How popular is the baby name Durell 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 Durell.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Durell


Posts that Mention the Name Durell

The Two Debuts of Durelle

durelle alexander, singer, 1930s, radio
Radio Guide, Sept. 1936

You could say that the name Durelle debuted in the U.S. baby name data twice — first as a girl name in the ’30s, next as a boy name in the ’50s.

The name’s very first appearance in the data was in 1936:

  • 1941: unlisted
  • 1940: 5 baby girls named Durelle
  • 1939: unlisted
  • 1938: unlisted
  • 1937: 6 baby girls named Durelle
  • 1936: 12 baby girls named Durelle
  • 1935: unlisted

This initial influence here was female entertainer Durelle Alexander, who was born in Texas in 1918.

She’d started out as a child actor, then re-emerged during her teen years as a vocalist associated primarily with bandleader Paul Whiteman. She sang on the radio, made recordings, and toured with Whiteman’s orchestra (and several others) before getting married in 1939 and retiring from the music business.

Around that time, the name Durelle dropped off the charts entirely…

boxing, yvon durelle, archie moore
Yvon Durelle vs. Archie Moore, Dec. 1958

…But, about two decades later, the name reemerged on the boys’ side of the list:

  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: 6 baby boys named Durelle
  • 1957: unlisted

It was the year that French Canadian boxer Yvon Durelle, the “Fighting Fisherman,” challenged American boxer Archie Moore for the World Light Heavyweight title. By all accounts it was a sensational match, with each man knocking the other down multiple times before Moore finally prevailed in the 11th round.

The fight not only made Durelle a legend in Canada, but it “was one of the first to be broadcast coast-to-coast on American television.” This wide exposure of the surname Durelle — and the unmistakably masculine association — is what boosted the name back into the data, but as a boy name. The uncommon name Yvon also saw peak usage in 1958/1959.

I’m not sure about the origin (coining?) of Durelle Alexander’s first name, but Yvon Durelle’s surname can be traced back to the Old French word dur, meaning “hard(y).”

Do you like the name Durelle more as a girl name or as a boy name?

Sources:

  • Hanks, Patrick. (Ed.) Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Rayno, Don. Paul Whiteman: Pioneer in American Music, 1930-1967. Vol. 2. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2009.
  • Sares, Ted. “Back from the Brink of Defeat: Archie Moore v. Yvon Durelle.” Bad Left Hook 20 Oct. 2010.

P.S. Durelle saw peak usage (as a boy name) in 1985 thanks to Star Search contestant Durell Coleman.

More “Star Search” Baby Names

symba smith, star search, spokesmodel, 1991
Symba on Star Search, 1991

When I wrote about the name Tareva a couple of years ago, I said it was the only Star Search-inspired debut name I’d ever come across. Well, I’ve since discovered one more!

Symba

The name Symba was a 2-hit wonder that only appeared in the SSA data in 1991 and 1992:

  • 1993: unlisted
  • 1992: 5 baby girls named Symba
  • 1991: 30 baby girls named Symba [debut]
  • 1990: unlisted

The cause? Not Disney’s animated baby lion, which didn’t come along until a few years later, but Star Search spokesmodel competitor Symba Smith, who appeared on multiple episodes of the show during the 1991 season and ultimately won the 1991 championship (which included $100,000 in prize money).

Two years earlier, in 1989, Mississippi-born Symba had won the “Miss Teen All-American” pageant. (Four years before that, the pageant winner had been Halle Berry.)

*

But that’s not all. Here are two more names that saw a boost in usage thanks to Star Search:

Durell

The name Durell spiked in popularity in 1985 thanks to singer Durell Coleman, winner of the 1985 season.

  • 1987: 50 baby boys named Durell
  • 1986: 123 baby boys named Durell
  • 1985: 208 baby boys named Durell
  • 1984: 46 baby boys named Durell

Countess

The name Countess jumped back onto the charts in 1988 thanks to Countess Vaughn, who sang on the show as a 9-year-old.

  • 1990: unlisted
  • 1989: 6 baby girls named Countess
  • 1988: 15 baby girls named Countess
  • 1987: unlisted

Vaughn went on to join the cast of Moesha in 1996 as a teenager.

Two more names that may have been influenced by Star Search — it’s hard to tell — are Garcelle and Jordis. Garcelle Beauvais competed as a spokesmodel in 1986, and Jordis Unga competed as a vocalist in 2004. (Unga’s 2005 appearance on Rock Star: INXS was probably a bigger influence on overall usage.)

Two-Hit Wonder Baby Names

The following names ranked among the top 1,000 U.S. baby names only twice from 1880 through 2006:

Girls Boys
  • Adriene (1962, 1967)
  • Agusta (1882, 1884)
  • Aili (1909, 1910)
  • Alcie (1880, 1886)
  • Alethea (1973, 1974)
  • Alexina (1881, 1882)
  • Almedia (1881, 1885)
  • Aloma (1942, 1943)
  • Alwina (1882, 1886)
  • Alys (1880, 1910)
  • Ama (1881, 1885)
  • Amalie (1881, 1883)
  • Amma (1881, 1887)
  • Anastacia (1880, 1896)
  • Angeles (2003, 2004)
  • Anie (1881, 1882)
  • Anona (1904, 1905)
  • Antonetta (1910, 1915)
  • Araminta (1880, 1884)
  • Ardath (1905, 1923)
  • Arkie (1883, 1889)
  • Arta (1881, 1884)
  • Ayesha (1979, 1982)
  • Abbott (1880, 1888)
  • Adron (1901, 1904)
  • Albertus (1880, 1883)
  • Alferd (1891, 1899)
  • Alfie (1967, 1968)
  • Amado (1883, 1932)
  • Ananias (1883, 1889)
  • Arnett (1893, 1897)
  • Atlas (1883, 1890)
  • Aurthur (1880, 1891)
  • Bebe (1923, 1932)
  • Bertina (1882, 1893)
  • Bethann (1965, 1967)
  • Brigid (1965, 1966)
  • Brinda (1951, 1952)
  • Britny (1989, 1990)
  • Bryn (1999, 2004)
  • Bayard (1882, 1884)
  • Bilal (1991, 2002)
  • Bjorn (1977, 1980)
  • Blas (1880, 1911)
  • Bryton (1994, 1995)
  • Burgess (1884, 1890)
  • Burrel (1884, 1889)
  • Carlota (1887, 1892)
  • Celie (1880, 1887)
  • Cena (1881, 1883)
  • Chaney (1880, 1888)
  • Channie (1884, 1885)
  • Chante (1977, 1993)
  • Charlotta (1880, 1884)
  • Chelsy (1991, 1992)
  • Cherelle (1986, 1989)
  • Cherilyn (1972, 1975)
  • Chimere (1980, 1981)
  • Ciarra (1995, 1997)
  • Cicely (1973, 1974)
  • Cielo (2000, 2001)
  • Ciji (1983, 1984)
  • Cinthia (1991, 1996)
  • Cleva (1884, 1885)
  • Clevie (1884, 1885)
  • Columbia (1882, 1893)
  • Consuela (1971, 1972)
  • Contina (1972, 1973)
  • Coralie (1880, 1929)
  • Cornie (1885, 1887)
  • Cressie (1889, 1899)
  • Crete (1881, 1882)
  • Cuba (1898, 1899)
  • Cyntha (1881, 1884)
  • Captain (1883, 1887)
  • Cato (1880, 1891)
  • Ceasar (1883, 1900)
  • Chancey (1883, 1885)
  • Charls (1886, 1892)
  • Chauncy (1883, 1890)
  • Claudius (1890, 1893)
  • Clemon (1894, 1899)
  • Clide (1883, 1901)
  • Colie (1911, 1912)
  • Collis (1899, 1900)
  • Colon (1885, 1886)
  • Coolidge (1924, 1925)
  • Crockett (1880, 1883)
  • Daja (1995, 1996)
  • Danyel (1974, 1976)
  • Danyell (1973, 1974)
  • Davante (1992, 1993)
  • Dawne (1962, 1965)
  • Deliah (1880, 1883)
  • Delinda (1964, 1965)
  • Dellia (1881, 1888)
  • Dorthey (1932, 1934)
  • Dossie (1881, 1885)
  • Darryn (1965, 1968)
  • Daulton (1994, 1997)
  • Dejon (1991, 1992)
  • Demian (1971, 1974)
  • Demonte (1993, 1994)
  • Desean (1991, 1994)
  • Desi (1956, 1970)
  • Dink (1883, 1892)
  • Dionicio (1882, 1887)
  • Dozier (1884, 1892)
  • Duff (1880, 1882)
  • Durell (1985, 1986)
  • Durrell (1985, 1986)
  • Dustan (1980, 1984)
  • Echo (1983, 1984)
  • Edla (1882, 1889)
  • Ednah (1880, 1887)
  • Edra (1905, 1908)
  • Elana (1960, 1966)
  • Eleonore (1882, 1887)
  • Elfie (1883, 1888)
  • Elwanda (1921, 1922)
  • Epsie (1881, 1888)
  • Eris (1923, 1924)
  • Erykah (1997, 1998)
  • Estefany (1996, 2002)
  • Evelena (1885, 1910)
  • Ever (1893, 1901)
  • Ebbie (1881, 1882)
  • Elick (1880, 1890)
  • Encarnacion (1892, 1895)
  • Ephram (1881, 1887)
  • Epifanio (1885, 1888)
  • Eustace (1882, 1885)
  • Everet (1897, 1905)
  • Ewin (1882, 1883)
  • Farah (1976, 1977)
  • Flavia (1881, 1884)
  • Floretta (1908, 1916)
  • Franc (1882, 1883)
  • Francisqui (1883, 1892)
  • Ferman (1886, 1893)
  • Fitzgerald (1964, 1965)
  • Flint (1959, 1960)
  • Florencio (1882, 1889)
  • Fredy (1993, 2005)
  • Fremont (1882, 1899)
  • Georgeanna (1883, 1884)
  • Gidget (1966, 1967)
  • Glennis (1936, 1939)
  • Gracia (1880, 1887)
  • Gwyn (1961, 1962)
  • Gaines (1882, 1885)
  • Gasper (1911, 1917)
  • Gennaro (1911, 1913)
  • Geoff (1962, 1969)
  • Gibson (1882, 1897)
  • Gorge (1880, 1900)
  • Grayling (1957, 1959)
  • Hasel (1895, 1901)
  • Hennie (1882, 1883)
  • Hortensia (1927, 1928)
  • Halbert (1881, 1907)
  • Hansel (1905, 1917)
  • Harl (1880, 1897)
  • Harrie (1880, 1890)
  • Hartley (1895, 1909)
  • Hartwell (1881, 1883)
  • Holmes (1880, 1903)
  • Horton (1888, 1895)
  • Hoy (1880, 1910)
  • Hurbert (1891, 1903)
  • Ilo (1898, 1899)
  • Ingeborg (1901, 1905)
  • Ivonne (1992, 1993)
  • Illya (1966, 1967)
  • Imanol (2001, 2006)
  • Ingram (1883, 1890)
  • Jacquelynn (1943, 1947)
  • Jenniffer (1972, 1973)
  • Jerilynn (1941, 1942)
  • Jesenia (1987, 1990)
  • Jinnie (1881, 1882)
  • Joell (1966, 1967)
  • Judyth (1941, 1944)
  • Jarett (1997, 1998)
  • Jeb (1978, 1981)
  • Jerrad (1984, 1985)
  • Jerrel (1934, 1940)
  • Jessee (1880, 1887)
  • Jethro (1899, 1913)
  • Jobe (1882, 1887)
  • Jordi (1998, 1999)
  • Joshuah (1985, 1989)
Jenniffer ranked 972nd in 1972, and then 973rd in 1973. How crazy is that?
  • Kadijah (1993, 1994)
  • Kaleena (1982, 1983)
  • Kanisha (1990, 1991)
  • Kiarra (1999, 2000)
  • Kylene (1979, 1980)
  • Kanye (2004, 2005)
  • Kavon (2000, 2001)
  • Keenen (1990, 1991)
  • Kenji (1978, 1979)
  • Keshaun (2000, 2001)
  • Kiefer (1990, 1991)
  • Knox (1881, 1888)
  • Lakendra (1987, 1988)
  • Lalla (1885, 1888)
  • Lashunda (1977, 1980)
  • Lasonya (1971, 1972)
  • Latifah (1990, 1992)
  • Lavonda (1965, 1968)
  • Lavonia (1880, 1898)
  • Leafy (1893, 1894)
  • Leitha (1880, 1906)
  • Lempi (1899, 1904)
  • Leoma (1901, 1908)
  • Lesta (1883, 1892)
  • Lethia (1886, 1893)
  • Leyla (2005, 2006)
  • Liane (1959, 1969)
  • Lilianna (2005, 2006)
  • Liller (1880, 1885)
  • Lisbeth (2002, 2003)
  • Litha (1883, 1885)
  • Livia (2004, 2005)
  • Lorayne (1920, 1922)
  • Lorean (1901, 1920)
  • Loria (1961, 1962)
  • Loris (1935, 1936)
  • Louanna (1881, 1891)
  • Leandro (2005, 2006)
  • Lemmie (1900, 1903)
  • Levern (1954, 1955)
  • Lillard (1885, 1890)
  • Lindbergh (1927, 1928)
  • Linden (1943, 1947)
  • Linn (1882, 1891)
  • Lish (1889, 1893)
  • Littleton (1882, 1896)
  • Lydell (1977, 1978)
  • Madora (1880, 1883)
  • Mahalia (1880, 1881)
  • Mallorie (1986, 1987)
  • Malorie (1986, 1987)
  • Manila (1898, 1899)
  • Maralyn (1936, 1938)
  • Margene (1929, 1935)
  • Margeret (1880, 1882)
  • Marget (1882, 1883)
  • Margrett (1885, 1888)
  • Margy (1929, 1930)
  • Markita (1984, 1985)
  • Marlana (1978, 1979)
  • Marlen (2000, 2003)
  • Marnita (1961, 1962)
  • Martika (1989, 1990)
  • Marylouise (1922, 1923)
  • Melony (1963, 1966)
  • Mena (1880, 1887)
  • Merrilee (1942, 1943)
  • Mila (1881, 2006)*
  • Milda (1896, 1897)
  • Moesha (1996, 1997)
  • Mora (1881, 1887)
  • Myla (2005, 2006)
  • Macarthur (1942, 1943)
  • Mace (1883, 1902)
  • Makai (2005, 2006)
  • Mal (1880, 1883)
  • Mansfield (1890, 1909)
  • Manson (1886, 1892)
  • Messia (2005, 2006)
  • Michial (1950, 1954)
  • Mikhail (1988, 1990)
  • Minoru (1920, 1926)
  • Mustafa (2001, 2002)
  • Naima (2005, 2006)
  • Nakita (1986, 1987)
  • Norita (1935, 1937)
  • Nyree (1973, 1975)
  • Nobie (1890, 1908)
  • Namon (1884, 1899)
  • Needham (1890, 1893)
  • Nile (1896, 1905)
  • Odette (1899, 1905)
  • Olinda (1893, 1895)
  • Oliva (1889, 1894)
  • Oneida (1919, 1922)
  • Opha (1887, 1897)
  • Orlena (1881, 1891)
  • Ota (1881, 1882)
  • Octavius (1987, 1991)
  • Olof (1883, 1891)
  • Orren (1880, 1886)
  • Ott (1882, 1891)
  • Ovid (1894, 1907)
  • Owens (1890, 1896)
  • Pamelia (1949, 1954)
  • Pearly (1884, 1904)
  • Pheobe (1885, 1889)
  • Porsche (1987, 1988)
  • Posey (1889, 1896)
  • Prentiss (1907, 1943)
  • Purl (1884, 1885)
  • Rafaela (1903, 1909)
  • Rennie (1880, 1885)
  • Rinda (1882, 1885)
  • Roena (1880, 1884)
  • Ruie (1884, 1886)
  • Randolf (1953, 1955)
  • Ras (1890, 1891)
  • Rayfield (1904, 1906)
  • Reubin (1892, 1898)
  • Reynolds (1895, 1901)
  • Ridge (1988, 1989)
  • Rishi (2004, 2005)
  • Romello (1995, 1996)
  • Ruffus (1881, 1884)
  • Rustin (1979, 1980)
  • Salena (1977, 1995)
  • Sanjuana (1949, 1950)
  • Sebrina (1967, 1970)
  • Selah (2005, 2006)
  • Serina (1970, 1998)
  • Shanelle (1989, 1992)
  • Shanequa (1991, 1992)
  • Shaquita (1985, 1986)
  • Sharman (1949, 1950)
  • Shaunna (1978, 1979)
  • Shelvia (1937, 1938)
  • Sheyla (2001, 2006)
  • Shirl (1963, 1964)
  • Shirlie (1926, 1935)
  • Shona (1969, 1970)
  • Shyla (1999, 2006)
  • Siena (2005, 2006)
  • Signa (1890, 1892)
  • Soledad (1919, 1929)
  • Stephani (1987, 1989)
  • Saint (1896, 1897)
  • Severt (1882, 1896)
  • Shan (1968, 1969)
  • Sie (1888, 1890)
  • Sing (1890, 1905)
  • Tamya (2003, 2004)
  • Tayla (1998, 2006)
  • Tea (1997, 1998)
  • Thresa (1883, 1888)
  • Tinie (1881, 1885)
  • Tobi (1974, 1975)
  • Torrie (1976, 1977)
  • Toshiko (1919, 1923)
  • Tahj (1998, 1999)
  • Taj (1976, 1998)
  • Talan (2005, 2006)
  • Tandy (1883, 1899)
  • Tavion (1999, 2002)
  • Tayshaun (2004, 2005)
  • Terell (1985, 1986)
  • Theodis (1952, 1955)
  • Tilman (1881, 1884)
  • Toshio (1921, 1925)
  • Treyton (2002, 2003)
  • Tuan (1982, 1983)
  • Tyriq (1998, 1999)
  • Tyrus (1912, 1916)
  • Valery (2005, 2006)
  • Velia (1929, 1930)
  • Vonetta (1973, 1974)
  • Vander (1884, 1887)
  • Vashon (1973, 1974)
  • Vidal (1972, 1973)
  • Vinie (1885, 1895)
  • Wanita (1924, 1931)
  • Winter (1978, 1979)
  • Waino (1904, 1909)
  • Wells (1881, 1886)
  • Wess (1883, 1890)
  • Wirt (1881, 1886)
  • Wood (1881, 1882)
  • Xena (1996, 1997)
  • Yahaira (2003, 2005)
  • Yuridia (2005, 2006)
  • Yaakov (1986, 1987)
  • Yehuda (2001, 2005)
  • Zana (1888, 1994)
  • Zara (2005, 2006)
  • Zhane (1994, 1995)
  • Zaid (2003, 2004)

Which of the above do you like most? How about least?