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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Kalene

Number of Babies Named Kalene

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Kalene

What Caused the Kalene Spike of ’93?

A couple of months ago, I got an email from someone who wanted to know why the baby name Kalene saw so much usage all of a sudden in 1993.

usage of baby name kalene spiked in 1993

That year, the name reached the the top 1,000 for the first and only time. So did Kaylene.

Other Kalene-like names also saw higher usage in 1993, and at least one of them (Kaylean) was a newbie in the data.

Year Kalene Kaylene Kayleen
1995 41 110 147
1994 85 144 157
1993 204 [peak] 197 [peak] 163
1992 24 91 119
1991 7 77 139

I’d figured out the causes of similar spikes for similar names (Kaleena, Kaelin, Katina), but hadn’t gotten around to Kalene yet.

So I did some research. And I didn’t come up with anything useful until I found myself on the Kalene page of a random baby name site where several people happened to mention the same Hooked on Phonics commercial:

  • “…I seen a Hooked on Phonics Commercial…”
  • “…my mom got it off of the hooked on phonics commercial…”
  • “…I too saw the name on the Hooked On Phonics commercial…”
  • “…My mom got it off the commercial in the 1990’s…”
  • …”My mom named me Kalene because she saw it on tv…”
  • “…my name was originally Christie but my mom saw a ‘hooked on phonics’ commercial about a month after i was born and she changed my name…”

One of my favorite things ever is discovering cheesy pop culture enshrined in the baby name data (excellent example: Kebrina), so finding out that a Hooked on Phonics commercial influenced U.S. baby names was pretty epic for me.

Is this Kalene??
Since that point, I’ve been searching for that specific Hooked on Phonics commercial featuring Kalene.

On YouTube I found a segment of a Hooked on Phonics commercial with a Cindy Brady-esque little girl (at right). She seemed promising…but the segment didn’t include her name on-screen.

That said, I did find a discussion thread from the 1990s — a cool piece of internet history in and of itself — that independently verified the existence of a Hooked on Phonics commercial featuring a girl named Kalene. So that was helpful.

(The search for a decades-old commercial is reminding me of our adventures with Deneen.)

So I’m not sure whether or not we’ve found Kalene yet, but one of the other Hooked on Phonics commercials I saw spotlighted a girl named Kia:

hooked on phonics, kia, 1993
“Hooked on Phonics” Kia

And, like Kalene, the name Kia saw its highest-ever usage in 1993, reaching 648th place in the national rankings. (The first Kia cars that were sold in the U.S. weren’t available until early 1994.)

  • 1995: 211 baby girls named Kia
  • 1994: 229 baby girls named Kia
  • 1993: 344 baby girls named Kia
  • 1992: 247 baby girls named Kia
  • 1991: 253 baby girls named Kia

…So now we have two Hooked on Phonics-influenced baby names. Amazing.

Question of the Day: Do you remember any other names from old Hooked on Phonics commercials? The company was advertising heavily on TV back in the 1990s — that much I remember — but I can’t recall any specific names from the commercials. Please leave a comment if you can think of any!

One-Hit Wonder Baby Names from the 1990s

Many unusual baby names popped up during the 1990s — here are the one-hit wonders from that decade:

Girl Names

  • Adilene – ranked 984th in 1994
  • Alannah – ranked 936th in 1990 (influence: singer Alannah Myles)
  • Baylie – ranked 989th in 1997
  • Brianda – ranked 777th in 1992
  • Clarisa – ranked 665th in 1994 (influence: TV show Clarissa Explains it All)
  • Coraima – ranked 874th in 1993 (influence: actress Coraima Torres)
  • Crysta – ranked 965th in 1993
  • Daijah – ranked 976th in 1996
  • Deyanira – ranked 947th in 1993
  • Ieshia – ranked 718th in 1991 (influence: ABC song “Iesha”)
  • Iridian – ranked 889th in 1995
  • Jasmyne – ranked 991st in 1993
  • Jaycie – ranked 963rd in 1996 (influence: gymnast Jaycie Phelps)
  • Julisa – ranked 731st in 1997 (influence: variant of Julissa)
  • Kalene – ranked 927th in 1993
  • Kanesha – ranked 951st in 1990
  • Kaylene – ranked 967th in 1993
  • Keanna – ranked 910th in 1995
  • Kyara – ranked 928th in in 1999
  • Meranda – ranked 1000th in 1994
  • Micayla – ranked 950th in 1997
  • Miesha – ranked 998th in 1991
  • Miriah – ranked 948th in 1991
  • Nohely – ranked 896th in 1994
  • Shae – ranked 925th in 1998
  • Shaniece – ranked 937th in 1992
  • Shannen – ranked 893rd in 1993
  • Shaquana – ranked 919th in 1991
  • Shawnee – ranked 871st in 1992
  • Tatyanna – ranked 952nd in in 1999
  • Tiesha – ranked 925th in 1991
  • Yamilex – ranked 707th in 1996 (influence: telenovela Como tu, ninguna)
  • Yulisa – ranked 988th in 1997 (influence: variant of Julissa)
  • Yulissa – ranked 424th in 1997 (influence: variant of Julissa)

Boy Names

  • Arman – ranked 980th in 1999
  • Christion – ranked 988th in 1998
  • Coleton – ranked 907th in 1997
  • Colter – ranked 997th in 1992
  • Damarcus – ranked 995th in 1995
  • Davonta – ranked 918th in 1992
  • Devaughn – ranked 924th in 1993
  • Dijon – ranked 916th in 1991
  • Dustyn – ranked 1000th in 1995
  • Jacquez – ranked 864th in 1998
  • Jajuan – ranked 983rd in 1997
  • Jelani – ranked 932nd in 1998 (influence: basketball player Jelani McCoy)
  • Keandre – ranked 957th in 1997
  • Keifer – ranked 924th in 1991 (influence: actor Kiefer Sutherland)
  • Keion – ranked 870th in 1996
  • Kenan – ranked 968th in 1997
  • Khari – ranked 853rd in 1994
  • Miguelangel – ranked 965th in 1998
  • Mykel – ranked 869th in 1990
  • Raquan – ranked 879th in 1996
  • Rashaan – ranked 938th in 1995
  • Shyheim – ranked 817th in 1994 (influence: rapper Shyheim)
  • Tavian – ranked 862nd in 1998
  • Tyreese – ranked 892nd in 1999 (influence: singer Tyrese)
  • Tyreke – ranked 739th in 1999
  • Tyrik – ranked 895th in 1998
  • Tyrin – ranked 942nd in 1994

Want more one-hit wonders? Here are…