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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Jilla


Posts that Mention the Name Jilla

Interesting One-Hit Wonder Baby Names

They came, they went, and they never came back!

These baby names are one-hit wonders in the U.S. baby name data. That is, they’ve only popped up once, ever, in the entire dataset of U.S. baby names (which accounts for all names given to at least 5 U.S. babies per year since 1880).

There are thousands of one-hit wonders in the dataset, but the names below have interesting stories behind their single appearance, so these are the one-hits I’m writing specific posts about. Just click on a name to read more. (Names that aren’t links yet have posts coming soon!)

1890s

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  • (none yet)

As I discover (and write about) more one-hit wonders in the data, I’ll add names/links to this page. In the meanwhile, do you have any favorite one-hit wonder baby names?

P.S. If this content looks familiar, that’s because you’ve seen it before! I’ve just put it in a new spot. :)

From Norma to Jill

norma, jill, 1950s, name change
Her name was changed from Norma to Jill.

Speaking of yesterday’s name, Jilla

In late 1953, an 18-year-old Italian-American girl from Pennsylvania named Norma Jean Speranza was the subject of a photographic essay in Life. She was “a small-town singer” about to get her big break. But she wouldn’t get that big break without adopting a stage name:

She even had to give up her name, for the people who are supposed to know best about those things decided she should be Norma Speranza no longer. From now on she would be Jill Corey.

As Jill Corey, she put out singles and appeared regularly on TV throughout the ’50s. Her biggest hit was the 1957 song “Love Me to Pieces.”

(She also had another name: Scarpo. It was a childhood nickname that referred to her big feet. Scarpa means “shoe” in Italian.)

Source: Parks, Gordon. “From Speranza to Corey.” Life 9 Nov. 1953.
Image: © 1953 Life

Where did the baby name Jilla come from?

Jilla Webb, singer, 1950s

The uncommon baby name Jilla appeared for the first and only time in the U.S. baby name data in 1951:

  • 1953: unlisted
  • 1952: unlisted
  • 1951: 6 baby girls named Jilla
  • 1950: unlisted
  • 1949: unlisted

No doubt it was put there by American jazz/pop vocalist Jilla Webb, who was at the peak of her fame in the early 1950s. She recorded on the MGM label and regularly performed with the Harry James Orchestra.

Below is a 1958 recording of Jilla Webb singing with Harry James. (The video ought to start at 11:50, when Jilla first comes in.)

Though the similar name Jill was very trendy in the early ’50s — it reached the top 100 by the end of the decade (and stayed there for nearly 30 years) — Jilla remained a mere one-hit wonder.

Do you like the name Jilla? Now that Willa is on the rise, do you think Jilla could catch on as a variant?

P.S. Jilla Webb’s daughter is also a professional singer who goes by the name Jilla Webb.