How popular is the baby name Jim in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Jim and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Jim.
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I’ve been trying to piece together the stories behind the baby names Karil and Caril lately. Both of them saw increased usage in 1958:
Usage of Karil
Usage of Caril
8 baby girls
15 baby girls
7 baby girls
19 baby girls [debut]
10 baby girls
The similar names Carol and Karen were popular in the late ’50s, but I think something more specific would have caused both Karil and Caril to pop up all of a sudden like that.
Right now I have two working theories, and both involve murders (how uplifting!).
The first theory is Caril Ann Fugate, the 14-year-old from Nebraska who went on a killing spree with her boyfriend, 19-year-old Charles Starkweather, in January of 1958. The story stayed in the news for months: Starkweather was sentenced to death in May, Fugate received a life sentence in November, and Starkweather’s execution took place in mid-1959.
The second theory is Karil Graham, a Los Angeles woman who was murdered in ’55 and whose story was recounted (with a lot of embellishment) in the 1958 nonfiction book The Badge by Jack Webb, the creator of Dragnet. In late 1958, many newspapers ran Jim Bishop’s positive review of the book, which included the following excerpt highlighting Karil:
The way it is with so many women who live alone, life had held back on Karil Graham. She was likable and attractive, still a year on the sunny side of 40, sandy-haired, blue-eyed, trim-figured. But there was no husband — a marriage hadn’t worked out — no children, no other man in her lonely life.
Karil hid the hurt and filled the emptiness as best she could. Every day she went to work, on time, to her job as receptionist at a downtown Los Angeles art school. Nights, in her quiet apartment, she listened to music and dabbled in painting. She was just a dilettante, she know resignedly, but records and easel were gracious cover-ups for emptiness.
Do either of these theories seem like the primary answer to you? Do you think the answer could be a bit of both? Or something else entirely…?
Bishop, Jim. “Jack Webb: Drama in the Prowl Car.” Salt Lake Tribune 26 Nov. 1958: 24.
Looking for an under-the-radar girl name with a retro feel?
A few years ago I combed though a bunch of IMDb pages looking for interesting female names associated with old films (1910s-1940s).
Most of the names I spotted — names like Mabel, Maisie, Hazel, Hattie, Elsie, Selma, Bessie, and Betty — were ones I expected to see. But I did manage to collect thousands of rarities, many of which have never appeared in the SSA data before.
Want to check out all these unusual names? I thought so! To make things interesting I’ll post the Z-names first and go backwards, letter by letter.
Zabette de Chavalons was a character played by actress Bebe Daniels in the film Volcano! (1926).
Zabie Elliot was a character played by actress Mary Alden in the film The Broken Butterfly (1919).
Zada L’Etoile was a character played by actress Sylvia Breamer in the Cecil B. DeMille-directed film We Can’t Have Everything (1918).
Zena Dare was an actress who appeared in films during the 1920s and 1930s. She was born in England in 1887. Zena Keefe was an actress who appeared in films during the 1910s and 1920s. She was born in California in 1898. Zena was also a character name in multiple films, including The Code of Honor (short, 1916) and The New York Peacock (1917).
Last month, a man in Louisiana named Jack Daniels (after the whiskey) named his newborn son Jim Beam (after the bourbon).
Jack Daniels Leathers and his wife Lydia welcomed baby Jim Beam on November 14. They came up with the name way back on their first date. (The guy who officiated at their wedding was named Judge Johnny Walker, btw.)
Jack Daniels says that, if he and Lydia have another baby, it’ll be named Evan Williams (another brand of bourbon) if a boy and Sherry if a girl.
This reminds me of Matthew McConaughey’s brother “Rooster” — actually Michael — who has kids named Miller Lyte and Margarita. It also reminds me of the Hawkins family: Budweiser, Falstaff, Jose Cuervo, etc.
The list was created by amateur genealogist G. M. Atwater as a resource for writers. It contains names and name combinations that were commonly seen in the U.S. from the 1840s to the 1890s. Below is the full list (with a few minor changes).
Victorian Era Female Names
Victorian Era Male Names
Abigale / Abby
Almira / Almyra
Ann / Annie
Dorothy / Dot
Elizabeth / Eliza / Liza / Lizzy / Bess / Bessie / Beth / Betsy
Singer Fergie and her husband, actor Josh Duhamel, recently welcomed a baby boy. They named him Axl Jack.
How did Fergie come up with the name Axl? Here’s what she told Ellen DeGeneres:
“I had this dream, and I was in the audience at the festival. It was outdoors and it was all grimy and nobody knew who I was,” the 38-year-old Black-Eyed Pea said. “On stage singing was Jim Morrison and then came Bob Marley and then Axl Rose. I was in heaven in this dream, and I’m dancing and just getting into the music.”
It was then that Fergie awoke, roused from her dream by the kick of her unborn son. (She and Duhamel welcomed Axl Jack into the world on Aug. 29.)
This immediately made me think of Easton August, daughter of actress Elisabeth Rohm. Easton’s name also came from a dream.
Here are the popularity graphs for Axl and Jack, if you want to see how these names are doing on the charts right now.
And, while we’re checking out graphs, here’s how Fergie — a Kids Incorporated alum, just like Martika — has influenced the name Fergie over the last few years.