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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Marlon

Number of Babies Named Marlon

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Marlon

The Movie-Star Baby Name Franchot

Franchot Tone, 1930s
Franchot Tone
Uniquely named female film stars were inspiring debuts on the baby name charts as early as the 1910s, starting with Francelia in 1912.

But the first male film star to inspire a baby name debut didn’t come along until the 1930s.

That film star was actor Franchot Tone. He shot to fame in 1933, the year he appeared in seven films — including one with Jean Harlow, another with Loretta Young, and two with Joan Crawford (his future wife).

The name Franchot debuted on the SSA’s baby name list the very next year:

  • 1938: 7 baby boys named Franchot
  • 1937: 10 baby boys named Franchot
  • 1936: 21 baby boys named Franchot
  • 1935: 6 baby boys named Franchot
  • 1934: 9 baby boys named Franchot [debut]
  • 1933: unlisted

In fact, it was one of the top baby name debuts of 1934.

The usage of Franchot peaked in 1936, the year Tone appeared in the very successful 1935 film Mutiny on the Bounty. (Movita, Marlon Brando’s future wife, was also in the film.)

Franchot Tone’s birth name was Stanislaus Pascal Franchot Tone. Franchot, pronounced fran-cho, was his mother’s maiden name. It’s one of the many names (and surnames) that can be traced back to the Late Latin Franciscus, meaning “Frankish” or “Frenchman.”

What do you think of the baby name Franchot?

Source: Franchot Tone – Wikipedia

Babies Named after Oprah’s Boyfriend?

StedmanAccording to Wikipedia, Stedman Graham is an “educator, author, businessman and speaker.” But without Wikipedia’s help, how would you describe Stedman? That’s right: “Oprah’s boyfriend.”

Oprah began dating Stedman in mid-1986, a few months before The Oprah Winfrey Show premiered. We’ve already seen how the baby name Oprah debuted on the national list that year, but did you know that the talk show gave the baby name Stedman a boost as well?

  • 1991: 28 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1990: 38 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1989: 82 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1988: 29 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1987: 20 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1986: unlisted

Not only did Stedman reappear on the national baby name list in 1987 after a 48-year absence, but the variant names Steadman, Stedmen, Stedmon and Stedmond all followed suit in 1988.

Stedman on Oprah, 1989
Stedman on Oprah, 1989
And what accounts for the Stedman spike of 1989?

In February of that year, Stedman appeared as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show for the first time. The episode was about “men who marry or date famous women, and how they cope with it.” The other guests were actress Susan Lucci and her husband Helmut, and singer Barbara Mandrell and her husband Ken. (Here’s the episode, if you want to watch.)

While usage of the name Stedman has tapered off since 1989, the relationship between Oprah and Stedman is still going strong nearly 3 decades later. They attended the Oscars together last month, in fact.

Stedman is one several “significant other” baby names I’ve spotted on the SSA’s baby name list so far. Others include Josanne, Movita and Tarita (all associated with Marlon Brando), Syreeta and Londie (both associated with Stevie Wonder), Loray and Altovise (both associated with Sammy Davis, Jr.), Kayatana (girlfriend of Flip Wilson), Marva (first wife of Joe Louis) and Sonji (first wife of Muhammad Ali). Stedman is unique, though, in that it’s a male name that was popularized by a famous female — not a common scenario, it seems.

Sources: Stedman Graham – Wikipedia, Oprah’s Beau Drops In Her Main Squeeze Meets Star’s Tv ‘Family’

820 Babies Named Jorel After Superman’s Father

Marlon Brando as Jor-El
Marlon Brando as Jor-El
Superman’s father, Kryptonian scientist Jor-El, first made his appearance in Superman comics in 1938.

But most people probably didn’t know about the character until the movie Superman came out forty years later, in 1978.

In the movie, Jor-El is played by none other than Marlon Brando.

Despite the fact that the film was released in December, Superman became the second highest-grossing film of 1978. (The highest-grossing film, Grease, came out in June.)

Right on cue, the name Jorel popped up on the SSA’s baby name list for the first time in 1979. And the name has been on the list every year since, for a grand total of 820 baby boys named Jorel. (The SSA omits hyphens, so there’s no telling just how many of these Jorels write their name “Jor-El.”)

Usage of the name peaked in the mid-1980s, then started petering out…until the early 2000s, when it bounced back. Why? Perhaps the combined influence of the TV show Smallville (2001-2011) and the film Superman Returns (2006).

And the name may climb even higher in 2013, thanks to the movie Man of Steel, which has been playing in theaters for a couple of months now. Russell Crowe plays Jor-El in this one.

What’s your opinion of the name Jor-El?

Jordache – The Baby Name Inspired by Designer Jeans

Young people have been wearing jeans since the 1950s, thanks to the influence of jeans-wearing movie stars like Marlon Brando, James Dean and Paul Newman.

But designer jeans didn’t catch on until the late 1970s.

Designer jeans, made for the dance floor and the roller-disco rink, were tighter, sexier, and more sophisticated. Their hallmarks were instantly recognizable: a covetable name and logo on the back pocket, a high price, and a curve-hugging fit.

And what brand went on to become one of the most popular designer jean brands of the 1980s?


Jordache Logo
Jordache Logo

The Jordache Jeans label was created in New York City in 1978 by Israeli brothers Josef (Joe), Raphael (Ralph) and Abraham (Avi) Nakash.

The word Jordache was created from the “Jo” of Joe, the “R” of Ralph, the “D” of David (Ralph’s eldest son), the “A” of Avi, and sh-sound of Nakash.

The brothers had built up a small chain of stores selling brand-name jeans at discounted prices during the ’70s, but during the New York City blackout of 1977, their largest store was looted and burned down. With the insurance settlement, they decided to start manufacturing their own jeans.

But designer jeans by Calvin Klein, Gloria Vanderbilt, Chic, Sergio Valente, Sasson, Zena, Bon Jour, and others were already on the market. To differentiate themselves, the bothers launched a controversial advertising campaign for Jordache Jeans in January of 1979.

Banned by all three major television networks at first, the 1979 30-second spot featured a topless model on horseback clad only in Jordache and accompanied by the jingle “You’ve got the look I want to know better.”

The ad may have been too lewd for the big networks, “but the independent New York stations carried it, and within weeks Jordache was a hit among teenage girls.”

And so, by the start of the 1980s, Jordache was huge.

How huge?

So huge that it became a baby name.

Jordache first popped up on the SSA’s baby name list in 1980:

  • 1985: 5 baby boys named Jordache
  • 1984: 5 baby boys named Jordache
  • […]
  • 1981: 8 baby boys named Jordache
  • 1980: 12 baby boys named Jordache [debut]

But the baby name Jordache didn’t catch on. It made the list three more times during the ’80s, then dropped off, never to return.

I find it really interesting that Jordache, a fashion brand, was use more often as a boy name than as a girl name. (I have found a handful of females with the name, so they do exist.)

What do you think — does the name “Jordache” seem masculine or feminine to you?


Baby Name Story – Thursday October Christian

On April 5, 1789, the HMS Bounty began sailing back to England from Tahiti with its cargo of breadfruit plants. Three weeks and 1,300 miles later, mutiny broke out.

The mutineers, led by Fletcher Christian, took control of the ship. They sent commanding officer Lt. William Bligh and the rest of the crew out on a small boat.

The mutineers returned to Tahiti. Most stayed there. The rest sailed on to Pitcairn Island, bringing with them a group of kidnapped Tahitian women.

The first baby born to the mutineers and their Tahitian wives was Fletcher Christian’s son. He arrived in mid-October, 1790, on what was thought to be a Thursday, so he was named Thursday October Christian.

The choice of name is perhaps emblematic of a willingness to forgo the past by not using a name common in the Christian family whilst not choosing to adopt a name more redolent of a Polynesian present and future.

Subsequent babies born to the mutineers were given common English names. Thursday October’s younger siblings, for instance, were Charles and Mary.

In mid-1814, toward the end of the War of 1812, a pair of British warships happened to spot Pitcairn.

Thursday October Christian came aboard one of the ships and was sketched by Lt. John Shillibeer. The men on the warships had discovered that the Islanders’ calendar was set a day too fast, so Shillibeer tried to correct the discrepancy by captioning the sketch “Friday Fletcher October Christian.”

Thursday October Christian

If this adjustment was done to make the name of Pitcairn’s first-born conform to the Western or American date, the sketch should have been captioned “Wednesday October Christian.” The name change in Shillibeer’s account (which gained wide circulation) was to bedevil a host of subsequent writers.

Thursday October Christian (1790-1831) had seven children, the seventh of whom was named Thursday October Christian II.

Thursday October II (1820-1911) went on to have 17 children, but did not pass the name down again.


  • Bartky, Ian R. One Time Fits All: The Campaigns for Global Uniformity. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2007.
  • Lewis, Andrew. “Pitcairn’s Tortured Past: A Legal History.” Justice, Legality and the Rule of Law: Lessons from the Pitcairn Prosecutions. Ed. Dawn Oliver. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. 39-62.

P.S. The movie Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) starred Marlon Brando and Tarita.

Marlon Brando Baby Name #6 – Sacheen

sacheenMarlon Brando won an Oscar for his portrayal of Vito Corleone in The Godfather (1972).

But he didn’t accept it.

Instead, he sent a Native American woman named Sacheen [pronounced sa‑SHEEN] Littlefeather to the Academy Awards ceremony, which was held in early 1973. Sacheen refused the Oscar on Brando’s behalf, citing “the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry.”

Right on cue, over two dozen babies are named Sacheen in 1973:

  • 1980: unlisted
  • 1979: 7 baby girls named Sacheen
  • 1978: 8 baby girls named Sacheen
  • 1977: 7 baby girls named Sacheen
  • 1976: 12 baby girls named Sacheen
  • 1975: 14 baby girls named Sacheen
  • 1974: 25 baby girls named Sacheen
  • 1973: 26 baby girls named Sacheen [debut]
  • 1972: unlisted

Where does the name come from?

According to Sacheen’s website, she was born Marie Cruz to an Apache father and a mother of mixed European descent. (She was named Marie after her maternal grandmother.)

While participating in the Occupation of Alcatraz (1969-1971), her “Navajo friends nicknamed her “Sacheen,” a word she says means “little bear.” She liked the name and took it.”

Several online sources tell me that the Navajo word for “bear” is commonly written shash or shush, and these are similar to the Sach- of Sacheen’s name. But the Navajo words for “little” are yaz (yáázh) and yazzie (yázhí), neither of which resemble -een, so I’m not sure where the second part of her name comes from.

How do you feel about the name Sacheen?

Source: Snell, Lisa. “What would Sacheen Littlefeather say?” Native American Times 25 Oct. 2010.

See more Oscar Week Baby Names.

Source: Marlon Brando’s Oscar win for “The Godfather” [vid]

Marlon Brando Baby Name #4 – Movita

motiva, mutiny on the bounty, 1935

Actress Maria “Movita” Castaneda, often billed simply as Movita, was Marlon Brando’s second wife. Her nickname Movita appeared on the SSA’s baby name list for two short periods of time. The first was 1938-1940:

  • 1941: unlisted
  • 1940: 8 baby girls named Movita
  • 1939: 12 baby girls named Movita
  • 1938: 10 baby girls named Movita [debut]
  • 1937: unlisted

She’d been appearing in films like Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) since the early ’30s, but in the late ’30s she was getting extra press because of her relationship with Irish boxer/entertainer Jack Doyle. She married Doyle in 1939, but they divorced in 1944.

Movita married Marlon Brando in 1960, after his first marriage to Anna Kashfi had ended. The marriage didn’t last long, but the association with Brando gave Movita’s name another boost:

  • 1965: unlisted
  • 1964: 6 baby girls named Movita
  • 1963: 6 baby girls named Movita
  • 1962: 6 baby girls named Movita
  • 1961: unlisted

Brando left Movita in 1962 to be with the woman who would soon become his third wife. In a crazy coincidence, he met wife #3 while filming Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), a remake of the 1935 version Movita had starred in. What was the third wife’s name? You’ll find out tomorrow!

See more Oscar Week Baby Names.