaini was a character played by actress Claire Du Brey in the film The Bronze Bell (1921).

Naja
Naja was a character played by actress Maria Montez in the film Cobra Woman (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Naja.

Nakula
Nakula was a character played by actress Vivian Reed in the film The Lad and the Lion (1917).

Nalia
Nalia McCabe was a character played by actress Corinne Barker in the film Enchantment (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Nalia.

Nalu
Nalu was a character played by actress Ramsay Ames in the film Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1944).

Nan
Nan Christy was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s. She was born in 1894. Nan was also a character name in multiple films, including Nan’s Victory (short, 1914) and Nan of the North (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Nan.

Nance
Nance was a character name in multiple films, including The Clutch of Circumstance (short, 1915) and Nance (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Nance.

Nanci
Nanci Price was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Colorado in 1918.

  • Usage of the baby name Nanci.

Naneta
Naneta was a character played by actress Clara Williams in the film The Criminal (1916).

Nanette
Nanette was a character name in multiple films, including Nanette of the Wilds (1916) and The Cowboy and the Countess (1926).

Nanine
Nanine was a character played by actress Beryl Morhange in the film Camille (1915) and by Jessie Ralph in Camille (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Nanine.

Nannie
Nannie Maitland was a character played by actress Evelyn Brent in the film The Iron Woman (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Nannie.

Nanon
Nanon was a character name in multiple films, including The Conquering Power (1921) and Lady of the Pavements (1929).

Nara
Nara Alexieff was a character played by actress Clara Kimball Young in the film The Hands of Nara (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Nara.

Narcissa
Narcissa was a character name in multiple films, including The Oregon Trail (1923) and For Alimony Only (1926).

Nargis
Nargis was a character played by actress Marguerite Comont in the film Kismet (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Nargis.

Narita
Narita was a character played by actress Myrna Loy in the film Cock o’ the Walk (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Narita.

Narjis
Narjis was a character played by actress Blanche Friderici in the film Kismet (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Narjis.

Nasa
Nasa Springer was a character played by actress Clara Bow in the film Call Her Savage (1932).

Nasoni
Nasoni was a character played by actress Doraldina in the film The Woman Untamed (1920).

Natacha
Natacha was a character played by actress Edna Sedgewick in the film Red Barry (1938).

Natcha
Natcha Manyus was a character played by actress Claudia Dell in the film The Lost City (1935).

Natchi
Natchi was a character played by actress Carmen Phillips in the film The Great Circus Mystery (1925).

Natoosa
Natoosa was a character played by actress Mary Charleson in the short film Natoosa (1912).

Natrova
Natrova was a character played by actress Milada Mladova in the film Escape Me Never (1947).

Naturich
Naturich was a character played by actress Red Wing (Lillian St. Cyr) in the film The Squaw Man (1914), by Ann Little in The Squaw Man (1918), and by Lupe Velez in The Squaw Man (1931).

Nauma
Nauma was a character played by actress Princess Uwane Yea in the film The Heart of Wetona (1919).

Navarre
Navarre King was a character played by actress Sally Eilers in the film Broadway Babies (1929).

Nayda
Nayda was a character played by actress Rita Hayworth in the film Charlie Chan in Egypt (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Nayda.

Nazama
Nazama was a character played by actress Binnie Barnes in the film The Adventures of Marco Polo (1938).

Nazimova
Alla Nazimova, often credited simply as Nazimova, was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in Russia (now Ukraine) in 1879. Her birth name was Miriam Edez Adelaida Leventon. Alla was also a character played by actress Sally Crute in the film The Cossack Whip (1916).

Nea
Nea was a character played by actress Dona Drake in the film Aloma of the South Seas (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Nea.

Nechia
Nechia was a character played by actress Dolly Larkin in the short film A Daughter of the Redskins (1912).

Necia
Necia was a character played by actress Marceline Day in the film The Barrier (1926) and by Jean Parker in The Barrier (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Necia.

Nedda
Nedda was a character name in multiple films, including The Soul of Luigi (short, 1914) and A Clown Must Laugh (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Nedda.

Nedra
Nedra was a character name in multiple films, including Strength of Family Ties (short, 1914) and The Empress (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Nedra.

Neeka
Neeka Le Mort was a character played by actress Nell Shipman in the film The Girl from God’s Country (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Neeka.

Neely
Neely was a character played by actress Duane Thompson in the film One Hour of Love (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Neely.

Neenah
Neenah was a character played by actress Kathleen Key in the film The Man from Brodney’s (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Neenah.

Neepah
Neepah was a character played by actress Eugenie Besserer in the short film The Last of Her Tribe (1912).

Neeta
Neeta was a character name in multiple films, including Temptation and the Girl (short, 1917) and The Third Alarm (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Neeta.

Neewah
Neewah was a character played by actress Neola May in the serial film Perils of the Yukon (1922).

Neila
Neila was a character name in multiple films, including A Soul for Sale (1918) and East of Borneo (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Neila.

Neleta
Neleta was a character played by actress Steffi Duna in the film Anthony Adverse (1936).

Nelga
Nelga Petrona was a character played by actress Julia Swayne Gordon in the short film The Tigress (1915).

Nell
Nell Craig was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in New Jersey in 1891. Nell Shipman was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Canada in 1892. Her birth name was Helen Foster-Barham. Nell was also a character name in multiple films, including The Reward of Thrift (short, 1914) and Nell Gwyn (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Nell.

Nenette
Nenette Bisson was a character played by actress Carmel Myers in the film A Broadway Scandal (1918).

Nennah
Nennah was a character played by actress Ynez Seabury in the film The Calgary Stampede (1925).

Neola
Neola May was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in California in 1891. Neola was also a character played by actress Betty Schade in the short film Olana of the South Seas (1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Neola.

Nepeese
Nepeese was a character played by actress Nell Shipman in the film Baree, Son of Kazan (1918).

Nepthys
Nepthys was a character played by actress Jane Urban in the film The Last Egyptian (1914).

Neptuna
Neptuna was a character played by actress Bessie Eyton in the short film When His Ship Came In (1914).

Nerada
Nerada was a character played by actress Florence Lawrence in the short film The Slave (1909).

Nerée
Nerée Caron was a character played by actress Alma Rubens in the film A Woman’s Faith (1925).

Nesta
Nesta Pett was a character played by actress Cora Witherspoon in the film Piccadilly Jim (1936).

  • Usage of the baby name Nesta.

Netta
Netta Westcott was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in England in 1893. Netta was also a character played by actress Linda Darnell in the film Hangover Square (1945).

  • Usage of the baby name Netta.

Nettie
Nettie was a character name in multiple films, including Java Head (1923) and On Again-Off Again (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Nettie.

Neyneen
Neyneen Farrell was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. She was born in the Netherlands in 1898.

Neysa
Neysa von Igel was a character played by actress Louise Glaum in the film An Alien Enemy (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Neysa.

Niagara
Niagara was a character played by actress Louise Beavers in the film Du Barry Was a Lady (1943).

Nichette
Nichette was a character played by actress Patsy Ruth Miller in the film Camille (1921) and by Elizabeth Allan in Camille (1936).

Ninette
Ninette Cavallar was a character played by actress Shirley Mason in the film Don Juan’s 3 Nights (1926).

Nini
Nini Theilade was an actress who appeared in films in the 1930s. She was born in Indonesia in 1915. Nini was also a character played by actress Barbara Bedford in the film Gleam O’Dawn (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Nini.

Ninotchka
Ninotchka was a character played by actress Greta Garbo in the film Ninotchka (1939).

Niobe
Niobe was a character played by actress Hazel Dawn in the film Niobe (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Niobe.

Nirvena
Nirvena was a character played by actress Stephanie Bachelor in the film Lady of Burlesque (1943).

Nista
Nista was a character played by actress Caroline Frances Cooke in the film The Devil Bear (1929).

Nita
Nita Naldi was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. She was born in New York in 1894. Her birth name was Mary Nonna Dooley. Nita was also a character name in multiple films, including Jane Goes A’ Wooing (1919) and Two Gun Sheriff (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Nita.

Nitra
Nitra was a character played by actress Eve Whitney in the film Radar Patrol vs. Spy King (1949).

  • Usage of the baby name Nitra.

Nitta
Nitta Moseby was a character played by actress Jean Rouverol in the film The Law West of Tombstone (1938).

Nokomis
Nokomis was a character played by actress Lillian Leighton in the film Witchcraft (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Nokomis (which debuted in the data the year Witchcraft came out).

Nona
Nona was a character name in multiple films, including If Winter Comes (1923) and Law of the Jungle (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Nona.

Nonette
Nonette was a character played by actress Peggy Parr in the film Sylvia on a Spree (1918).

Nootka
Nootka was a character played by actress Laska Winter in the film Justice of the Far North (1925).

Norene
Norene McMann was a character played by actress Loretta Young in the film Three Girls Lost (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Norene.

Noretta
Noretta was a character played by actress Pina Menichelli in the film The Banker (1913).

Norina
Norina was a character played by actress Myrna Dell in the film The Lost Tribe (1949).

  • Usage of the baby name Norina.

Normallee
Normallee was a character played by actress Clara Kimball Young in the short film The Spirit of the Orient (1913).

Notanah
Notanah was a character played by actress Kitty Stevens in the film Peer Gynt (1915).

Notawa
Notawa was a character played by actress Lillian Leighton in the film The Girl from God’s Country (1921).

Nourmalle
Nourmalle was a character played by actress Bessie Eyton in the short film The Cherry Pickers (1914).

Nuanta
Nuanta was a character played by actress Betty Schade in the short film The Call for Help (1917).

Nuanua
Nuanua was a character played by actress Florence Turner in the film Passion Fruit (1921).

Nubi
Nubi was a character played by actress Myrna Loy in the film The Squall (1929).

Nume
Nume Rogers was a character played by actress Florence Vidor in the film The Bravest Way (1918).

Nupondi
Nupondi was a character played by actress Mamo Clark in the film One Million B.C. (1940).

Nydia
Nydia Westman was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1970s. She was born in New York in 1902

  • Usage of the baby name Nydia.

Nydra
Nydra was a character played by actress Rita La Roy in the film The Delightful Rogue (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Nydra.

Nyoka
Nyoka was a character played by actress Frances Gifford in the film Jungle Girl (serial, 1941) and by Kay Aldridge in Perils of Nyoka (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Nyoka (which debuted in the data the year Jungle Girl came out).

Nyra
Nyra Seaton was a character played by actress Kathleen Vaughan in the film Corinthian Jack (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Nyra.

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…Which of the above names do you like best?

Source: IMDb

Name Inspired by Door-to-Door Salesman

Alabamian Danny Pitts, who today works as a pastor, spent most of his childhood in an abusive home. He was taken in by the Pitts family in his teens, and soon after decided “that he wanted a new name, something to give him a fresh start.” So he and his adoptive mother began looking through a baby name book…

A knock on the door interrupted, and Ann Pitts got up to answer. The caller was an insurance salesman, who handed her his card and asked if she might be interested in a policy.

“She left him at the door and came over with his card. She said, ‘I like his name and how it is spelled — D-u-a-n-e,'” Danny Pitts recalled.

He said “Danny Duane Pitts” aloud, liked it and that was who he became.

I love how the name was essentially hand-delivered to them as they were searching. :)

Source: Smith, Melanie B. “Abused, rescued, adopted.” Decatur Daily 3 Sept. 2010.

The Trio in Rio – Leila, Liina, Lily

Next Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, 30-year-old identical (and alliterative) triplets Leila, Liina, and Lily Luik of Estonia are expected to run the women’s marathon. This will make the “Trio in Rio,” as they call themselves, the first set of triplets to compete in an Olympics.

In comparison, about 200 sets of twins have competed in the Olympics over the years. Here are some of the Olympic twins with similarly alliterative names:

  • Åke & Arne (Sweden) [not technically alliterative; see JJ’s comment]
  • Catarina & Christina (Sweden)
  • Darius & Donatas (Lithuania)
  • Darrin & Dan (USA)
  • Dennis & Duane (USA)
  • Dionísio & Domingos (Portugal)
  • Jean-Jacques & Jean-Marc (France)
  • Jodie & Julie (Canada)
  • Jules & Julian (Belgium)
  • Katalin & Krisztina (Hungary)
  • Katrine & Kristine (Norway)
  • Lívia & Lucia (Slovakia)
  • Madeline & Margaret (Puerto Rico)
  • Marianne & Mildred (Netherlands)
  • Sandy & Sonia (Zimbabwe)
  • Malcolm “Mal” & Melville “Mel” (Jamaica)
  • Mark & Michael (Canada)
  • Maureen & Melanie (Netherlands)
  • McJoe & McWilliams (Puerto Rico)
  • Mikuláš & Miloslav (Slovakia)
  • Pascal & Patrick (France)
  • Paula & Peta (Bermuda)
  • Paulo Miguel & Pedro Miguel (Portugal)
  • Pavol & Peter (Slovakia)
  • Randolph & Robert (USA)
  • Rhoda & Rhona (Canada)
  • Ricardo & Rodrigo (Chile)
  • Sharon & Shirley (Canada)
  • Stanley & Sydney (Great Britain)
  • Tami & Toni (USA)
  • Terry & Tom (USA)
  • Valeriy & Volodymyr (Ukraine)
  • Valj & Vita (Ukraine)
  • Veronika & Viktoriya (Belarus)
  • Vida & Vidette (South Africa)
  • Zlatko & Zoran (Yugoslavia)

You can see a full list of Olympic twins in the OlympStats post Twins at the Olympics.

Have you been tuning in to the Olympics? If so, have you spotted any interesting names so far?

The Earliest Celebrity Baby Name Debuts

When a major celebrity chooses an uncommon baby name, there’s a good chance that name will become trendy.

Seems like this might be a modern phenomenon, right? Maybe tied to the rise of the Internet?

Nope. In fact, I bet you’ll be surprised at just how far back it goes.

Let’s take a look at celebrity baby names through the decades, focusing on those that inspired debuts on the SSA’s baby name list. (To debut, a rare names needs to be given to at least 5 babies of one gender or the other in a single year.)

1940s

Jerilyn Jessel
Lois Andrews and baby Jerilyn
Which baby name was the very first to debut on the charts thanks to a celebrity baby?

The answer depends on how strict you want to be about spelling.

If exact-spelling debuts are what you want, the first I know of doesn’t appear until the late ’40s.

If variant-spelling debuts are okay, though, there’s a celebrity baby name from the early ’40s that inspired a whopping six of them:

Jerilyn

In October of 1941, actor/comedian George Jessel (43 years old) and showgirl Lois Andrews (17) welcomed a baby girl named Jerilyn.

The name Jerilyn itself had already been on the list for a few years, but usage rose significantly in both 1941 and 1942:

  • 1943: 182 baby girls named Jerilyn [rank: 558th]
  • 1942: 325 baby girls named Jerilyn [rank: 397th]
  • 1941: 135 baby girls named Jerilyn [rank: 608th]
  • 1940: 10 baby girls named Jerilyn

The popularity of similar names like Jerrilyn and Jerelyn also increased, and six other variants appeared on the national list for the very first time in either 1941 or 1942 (asterisks denote debuts):

Name 1940 1941 1942 1943
Jerilynn x 56* 162 58
Jerrilynn x 9* 38 19
Gerilyn x x 15* 5
Jerilynne x x 7* x
Jarilyn x x 6* x
Geralynn x x 5* x

In fact, Jerilynn and Gerilyn were the top baby name debuts of 1941 and 1942, respectively.

I was skeptical about this one for a while, as I’d never heard of George Jessel before. Was he really high-profile enough for his baby to have that sort influence? Turns out he was indeed a popular entertainer from the ’20s until at least the ’50s. He’s the one responsible for the “Garland” part of Judy Garland’s stage name, and some sources even claim he invented the Bloody Mary.

Even more variants of Jerilyn (e.g., Gerilynn) debuted during the ’40s and early ’50s, when young Jerilyn was being mentioned in newspaper articles and appearing on TV and in films with her father. Here’s a fundraising film from 1953, for instance, featuring both George and Jerilyn.

Jerilyn Jessel’s influence on the U.S baby names was impressive, but, technically speaking, she didn’t put “Jerilyn” on the map.

Yasmin

The first exact-spelling celebrity baby name debut was Yasmin, which appeared on the list in 1949.

In December of 1949, actor Rita Hayworth and her husband Prince Aly Khan welcomed a baby girl named Yasmin. The same year, the baby name Yasmin appeared on the SSA’s list for the very first time.

(The name Yasmin was late addition to the post. Thank you, Becca!)

1950s

Elizabeth Taylor and daughter Liza on the cover of LIFE in 1957
Liz & Liza in 1957 © LIFE

At least four of the baby names that debuted during the 1950s were inspired by celebrity babies:

Romina

In October of 1951, actors Tyrone Power and Linda Christian welcomed their first baby, Romina, who was named after the church in Italy (Santa Francesca Romana) where they had married in 1949. The same year, the baby name Romina appeared on the SSA’s list for the very first time.

Taryn

In September of 1953, Power and Christian welcomed their second baby girl, Taryn, whose name was likely inspired by “Tyrone.” The same year, the baby name Taryn debuted on the list.

Seneca

In November of 1956, boxer Floyd Patterson and his wife Sandra welcomed a baby girl named Seneca. The same year, the traditionally male name Seneca debuted on the list as a female name. Patterson said the name was inspired by a street in Brooklyn.

Monsita

In October of 1958, singer/actor Rosemary Clooney and actor José Ferrer welcomed a baby girl named Monsita — their fourth child. The same year, Monsita debuted. It fell off the list the very next year, though, making it a one-hit wonder.

Honorable mentions from the ’50s include:

  • Liza, which became more popular after Liz Taylor named her daughter Liza in 1957.
  • Tyrone, which became more popular after Tyrone Power named his third child Tyrone in 1959. The increased usage could also have been influenced by the death of the actor himself the same year, though.

1960s

Casey & Timolin Cole in 1963
Casey & Timolin Cole in 1963 © Ebony

At least four of the baby names that debuted during the 1960s were inspired by celebrity babies:

Timolin

In September of 1961, singer of Nat King Cole and his wife Maria welcomed identical twin baby girls named Timolin and Casey. The same year, the baby name Timolin debuted on the list.

Xan

In September of 1965, actor/director John Cassavetes and actress Gena Rowlands welcomed a baby girl named Alexandra “Xan” Cassavetes. The same year, the baby name Xan debuted on the list.

Joely

In October of 1967, singer Eddie Fisher and actress Connie Stevens welcomed a baby girl named Joely. The same year, the baby name Joely debuted on the list.

Maryum

In June of 1968, boxer Muhammad Ali and his wife Belinda welcomed a baby girl named Maryum. The same year, the baby name Maryum debuted on the list.

Chastity

In March of 1969, singers Cher and Sonny Bono, welcomed a baby girl named Chastity. The same year, the baby name Chastity debuted on the list. In May of 2010, Chastity legally changed genders and adopted the name Chaz.

Honorable mentions from the ’60s include:

  • Dodd, which became more popular after Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee named their son Dodd in late 1961.

1970s

Rasheda & Jamillah Ali in 1971
The Alis and babies Rasheda & Jamillah in 1971 © Ebony

At least eight of the baby names that debuted during the 1970s were inspired by celebrity babies:

Rasheda

In August of 1970, boxer Muhammad Ali and his wife Belinda welcomed twin baby girls named Rasheda and Jamillah. The same year, the baby name Rasheda debuted on the list.

(An Ebony article from 1971 misspelled her name “Reeshemah.” The same year, there was a spike in the usage of Reeshemah and a dip in the usage of Rasheda.)

Ayanna

In 1971, comedian/activist Dick Gregory and his wife Lillian welcomed a baby girl named Ayanna. The same year, the baby name Ayanna debuted on the list.

Yohance

In July of 1973, Dick Gregory and Lillian welcomed a baby boy named Yohance. The same year, the baby name Yohance debuted on the list.

(I wrote more about baby names in the Gregory family a few years ago.)

Kidada

In March of 1974, musician/producer Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton welcomed a baby girl named Kidada. The same year, the baby name Kidada debuted on the list.

Taryll

In August of 1975, singer Tito Jackson (of The Jackson 5) and his wife Dee Dee welcomed a baby boy named Taryll. The same year, the baby name Taryll debuted on the list.

Turkessa

In April of 1975, singer Mary Wilson (of The Supremes) and her husband Pedro welcomed a baby girl named Turkessa. The same year, the baby name Turkessa debuted on the list. Turkessa was just 3 babies away from being the top baby name debut of the year. Here’s how Mary came up with the name:

Pedro brought me a beautiful plant. I asked him was it was called. “Turquesa,” he replied, “Spanish for turquoise.” So we named our daughter Turkessa.

Chudney

In November of 1975, singer Diana Ross (also of The Supremes) and her husband Robert welcomed a baby girl named Chudney. The next year, the baby name Chudney debuted on the list. Here’s how Diana came up with the name:

Friends kept suggesting popular names like Courtney, but so many girl babies were getting that. I suddenly thought of something I liked very much — chutney. Only I didn’t know how to spell it — I put a ‘d’ where the ‘t’ should have been on the birth certificate. And that’s how my little girl became Chudney!

Katiria

In 1978, Puerto Rican dancer/singer Iris Chacón and her husband Junno welcomed a baby girl named Katiria. The same year, the baby name Katiria debuted on the list. Most of these babies were born in New York.

1980s

Condola Rashad in 1987
The Rashads and baby Condola
© Ebony
At least three of the baby names that debuted during the 1980s were inspired by celebrity babies, and at least one was inspired by a celebrity grandbaby:

Rishawn

In September of 1984, singer Gladys Knight didn’t have a baby, but her son James (b. 1962) and his wife Michelene did. They welcomed a boy named Rishawn. The next year, the baby name Rishawn debuted on the list. It was one of the top debut names of 1985, in fact.

Shakari

In November of 1986, football player Willie Gault and his wife Dainnese welcomed a baby girl named Shakari. The next year, the baby name Shakari debuted on the list.

Condola

I wrote about Condola a few months ago, but here’s a recap: In December of 1986, actress Phylicia Rashad and sportscaster Ahmad Rashad welcomed a baby girl named Condola. The next year, the baby name Condola debuted on the list.

Satchel

In December of 1987, filmmaker/actor Woody Allen and actress Mia Farrow welcomed a baby boy named Satchel. The next year, the baby name Satchel debuted on the list. He now goes by Ronan, and rumor has it that he is *possibly* the biological son of Frank Sinatra.

1990s

Demi, pre-Scout, on cover of Vanity Fair, August 1991
Demi Moore and baby Scout (kinda)
© Vanity Fair
At least three of the baby names the debuted during the 1990s were inspired by celebrity babies:

Scout

In July of 1991, actors Demi Moore and Bruce Willis welcomed a baby girl named Scout. (And in August, that famous image of 7-months-pregnant Demi ran on the cover of Vanity Fair.) The next year, the baby name Scout debuted on the list, for both genders.

Aquinnah

In February of 1995, actor Michael J. Fox and his wife Tracy welcomed twin baby girls named Aquinnah and Schuyler. The same year, the baby name Aquinnah debuted on the list. (I wrote more about the name Aquinnah a few years ago.)

Sailor

In July of 1998, model Christie Brinkley and her husband Peter welcomed a baby girl named Sailor. The same year, the baby name Sailor debuted on the list as a girl name. It had debuted as a boy name the year before.

Honorable mentions from the ’90s include:

  • Seven, which became more popular after Erykah Badu named her son Seven in 1997.
  • Zion, which became more popular after Lauryn Hill named her son Zion in 1997.
  • Selah, which became more popular after Lauryn Hill named her daughter Selah in 1998.

2000s

Angelina and Maddox Jolie in 2002
Angelina Jolie and baby Maddox
© People
At least five of the baby names that debuted during the 2000s (the decade) were inspired by celebrity babies:

Eja

In August of 2001, singer Shania Twain and her husband Robert welcomed a baby boy named Eja. The same year, the baby name Eja debuted on the list (as a girl name).

Xen

In August of 2001, actors Tisha Campbell-Martin and Duane Martin welcomed a baby boy named Xen. The same year, the baby name Xen debuted on the list.

Diezel

In March of 2003, singer Toni Braxton and musician Keri Lewis welcomed a baby boy named Diezel. The same year, the baby name Diezel debuted on the list.

Moxie

In June of 2005, magician Penn Jillette and his wife Emily welcomed a baby girl named Moxie (middle name CrimeFighter). The next year, the baby name Moxie debuted on the list.

Dannielynn

In September of 2006, model Anna Nicole Smith and her partner Larry Birkhead welcomed a baby girl named Dannielynn. The next year, the baby name Dannielynn debuted on the list.

Honorable mentions from the ’00s include:

  • Massai, which became more popular after Nia Long named her son Massai in 2000.
  • Rocco, which became more popular after Madonna and Guy Ritchie named their son Rocco in 2000.
  • Denim, which became more popular after Toni Braxton named her son Denim in 2001.
  • Maddox, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie named her adopted son Maddox in 2002.
  • Carys, which became more popular after Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas named their daughter Carys in 2003.
  • Stellan, which became more popular after Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany named their son Stellan in 2003.
  • Apple, which became more popular after Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their daughter Apple in 2004.
  • Coco, which became more popular after Courtney Cox and David Arquette named their daughter Coco in 2004.
  • Zahara, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie named her adopted daughter Zahara in 2005.
  • Moses, which became more popular after Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their son Moses in 2006.
  • Kingston, which became more popular after Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale named their son Kingston in 2006.
  • Suri, which became more popular after Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes named their daughter Suri in 2006.
  • Shiloh, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt named their daughter Shiloh in 2006.
  • Pax, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt named their adopted son Pax in 2007.
  • Harlow, which became more popular after Nicole Richie and Joel Madden named their daughter Harlow in 2008.
  • Knox & Vivienne, which became more popular after Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt named their twins Knox and Vivienne in 2008.
  • Honor, which became more popular after Jessica Alba named her daughter Honor in 2008.
  • Nahla, which became more popular after Halle Berry named her daughter Nahla in 2008.
  • Bronx, which became more popular after Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz named their son Bronx in 2008.

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The 2010s are only half over and already we’ve seen more celebrity baby-inspired debuts than in any other decade — Naleigh, Aleph (for boys), Locklyn, Aaradhya, Sebella, Sparrow (for boys), Viaan, Naiovy, Eisele, and no doubt others I’ve missed. Follow along as we uncover more year by year in the Pop Culture Baby Names 2010s category.

Sources:

  • Manners, Dorothy. “Off the Grapevine.” Toledo Blade 14 Feb. 1977: P-3.
  • Wilson, Mary and Patricia Romanowski. Supreme Faith. New York: Harper Collins, 1991.

Starlet Names from the Early 1900s

Ever heard of the WAMPAS Baby Stars?

They were young actresses on the cusp of movie stardom back in the 1920s and 1930s.

WAMPAS baby stars 1928

About 13 Baby Stars were selected by the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers every year from 1922 to 1934 (minus 1930 and 1933).

Some of those young women did indeed achieve stardom. Among the Baby Stars were Clara Bow (’24), Mary Astor (’26), Joan Crawford (’26), Fay Wray (’26) and Ginger Rogers (’32).

I thought the names of the Baby Stars — the oldest of whom were born in the final years of the 1800s, the youngest of whom were born in the mid-1910s — would make an interesting set. But I wanted birth names, not stage names, so I tracked down as many birth names as I could. Here’s the result, sorted by frequency (i.e., seven women were named Dorothy).

  • 7: Dorothy
  • 6: Helen
  • 4: Elizabeth
  • 3: Frances, Ruth, Virginia
  • 2: Anita, Ann, Barbara, Betty, Clara, Doris, Dorothea, Eleanor, Evelyn, Gladys, Gwendolyn, Hazel, Jacqueline, Katherine, Laura, Louise, Lucille, Margaret, Maria, Marian, Marie, Marion, Mary, Patricia, Violet
  • 1: Adamae, Alberta, Alma, Anne, Audrey, Augusta, Blanche, Carmelita, Caryl, Constance, Derelys, Dolores, Duane, Edna, Eleanor, Ena, Enriqueta, Ethel, Ethlyne, Evalyn, Flora, Gisela, Gloria, Gretchen, Hattie, Helene, Ina, Ingeborg, Jacquiline, Jean, Joan, Jobyna, Josephine, Juanita, Julanne, Kathleen, Kathryn, Kitty, Launa, Laurette, Lena, Lenore, Lilian, Lola, Lu Ann, Lucile, Madeline, Marceline, Martha, Mildred, Myrna, Natalia, Natalie, Nellie, Neoma, Olive, Olivia, Patsy, Rita, Rochelle, Rose, Sally, Suzanne, Sidney, Toshia, Vera, Vina

And here are the leftover stage names:

  • 5: Sally
  • 4: Mary
  • 3: Joan, June
  • 2: Betty, Jean, Judith, Pauline
  • 1: Alice, Bessie, Boots, Claire, Colleen, Dolores, Dorothy, Elinor, Evelyn, Fay, Frances, Gigi, Ginger, Gladys, Gloria, Gwen, Iris, Janet, Joyce, Julie, Karen, Kathleen, Lila, Lina, Lois, Lona, Loretta, Lucille, Lupe, Marian, Molly, Mona, Natalie, Patricia, Sue

(Often stage names were the real-life middle names of these women.)

Finally, a few interesting details:

  • “Jobyna” was Jobyna Ralston, who was named for actress Jobyna Howland, daughter of a man named Joby Howland. The name Jobyna debuted on the SSA’s baby name list in 1927.
  • “Derelys” was Derelys Perdue, whose first name at birth was Geraldine. In 1923, Derelys was in the news for obtaining an injunction to prevent film studio FBO from renaming her “Ann.” (FBO was later taken over by future presidential father Joseph P. Kennedy.) The name Derelys was a one-hit wonder on the SSA’s baby name list in 1924.
  • “Sidney” was Sidney Fox, a female who was given the name Sidney long before the name (in particular, the spelling Sydney) became trendy for baby girls.
  • “Lina” was Lina Basquette, who I mentioned in last week’s name quote post.
  • One of the Marys was Mary Astor, who went on to give her daughter a Hawaiian name.

Which of the above names do you like best? Why?

Source: Derelys Perdue – Biography – Movies & TV – NYTimes.com