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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Laurie

Number of Babies Named Laurie

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Laurie

The Coming of Kimetha

bad seed, book, rhoda, 1950sThe name Kimetha appeared for the first time in the U.S. baby name data in 1955:

  • 1960: 5 baby girls named Kimetha
  • 1959: 16 baby girls named Kimetha
  • 1958: 16 baby girls named Kimetha
  • 1957: 9 baby girls named Kimetha
  • 1956: 20 baby girls named Kimetha
  • 1955: 15 baby girls named Kimetha
  • 1954: unlisted
  • 1953: unlisted

The influence? Child actress Kimetha Laurie.

She had appeared on television and in theater productions throughout the 1950s, but her most high-profile role was as sociopathic Rhoda Penmark in the play The Bad Seed (based on the classic thriller of the same name written by William March and published in 1954).

But, wait a minute…how is that right? We’ve all seen images of the little girl from in The Bad Seed. She was played by actress Patty McCormack — wearing those long blonde braids — in both the successful Broadway play (Dec. 1954 to Sept. 1955) and the equally successful movie (released Sept. 1956).

Ah, but in between the play and the film a touring company took the show on the road for 31 weeks. The first performance was in Delaware on December 1, 1955. In this production, Rhoda the “murderous moppet” was played by Kimetha Laurie — wearing long brunette braids. She had won the part of Rhoda “over 90 other applicants.”

So how did Kimetha Laurie come to have that name? Kimetha was her birth name, coined by her mother, who took “Kim” from her husband’s name (Arthur Kimble Ouerbacker) and added a fanciful ending. She began acting as Kimetha Ouerbacker, but soon switched to the easier-to-pronounce stage name Kimetha Laurie. (Laurie was a family name; the influence wasn’t Piper Laurie.)

A handful of girls born in 1955 and over the next few years got her full stage name, “Kimetha Laurie,” as their first and middle name. One example is Kimetha Laurie Ramler (b. 1959).

Two other baby names that debuted in the data around this time, Kennetha and Kenetha, may have showed up thanks to the combined influences of Kimetha and then-trendy Kenneth.

Do you like the name Kimetha?

Sources:

  • Alonso, Harriet Hyman. Robert E. Sherwood: The Playwright in Peace and War. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007.
  • “Did You Ever Dine With a Murderess?” Detroit Free Press 18 Jan. 1956: 22.
  • Kimetha Laurie – IBDb
  • Kimetha Laurie – IMDb
  • “Kimetha Laurie Won Out Over 90 Other Applicants for “The Bad Seed” Role.” Daily Boston Globe 11 Dec. 1955: A39A.
  • “Louisville Girl Has Starring Role With ‘Bad Seed’ Road Company.” Courier-Journal [Louisville, KY] 10 Nov. 1955: 10.
  • Monahan, Kaspar. “Chilling ‘Bad Seed’ Stars Nancy Kelly at Nixon Theater.” Pittsburgh Press 3 Jan. 1956: 12.
  • “Monster to Ingenue – Actress Gets Variety.” Cincinnati Enquirer 25 Nov. 1959: 11.

P.S. Like Tirrell, Kimetha also had a part on the soap opera Love of Life in the ’50s.

The Baby Name Kaleena

Kaleena in Love, Sidney
Love, Sidney characters Laurie, Sidney, and Patti
In October of 1981, NBC began airing a sitcom called Love, Sidney. It was the first show on American TV with a gay lead character (although Sidney’s homosexuality was largely downplayed).

Actors Tony Randall, Swoosie Kurtz and 8-year-old Kaleena Kiff played the three main characters Sidney, Laurie and Patti. Despite the ground-breaking nature of Randall’s character, it was Kiff who made the biggest impression on TV viewers (if you go by the baby name charts, at least).

The baby name Kaleena went from being given to fewer than 5 baby girls in 1980 to being given to dozens, then hundreds, of baby girls over the next few years:

  • 1986: 79 baby girls named Kaleena
  • 1985: 82 baby girls named Kaleena
  • 1984: 101 baby girls named Kaleena
  • 1983: 341 baby girls named Kaleena
  • 1982: 270 baby girls named Kaleena
  • 1981: 41 baby girls named Kaleena [debut]
  • 1980: unlisted (fewer than 5 baby girls)

The name Kalina also got a boost in the early ’80s.

Kaleena was fifth-highest debut of 1981, after Fallon, Toccara, Nastassia and Falon. Sixth through tenth were Yalitza, Natassia, Yuliana, Shiona, and a 5-way tie between Dynasty, Jadyn, Laiza, Shambrica and Tijwana.

What are your thoughts on the name Kaleena?

P.S. A name-related tweet from Kaleena Kiff herself: “Everyone on our set is called Fergus, Angus, or Fraser. I must be shooting in Glasgow. #LegendofBarney” That hashtag refers to the upcoming movie The Legend of Barney Thomson, which is set in Scotland and features a character by the name of Cemolina (played by Emma Thompson).

Older Siblings Vote for Baby’s Name

In early 1965, Marius and Anne Spada of Towaco, New Jersey, welcomed a baby boy — their 16th child. They didn’t give him a name, though. They had their older children vote on his name, pursuant to family tradition.

Of the 15 older children, 13 took part in the election. They were Anselm (19), Marie (18), Lucille (16), James (15), Jennifer (14), Victoria (13), twins Larry and Laurie (12), Patrick (9), Nicholas (8), Annette (7), Teresa (5) and Christopher (4). The two not taking part were Joseph (17) and Marius Jr. (2). Joseph was away on Army duty, and Marius Jr. was considered too young.

The parents had no say in the balloting. “We leave it entirely up to them,” Marius Sr. (44) told the papers. “I used to be able to sway the election, but I guess I’m too old now politically to carry much weight.”

The winning name was Dominick, with 11 votes. Marius Sr. explained that the name was inspired by “a priest, Father Dominick, who’s a friend of the family.” Runners-up were John and Anthony, with 1 vote each.

Source: “‘Decision of Lifetime’ Made by Youngsters.” Spokane Daily Chronicle 20 Jan. 1965: 27.

Baby Names (No Longer) Needed – Audrey, Noelle, Dalber

I’ve been trying to get in touch with the readers who sent me questions back in May and June, to see which names they ended up selecting.

So far I know that Lydia’s sister is named Audrey, Elise’s sister is named Noelle, and the botanical boy name is Dalber.

I’m still waiting to hear which girl names Darlene and Heather chose, and which boy names Laurie and Danielle picked.

Baby Name Needed – Name for Biracial Baby Boy

A reader named Laurie is trying to find a name for her baby boy:

I am white, my boyfriend is black. […] The problem is he does not want a “ghetto” baby name, but I don’t want a plain old “Matt or Jeff” name. He seems to be stuck on the name Martell but it reminds me of the name Martin…I hate it. He has now said he wants the name to end in -tell, as in “Dontell” (his brother). I am not creative enough to think of any names that end in -tell, please help me.

I couldn’t come up with many -tell names, either. But there are plenty of names that end with an L-sound, such as:

Abdul
Ansel
Axel
Cordell
Cornell
Darnell
Darrell
Denzel
Derrell
Donell
Durrell
Emmanuel
Ezekiel
Farrell
Ferrell
Gabriel
Harrell
Howell
Ishmael
Jamal
Jarrell
Jemuel
Jerrell
Joel
Khalil
Kordell
Latrell
Lemuel
Lindell
Lionel
Lowell
Lydell
Markell
Maxwell
Mitchell
Montel
Nathaniel
Nemuel
Newell
Nigel
Parnell
Phanuel
Randal
Roswell
Russell
Shamal
Shemuel
Terrell
Tyrel
Vernell
Wendell
Zuriel

Do any of you have other name suggestions or advice for Laurie?