How popular is the baby name Tennille in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Tennille.
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Tennille’s trendiness only lasted a few years, but the name was popular enough to reach the top 1,000 for three years straight in the late 1970s:
1981: 87 baby girls named Tennille
1980: 140 baby girls named Tennille
1979: 113 baby girls named Tennille
1978: 141 baby girls named Tennille [rank: 984th]
1977: 425 baby girls named Tennille [rank: 462nd]
1976: 769 baby girls named Tennille [rank: 300th]
1975: 103 baby girls named Tennille (debut)
So, where did the name come from?
The musical duo Captain & Tennille, made up of married couple “Captain” Daryl Dragon and Cathryn Antoinette “Toni” Tennille. Their first hit song was the very ’70s-sounding “Love Will Keep Us Together,” which was released in April of 1975 and peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in June.
The band got even bigger in 1976: “Love Will Keep Us Together” won the Grammy for Record of the Year, “Muskrat Love” became their second hit, and they began hosting the weekly Captain and Tennille variety show on television. (It lasted 20 episodes.)
The surname Tennille is probably of French origin. My guess is that it’s a variant of Tenniel, which is thought to derive from the French place name Thénioux.
Do you like Tennille as a baby name? Would you use it? (How would you spell it?)
Many other Vietnamese names — Bao, Chinh, Dao, Giang, Huong, Khanh, Lam, Nguyet, Phuc, Quyen, Suong, Thanh, Vuong, and so forth — debut on the SSA’s list during the late ’70s and early ’80s.
One of the Vietnamese babies born at Chaffee in 1975 was Dat Nguyen, who went on to become the first Vietnamese-American to play in the NFL. His name, Dat, wasn’t popular enough to make the national list until 1979.
[For context, one of the pop culture names that debuted in 1975 was Chakakhan. Another was Tennille, inspired by Captain & Tennille.]