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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Tamela

Number of Babies Named Tamela

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Tamela

The Baby Name Tammy

TammyLast week, two notable women named Tammy won elections. One was Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, elected to the U.S. Senate. The other was Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Do you think this could be enough to revive the baby name Tammy?

The name started popping up on the SSA’s baby name list in the 1930s, was in the top 1,000 by the late 1940s, and was extremely popular by the late 1950s:

  • 1961: 15,527 baby girls named Tammy [rank: 28th]
  • 1960: 14,311 baby girls named Tammy [rank: 31st]
  • 1959: 13,707 baby girls named Tammy [rank: 31st]
  • 1958: 9,981 baby girls named Tammy [rank: 44th]
  • 1957: 4,361 baby girls named Tammy [rank: 107th]
  • 1956: 261 baby girls named Tammy [rank: 583rd]
  • 1955: 192 baby girls named Tammy [rank: 677th]

What caused the surge in popularity? The 1957 movie Tammy and the Bachelor, and its memorable theme song “Tammy” [vid]. (The song was written by the same pair who created “Que Sera, Sera.”)

The film and song popularized not just the name Tammy, but a slew of other Tam-names as well, including Tambra, Tamela, Tamera, Tami, Tamie, Tammi, Tammie, Tamra, Tamara, and Tambrey (the real name of the film’s main character).

The name Tamre, which debuted in 1958, was the top debut name for baby girls that year.

The name Tammy stayed popular through the ’60s, thanks to two more Tammy films (1961 & 1963) and a short-lived TV series (1965-1966). It was one of the top ten baby girl names in the nation in 1964 and from 1966 to 1971. (Tammy Baldwin was born in 1962, Tammy Duckworth in 1968.)

After that, Tammy began sinking. It dropped out of the top 100 in 1981, out of the top 1,000 in 1992, and continues to fall every year:

  • 2011: 58 baby girls named Tammy
  • 2010: 69 baby girls named Tammy
  • 2009: 96 baby girls named Tammy
  • 2008: 120 baby girls named Tammy

Do you think the national coverage of Tammy Baldwin and Tammy Duckworth in 2012 could reverse this trend? (Even if just for a year?)

Baby Names No Longer Needed – Brendan, Colson

We helped nine people brainstorm for names in March. So far, I’ve heard back from six of those nine. Diane picked Brendan, Tamela opted for Maxwell, Liz went with Francesca, Whitney decided on Stanley, Baccara stuck with Charlotte and Bethany chose Colson.

I have yet to hear from Dana, Nita and Kate.

Baby Name Needed – Boy Name for Hudson’s Brother

A reader named Tamela wrote to me yesterday. She has one son named Hudson and is expecting her second son in a couple of months. She’d like some name suggestions for baby boy #2.

Hudson comes from a surname, so the first place I’d look is other surnames. Here are a few ideas:


(At first I was only going to omit names ending with -son. Then I decided to cut all names with n-endings, just to get a good range of sounds in there.)

Do you like any of the above with Hudson? What other names would you suggest to Tamela?

UPDATE (3/14): Tamela has to get some adoption paperwork squared away, so she needs to select a name within the next few days.

Here are a few more facts:

  • The baby’s surname will be a Spanish name that starts with an S. Think Silva, or Santos. (Neither of these is the actual surname.)
  • Because the baby is coming from Russia, Tamela would really like something that’s “at least a little Russian.”
  • Current favorites include Maxwell, Luis (nn Louie) and George (Tamela’s father’s name). She also mentioned Matteo in this comment.

I really like both George and Maxwell with Hudson. I think either one would sound great as a first name.

Matteo doesn’t strike me as being a great match to Hudson, in terms of style. (Fits perfectly with the surname, though.)

I’m undecided on Luis. I don’t think it’s a terrible match, but I don’t think it would fit as well with Hudson as Maxwell or George would.

As for Russian names, let’s see…Maksim or Maksimilian are both similar to Maxwell. Yuri is a version of George. (Also a cosmonaut!)

Or perhaps one of these Russian names would work as a middle:


(I picked these because they’re so close to their English equivalents. Almost like they’re just English names with a Russian twist.)

As far as combinations go, I’m partial to George Maksim and George Maksimilian. Both are similar to George Maxwell, which Tamela mentioned in her comment, but they look and sound a bit more Russian.

What other thoughts/ideas do you have for Tamela?

UPDATE (12/1): The baby’s name has been chosen! Scroll down to the last comment to see what it is.