Here are the most distinctively Canadian first names by decade, according to Canadian website The 10 and 3:
2010s: Zainab and Linden
2000s: Gurleen and Callum
1990s: Simran and Mathieu
1980s: Chantelle and Darcy
1970s: Josee and Stephane
1960s: Giuseppina and Luc
1950s: Heather and Giuseppe
1940s: Heather and Lorne
1930s: Isobel and Lorne
1920s: Gwendoline and Lorne
Did you know that Canada’s love of “Lorne” comes from the Marquess of Lorne, the British nobleman who served as Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883? To see more explanations, and also more names per decade, check out the source article.
The name I’m most curious about is Josée from the 1970s. It had a “Canadian factor” of 634.6 — larger than any other name in the study — but also had no explanation, and I can’t figure out the influence. Does anyone have a guess?
On September 11, 2001, members of the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda carried out four coordinated terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. The attacks killed nearly 3,000 people, most of whom died with the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York City.
New York City mayor Rudolph “Rudy” Giuliani was lauded for his leadership in the aftermath of the attacks. He made a number of appearances on TV* and radio. Oprah Winfrey dubbed him “America’s Mayor.”
On the last day of 2001, Time magazine declared Giuliani “Person of the Year.” (That day was also Giuliani’s last day as mayor, incidentally). Time said:
With the President out of sight for most of that day, Giuliani became the voice of America. Every time he spoke, millions of people felt a little better. His words were full of grief and iron, inspiring New York to inspire the nation. “Tomorrow New York is going to be here,” he said. “And we’re going to rebuild, and we’re going to be stronger than we were before…I want the people of New York to be an example to the rest of the country, and the rest of the world, that terrorism can’t stop us.”
And in 2002, we see the baby name Giuliani appear for the very first time in the SSA’s baby name data:
2002: 6 baby boys named Giuliani [debut]
Two other baby names that debuted around this time, Independence in 2001 and Patriot in 2002, were also likely given a boost by the events of 9/11.
*Later in September, Rudy Giuliani was featured in the Saturday Night Live “9/11 Tribute” (video) that memorably ended with this short exchange between Lorne Michaels and Giuliani: “Can we be funny?” “Why start now?”
The baby name Kebrina, in terms of cheesiness, does not disappoint.
It debuted on the SSA’s baby name list in 1979, and usage peaked in 1993:
1995: 7 baby girls name Kebrina
1994: 7 baby girls name Kebrina
1993: 50 baby girls name Kebrina
1992: 30 baby girls name Kebrina
1979: 5 baby girls name Kebrina [debut]
Kebrina Kinkade, the original “psychic to the stars.”
She was already hobnobbing with celebrities (David Hasselhoff, Bruce Jenner, Dick Van Patten, Lorne Greene, etc.) in the late 1970s, but it wasn’t until 1979, the year she appeared on several TV talk shows, that she achieved enough visibility to influence the baby name charts.
Her name did not make the charts during the ’80s, but it pops up in magazines and newspapers throughout the decade. She’s mentioned in a 1982 People article about a missing person investigation, for instance. (They misspelled her name Kabrina Kincaid.) She also came up in a 1987 newspaper article about how the predictions made by America’s “38 top astrologers and psychics” the year before were mostly incorrect.
Expectant parents didn’t take notice of her name again until the infomercial for “Kebrina’s Psychic Answer” — a psychic hotline that costed callers $3.99 per minute — started airing on television in 1992. The spot, hosted by actors Erik Estrada and Jenilee Harrison, ran until 1994.
I’m not sure what Kebrina Kinkade is up to these days, but I’m sure she’d be happy to know that she’s got dozens of namesakes. (I wonder if she could have predicted it…?)
What do you think of the name Kebrina?
Blodgett, Ralph. “A few hits, many misses in seers’ 1986 predictions.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 5 Jan. 1987: 17.
Gioia Diliberto, Gioia. “A Soldier Disappears, and His Family Launches a Nine-Year Investigation That Ends in Grief” People 11 Jan. 1982.