How popular is the baby name Jeanne in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Jeanne and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Jeanne.
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Tara, Maeve, and many of the other Irish names used in the U.S. today weren’t popularized by Irish immigrants. Instead, they gained traction after being introduced to the public via movies, television, and other types of pop culture.
Siobhan is no different. But it’s also a special case, because Americans heard about the name before they saw it written down. The result? The Irish spelling made a splash on the U.S. baby name charts…but only after a phonetic respelling made a similar splash. In fact, the misspelled version and the correctly spelled version were consecutive top girl name debuts in the mid-1950s.
So who’s the person behind the launch of Siobhan? Irish actress Siobhán McKenna (1923-1986).
In 1955, McKenna was nominated for a Tony for her role as Miss Madrigal in the play The Chalk Garden by Enid Bagnold (who had written National Velvet two decades earlier). The same year, the name Shevawn debuted in the U.S. data:
The next year, Siobhán McKenna impressed audiences with her portrayal of Joan of Arc in the George Bernard Shaw play Saint Joan. Her popularity in this role earned her the cover of LIFE magazine in September. Next to her image was her name, Siobhan, spelled correctly (but missing the fada). Right on cue, the name Siobhan debuted in the data:
1960: 90 baby girls named Siobhan
1959: 85 baby girls named Siobhan
1958: 54 baby girls named Siobhan
1957: 67 baby girls named Siobhan
1956: 58 baby girls named Siobhan [debut]
Once U.S. parents learned how to spell “Siobhan,” the alternative spellings became less common, though they remained in use.
Siobhan was boosted into the top 1,000 in 1979 and remained popular during the 1980s thanks to the soap opera Ryan’s Hope, which introduced a character named Siobhan in 1978.
It’s rather fitting that Siobhán McKenna was best known for playing Saint Joan, as both “Siobhán” and “Joan” were derived from the name Jeanne, which is French feminine form of John (meaning “Yahweh is gracious”).
How do you feel about the name Siobhan? If you were going to use it, how would you spell it?
In 1992, Leeds United superfans Jeanne and Andrew Cazaux welcomed a baby boy. They named him “Dominic Andrew Lukic Newsome Fairclough Whyte Dorigo McAllister Batty Strachan Speed Chapman Cantona Cazaux” after the following Leeds players:
So which team does Dominic root for these days? Arsenal. “I think I chose Arsenal mainly to rebel,” he said. “I was only about eight years old and it was just one of those things you do to go against your parents. They were disappointed but said that it was my choice.”
Jacquemin: Jacquemin, brother of Jeanne d’Arc, was born in France in the early 15th century.
Jettabee: Radio scriptwriter Jettabee Ann Hopkins was born in Nebraska in 1905.
Lianella: Film actress Lianella Carell was born in Italy in 1927.
Limbania: St. Limbania was born in Cyprus in the 13th century. The Philadelphia Art Museum has a painting of Saint Limbania (1725).
Lodusky: Lodusky Jerusha Taylor was born in Minnesota in 1856. (According to Cleveland Kent Evans, the name Lodusky was derived from the literature name Lodoïska, which may have been inspired by Louise. The title character in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s book Lodusky (1877) went by the nickname “Dusk.”)