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

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name Pheasant


Posts that Mention the Name Pheasant

More Literary Baby Names: Alayne, Jalna, Renny

baby name, alayne, book, movie, 1920s, 1930s
Alayne Archer, character in the movie Jalna (1935)

Canadian writer Mazo de la Roche found fame in her late 40s when her third novel, Jalna, won first prize (and $10,000) in the first “Atlantic Novel Contest” in 1927. The book was serialized in Atlantic Monthly, then released as a standalone volume.

The book’s main characters were members of the prosperous Whiteoak family. They lived at an estate in southern Ontario called Jalna. The estate had been built by family patriarch Capt. Philip Whiteoak, a retired officer of the British Army in India. He’d named it “Jalna” after the garrison town in India where he’d met his Irish wife, Adeline.

The book was a top-10 bestseller in the U.S. in both 1927 and 1928. It was such a big commercial success that the author kept writing novels about the Whiteoaks. She ended up with a total of 16 books, now known as the “Whiteoak Chronicles,” which cover four generations (1850s-1950s) of the fictional family.

Many of de la Roche’s character names — which included Finch, Pheasant, and Wakefield/”Wake” — came directly from from gravestones in Ontario’s Newmarket cemetery.

Given the popularity of the book, and the distinctiveness of the character names, it’s not too surprising that Jalna had an influence on U.S. baby name data in the ’20s and ’30s…

Alayne

Character Alayne Archer was introduced in Jalna when Eden Whiteoak, an aspiring poet, traveled to New York City to meet with a publisher. Alayne was the publisher’s assistant, and she and Eden became romantically involved.

The debut of the baby name Alayne in 1929 was due to the much-anticipated follow-up book, Whiteoaks of Jalna — specifically, to the book reviews that ran in newspapers throughout the U.S. during the second half of 1929. Many of them mentioned Alayne.

  • 1937: 19 baby girls named Alayne
  • 1936: 23 baby girls named Alayne
  • 1935: 16 baby girls named Alayne
  • 1934: 9 baby girls named Alayne
  • 1933: 5 baby girls named Alayne
  • 1932: 5 baby girls named Alayne
  • 1931: 9 baby girls named Alayne
  • 1930: 7 baby girls named Alayne
  • 1929: 11 baby girls named Alayne [debut]
  • 1928: unlisted

Notice how usage rose during the mid-1930s. This was due to a related reason: the movie Jalna (1935), which was based on the first book and featured actress Kay Johnson as Alayne. (By 1935, five of the 16 books were out.)

Jalna & Renny

The year after the movie came out, two more Jalna-inspired names emerged in the data. One was Jalna itself, which didn’t stick around long:

  • 1938: unlisted
  • 1937: 9 baby girls named Jalna
  • 1936: 6 baby girls named Jalna [debut]
  • 1935: unlisted

(You could compare to Jalna to Tara, the plantation in Gone with the Wind.)

The other was Renny, from Eden’s half-brother Renny Whiteoak, who became Alayne’s love interest after Alayne and Eden grew apart.

  • 1941: 8 baby boys named Renny
  • 1939: 5 baby boys named Renny
  • 1937: 8 baby boys named Renny
  • 1936: 9 baby boys named Renny [debut]
  • 1935: unlisted

Another factor that could have given Renny a boost that year was the fifth book in the series, Young Renny, which focused on that character specifically.

…So how did Mazo de la Roche come by her own unique name?

She was born “Mazo Louise Roche” in Ontario in 1879. She added the “de la” not (necessarily) to sound noble, but to reflect the historical spelling of the family name. And here’s what she said in her autobiography about her first name:

When my father saw me he said to my mother, “Let me name this one and you may name all the others.” And so he named me and there were never any others. Mazo had been the name of a girl to whom he once had been attached.

For more baby names inspired by old books, check out the posts on Trilby and on Nedra, Gerane, Doraine, etc.

Sources:

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: P

patria, cinema, girl name, 1910s

Here’s the next installment of rare female names used by either the actresses or characters in very old films (1910s, 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s).

Paducah
Paducah Pomeroy was a character played by actress Aileen Pringle in the film Piccadilly Jim (1936).

Paget
Debra Paget was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1960s. She was born in Colorado in 1933. Her birth name was Debralee Griffin.

  • Usage of the baby name Paget.

Palma
Palma May was a character played by actress Irene Castle in the film French Heels (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Palma.

Palola
Palola was a character played by actress Hilo Hattie in the film Song of the Islands (1942).

Panama
Panama Smith was a character played by actress Gladys George in the film The Roaring Twenties (1939).

Panca
Panca was a character played by actress Linda Arvidson in the short film The Stampede (1916).

Pancha
Pancha O’Brien was a character played by actress Geraldine Farrar in the film The Hell Cat (1918).

Panchita
Panchita was a character played by actress Conchita Montenegro in the film Laughing at Life (1933).

Pandora
Pandora La Croix was a character played by actress Viola Dana in the film As Man Desires (1925).

Panthea
Panthea Romoff was a character played by actress Norma Talmadge in the film Panthea (1917).

Papela
Papela was a character played by actress Gail Kenton in the film The Lure of the South Seas (1929).

Papeta
Papeta was a character played by actress Anne Schaefer in the short film The Prayers of Manuelo (1912).

Papinta
Papinta was a character played by actress Bessie Eyton in the short film The Little Organ Player of San Juan (1912).

Papita
Papita was a character played by the actress Clara Williams in the short film Papita’s Destiny (1913).

Parete
Parete was a character played by actress Dagmar Godowsky in the film The Altar Stairs (1922).

Parisette
Parisette was a character played by actress Sandra Milovanoff in the film Parisette (1921).

Parola
Parola was a character played by actress Helen Ware in the film Fascination (1922).

Parthenia
Parthenia was a character name in multiple films, including Ingomar, The Barbarian (1908) and Show Boat (1929).

Pasqualina
Pasqualina Carmetto was a character played by actress Mary Fuller in the short film Tony’s Oath of Vengeance (1912).

Patria
Patria Channing was a character played by actress Irene Castle in the film Patria (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Patria (which saw an uptick in usage in 1917).

Patta
Patta Heberton was a character played by actress May Allison in the film The Come-Back (1916).

Patterson
Patterson Dial was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Florida in 1902. Her birth name was Elizabeth Patterson Dial.

Peaches
Peaches Jackson was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in New York in 1913. Her birth name was Charlotte Jackson. Peaches was also a character played by actress May West in the film Every Day’s a Holiday (1937).

Peavey
Peavey was a character played by actress Olive Borden in the film Leave It to Me (1933).

Peg
Peg Entwistle was an actress who appeared in one film in 1932 (and, the same year, committed suicide by jumping off the H of the Hollywoodland sign). She was born in Wales in 1908. Her birth name was Millicent Lilian Entwistle. Peg was also a character played by actress Anna Neagle in the film Peg of Old Drury (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Peg.

Pegeen
Pegeen O’Barry was a character played by actress Pauline Starke in the film Irish Eyes (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Pegeen.

Peggie
Peggie Hurst was a character played by actress Chrissie White in the film A Temporary Vagabond (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Peggie.

Peggy
Peggy Pearce (born a Velma) was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in California in 1894. Peggy Cartwright was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Canada in 1912. Peggy Moran (Mary) was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s. She was born in Iowa in 1918. Peggy Ryan (Margaret) was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s. She was born in California in 1924. Finally, Peggy was also a character name in multiple films including Peggy Lynn, Burglar (short 1915) and Confessions of a Co-Ed (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Peggy.

Pelagia
Pelagia Walewska was a character played by actress Maria Ouspenskaya in the film Conquest (1937).

Pendola
Pendola Molloy was a character played by actress Karen Morley in the film Gabriel Over the White House (1933).

Penelopeia
Pénélopeia was a character played by actress Conchita Montenegro in the film Lumières de Paris (1938).

Peola
Peola was a character played by actress Fredi Wasghington in the film Imitation of Life (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Peola (which saw an uptick in usage in 1935).

Pepita
Pepita was a character name in multiple films, including The Street Singer (1912) and The Pretty Sister of Jose (1915).

Peppina
Peppina was a character played by actress Mary Pickford in the film Poor Little Peppina (1916).

Peppy
Peppy Gilman was a character played by actress Dorothy Burgess in the film I Want a Divorce (1940).

Perdita
Perdita was a character name in multiple films, including In Old California (short, 1910) and The Demon (1918).

Periwinkle
Periwinkle was a character played by actress Mary Miles Minter in the film Periwinkle (1917).

Perka
Perka was a character played by actress Georgia Fursman in the film The Seven Sisters (1915).

Perpetua
Perpetua was a character name in multiple films, including The Arrival of Perpetua (1915) and Love’s Boomerang (1922).

Perrette
Perrette was a character played by actress Simone Vaudry in the film Fanfan la Tulipe (1925).

Persis
Persis was a character played by actress Mary Treen in the film The Great Man’s Lady (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Persis.

Pert
Pert Kelton was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1960s. She was born in Montana in 1907. Pert was also a character name in multiple films, including Danger! Women at Work (1943) and Take It Big (1944).

Pervaneh
Pervaneh was a character played by actress Greta Nissen in the film The Lady of the Harem (1926).

Petal
Petal Schultze was a character played by actress Amy Veness in the film Red Wagon (1933).

  • Usage of the baby name Petal.

Petaluma
Petaluma was a character played by actress Vivian Rich in the short film A Blowout at Santa Banana (1914).

Petrie
Petrie was a character played by actress Claire Du Brey in the film Oh, What a Night! (1944).

Petrina
Petrina Faneuil was a character played by actress Pauline Frederick in the film Let Not Man Put Assunder (1924).

Petronell
Petronell was a character played by actress Helen “Bunty” Payne in the film The Farmer’s Wife (1941).

Pette
Pette San was a character played by actress Mary Fuller in the short film An Almond-Eyed Maid (1913).

Pettie
Pettie Wilson was a character played by actress Gwen Lee in the film The Boy Friend (1926).

Pheasant
Pheasant Vaughan Whiteoak was a character played by actress Molly Lamont in the film Jalna (1935).

Phemie
Phemie was a character name in multiple films, including The Man Hater (1917) and La Bohème (1926).

Philena
Philena Mortimer was a character played by actress Helene Chadwick in the film From the Ground Up (1921).

Philine
Philine was a character played by actress Xenia Desni in the film Pariserinnen (1921).

Phillipa
Phillipa was a character name in multiple films, including The Flash of an Emerald (1915) and Risky Business (1920).

Phronsie
Sophronia “Phronsie” Pepper was a character played by actress Dorothy Ann Seese in the four Five Little Peppers films of 1939 and 1940.

  • Usage of the baby name Phronsie (which debuted in the data the year most of the films came out).

Phroso
Phroso was a character played by actress Malvina Longfellow in the film Possession (1922).

Phyl
Phyl was a character played by actress Margaret Perry in the film New Morals for Old (1932).

Phyliss
Phyliss was a character name in multiple films, including Broadway Billy (1926) and Pleasures of the Rich (1926).

Phyllis
Phyllis Gordon was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1940s. She was born in Virginia in 1889. Phyllis Haver was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Kansas in 1899. Phyllis Thaxter was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1970s. She was born in Maine in 1919. Finally, Phyllis was also a character name in multiple films, including Just Like a Woman (short, 1915) and Wagons Westward (1940).

Phyra
Phyra was a character played by actress Enid Markey in the short film The Soul of Phyra (1915).

Pidetta
Pidetta was a character played by actress Rosita Marstini in the short film On the Trail of the Tigress (1916).

Pidgie
Pidgie Ryder was a character played by actress Leatrice Joy in the film The Invisible Divorce (1920).

Pierrette
Pierrette was a character name in multiple films, including Under the Make-Up (1913) and Laughter and Tears (1921).

Pige
Pige was a character played by actress Marcia Mae Jones in the film Barefoot Boy (1938).

Pina
Pina Menichelli was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Italy in 1890. Her birth name was Giuseppa Iolanda Menichelli.

  • Usage of the baby name Pina.

Pinkie
Pinkie was a character name in multiple films, including The Reward (short, 1915) and Oh, Yeah? (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Pinkie.

Pinky
Pinky was a character name in multiple films, including The Village Sleuth (1920) and Pinky (1949).

  • Usage of the baby name Pinky.

Pinna
Pinna Nesbit was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Canada in 1896.

Piquette
Piquette was a character played by actress Shannon Day in the film Honor First (1922).

Plutina
Plutina was a character played by actress Clara Kimball Young in the film The Heart of the Blue Ridge (1915).

Pola
Pola Negri was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1960s. She was born in Poland in 1897. Her birth name was Barbara Apolonia Cha?upec. Pola was also a character played by actress Elizabeth Allan in the film Insult (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Pola.

Polaire
Polaire Quinn was a character played by actress Madge Evans in the film The Greeks Had a Word for Them (1932).

Poldi
Poldi Vogelhuber was a character played by actress Luise Rainer in the film The Great Waltz (1938).

Poll
Poll Patchouli was a character played by actress Dorothy Dalton in the film Fool’s Paradise (1921).

Polly
Polly was a character name in multiple films, including Outlaws of the Sea (1923) and Shanghai Lady (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Polly.

Pompeia
Pompeia Plotina was a character played by actress Caroline Frances Cooke in the short film In the Days of Trajan (1913).

Pompilia
Pompilia was a character played by actress Marie Newton in the short film The Ring and the Book (1914).

Pomposia
Pomposia was a character played by actress Helen Ware in the film The Warrior’s Husband (1933).

Poppaea
Poppaea was a character name in multiple films, including Nero (1922) and The Sign of the Cross (1932).

Portland
Portland Fancy was a character played by actress Juliet Brenon in the film The Street of Forgotten Men (1925). (Plus there’s radio actress Portland Hoffa was most active during the ’30s and ’40s.)

Posey
Posey was a character played by actress Edith Arnold in the film College Scandal (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Posey.

Posie
Posie Stanton was a character played by actress Virginia Southern in the film Black Friday (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Posie.

Poupée
Poupée Andriot was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s and 1930s. She was born in New York in 1899. Her birth name was Edna Stone. Poupée is French for “doll.”

Preciosa
Preciosa was a character played by actress Alice Joyce in the short film Between Father and Son (1911).

Prissy
Prissy was a character name in multiple films, including The Dangerous Flirt (1924) and Gone with the Wind (1939).

  • Usage of the baby name Prissy.

Protea
Protéa was a character played by French actress Josette Andriot in multiple films in the 1910s.

Prue
Prue was a character name in multiple films, including Only Five Years Old (short, 1913) and The Man Who Had Everything (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Prue.

Prunella
Prunella Judson was a character played by actress ZaSu Pitts in the film Ruggles of Red Gap (1935).

Psyche
Psyche was a character played by actress Lillian Yarbo in the film My Brother Talks to Horses (1947).

Puff
Puff Rogers was a character played by actress Wynne Gibson in the film Lady and Gent (1932).

Pundita
Pundita was a character played by actress Goldie Colwell in multiple films in the 1910s.

*

…Which of the above names do you like best?

Source: IMDb