The baby name Falcon first emerged in the U.S. data in 1961. After that, it dropped back out of the data and didn’t re-appear until several decades later.
- 1963: unlisted
- 1962: unlisted
- 1961: 5 baby boys named Falcon [debut]
- 1960: unlisted
- 1959: unlisted
The influence in this case had nothing to do with birds — it had to do with cars. Specifically, a car called the Ford Falcon, which was introduced to consumers in mid-1959 (for the 1960 model year).
I think the name popped up slightly late thanks to a cute marketing campaign that began in 1960. The ads featured characters from the Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip, which was very popular at the time.
In fact, the 1960 commercials for the Falcon mark the very first time the Peanuts crew appeared as animated characters. (The first Peanuts TV special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, didn’t come along until late 1965.)
Though the Ford Falcon was initially a success, sales of the model decreased as the ’60s progressed. This — plus the fact that “Falcon” wouldn’t have struck many ’60s parents as being particularly name-like (as opposed to, say, Chevelle) — helps explain why the baby name didn’t gain traction until much later.
- Ford Falcon (North America) – Wikipedia
- Solomon, Charles. The Art and Making of Peanuts Animation. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2012.
Image: © 1960 Life