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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Kookie

Number of Babies Named Kookie

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Kookie

Pop Culture Baby Names: Efrem & Zimbalist

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
Spotting Zimbalist on the SSA’s baby name list was a lot like spotting Arbutus: I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it the first time I saw it.

The baby name Zimbalist has only ever made the list twice:

  • 1973: unlisted
  • 1972: 5 baby boys named Zimbalist
  • 1962-1971: unlisted
  • 1961: 8 baby boys named Zimbalist [debut]
  • 1960: unlisted

Where does it come from?

Actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., who starred in the popular TV shows 77 Sunset Strip (1958-1964) and The F.B.I. (1965-1974).

The movie By Love Possessed (1961), which featured Zimbalist along with actress Lana Turner, may be what caused that initial 1961 debut.

His first name, Efrem, saw increased usage as soon as 77 Sunset Strip started airing:

  • 1962: 55 baby boys named Efrem
  • 1961: 83 baby boys named Efrem
  • 1960: 56 baby boys named Efrem
  • 1959: 85 baby boys named Efrem
  • 1958: 8 baby boys named Efrem
  • 1957: unlisted

Efrem is a Russian version of the Hebrew name Ephraim, which means “fruitful,” while Zimbalist is a Jewish surname that originally referred to someone who played a tsimbl, a musical instrument in the dulcimer family.

Which do you like better as a first name, Efrem or Zimbalist?

P.S. Kookie was another 77 Sunset Strip-inspired debut.


Embarrassing Baby Names

Embarrassing baby names like Bland, Gross, Ham, Strange, Mutt and Oral.

Embarrassing Baby Names

Many of these have pop culture explanations. The ones I’ve blogged about so far are Bimbo, Chubby, Kookie, Twig, and Velveeta.

Here are some of the baby names that didn’t make the cut: Boomer, Bub, Bubber, Calamity, Cookie, Dainty, Danger, Demon, Fancy, Fester, Jinx, Less, Little, Manly, Notorious, Phuc, Pleasure, Rage, Riot, Savage, Sherlock, Sparky, Tarzan, Tiny.

If you know people who like baby name humor, please share!

See also: Overconfident Baby Names.

Pop Culture Baby Name: Kookie

Before there was Fonzie, there was Kookie.

Kookie
Kookie

Kookie was a hipster played by Edward Byrnes on the detective show 77 Sunset Strip (1958-1964). He worked as a valet parking attendant at the club next door to the detectives’ office. The character quickly became a cultural phenomenon:

Constantly combing his glossy, duck-tailed hair and speaking in what was called ‘jive talk’, Gerald Lloyd Kookson III – ‘Kookie’ to his friends — helped Stu and Jeff out on their cases and stole the show. Teenage girls went wild for Kookie and his fan mail reached 10,000 letters a week. A glossary was issued for those who wanted to learn his language which included such young dude phrases as, ‘let’s exitville’ (let’s go), ‘out of print’ (from another town), ‘piling up the Z’s’ (sleeping), ‘a dark seven’ (a depressing week) and ‘headache grapplers’ (aspirin) – all soon copied by youth worldwide.

This popularity led to Kookie-branded merchandise, including “Kookie’s Comb.”

Kookie's Comb
Kookie’s Comb

It also led to Edward Byrnes’ hit novelty song “Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb” (1959), a duet with Connie Stevens that reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

But I didn’t know any of this when I spotted Kookie on the SSA’s 1959 baby name list:

Until I did some research, I thought it was just a variant of Cookie.

Alas, the baby name Kookie did not stick around; it was a one-hit wonder. But Edward Byrnes went on to appear in many other TV shows and films, most notably Grease (1978).

In 2005, TV Guide ranked the top 25 teen idols of all time. Edward “Kookie” Byrnes came in 5th. (John Travolta came in 3rd. Michael J. Fox came in 23rd.)

Source: Lewis, Jon E. and Penny Stempel. Cult TV: The Essential Critical Guide. London: Pavilion Books, 1996.