How popular is the baby name Suzanne in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Suzanne and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Suzanne.
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‘Veronica’ refers to Costello’s grandmother (not sure if it’s her real name).
(Links open music videos in a new window.)
Which song(s) do you like best? Choose up to 2:
"Rock Me Amadeus" (1986) by Falco (63%, 15 Votes)
"You Can Call Me Al" (1986) by Paul Simon (33%, 8 Votes)
"Luka" (1987) by Suzanne Vega (29%, 7 Votes)
"Veronica" (1989) by Elvis Costello (29%, 7 Votes)
Total Voters: 24
Anyone care to guess which of the name-songs above will be crowned the winner in a couple of weeks?
*”Billie Jean is kind of anonymous. It represents a lot of girls. […] They would hang around backstage doors, and any band that would come to town they would have a relationship with, and I think I wrote this out of experience with my brothers when I was little. There were a lot of Billie Jeans out there.” -MJ, via MTV
**”Where did you get the name from?” “A 9-year-old boy who lives in my building. Who is not abused, by the way. I like the name Luka, it’s universal. It could be a girl or boy and it could be any nationality.” -SV, via NYT
Today’s name interview is with Kelsey, a 25-year-old from Tennessee.
What’s the story behind her name?
My name was going to be Lydia, but another couple at my parents’ church named their baby that shortly before I was born. They didn’t want to confuse nursery workers so they decided to come up with a different name. Some missionaries came to visit the church and had a daughter named Kelsey and my parents decided they liked the name.
What does she like most about her name?
I’m really struggling to come up with an answer for this one.
What does she like least about her name?
What I hate about it now, may make me like it in a few years, but as of now I hate how young it makes me sound. In the workplace, I think it makes it obvious that I am much younger than my coworkers Sheila, Pam, Suzanne, etc. I think this is a disadvantage when it comes to career growth.
This is such an interesting response. I rarely hear people with young-sounding names complain about name-based ageism in the workplace. Typically it’s the people with older-sounding names (Pam and Suzanne and the like).
While we’re on the topic…Kelsey’s name is young-sounding for good reason. Kelsey was rarely bestowed before 1980, but it shot into the top 100 in 1987. Usage peaked in the early 1990s:
1994: 9,751 baby girls named Kelsey (rank: 29th)
1993: 11,376 baby girls named Kelsey (rank: 24th)
1992: 11,714 baby girls named Kelsey (rank: 23rd)
1991: 11,430 baby girls named Kelsey (rank: 26th)
1990: 9,494 baby girls named Kelsey (rank: 32nd)
But the popularity didn’t last. Kelsey dropped out of the top 100 in 2002 and the name has been sinking ever since.
Final question: would Kelsey recommend that her name be given to babies today?
No, I don’t think it ages well. I believe this has to with the “ee” sound ending.
They were young actresses on the cusp of movie stardom back in the 1920s and 1930s.
About 13 Baby Stars were selected by the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers every year from 1922 to 1934 (minus 1930 and 1933).
Some of those young women did indeed achieve stardom. Among the Baby Stars were Clara Bow (’24), Mary Astor (’26), Joan Crawford (’26), Fay Wray (’26) and Ginger Rogers (’32).
I thought the names of the Baby Stars — the oldest of whom were born in the final years of the 1800s, the youngest of whom were born in the mid-1910s — would make an interesting set. But I wanted birth names, not stage names, so I tracked down as many birth names as I could. Here’s the result, sorted by frequency (i.e., seven women were named Dorothy).
(Often stage names were the real-life middle names of these women.)
Finally, a few interesting details:
Jobyna is Jobyna Ralston, named for actress Jobyna Howland, daughter of a man named Joby Howland. Jobyna debuted on the SSA’s baby name list in 1927.
Derelys is Derelys Perdue. “Perdue’s boss, future presidential father Joseph P. Kennedy, insisted on changing her name to the more palatable Ann Perdue.” She sued, but lost, and her career never recovered. Derelys was a one-hit wonder on the SSA’s baby name list in 1924.
This baby didn’t get 139 names, but 49 is still excessive, don’t you think?
Diana and Arthur Martello of New Brighton, Pennsylvania, had a baby girl in May of 1989 and gave her 49 names. (Initially it was just 43, but they added 6 more a few weeks later.)
Here are all 49 names:
Princess India Rosa Kathleen Pearla Meshelle Suzanne Luchianna Irena Iris Veronica Donna Holly Robin Concha Kristian Tonya Elizabeth Joana Magali Lavinia Ruth Sandy Lori Appolonia Concepteone Stephenie Victoria Ira Maria Jane Claudia Pamela Shirley Mellissa Leah Rebecca Simone Alana Loren Joy Angie Pheonix Cynthia Christine Eleanor Meg Sophia Eunice
Diana was the one who came up with them. She said her inspiration included TV shows like Matt Houston, T.J. Hooker, Santa Barbara, and The Young and the Restless.
If you could go back in time and rename this baby girl, which two names (out of the 49) would you choose as her first and middle names?
Musala, Jane C. “A Nickname Makes it 45.” Allegheny Times 30 May 1989: A3.
Musala, Jane C. “The Good News is Short-Lived.” Allegheny Times 28 Jun. 1989: A3.
Last month, HBO aired an original movie called The Girl.
I didn’t see it, but the reviews tell me it was about the relationship between director Alfred Hitchcock and actress Nathalie Kay “Tippi” Hedren, who starred in two of Hitchcock’s movies, The Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964).
And that reminded me–both of these Hitchcock films had an effect on baby names in the 1960s.
The Birds inspired two SSA debuts: Tippi and Pleshette (from the surname of fellow Birds actress Suzanne Pleshette).