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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Swoosie

Number of Babies Named Swoosie

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Swoosie

The Baby Name Kaleena

Kaleena in Love, Sidney
Love, Sidney characters Laurie, Sidney, and Patti
In October of 1981, NBC began airing a sitcom called Love, Sidney. It was the first show on American TV with a gay lead character (although Sidney’s homosexuality was largely downplayed).

Actors Tony Randall, Swoosie Kurtz and 8-year-old Kaleena Kiff played the three main characters Sidney, Laurie and Patti. Despite the ground-breaking nature of Randall’s character, it was Kiff who made the biggest impression on TV viewers (if you go by the baby name charts, at least).

The baby name Kaleena went from being given to fewer than 5 baby girls in 1980 to being given to dozens, then hundreds, of baby girls over the next few years:

  • 1986: 79 baby girls named Kaleena
  • 1985: 82 baby girls named Kaleena
  • 1984: 101 baby girls named Kaleena
  • 1983: 341 baby girls named Kaleena
  • 1982: 270 baby girls named Kaleena
  • 1981: 41 baby girls named Kaleena [debut]
  • 1980: unlisted (fewer than 5 baby girls)

The name Kalina also got a boost in the early ’80s.

Kaleena was fifth-highest debut of 1981, after Fallon, Toccara, Nastassia and Falon. Sixth through tenth were Yalitza, Natassia, Yuliana, Shiona, and a 5-way tie between Dynasty, Jadyn, Laiza, Shambrica and Tijwana.

What are your thoughts on the name Kaleena?

P.S. A name-related tweet from Kaleena Kiff herself: “Everyone on our set is called Fergus, Angus, or Fraser. I must be shooting in Glasgow. #LegendofBarney” That hashtag refers to the upcoming movie The Legend of Barney Thomson, which is set in Scotland and features a character by the name of Cemolina (played by Emma Thompson).

Swoosie Kurtz Named After B-17

I don’t know much about actress Swoosie Kurtz (b. 1944), but I recently learned that her name was inspired by a B-17.

Her father, decorated WWII bomber pilot Frank Kurtz, Jr., named her after The Swoose, a famous B-17 now on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

the swoose, b-17, airplane, wwii
The Swoose

The plane was originally nicknamed Ole Betsy, but after being damaged and repaired using parts from other planes, it was re-nicknamed The Swoose after “Alexander the Swoose,” the half-swan, half-goose character mentioned in a popular song of the time. (The song was performed by bandleader Kay Kyser, who also inspired a few baby names in his day.)

Whether or not Swoosie is Swoosie Kurtz’s official birth name remains unclear. One news article, from 1949, says this:

Their four-year-old daughter, Margo, Jr., is nicknamed “Swoosey.”

Another, from 1962, says this:

When Kurtz returned to his country at war’s end a daughter was born at Omaha, Neb., and newsmen suggested he name her “Swoosie.”

A nurse, amused at the idea, wrote “Swoosie” on the hospital records–and the parents decided to let the name become official.

In any case, Swoosie certainly wasn’t the first person named (or nicknamed) in honor of an airplane. Earlier plane-inspired baby names include Airlene and Linda Ann.



UPDATE: Since writing this, I’ve found several sources that suggest Swoosie is indeed Swoosie Kurtz’s birth name.

From a 1982 article in People:

When his daughter was born in 1944, Col. Frank Kurtz was already well-known for piloting the famous Flying Fortress nicknamed “The Swoose” (half swan, half goose). A patriotic nurse wrote the name on the birth certificate, Mom said okay, and the baby forever after became Swoosie Kurtz.

And from a 2012 interview:

Okay, tell the readers of PopEater how you got your unusual name.
Oh God, I was named after a B17 that my father flew in the war. It was called the Swoos after a strange looking bird. There was a song that I think Doris Day sang about a half-swan, half-goose bird. It’s because the plane was kind of a hybrid, made up of parts from different planes.

Did you get teased?
Oh God, yes, constantly. I still do. People still mangle it and want to put a Z in there. I don’t blame them.

Your dad was an amazing man.
Yes, he was the most decorated Air Force pilot of World War II and a diving champion.