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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Katina

Number of Babies Named Katina

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Katina

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!

The Trendiest Baby Names of All Time?

I’m no stats whiz, but Nathan Yau of FlowingData and David Taylor of Prooffreader are, and each has taken a stab at determining/ranking the trendiest baby names of all time in the U.S.

The FlowingData list of trendiest baby names was published last year. Nathan analyzed girl names and boy names separately. Here are his top 5 for each gender:

Trendiest Girl Names Trendiest Boy Names
1. Catina
2. Deneen
3. Aaliyah
4. Allisson
5. Katina
1. Jalen
2. Tevin
3. Elian
4. Demond
5. Mcarthur

The Prooffreader list of trendiest baby names was published earlier this month. David analyzed all the names together (his overall top 100 was 80% girl names, 20% boy names). Here are his top 5 for each gender (with placement on the original list in parentheses):

Trendiest Girl Names Trendiest Boy Names
1. Linda (#1)
2. Brittany (#3)
3. Debra (#4)
4. Shirley (#5)
5. Ashley (#6)
1. Dewey (#2)
2. Jason (#11)
3. Grover (#15)
4. Mark (#20)
5. Woodrow (#30)

Click through and check out their full lists. Then come back and tell me which list/methodology you prefer, and why.

Biggest Baby Name Debuts of All Time: Girls, 30 to 21

biggest baby name debuts of all time, girl names, 30 to 21

And now for the third installment of the top baby name debuts for girls.

From 30 to 21:

Aideliz, Rosangelica & Unnamed, 3-way tie for #30

  • Aideliz debuted with 91 baby girls in 2008.
    Inspired by Aideliz Hidalgo, a contestant on the TV beauty pageant “Nuestra Belleza Latina 2008.”
  • Rosangelica debuted with 91 baby girls in 1993.
    Inspired by Rosangelica, a character on the telenovela “Rosangelica.”
  • Unnamed debuted with 91 baby girls in 1989.
    No inspiration; possibly related to the great baby name glitch of 1989.

Alliyah, #29

  • Alliyah debuted with 94 baby girls in 1994.
    Inspired by singer Aaliyah.

Greydis & Sharday, 2-way tie for #28

  • Greydis debuted with 100 baby girls in 2009.
    Inspired by Greydis Gil, winner of the TV beauty pageant “Nuestra Belleza Latina 2009.”
  • Sharday debuted with 100 baby girls in 1985.
    Inspired by singer Sade [shah-DAY].

Torey, #27

  • Torey debuted with 102 baby girls in 1959.
    Inspired by the TV sitcom “Peck’s Bad Girl.”

Tennille, #26

  • Tennille debuted with 103 baby girls in 1975.
    Inspired by the duo Captain & Tennille.

Izamar, #25

  • Izamar debuted with 107 baby girls in 1990.
    Inspired by Isamar Medina, a character on the telenovela “La Revancha.”

Kelis, #24

  • Kelis debuted with 108 baby girls in 2000.
    Inspired by singer Kelis.

Cotina, #23

  • Cotina debuted with 109 baby girls in 1972.
    Inspired by Katina, a character on the soap opera “Where the Heart Is.”

Jaleesa, #22

  • Jaleesa debuted with 116 baby girls in 1987.
    Inspired by Jaleesa Vinson, a character on the TV sitcom “A Different World.”

Turkessa, #21

  • Turkessa debuted with 119 baby girls in 1975.
    Inspired by Turkessa (b. 1975), baby of Supremes singer Mary Wilson.

The final two groups of ten are coming up tomorrow and Friday. Stay tuned!

*The Top 50 Baby Name Debuts for Girls: 50-41, 40-31, 30-21, 20-11, 10-1*

The Demise of the Baby Name Hillary

Hilary Parker’s recent post on the 14 most “poisoned” baby names reminded me that I haven’t yet written about the demise of the baby name Hillary. (Or Hilary. Or Chelsea.)

So let’s travel back to 1992 for a minute.

In mid-July, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton was selected as the Democratic candidate for the presidency. His wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea were now in the national spotlight.

In early November, Bill managed to beat Republican incumbent George H. W. Bush to become the 42nd president of the United States. Hillary and Chelsea would now stay in the national spotlight.

And in late November, a few weeks after the election, the Miami Herald printed this:

Now that the Clinton women are set to move into the White House, both names are becoming more popular among new parents.

For the first time, Chelsea has cracked the top 10 list of the most popular girl names in Florida. Name expert Leonard R. N. Ashley, a Brooklyn College professor, said he expects Hillary to also catch on.

[…]

The popularity of Chelsea, on the rise long before the presidential pre-teen made her Democratic convention appearance, is likely to get a boost from the first family pedigree, Ashley said.

The “name expert” got it wrong, of course.

Hillary did not catch on. Nor did Chelsea. Both names had been on the rise, but usage dropped significantly after 1992.

Here are the spikes, both graphically and numerically:

The Baby Name Hillary

Baby Name Hillary - Drop in Popularity After 1992
The Baby Name Hillary
  • 1994: 408 baby girls named Hillary [rank: 566th]
  • 1993: 1,064 baby girls named Hillary [rank: 261st]
  • 1992: 2,522 baby girls named Hillary [rank: 132nd]
  • 1991: 1,789 baby girls named Hillary [rank: 166th]
  • 1990: 1,523 baby girls named Hillary [rank: 192nd]

That’s a 58% drop from 1992 to 1993. Hillary fell so low that it got pushed out of the top 1,000 entirely for two years (2002 and 2003).

The Baby Name Hilary

Baby Name Hilary - Drop in Popularity After 1992
The Baby Name Hilary
  • 1994: 145 baby girls named Hilary [rank: 1,208th]
  • 1993: 343 baby girls named Hilary [rank: 651st]
  • 1992: 1,171 baby girls named Hilary [rank: 233rd]
  • 1991: 1,148 baby girls named Hilary [rank: 243rd]
  • 1990: 1,216 baby girls named Hilary [rank: 232nd]

A 71% drop from 1992 to 1993. Hilary was out of the top 1,000 by 1994 and hasn’t been back since. (Hilary Parker says the name Hilary is “clearly the most poisoned.”)

The Baby Name Chelsea

Baby Name Chelsea - Drop in Popularity After 1992
The Baby Name Chelsea
  • 1994: 7,713 baby girls named Chelsea [rank: 38th]
  • 1993: 11,288 baby girls named Chelsea [rank: 25th]
  • 1992: 16,176 baby girls named Chelsea [rank: 15th]
  • 1991: 13,508 baby girls named Chelsea [rank: 18th]
  • 1990: 12,782 baby girls named Chelsea [rank: 24th]

The drop here isn’t as dramatic — just 30% — but Chelsea was out of the top 100 by 1999. It currently ranks 222nd.

Why?

Why did the name Hillary slip after Hillary Clinton became a fixture in the White House?

Because she violated gender norms — that’s my guess.

Hillary Clinton, 1992

Hillary Clinton was a new kind of First Lady. She was a lawyer, a businesswoman, a scholar and an activist. She was the first First Lady with an earned (vs. honorary) post-graduate degree, and the first to have her own professional career.

But, instead of being praised for her intelligence and ambition, she was criticized for it.

Just two months after the inauguration, Anna Quindlen of the New York Times made note of the double standard:

Maybe some of our daughters took notice of how Hillary Clinton was seen as abrasive, power-hungry and unfeminine when to some of us she seemed merely smart, outspoken and hard-working. Maybe they saw the masquerade and recognized intuitively the age-old message about how much more attractive women are when they are domestic, soft, contented, the message aimed over the years at Susan B. Anthony, Margaret Sanger, Eleanor Roosevelt and many, many others.

To expectant parents, it didn’t matter that Hillary Clinton was smart and successful. They began avoiding the name Hillary in 1993 because the First Lady — the most high-profile Hillary in the nation — was making her name seem “unfeminine.”

Do you agree? Disagree?

P.S. What are the 13 other “poisoned” names? The 9 to drop since the 1960s are Ashanti, Catina, Deneen, Farrah, Iesha, Infant, Katina, Khadijah and Renata. The other four — Celestine, Clementine, Dewey and Minna — are from the 1800s, a time when SSA data wasn’t too reliable.

Sources:

The Katina Spike – Caused by a Soap Opera?

The baby name Cotina was a top debut name in 1972, coming out of nowhere to be given to an impressive 109 baby girls that year:

  • 1978: unlisted
  • 1977: 6 baby girls named Cotina
  • 1976: 5 baby girls named Cotina
  • 1975: 13 baby girls named Cotina
  • 1974: 33 baby girls named Cotina
  • 1973: 65 baby girls named Cotina
  • 1972: 109 baby girls named Cotina [debut]
  • 1971: unlisted

But that’s not all. The popularity of similar names — most notably Katina — spiked in ’72 as well:

Name 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975
Katina 96 2,747 2,469 766 506
Catina 15 1,370 1,236 329 174
Contina 209 124 36 27
Cotina 109 65 33 13
Katena 27 28
Kateena 22 13 5
Cantina 17 15 7
Catena 15 8 5
Kattina 15
Kotina 12 8
Katyna 11
Cateena 10 9
Kontina 10
Kantina 9 6 5
Katinna 7 6
Cattina 6 9
Catinna 11

Why?

It took me a while to come up with a decent theory for this one, as the only person the search engines kept directing me to was Greek actress Katina Paxinou (1900-1973).

where the heart is
Katina’s mother, Christine
Where The Heart Is
I was stuck until, in a decades-old Village Voice article, I spotted a reference to a fictional soap-opera baby named Katina. She was “born” in early 1972 on the CBS soap Where the Heart Is (1969-1973).

Expectant parents tend to pay particular attention to TV babies, and soap operas have historically influenced baby name rankings quite a bit, so the double-whammy of a baby born on a soap opera must have had some sort of impact.

Then again, I can’t explain why the variant “Contina” jumped so much higher than, say, “Katena” or “Kateena,” which are much more Katina-like. So perhaps I’m missing something.

Does anyone out there remember Where the Heart Is? Do you think the soap was popular enough to have started a short-lived Katina craze in the early ’70s?