Today we’ve got Lindola, an impressive one-hit wonder from 1940 that popped up with 13 baby girls…then disappeared just as suddenly.
1940: 13 baby girls named Lindola [debut]
I tried all the usual sources for the era (radio shows, music, comics, news stories, etc.) but came up with nothing.
One weird coincidence is that the name Lindola was in newspapers in mid-1937. It was given to a baby girl born in the Philippines during an earthquake (lindol means “earthquake” in Tagalog). But a 1937 news story wouldn’t have caused a 1940 name debut, at least not directly.
There does seem to be something regional about this one. Records suggest that a lot of the 1940 Lindolas were born in the Midwest and the (northern) South. For instance, here are the graves of Lindola Fulmer, born in Ohio, and Lindola Smith, born in Kansas.
The Social Security Administration’s annual baby name list only includes names given to 5 or more U.S. baby girls (or baby boys) per year.
Most rare names never make the list, but a select group have appeared a single time. I like to call these the one-hit wonder baby names.
One-hit wonders tend to pop up with a relatively low number of babies — 5 or 6 — but a handful are given to dozens of babies…only to disappear again the next year! Intriguing, no?
Below are the highest-charting one-hit wonder names for every year on record before 2013. (We won’t know which 2013 names are one-hit wonders until later lists come out.) The format is: “Girl name(s), number of baby girls; Boy name(s), number of baby boys.”
The East Coast’s mini-earthquake earlier today reminded me of a couple of baby name stories. Here’s the first:
In August of 1937, an earthquake struck the Philippines. A baby girl born in Manila’s Philippine General Hospital during the quake was named Lindola, “a Tagalog dialect word that means child of an earthquake.”
The Tagalog word lindol means “earthquake, temblor,” according to TagalogLang.com.