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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Seena

Number of Babies Named Seena

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Seena

Ziegfeld Follies Baby Names – Allyn & Avonne

Ziegfeld Follies, which appeared on Broadway almost every year from 1907 until 1931, was an extravagant production that included music, dance and comedy.

The biggest draw, though, was the bevy of beautiful showgirls.

It became a popular sport to guess which one would break out and become the next big star, like onetime showgirls Barbara Stanwyck, Paulette Goddard, Gypsy Rose Lee, Josephine Baker, and of course, Marilyn Miller.

Several Follies girls went on to enjoy successful careers in entertainment, but only two — Allyn King and Avonne Taylor — inspired baby name debuts.

In fact, Allyn and Avonne are the 4th- and 5th-earliest actor-inspired baby name debuts that I know of (after Francelia, Ormi and Seena).

Allyn

Allyn King in Picture-Play Magazine, July 1923
Allyn King in Picture-Play, Jul. 1923
Allyn King was born in North Carolina in February of 1899. It looks as though she was named after her father, Allen. (Her sister, Phoebe, had been named after their mother.)

Allyn was a Follies girl from 1916 until 1920, and the name Allyn — which was already showing up regularly on the SSA’s list as a boy name — debuted as a girl name in 1918:

  • 1917: unlisted
  • 1918: 7 baby girls named Allyn [debut]
  • 1919: unlisted
  • 1920: unlisted
  • 1921: 5 baby girls named Allyn
  • 1922: unlisted
  • 1923: 7 baby girls named Allyn
  • 1924: 5 baby girls named Allyn
  • 1925: 11 baby girls named Allyn
  • 1926: 5 baby girls named Allyn

(I can’t include SSDI data for unisex names like this one because the SSDI doesn’t code for gender, making it difficult to figure out which people are male and which are female.)

Allyn King continued to appear in Broadway shows during the 1920s, and she was in one silent film in 1923.

But the pressure to achieve the skinny, boyish figure that was fashionable during the ’20s proved too much for her. Extreme dieting nearly killed her in 1927, and after spending almost two years recovering in a sanatorium, she was still so depressed in early 1930 that she jumped out of a 5th story window in New York City. She died two days later.

Avonne

Avonne Taylor in Photoplay, July 1927
Avonne Taylor in Photoplay,
Jul. 1927
Avonne Taylor was born in Ohio, also in February of 1899, to parents Clifford and Diana. Her birth name was Evangeline, but she joined the Follies under the name Avonne. (I’m not sure how she came up with it.)

Avonne was a Follies girl from 1920 to 1922, and the name Avonne debuted on the SSA’s list in 1923:

Year SSA SSDI
1919 x 2 Avonnes
1920 x 1 Avonne
1921 x x
1922 x 4 Avonnes
1923 11 Avonnes [debut] 13 Avonnes
1924 17 Avonnes 11 Avonnes
1925 12 Avonnes 9 Avonnes
1926 6 Avonnes 2 Avonnes
1927 12 Avonnes 6 Avonnes
1928 9 Avonnes 3 Avonnes

(For the SSDI numbers, I only counted people who had Avonne as a first name, not as a middle.)

Avonne Taylor went on to appear in a couple of films — one in 1927, the other in 1931 — and then left the entertainment industry altogether, it seems. She died in 1992 at the age of 93.

*

Which name do you like more, Allyn or Avonne?

Sources:


The Silver Screen Baby Name Seena

First there was Francelia. Then there was Ormi. And today we have Seena — the third name (I know of) to debut on the U.S. baby name charts thanks to the influence of a silent film actress.

Signe Auen in Photoplay, Oct. 1915
Signe Auen in Photoplay, Oct. 1915
That actress was Seena Owen, and she’s a special case, as she’s the first actress on my list to become popular under a stage name.

Signe Auen was born in Washington state in 1894. Her parents were immigrants from Denmark, and she had older siblings named Lillie (who became a screenwriter) and Audun.

The Scandinavian name Signe can be traced back to the Old Norse name Signý, which is made up on the elements sigr, meaning “victory,” and , meaning “new.”

Signe Auen began appearing in films in late 1914.

In 1915, there was an uptick in the number of babies named Signe according to both the SSA and the SSDI.

Year SSA SSDI
1912 43 Signes 92 Signes
1913 46 Signes 76 Signes
1914 45 Signes 70 Signes
1915 67 Signes 73 Signes
1916 42 Signes 55 Signes
1917 52 Signes 50 Signes
1918 51 Signes 55 Signes
1919 40 Signes 40 Signes
1920 54 Signes 52 Signes
1921 44 Signes 37 Signes
1922 26 Signes 26 Signes

(For the SSDI numbers — which were declining during the 1910s, after peaking in the 1890s and 1900s — I only counted people who had Signe as a first name, not as a middle.)

Seena Owen in Photoplay, Mar. 1916
Seena Owen in Photoplay, Mar. 1916
Sometime during the last half of 1915 Signe Auen changed her name to “Seena Owen” — the phonetic spelling of her Danish name.

And in 1917, the baby name Seena debuted on the SSA’s baby name list:

Year SSA SSDI
1914 x 4 Seenas
1915 x 2 Seenas
1916 x 1 Seena
1917 5 Seenas [debut] 4 Seenas
1918 x 4 Seenas
1919 6 Seenas 4 Seenas
1920 x 2 Seenas
1921 9 Seenas 8 Seenas
1922 11 Seenas 6 Seenas
1923 12 Seenas 10 Seenas
1924 22 Seenas 16 Seenas

Numbers from both the SSA and the SSDI show that usage of the name Seena, which has always been relatively low, was at its highest during the 1920s.

This matches up pretty well with Seena Owen’s film career, which lasted from the late 1910s until the early 1930s, when Owen retired from acting due to the advent of talkies.

Which name do you like more, Signe or Seena?

P.S. Did you know that Seena Owen was the first person to wear false eyelashes? Director David Llewelyn “D. W.” Griffith had a wig maker invent the first set of eyelash extensions for Owen to wear in his 1916 epic film Intolerance.

Sources: Seena Owen – Wikipedia, Signý – Behind the Name