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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Laurabelle

Number of Babies Named Laurabelle

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Laurabelle

The Many Names in Dobie Gillis

The baby name Dobie debuted in the US baby name data in 1960.

Girl-crazy teenager Dobie Gillis was a character created by writer Max Shulman in the 1940s. He was first brought to life in the movie The Affairs of Dobie Gillis in 1953, but the most memorable portrayal of Dobie was by Dwayne Hickman in the four-season TV sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, which premiered in September of 1959.

Dobie Gillis is notable for being “the first prime-time series to consistently privilege teenage characters, activities, and spaces over those associated with family shows.”

It was also known for the unusual character names. Dobie (pronounced doh-bee, rhymes with Toby) had friends with names like:

  • Maynard (a beatnik played by Bob Denver, who later portrayed Gilligan)
  • Zelda (a brainiac played by Sheila James Kuehl, sister of Jeri Lou)
  • Thalia Menninger (a rich girl played by Tuesday Weld)

These “uncommon first names [were] evidently meant to seem vaguely silly in their failure to conform with ’50s norms.”

The show ended up influencing the usage of several baby names. First of all, it was behind the debut of the name Dobie in 1960:

  • 1964: 9 baby boys named Dobie
  • 1963: unlisted
  • 1962: 6 baby boys named Dobie
  • 1961: 8 baby boys named Dobie
  • 1960: 9 baby boys named Dobie [debut]
  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: unlisted

The name Thalia also saw a spike in usage in 1960, which makes sense because all but two of the episodes featuring Thalia Menninger were first-season (1959-1960) episodes. Dobie pronounced Thalia’s name thale-ya.

  • 1964: 46 baby girls named Thalia
  • 1963: 42 baby girls named Thalia
  • 1962: 42 baby girls named Thalia
  • 1961: 46 baby girls named Thalia
  • 1960: 90 baby girls named Thalia
  • 1959: 30 baby girls named Thalia
  • 1958: 24 baby girls named Thalia

Finally, the name Zelda saw elevated usage in the early ’60s:

  • 1964: 133 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1963: 171 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1962: 178 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1961: 168 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1960: 136 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1959: 142 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1958: 131 baby girls named Zelda

Fun fact: Zelda — who pursued Dobie as ardently as Dobie pursued all other females — once convinced a girl named Phyllis to break it off with Dobie by warning her that her married name would be “Phyllis Gillis.”

Many of the secondary and single-episode characters had unusual names as well. Here are some examples:

Aphrodite
Arabella
Aristede
Blossom
Bruno
Bubbles
Chatsworth
Clothilde
Clydene
Drusilla
Esmond
Glynis
Imogene
Jethro
Kermit
Laurabelle
Leander
Maribelle
Mignonne
Poppy
Riff

Do you like any of the above Dobie Gillis names? How about the name “Dobie” itself?

Sources:

  • Kearney, Mary C. “Teenagers and Television in the United States.” Museum of Broadcast Communications Encyclopedia of Television, ed. by Horace Newcomb, 2nd ed., New York: Routledge, 2013, pp. 2276-2281.
  • Sterritt, David. Mad to be Saved: The Beats, the ’50s, and Film. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1998.
  • The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (TV Series 1959–1963) – IMDb

Alternatives to Isabella, Arabella, Annabella

You love the names Isabella, Arabella and Annabella, but you want something…else. Are there any other other 4-syllable -bella names out there?

Yes, many! They don’t have the long history Isabella has–most are modern inventions–but they are being used more and more often nowadays, thanks to Isabella’s newfound popularity.

For more inspiration, here are some -belle names that were used/invented during the early 20th century, according to SSA data. (Parents were as creative with -belle names back then as they are with -bella names today!) I think many of the below would work well with a -bella ending.

Finally, two more names that are so rare, they’ve never appeared on any SSA baby name list (i.e., they’ve been given to fewer than 5 baby girls per year since 1880).

  • Dulcibella. It was spelled Dowsabel or Dousabel in medieval times. The name was also used as a synonym for sweetheart; The World Book Dictionary defines dowsabel/dousabel as “a common name for a rustic sweetheart in old pastoral poems.” So now, of course, we all have to start calling our sweethearts “dowsabels.” :)
  • Harrybelle. It was the name of war nurse Harrybelle Durant Stark (1891-1937), the last official casualty of World War I,

Can you think of any other -bella or -belle names? Or, can you invent any? (Let’s see…how about Hannabella? Or Jennabella?)

UPDATE, 3/22/16: Similar names from other posts: Leotabel, Marjabelle, Susybelle, Trixabelle, Twylabelle.