The baby name Donivee made the SSA’s baby name list just once, in 1942:
1942: 5 baby girls named Donivee [debut]
Where did this one-hit wonder baby name come from?
It was inspired by Donivee Purkey, an actress who gave Hollywood a shot in the early 1940s.
From mid-to-late 1941, 19-year-old Donivee Purkey of Texas was touted as a talented newcomer to motion pictures. The image of “Pretty Purkey” at right was published in August; Hedda Hopper wrote about her in September; Ann Marsters told readers to “watch for a pretty girl named Donivee Purkey” in October.
By the end of the year, Donivee Purkey’s name had changed twice: first to Lora Lee, then to Donivee Lee.
Despite all the hype and name-changing, though, Donivee Lee’s film career fizzled. Her first movie was supposed to be Cecil B. DeMille’s Reap the Wild Wind, but it’s not listed on her IMDb page. Out of the four movies listed, The Great Moment (1944) is the only one in which she played a credited role.
According to one source, Donivee ended up marrying a Hollywood executive. I’m guessing she stopped pursuing a film career at that point.
Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Asteroids…if you grew up in the 1980s, you know all about Atari.
But you might not realize that, at the height of the video game console’s popularity, dozens of U.S. babies were actually named Atari:
1983: 5 baby boys named Atari
1982: 16 baby boys and 11 baby girls named Atari
1981: 13 baby boys and 7 baby girls named Atari
1980: 10 baby boys and 12 baby girls named Atari
1979: 10 baby boys named Atari [debut]
The console name comes from the Japanese word atari, which is used in the board came go in the same way “check” and “checkmate” are used in chess–as a warning to one’s opponent that he/she is in imminent danger of capture.
The baby name Atari dropped off the SSA’s baby name list after 1983, but has recently returned:
2011: 8 baby boys named Atari
2009: 8 baby boys and 6 baby girls named Atari
2008: 9 baby boys named Atari
2006: 5 baby girls named Atari
Pop culture names typically don’t disappear and then reappear decades later, but the explanation in this case is simple: sports. Football player Atari Bigby (b. 1981) — who claims he wasn’t named for the video game console — made his NFL debut in late 2005.
The name Sivi appeared on the SSA’s baby name list for just four years:
1970: 7 baby girls named Sivi
1969: 5 baby girls named Sivi
1968: 8 baby girls named Sivi
1967: 27 baby girls named Sivi [debut]
The inspiration? Actress Sivi Aberg.
Siv Märta “Sivi” Åberg placed 4th — er, “3rd runner up” — in the 1964 Miss Universe Beauty Pageant. After that, she moved to America to give acting a try.
In 1967, Sivi won the title of “The Hollywood Star of Tomorrow” on a pageant-like American TV show. (Previous winners included Raquel Welch, Sally Field, Carol Lynley and Kim Novak.)
She also appeared on several American television shows (e.g. Hogan’s Heroes, Batman, M*A*S*H, The Gong Show) and in a handful of forgettable films during the 1960s and 1970s.
Sivi’s birth name, Siv, can be traced back to Norse mythology. It’s a form of Sif, the name of Thor’s wife. Sif was the singular form of the Old Norse word sifjar, which meant “relatives” — relatives either by blood or by marriage.
P.S. Jinx, Gwili and Donivee are three more forgotten Hollywood actresses who left their mark on the U.S. baby name charts.
Engels, Friedrich. The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr & Company, 1909.