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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Gypsy

Number of Babies Named Gypsy

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Gypsy

Pop Culture Baby Name Game Results, 2017

Here are the results of Pop Culture Baby Name Game 2017!

To streamline the results post this year, I didn’t include detailed descriptions of the pop culture influences. For the specifics, just click the above link.

On to the names!

Rises

Baby names that saw increased usage from 2016 to 2017.

  • Logan (movie), +2,748 baby boys (also +248 baby girls)
  • Dream (celebrity baby), +198 baby girls (also +22 baby boys)
  • Maren (music), +172 baby girls
  • Amaya (tv), +133 baby girls
  • Alessia (music), +129 baby girls
  • Winston (movie), +129 baby boys
  • Renata (tv), +107 baby girls
  • Callum (movie), +79 baby boys
  • Harvey (event/news), +76 baby boys
  • Asahd (celebrity baby), +58 baby boys (the top debut name for boys in ’17)
  • Brennley (tv), re-entered the data with 56 baby girls
  • Kenzo (celebrity baby), +55 baby boys
  • Ivanka (politics), +52 baby girls
  • Sunny (event), +52 baby girls (but -12 baby boys)
  • Hayes (celebrity baby), +46 baby boys (also +42 baby girls)
  • Barron (politics), +40 baby boys (and Baron rose as well)
  • Kensli (celebrity baby), +39 baby girls
  • Poppy (music), +39 baby girls
  • Kamaiyah (music), +34 baby girls
  • Tala (tv), +33 baby girls
  • Sally (news), +32 baby girls
  • Chosen (celebrity baby), +30 baby boys (also +15 baby girls)
  • Jones (celebrity baby), +28 baby boys (also +5 baby girls)
  • Tommy (movie), +23 baby boys
  • Solana (music), +20 baby girls
  • Mika (tv), +17 baby girls
  • Eissa (celebrity baby), +16 baby boys
  • Moon (event), +15 baby girls
  • Valkyrie (movie), +15 baby girls
  • Zaya (movie), +15 baby girls
  • Kelsea (music), +12 baby girls
  • Shadow (tv), +11 baby boys (also +4 baby girls)
  • Grover (tv), +10 baby boys
  • Halley (tv), +10 baby girls
  • Bear (celebrity baby), +9 baby boys
  • Gal (movie), +9 baby girls
  • Jyn (movie), debuted in the data with 9 baby girls
  • Eleven (tv), debuted in the data with 7 baby girls
  • Thor (movie), +7 baby boys
  • Hela (movie), +6 baby girls
  • Lyric (celebrity baby), +6 baby boys (but -77 baby girls)
  • Sturgill (music), debuted in the data with 6 baby boys
  • Zari (tv), +6 baby girls
  • Eclipse (event), debuted in the data with 5 baby girls
  • Eniko (celebrity spouse), debuted in the data with 5 baby girls
  • Poe (movie), +4 baby boys
  • Sir (celebrity baby), +4 baby boys
  • Dory (movie), +2 baby boys
  • Sire (celebrity baby), +2 baby boys

Same

Baby names that saw no movement from 2016 to 2017.

  • Revel (celebrity baby), no movement as a boy name
  • Rumi (celebrity baby), no movement as a girl name
  • Sovereign (celebrity baby), no movement as a girl name

Falls

Baby names that saw decreased usage from 2016 to 2017.

  • Chance (music), -1 baby boy
  • Irma (event), -1 baby girl
  • Via (tv), -1 baby girl
  • Gypsy (tv), -2 baby girls
  • Julien as a girl name (music), -3 baby girls
  • Loki (movie), -3 baby boys
  • Lux (tv), -3 baby boys
  • Soleil (event), -4 baby girls
  • J’onn (tv), dropped out of the data
  • Ned (movie), -5 baby boys
  • Saoirse (movie), -5 baby girls
  • Topaz (movie), dropped out of the data
  • Jacinda (news), -8 baby girls
  • Bea (rumored celebrity baby), -10 baby girls
  • Moxie (book), -13 baby girls
  • Gareth (movie), -16 baby boys
  • Shayla (internet), -30 baby girls
  • Fatima (news), -33 baby girls
  • Kendrick (music), -54 baby boys
  • Shawn (rumored celebrity baby), -121 baby boys
  • Carter (celebrity baby), -415 baby boys (also -103 baby girls)

Absent

Baby names that were not in the SSA data in either 2016 or 2017.

Amilyn, Antiope, Asperitas, Bilquis, Bixby, Cardi, Creeley, Darci Lynne, Fenty, Gravity, Issa Rae, Jumanji, Kygo, Ladybird, Laureline, Libratus, Mahershala, Maisel, Merlyn, Midge, Ovince, Pence, Ragnarok, Saffie, Sonequa, Strummer, Sza, Tenney, Themyscira, Tommen, Totality, Trump, Valerian, Wiseau, Yulin, Zelle

Reactions

Some initial reactions…

I was so surprised that Rumi saw no upward movement as a girl name. Remi is rising fast, Rooney is inching upward, and then Rumi — a name that sounds like a mix between the two — gets the stamp of approval from Queen Bey herself. And still it doesn’t budge. I’m scratching my head over this one.

I’m always fascinated to see how name usage is influenced by events/people that are perceived as negative. Sometimes the associations drag them down, but sometimes the mere exposure lifts them up. In the case of Harvey, we had not one but two negative things: a destructive storm and a sexual predator. And yet, the name continued to rise.

It was neat to see Eclipse debut in the data. We already knew that a few babies got the name thanks to the news, but apparently there were a few more–just enough to nudge the name up to that 5-baby threshold. I wonder how much the August solar eclipse contributed to the rise of the names Luna, Moon, and Shadow in 2017.

How about you? Did the movement (or non-movement) of any of these names surprise you?

[Disclaimer: Some of the names above were already moving in the direction indicated, and some were no doubt influenced by more than a single pop culture person/event. I leave it up to you to judge the degree/nature of pop culture influence in each case.]


Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: Letter S

soava
Soava Gallone
On the hunt for a rare girl name with a retro feel?

Here’s a big batch of uncommon female S-names that are associated in some way with early cinema (i.e., each is either a character name or an actress name).

For those that have had enough usage to appear in the national data, I’ve included links to popularity graphs.

*

Saba
Saba Raleigh was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in England in 1867. Her birth name was Isabel Pauline Ellissen. Saba was also a character played by actress Myrta Bonillas in the film The Claw (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Saba.

Sabel
Sabel Jackson was a character played by actress Wynne Gibson in the film Nothing But the Truth (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Sabel.

Sabra
Sabra de Shon was an actress who appeared in one film in 1915. She was born in Massachusetts in 1850. Sabra was also a character name in multiple films, including Cimarron (1931) and A Man Betrayed (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Sabra.

Sada
Sada was a character played by actress Anna May Wong in the film The Devil Dancer (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Sada.

Sadi
Sadi Bronson was a character played by actress Julia Faye in the film The Great Moment (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Sadi.

Sagrario
Sagrario was a character played by actress Nydia Westman in the film Cradle Song (1933).

Sahande
Sahande was a character played by actress Dorothy Dalton in the film Law of the Lawless (1923).

Sahki
Sahki was a character played by actress Verna Mersereau in the short film The Dance of Death (1914).

Saidee
Saidee McCall was a character played by actress Carmel Myers in the film The Last Hour (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Saidee.

Saina
Saina was a character played by actress Olive Borden in the film Yellow Fingers (1926).

Sairy
Sairy Ann was a character played by actress Dorothy Gish in the film Children of the Feud (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Sairy.

Salita
Salita was a character played by actress Velma Whitman in the film Turning the Table (1913).

  • Usage of the baby name Salita.

Salka
Salka Steuermann was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Austria-Hungary (now Ukraine) in 1889. Her birth name was Salomea Steuermann.

Sallie
Sallie McPherson was a character played by actress Wanda Hawley in the film Double Speed (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Sallie.

Sallyann
Sallyann Weatharby was a character played by actress Arlene Dahl in the film A Southern Yankee (1948).

Salomy
Salomy was a character name in multiple films, including Salomy Jane (1914) and Wild Girl (1932).

Salti
Salti was a character played by actress Beatie Olna Travers in the film A Romance of Old Baghdad (1922).

Samanthy
Samanthy was a character name in multiple films, including The Uneven Balance (short, 1914) and The Lonesome Heart (1915).

Samaran
Samaran was a character played by actress Julia Faye in the film Fool’s Paradise (1921).

Sanchia
Sanchia Percival was a character played by actress Dorinea Shirley in the film Open Country (1922).

Sari
Sari Maritza (SHA-ree MAR-ee-tsa) was an actress who appeared in films in the 1930s. She was born in China in 1910. Her birth name was Patricia Detering-Nathan. Sari was also a character name in multiple films, including The Virgin of Stamboul (1920) and The Stolen Bride (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Sari.

Sarie
Sarie McCoy was a character played by actress Aline MacMahon in the film Roseanna McCoy (1949).

  • Usage of the baby name Sarie.

Sarissa
Sarissa was a character played by actress Eugenia Gilbert in the film The Man from Downing Street (1922).

Sarita
Sarita was a character played by actress Teddy Sampson in the film The Pretty Sister of Jose (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Sarita.

Saturnia
Madame Saturnia was a character played by actress Ethel Griffies in the film Castle in the Desert (1942).

Savina
Savina Grove was a character played by actress Alma Rubens in the film Cytherea (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Savina.

Saxon
Saxon Roberts was a character played by actress Myrtle Stedman in the film The Valley of the Moon (1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Saxon (which debuted in the data the year The Valley of the Moon came out).

Schatzi
Schatzi Sutro was a character played by actress Joan Blondell in the film The Greeks Had a Word for Them (1932).

Scheherazade
Scheherazade was a character played by actress Maria Montez in the film Arabian Nights (1942).

Scylla
Scylla was a character played by actress Fritzi Ridgeway in the short film Where Glory Waits (1917).

Scholastica
Sister Scholastica was a character played by actress Celeste Holm in the film Come to the Stable (1949).

Seena
Seena Owen was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Washington in 1894. Her birth name was Signe Auen.

  • Usage of the baby name Seena.

Seessel
Seessel Anne Johnson was a child actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in California in 1920.

Semadar
Semadar was a character played by actress Angela Lansbury in the film Samson and Delilah (1949).

Semphronia
Semphronia Benson was a character played by actress Justine Cutting in the film A Self-Made Widow (1917).

Sephora
Sephora was a character played by actress Helena D’Algy in the film Confessions of a Queen (1925).

September
September was a character name in multiple films, including A Bum Mistake (1914) and Good Sport (1931).

Sequin
Sequin was a character played by actress Yvonne De Carlo in the film River Lady (1948).

Serama
Serama was a character played by actress Gladys Brockwell in the film Conscience (1917).

Shalmar
Princess Shalmar was a character played by actress Dorothy Lamour in the film Road to Morocco (1942).

Shamrock
Shamrock O’Day was a character played by actress Edith Roberts in the film Saturday Night (1922).

Sharlee
Sharlee Evans was a character played by actress Winifred Greenwood in the short film In the Shuffle (1916).

Sheba
Sheba Miller was a character played by actress Alice White in the film Playing Around (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Sheba.

Sheelah
Sheelah Delayne was a character played by actress Sally Crute in the film A House Divided (1919).

Shelah
Shelah Fane was a character played by actress Dorothy Revier in the film The Black Camel (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Shelah.

Sherida
Sherida was a character played by actress Phyllis Thaxter in the film The Sign of the Ram (1948).

Sherin
Sherin was a character played by actress Kathleen Key in the film A Lover’s Oath (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Sherin.

Shireen
Shireen was a character played by actress Virginia Brown Faire in the film Omar the Tentmaker (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Shireen (which debuted in the data the year after Omar the Tentmaker came out).

Shirlene
Shirlene May was a character played by actress Gale Robbins in the film The Barkleys of Broadway (1949).

Shona
Shona Royale was a character played by actress Annette Kellerman in the film Venus of the South Seas (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Shona.

Shosho
Shosho was a character played by actress Anna May Wong in the film Piccadilly (1929).

Sibby
Sibby was a character played by actress Zasu Pitts in the film Aggie Appleby Maker of Men (1933).

Sibley
Sibley was a character played by actress Patricia Roc in the film The Farmer’s Wife (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Sibley.

Sibyle
Sibyle Fane was a character played by actress Rosemary Theby in the film Hicksville to Broadway (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Sibyle.

Sidonie
Sidonie Du Val was a character played by actress Marie Doro in the film The Lash (1916).

Sieglinde
Sieglinde Lessing was a character played by actress June Lang in the film Music in the Air (1934).

Signa
Signa Herrick was a character played by actress Peggy Hyland in the film The Girl with No Regrets (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Signa.

Signe
Signe Hasso was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1970s. She was born in Sweden in 1910.

  • Usage of the baby name Signe.

Sigrid
Sigrid Holmquist was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. She was born in Sweden in 1899. Sigrid was also a character name in multiple films, including Transatlantic (1931) and I Remember Mama (1948).

  • Usage of the baby name Sigrid.

Silda
Silda was a character played by actress Renée Adorée in the film The Exquisite Sinner (1926).

Silk
Silk Cantrell was a character played by actress Adele Mara in the film Traffic in Crime (1946).

  • Usage of the baby name Silk.

Silver
Silver was a character played by actress Wynne Gibson in the film The Devil is Driving (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Silver.

Silvery
Silvery was a character played by actress Helen Gardner in the film The Strange Story of Sylvia Gray (1914).

Simonetta
Simonetta was a character played by actress Loretta Young in the film Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928).

Simplicity
Simplicity was a character played by actress Maxine Elliott Hicks in the film Lovers’ Lane (1924).

Sinfi
Sinfi Lovell was a character played by actress Mary Dibley in the film Aylwin (1920).

Singoalla
Singoalla was a character played by actress Viveca Lindfors in the film The Wind Is My Lover (1949).

Sisseretta
Sisseretta Simpkin was a character played by actress Louise Fazenda in the film The Gay Old Bird (1927).

Sissie
Sissie Flynn was an actress who appeared in one film in 1932.

  • Usage of the baby name Sissie.

Sitahbai
Sitahbai was a character played by actress Doraldina in the film The Naulahka (1918).

Slade
Slade Kinnicott was a character played by actress Una Merkel in the film Biography of a Bachelor Girl (1935).

Smyrna
Smyrna was a character played by actress Martha Sleeper in the film Should Sailors Marry? (short, 1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Smyrna.

Soava
Soava Gallone was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Poland in 1880. Her birth name was Stanislawa Winawerowna.

Sofonisba
Sofonisba was a character played by actress Italia Almirante-Manzini in the film Cabiria (1914).

Soledad
Soledad Jiménez was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1950s. She was born in Spain in 1874.

Solveig
Solveig was a character played by actress Myrtle Stedman in the film Peer Gynt (1915).

Sombra
Sombra was a character played by actress Carol Forman in the film serial The Black Widow (1947).

Sonora
Sonora Cassidy was a character played by actress Marjorie Main in the film The Harvey Girls (1946).

  • Usage of the baby name Sonora.

Sookey
Sookey was a character played by actress Heather Angel in the film Self Made Lady (1932).

Sophronia
Sophronia was a character played by actress Bessie Eyton in the film Lend Me Your Name (1918). It was also a character (nicknamed Phronsie) in the Little Peppers films of the early ’40s.

Sophy
Sophy was a character name in multiple films, including Old Wives for New (1918) and The Peace of Roaring River (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Sophy.

Sophya
Aunt Sophya was a character played by actress Lucy Beaumont in the film Resurrection (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Sophya.

Sourna
Sourna was a character played by actress Manora Thew in the film A Romance of Old Baghdad (1922).

Soya
Soya was a character played by actress Laska Winter in the film Rocking Moon (1926).

Spangles
Spangles was a character played by actress Fern Andra in the film Spangles (1928).

Spring
Spring Byington was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1960s. She was born in Colorado in 1886.

  • Usage of the baby name Spring.

Squabina
Squabina was a character played by actress Louise Fazenda in the short film The Mystery of a Taxicab (1914).

St. Clair
St. Clair Van Tassel was a character played by actress Gloria Swanson in the film The Untamed Lady (1926).

Stacia
Stacia de Napierkowska was an actress who appeared in films from the 1900s to the 1920s. She was born in France in 1886. Her birth name was Renée Claire Angèle Élisabeth Napierkowski.

  • Usage of the baby name Stacia.

Stacie
Stacie Kanares was a character played by actress Ella Raines in the film Enter Arsene Lupin (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Stacie.

Stancia
Stancia was a character played by actress Mary Doran in the film Their Mad Moment (1931).

Starlight
Starlight was a character name in multiple films, including In the Long Ago (short, 1913) and The Iron Trail (short, 1913).

Starlina
Starlina was a character played by actress Raquel Torres in the film Red Wagon (1933).

Stascha
Stascha was a character played by actress Marlene Dietrich in the film Three Loves (1929).

Steena
Steena Iverson was a character played by actress Dot Farley in the short film Mrs. Gay Life’s Visitors (1911).

Steenie
Steenie was a character played by actress Dorothy Kelly in the short film Rip Van Winkle (1912).

Steffi
Steffi Duna was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s. She was born in Hungary in 1910. Her birth name was Stephanie Berindy.

  • Usage of the baby name Steffi.

Stephana
Stephana Martin was a character played by actress Ruth Stonehouse in the short film The Romance of an American Duchess (1915).

Sterlita
Sterlita Peluffo was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s.

Sucal
Sucal Hurrin was a character played by actress Belle Chrystall in the film Poison Pen (1939).

Sudan
Sudan Ainger was a character played by actress Stephanie Bachelor in the film Secrets of Scotland Yard (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Sudan.

Suellen
Suellen O’Hara was a character played by Evelyn Keyes in the film Gone with the Wind (1939).

Sugar
Sugar was a character name in multiple films, including Sleepytime Gal (1942) and The Magnificent Rogue (1946).

  • Usage of the baby name Sugar.

Sultana
Sultana was a character played by actress Gypsy Rose Lee in the film Ali Baba Goes to Town (1937).

Sul-Te-Wan
Madame Sul-Te-Wan was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1950s. She was born in Kentucky in 1873. Her birth name was Nellie Conley.

Sumurun
Sumurun was a character played by actress Jenny Hasselquist in the film Sumurun (1920).

Sunbeam
Sunbeam was a character played in multiple films, including The Sunbeam (short, 1912) and The Coming of Sunbeam (short, 1913).

Sunday
Sunday Wilshin was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in England in 1905. Her birth name was Sundae Mary Aline Horne-Wilshin.

  • Usage of the baby name Sunday.

Sunnie
Sunnie O’Dea was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s. She was born in Pennsylvania in 1918. Her birth name was Martha Bonini.

  • Usage of the baby name Sunnie.

Sunya
Sunya Ashling was a character played by actress Gloria Swanson in the film The Love of Sunya (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Sunya.

Suretta
Suretta Brenton was a character played by actress Patricia Dane in the film I Dood It (1943).

Suzel
Suzel was a character played by actress Simone Bourday in the film In Old Alsace (1933).

Suzette
Suzette was a character name in multiple films, including as Daring Hearts (1919) and Man and Maid (1925).

Svea
Svea Nord was a character played by actress Ann Little in the film The Source (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Svea.

Swana
Grand Duchess Swana was a character played by actress Ina Claire in the film Ninotchka (1939).

Swifty
Swifty Forbes was a character played by actress Gloria Swanson in the film Prodigal Daughters (1923).

Sydell
Sydell Dowling was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s.

  • Usage of the baby name Sydell.

Sylvaine
Sylvaine was a character played by actress Lilyan Tashman in the film The Matrimonial Bed (1930).

Sylvina
Sylvina was a character played by actress Elisabeth Bergner in the film Stolen Life (1939).

Symphorosa
Princess Symphorosa was a character played by actress Billie Bennett in the film One Romantic Night (1930).

*

So which of the above names do you like best?

The Rise of the Baby Name Cheryl

Cheryl Walker, Stage Door Canteen (1943)
© LIFE

It’s hard to pinpoint the origin of the name Cheryl (Cherie + Beryl? Cherry + Beryl?) but it’s clear that the name saw a drastic rise in popularity during the first half of 20th century. Cheryl went from a rarity in the early 1900s to one of the most popular girl names in the U.S. by the mid-1950s.

I doubt Cheryl could have achieved this kind of popularity without a series of pop culture boosts — two caused by the same person, interestingly.

The first (and smallest) boost happened in 1938:

  • 1940: 285 baby girls named Cheryl [rank: 408th] – 42 in CA
  • 1939: 289 baby girls named Cheryl [rank: 390th] – 49 in CA
  • 1938: 397 baby girls named Cheryl [rank: 312th] – 76 in CA
  • 1937: 145 baby girls named Cheryl [rank: 563rd] – 16 in CA
  • 1936: 94 baby girls named Cheryl [rank: 688th] – 10 in CA

Many of these babies were born in California specifically.

The cause?

A 19-year-old from Pasadena named Cheryl Walker. In late 1937, she was selected as the 1938 Queen of the Tournament of Roses. Local newspapers (including the Los Angeles Times) talked about Cheryl quite a bit during the last month of 1937 and the first few months of 1938.

She signed a film contract with Paramount around that time, but didn’t have much success in the entertainment industry until five years later.

That’s when she played the romantic lead in the wartime hit Stage Door Canteen, released in the middle of 1943. Dozens of major celebrities — including Tallulah Bankhead, Helen Hayes, Katharine Hepburn, George Jessel, Gertrude Lawrence, Gypsy Rose Lee, Ethel Merman, Paul Muni, Merle Oberon, Mary Pickford, and Johnny Weissmuller — had cameos in the film, which was one of the highest-grossing of the year.

(Notably, several months before Stage Door Canteen came out, LIFE magazine published a series of photos of the actress along with a short article subtitled “Cheryl Walker rises from stand-in for Veronica Lake to stardom.”)

In both 1943 and 1944, the number of babies named Cheryl increased significantly:

  • 1945: 8,150 baby girls named Cheryl [rank: 32nd]
  • 1944: 7,970 baby girls named Cheryl [rank: 36th]
  • 1943: 2,878 baby girls named Cheryl [rank: 102nd]
  • 1942: 590 baby girls named Cheryl [rank: 280th]
  • 1941: 439 baby girls named Cheryl [rank: 311th]

The name of Cheryl’s character, Eileen, also saw increased usage, as did many variants of Cheryl (asterisks denote debuts):

Name 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946
Cheryl 590 2,878 7,970 8,150 11,525
Sheryl 324 588 949 1,055 1,632
Sherrill 202 207 263 206 250
Cheryle 27 80 176 184 238
Sherryl 49 71 104 140 203
Cheryll 11 41 69 98 120
Sheryle 12 19 26 31 52
Cherryl 9 19 59 58 104
Sharelle** 28* 10
Charyl 24* 27 17 21
Scheryl 11* 11 7 5
Cherril 6 6 7
Sherral 6 6 8
Sherelle 6*
Sheril 5 11 6 9
Chyrl 5* 8 7 10
Cheril 6* 7
Cherl 6* 5 8
Sherryll 5 6 5
Cherill 5*
Cheyrl 5* 5 9
Chyrel 7* 10
Cheryal 6* 5
Cherryle 5*
Sherell 5*
Sherrille 5*
Chryl 9*
Sherryle 7*
Cherel 5*
Cherle 5*
Cherryll 5*
Chyral 5*
Shyrel 5*

**Sharelle was the top debut name of the year in 1943.

Usage of the name Cheryl plateaued in the late ’40s and early ’50s, then began to rise again in 1954:

  • 1956: 21,280 baby girls named Cheryl [rank: 18th]
  • 1955: 19,100 baby girls named Cheryl [rank: 19th]
  • 1954: 15,000 baby girls named Cheryl [rank: 22nd]
  • 1953: 12,271 baby girls named Cheryl [rank: 28th]
  • 1952: 12,197 baby girls named Cheryl [rank: 31st]

Why?

It wasn’t Cheryl Walker — she’d retired from acting by this time.

Instead it was a short-lived TV show called Waterfront (1954-1956). The central character, John Herrick, was the captain of a San Pedro Harbor tugboat called the “Cheryl Ann.”

The show also gave a boost to the compound names Cherylann, Cherylanne and Sherylann.

[EDIT, 6/10 – Diana reminded me about Mouseketeer Cheryl, who was on The Mickey Mouse Club from 1956 to 1958. No doubt she contributed to the name’s popularity as well in the mid-to-late ’50s!]

Cheryl became one of the top 20 baby names in the country in 1955, and it remained in the top 20 until 1961, peaking at 13th in 1958.

After that, usage began to decline. Cheryl fell out of the top 50 in 1972, then out of the top 100 in 1980. (This despite a late-1970s uptick inspired by actress Cheryl Ladd, singer Cheryl Lynn, and/or model Cheryl Tiegs.)

[EDIT, 7/7 – Cheryl M. reminded me to include Cheryl Ladd.]

And in 1998, exactly 40 years after nearly reaching the top 10, Cheryl fell out of the top 1,000 entirely.

What are your thoughts on the name Cheryl?

Do you like it more or less than Cherrill?

Sources:

P.S. Other WWII-era names: Dorie, Jesse Roper, Sea Bee, MacArthur, Swoosie, Roger, Adolf Hitler.

Baby Names from Cockney Rhyming Slang?

Here’s something I’ve never seen before.

Last month, Canadian singer Bryan Adams and his girlfriend welcomed their second baby girl, Lula RosyLea. Lula’s middle name is a reference to her time of birth, as per this tweet by Adams:

Lula Rosylea arrived @ teatime this wk. a cup of ‘rosie lee’ = ‘cup of tea’ in cockney. Lula comes from Gene Vincent’s song Be-Bop-A-Lula

This is the first baby I know of to be named via Cockney rhyming slang.

What’s Cockney rhyming slang? It involves word substitution based on rhyme. Typically, a word in a sentence is replaced with a rhyming phrase, and then the rhyming part of the phrase is dropped. This makes the resulting sentence hard for those not in-the-know to understand.

Here’s an example: “Use your loaf.” It’s really “use your head,” but the phrase loaf of bread was used instead of head, and then loaf of bread was shortened to just loaf. Hence, “use your loaf.” Get it?

Speaking of bread, if you’ve ever heard people use the slang word bread to mean money, that’s CRS too. Money rhymes with the old expression bread and honey, which shortens to bread.

So that’s how Bryan Adams turned tea into Rosie Lee, which is a common CRS rhyme for tea. (And now, if you’re ever in London and someone asks you if you want a cup of Rosie, you’ll know what they’re talking about!) “Rosie Lee” refers to American burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee (1911-1970).

I thought this was a rather cool way to come up with a baby name, so I’ve collected a few dozen other well-known CRS rhymes that involve names. On the left you’ll find the original word, in the middle is the name/phrase substitution, and on the right is the shortened version.

  • back – rhymes with Cilla Black – shortens to Cilla
  • ball – rhymes with Albert Hall – shortens to Albert
  • belly – rhymes with Darby Kelly – shortens to Darby
  • brake – rhymes with Veronica Lake – shortens to Veronica
  • cake – rhymes with Sexton Blake – shortens to Sexton
  • coat – rhymes with Billy goat – shortens to Billy
  • curry – rhymes with Ruby Murray – shortens to Ruby (if these parents had had a girl instead of a boy, Ruby would have been a great option)
  • door – rhymes with Rory O’Moore – shortens to Rory
  • fairy – rhymes with Julian Clairy – shortens to Julian
  • fish – rhymes with Lillian Gish – shortens to Lillian
  • gin – rhymes with Anne Boleyn – shortens to Ann
  • gin – rhymes with Vera Lynn – shortens to Vera
  • ice – rhymes with Vincent Price – shortens to Vincent
  • kettle – rhymes with Hansel and Gretel – shortens to Hansel
  • lisp – rhymes with Quentin Crisp – shortens to Quentin
  • mess – rhymes with Elliot Ness – shortens to Elliot
  • neck – rhymes with Gregory Peck – shortens to Gregory
  • old man (father) – rhymes with Peter Pan – shortens to Peter
  • rail – rhymes with Toby Ale – shortens to Toby
  • Stella (brand of beer) – rhymes with Yuri Geller – shortens to Yuri
  • Stella – rhymes with Nelson Mandela – shortens to Nelson
  • table – rhymes with Betty Grable – shortens to Betty
  • tea – rhymes with Bruce Lee – shortens to Bruce
  • tea – rhymes with Kiki Dee – shortens to Kiki
  • tea – rhymes with Rosie Lee – shortens to Rosie
  • telly – rhymes with Liza Minnelli – shortens to Liza (e.g., “What’s on the Liza?”)
  • trouble – rhymes with Barney Rubble – shortens to Barney
  • 2:2 (lower second-class honors) – rhymes with Desmond Tutu – shortens to Desmond
  • undies – rhymes with Eddie Grundies – shortens to Eddie
  • wedding – rhymes with Otis Redding – shortens to Otis

I think Darby (for “belly”) might be an especially tempting one baby namers, no? :)

Bryan’s first baby girl, Mirabella Bunny, was born last Easter.

Sources: @bryanadams, February 14, 2013, Cockney Rhyming Slang

Update, 12/29/16: A reader named Sam recently told me about the Complete Dictionary of Cockney Rhyming Slang, which contains a bunch more names — like Errol Flynn for “chin,” and Euan Blair for “Leicester Square.” Enjoy!