How popular is the baby name Hai in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Hai and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Hai.
Viet, Hoang, Phuong, and other Vietnamese baby names flooded onto the U.S. baby name charts in 1975, thanks to an influx of refugees.
But the female name Tron arrived conspicuously early, in 1969:
- 1970: unlisted
- 1969: 7 baby girls named Tron
- 1968: unlisted
Then it fell off the list again, making it a one-hit wonder.*
Where did Tron come from?
A 12-year-old Vietnamese amputee named Nguyen Thi Tron, who was featured on the cover of LIFE magazine in November of 1968. The cover showed Tron watching her new wooden leg being made at a government rehabilitation center in Saigon.
She and two friends, Nhien and Hai, had wandered into a “free-fire zone” to collect firewood and wild vegetables when an American helicopter happened to fly by and open fire. Nhien took shelter under an oxcart, but Hai got shot in the abdomen (she later recovered) and Tron in the leg.
I’m not sure what became of Tron. Her own view of the future was bleak (“I have only one leg. I can do nothing.”) but she did aspire to become a seamstress one day.
Regardless, her name lives on via the baby name charts. In fact, “Tron” is likely the first name to debut on the U.S. charts in connection with the Vietnam War.
*It was a one-hit wonder as a female name only. As a male name, Tron has appeared in the SSA data dozens of times.
Source: Moser, Dan. “The Edge of Peace.” LIFE 8 Nov. 1968: 26-36.
Image: © LIFE
The theme this week? Names that tie back to the end of the Vietnam War.
Yesterday’s name, Chaffee, isn’t the only Vietnam-related name we see on the charts in 1975. There are plenty of Vietnamese names that pop up that year as well. Here are the ones I’ve spotted so far:
|Vietnamese Boy Name Debuts, 1975
||Vietnamese Girl Name Debuts, 1975
Viet, 23 baby boys [top debut]
Hung, 16 [4th]
Nam, 14 [6th]
Huy, 13 [7th]
Anh, 10 baby girls [58th highest debut]
Many other Vietnamese names — Bao, Chinh, Dao, Giang, Huong, Khanh, Lam, Nguyet, Phuc, Quyen, Suong, Thanh, Vuong, and so forth — debut on the SSA’s list during the late ’70s and early ’80s.
One of the Vietnamese babies born at Chaffee in 1975 was Dat Nguyen, who went on to become the first Vietnamese-American to play in the NFL. His name, Dat, wasn’t popular enough to make the national list until 1979.
[For context, one of the pop culture names that debuted in 1975 was Chakakhan. Another was Tennille, inspired by Captain & Tennille.]
In early 1945, a U.S. Navy ship transporting civilians and casualties from the China Burma India Theater arrived in San Pedro, California.
One of the passengers was a 24-day-old Chinese baby, born prematurely aboard the ship “while the ship’s gun crews were fighting off a Japanese aerial attack.”
The baby’s father, Yu Shih-Peng, said “[w]e named our daughter Yu Hai-Hu because it means Tiger of the Sea.” (Hai is “sea” and Hu is “tiger.”)
Believe it or not, this is the second baby-born-on-ship-under-enemy-fire story I’ve posted. The first was the Jesse Roper story.
Source: “Baby Born at Sea During Aerial Raid.” Norwalk Hour 8 Jan. 1945: 2.