Just remember that the SSA data doesn’t become very accurate until the mid-to-late 20th century, so many of the numbers below don’t reflect reality all that well.
Same format as usual: Girl names on the left, boy names on the right. Numbers represent single-year decreases in usage. From 1880 to 1881, for instance, usage of the girl name Mary dropped by 146 babies and usage of the boy name William dropped by 1,008 babies.
I’ve already written about some of the names above (click the links to see the posts) and will write about others in the future. In the meanwhile, feel free to beat me to it! Comment below with the backstory on the fall of Shirley in the late ’30s, Linda in the early ’50s, etc.
A day or so ago, I finally replaced the old popularity graphs (which were created way back in 2012) with brand new popularity graphs. Yay! Here are the main improvements:
The graphs are now responsive, meaning they’ll change size to match your screen dimensions. Phones will definitely need to be turned sideways to get the best view, though, because the graphs are so wide.
The graphs’ data points are now in alignment no matter what. This was not the case with the original graphs, which were getting more and more misaligned every year.
Better aesthetics! Nicer colors, cleaner design, no more ugly watermark, etc.
If you mouse over a graph, the data point values will appear as tooltips. Neat!
If you’re using a computer and you right-click on a graph, you can save it as an image — to share via social media, perhaps. ;)
There are still several fixes I need to make, but overall the new graphs are working well. (If they aren’t functioning properly for you, please let me know.)
More site improvements are on the way, and some brand-new features are being mapped out. If you’d like to help me make these changes/enhancements, please consider supporting Nancy’s Baby Names on Patreon. Thanks!
NBN has been a one-woman operation for close to 13 years. While it’s already got some cool stuff, I’m hoping to turn it into an even better resource for visitors this year. I’d like to make some long-needed improvements, build a few new things (like a name database, and some useful name-finding tools), and also start a podcast.
Thanks for thinking about it, and I hope you have a lovely, chocolate-laden holiday. :)
Laurette Taylor was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. She was born in New York in 1884. Her birth name was Loretta Cooney. Laurette was also a character played by actress Molly Lamont in the film Scared to Death (1947).
Lavolia was a character played by actress Etta McDaniel in the film Magnificent Brute (1936).
Leatrice Joy was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1950s. She was born in Louisiana in 1893. Leatrice Joy Gilbert (Leatrice Joy’s daughter) was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s. She was born in California in 1924.
Leontine Dranet was an actress who appeared in 2 films in the 1910s. Leontine was also a character name in multiple films, including The Closing Net (1915) and The Shielding Shadow (serial, 1916).
Lita Grey was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1940s. She was born in California in 1908. Her birth name was Lillita MacMurray. Lita was also a character name in multiple films, including Bachelor Apartment (1931) and The Girl from Monterrey (1943).
Lorna Gray was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1950s. She was born in Michigan in 1917. Her birth name was Virginia Pound. Lorna was also a character name in multiple films, including Traffic in Souls (1913) and The Butterfly Girl (1921).
Luana Walters was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1950s. She was born in California in 1912. Luana Patten was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1980s. She was born in California in 1938. Luana was also a character played by actress Dolores del Rio in the film Bird of Paradise (1932).
Lucile Watson was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1950s. She was born in Canada in 1879. Lucile Browne was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1950s. She was born in Tennessee in 1907. Lucile was also a character played by actress Marguerite Snow in the short film Lucile (1912).
The name Chata made a modest debut in the U.S. baby name data in 1953:
1953: 5 baby girls named Chata [debut]
Where did it come from?
Very early television. “The Faith of Chata” was an episode from the first season of the anthology TV series Letter to Loretta, later renamed The Loretta Young Show. The episode aired in December of 1953.
The episode, set in a Mexican village, tells the story of a little girl called Chata who is gravely ill with pneumonia. (Chata’s mother Paula is played by Young.) After receiving an overnight vision of her patron saint, Santa Inés, Chata makes a miraculous recovery.
“Chata” is not a name, but an affectionate nickname. It comes from a Spanish term for “pug nose” or “button nose.” John Wayne’s second wife, Mexican actress Esperanza Baur, went by Chata for instance.
The child actress who played Chata was Nancy Gilbert, who several years later played another TV character (Calamity Jane) that also had an influence on baby names.