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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Renault

Number of Babies Named Renault

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Renault

Babies Named Renault?

Renault Dauphine, commercial, car, retro
Renault Dauphine
We all know that Renault is a French automaker. But did you know that it’s also an American baby name?

In 1959, the name Renault (ruh-noh) appeared for the first time in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1963: unlisted
  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: 6 baby boys named Renault
  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: 8 baby boys named Renault [debut]
  • 1958: unlisted

The name Dauphine (doh-feen), which was last on the charts since the 1920s, also saw a boost in usage around this time:

  • 1963: unlisted
  • 1962: 6 baby girls named Dauphine
  • 1961: unlisted
  • 1960: 8 baby girls named Dauphine
  • 1959: 10 baby girls named Dauphine
  • 1958: unlisted

The cause? The Renault Dauphine, a “frisky, thrifty family car” introduced to U.S. consumers in 1957.

The car was widely praised (at first) and sales rose impressively during the late ’50s, peaking in 1959.

I even found a baby girl born in Texas in 1959 with the name Renault Dauphine Sanders. None of her four sisters — Netha, Andra, Elizabeth, and Tina — were named for cars.

Here’s a TV commercial for the Renault Dauphine. Notice how the American voice-over actor pronounces company name ruh-nawlt.

But the rise of the Renault Dauphine was cut short when problems began to emerge. The Dauphine was quick to rust, for instance, and it took more than 30 seconds to reach 60 mph. Sales started falling in 1960 and never recovered. Renault stopped producing new Dauphines altogether in the late ’60s.

Another name that may have been influenced by Renault? Ondine:

  • 1963: unlisted
  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: 5 baby girls named Ondine [debut]
  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: unlisted

The Renault Ondine was a variant of the Renault Dauphine produced from 1960 to 1962. It came to America in 1961, and while it was typically called the “Deluxe” here, the name “Ondine” was mentioned here and there (like in Car Life).

So what do all these names mean? Ondine is the French form of Undine, Dauphine refers to the wife of the Dauphin (the heir apparent to the French throne), and Renault is a variant of the French surname Renaud, which has the same Germanic root as the English name Reynold.

(Ironically, a name very similar to Dauphine, Delphine, saw peak usage in 1958 thanks to a TV character. It’s possible that the character name helped the car name seem even trendier right around that time.)

Sources:

Car Names as Baby Names

car names as baby names

Love cars? Here are some car-related names that have been used as baby names:

  • Allante, from Cadillac Allante.
  • Aston, from Aston Martin. Inspired by Aston Hill in England.
  • Audi, German manufacturer. The name is a Latin translation of Horch, surname of founder August Horch.
  • Avanti, from Studebaker Avanti. The word avanti means “forward” in Italian.
  • Bentley, British manufacturer. Named after founder W. O. Bentley.
  • Camry, from Toyota Camry. The name is based on kanmuri, which means “crown” in Japanese.
  • Capri, from Lincoln Capri.
  • Caprice, from Chevrolet Caprice. Named after a New York City restaurant.
  • Catera, from Cadillac Catera.
  • Celica, from Toyota Celica. The name is based on caelica, which means “celestial” in Latin.
  • Chevelle, from Chevrolet Chevelle.
  • Chevy, nickname for Chevrolet.
  • Civic, from Honda Civic.
  • Cooper, from MINI Cooper. Named after auto racer John Cooper.
  • Cressida, from Toyota Cressida.
  • DeLorean, from DeLorean DMC-12.
  • Diamante, from Mitsubishi Diamante.
  • Dino, from Fiat Dino or Ferrari Dino. Both named after V6 engine designer Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari.
  • Dodge, a division of Chrysler. (I know of two babies named after Dodge Pickup Trucks specifically.)
  • Elantra, from Hyundai Elantra.
  • Elise, from Lotus Elise. Named after Elisa Artioli, granddaughter of Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli.
  • Elva, British manufacturer. The name is based on elle va, which means “she goes” in French.
  • Florian, from Isuzu Florian. Named after the fictional horse in Florian, the Emperor’s Stallion by Felix Salten.
  • Ford, American manufacturer. Named after founder Henry Ford.
  • Hudson, American manufacturer.
  • Jazz, from Honda Jazz.
  • Jeep, a division of Chrysler.
  • Jetta, from Volkswagen Jetta. The name is based on the phrase “jet stream.”
  • Jimmy, from GMC Jimmy.
  • Kia, South Korean manufacturer.
  • Lexus, a division of Toyota. The name has no specific meaning, according to the company.
  • Lincoln, a division of Ford. Named after former U.S. president Abraham Lincoln.
  • Martin, from Aston Martin. Named after founder Lionel Martin.
  • Mercedes, from Mercedes-Benz, a division of Daimler AG. Named after Mercedes Jellinek, daughter of Austrian entrepreneur Emil Jellinek.
  • Miata, from Mazda Miata. Possibly means “reward” in Old High German.
  • Millenia, from Mazda Millenia.
  • Mondeo, from Ford Mondeo. The name is based on mundus, which means “world” in Latin.
  • Morgan, British manufacturer.
  • Porsche, German manufacturer. Named after founder Ferdinand Porsche.
  • Renault, French manufacturer.
  • Royce, from Rolls-Royce. Named after founder Henry Royce.
  • Scion, a Toyota marque.
  • Shelby, from Shelby American. Named for founder Carroll Hall Shelby.
  • Tiburon, from Hyundai Tiburon. The word tiburón means “shark” in Spanish.
  • Toyota, Japanese manufacturer. Named for founder Kiichiro Toyoda.
  • VW, short for Volkswagen.

Blog readers have also told me about babies named Riviera (after the Buick Riviera) and Axel (because of its similarity to the word axle).

Update, 2016 – Here’s a baby whose middle name, Megan, was inspired by a Renault Megane.

Know any babies that were named for automobiles?

[Psst! Were you looking for a post about giving a name to your car?]