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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Reynold

Number of Babies Named Reynold

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Reynold

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 slight 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:


The Name Reinhold

Dan Fielding a.k.a. Reinhold
Dan Fielding
If you watched Night Court back in the ’80s and ’90s, the name Reinhold Weege might look familiar to you.

Reinhold Weege was the show’s creator. He passed away several days ago, but his obituary mentions that he liked to poke fun at his unusual name via the show.

How?

One of the most popular Night Court characters was the lecherous prosecutor Dan Fielding (played by John Larroquette). He wasn’t born Dan Fielding, though. His birth name was Reinhold Fielding Elmore. He’d had his name changed “out of embarrassment.”

So where does the name come from, in terms of etymology? Reinhold — and related names like Reynold, Ronald, and Reginald — can be traced back to an ancient Germanic name created from the words ragin, “advice, decision,” and wald, “ruler.”

Source: Hanks, Patrick, Kate Hardcastle and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of First Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

(h/t Charles G Hill of dustbury.com)