How popular is the baby name Ibe in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Ibe and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Ibe.
In the mood to do some detective work? Here are a few one-hit wonder baby names with mysterious origins.
First we have the French words enchantée and enchanté, which mean “enchanted.” Both debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1987:
- 1988: unlisted
- 1987: 9 baby girls named Enchantee + 6 baby girls named Enchante
- 1986: unlisted
My first guess was perfume, and indeed both words have been used in perfume names before (e.g., Rêve Enchanté by Van Cleef & Arpels). None of these perfumes were launched circa 1987, though.
The fact that there are two spellings suggest an audio source — perhaps music or a minor TV character (à la Ibe) — but I haven’t found a song or a character that fits the bill yet.
The only other information I have is that the name Chantee saw a spike in usage the same year.
Second we have the fanciful name Enchantra, which debuted in 1978:
- 1979: unlisted
- 1978: 8 baby girls named Enchantra
- 1977: unlisted
Five of those eight babies were born in Louisiana specifically.
The popular sitcom Bewitched (1964-1972) included a character named Enchantra, as did a cartoon called Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch (2013-2014), but neither of these shows was airing new episodes in 1978.
So where did Enchantee/Enchante and Enchantra come from? I wish I knew! What theories do you guys have?
The baby name Toosdhi debuted on the SSA’s baby name list in 1969:
- 1973: unlisted
- 1972: 7 baby girls named Toosdhi
- 1971: unlisted
- 1970: unlisted
- 1969: 5 baby girls named Toosdhi [debut]
- 1968: unlisted
Where did it come from?
It’s not a variant of Tuesdee, which happened to debut the same year.
Instead, Toosdhi is one of the dozens of baby names that debuted thanks to minor television characters (e.g. Ibe, Alethea).
In Toosdhi’s case, the character was featured on a single episode of the late ’60s TV show It Takes a Thief.
In “To Catch a Roaring Lion,” which first aired on the very last day of 1968, main character Alexander Mundy (played by Robert Wagner) is sent to the fictional African country of Zambutiko to recover a set of ancient scrolls. In Zambutiko, Mundy meets Toosdhi Mboto (played by Denise Nicholas). After introducing herself, Toosdhi spells out her unique name:
“Well, this is the first time that Monday’s ever going to follow Tuesday.”
“As with your name, it’s spelled differently. T-o-o-s-d-h-i. Toosdhi Mboto. My identification.”
“I don’t think I can read this out here, the sun is so bright. Why don’t we go to some dark spot, with rum in it.”
“I will be your personal guide while you’re here, Mr. Mundy.”
“You can call me Al.”
The name made a second appearance on the national list in the early ’70s, likely because of reruns, but hasn’t been back since.
Source: It Takes a Thief – Season 2, Episode 12: To Catch a Roaring Lion – TV.com
Here’s something curious. In 1977, 12 baby boys in the U.S. were named Ebay. The name Ebay doesn’t appear on the SSA’s list any other year. Not even in the late 90s, when auction site eBay was taking off.
Why were there suddenly a dozen baby Ebays in 1977? I have no idea. A few names I know of (e.g. Adebayo) include the e-b-a-y sequence of letters, but Ebay doesn’t seem like a logical nickname for any of them, so that’s probably not the source. And the online sleuthing I usually do isn’t working in this case, as all searches for Ebay just lead me to eBay.
UPDATE: Commenter Robin figured it out. Ebay is a variant spelling of Ibe — also a one-hit wonder in 1977. Both were popularized by a character named Ibe Wubila who appeared on two episodes of Good Times (“Thelma’s African Romance”, parts 1 and 2) that year. Thanks, Robin!