How popular is the baby name Thanh 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 Thanh.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Thanh

Posts that Mention the Name Thanh

Vietnamese Names in America, 1975

The theme this week? Names that tie back to the end of the Vietnam War.

Yesterday’s name, Chaffee, isn’t the only Vietnam-related name we see on the charts in 1975. There are plenty of Vietnamese names that pop up that year as well. Here are the ones I’ve spotted so far:

Vietnamese Boy Name Debuts, 1975 Vietnamese Girl Name Debuts, 1975
Viet, 23 baby boys [top debut]
Hung, 16 [4th]
Nam, 14 [6th]
Huy, 13 [7th]
Long, 11
Vu, 10
Tran, 9
Duc, 8
Dung, 8
Hoang, 8
My, 8
Nguyen, 8
An, 7
Luan, 7
Phong, 7
Binh, 6
Minh, 6
Quoc, 6
Anh, 5
Hai, 5
Linh, 5
Quang, 5
Tien, 5
Yun, 5
Anh, 10 baby girls [58th highest debut]
Phuong, 9
Nguyen, 7
Thu, 7
Bich, 6
Linh, 6
Thao, 6
Trang, 6
Chau, 5
Hoa, 5
Lien, 5
Ngoc, 5
Viet, 5
Yen, 5

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.]

The Baby Name Chaffee

Gerald Ford with Vietnamese children at Fort Chaffee, 1975
President Gerald Ford visited Fort Chaffee in August, 1975

The first big wave of immigration from Vietnam to the U.S. began after the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.

Four temporary immigration centers were set up in the U.S. to process the refugees. The largest of these was Fort Chaffee in Arkansas.

By the end of 1975, nearly 51,000 immigrants had been processed at Fort Chaffee. In the meanwhile, 325 babies were born to the refugees living there.

And what baby name debuted (twice) on the SSA’s baby name list in 1975?

The baby name Chaffee:

  • 1976: unlisted
  • 1975:
    • 5 baby boys named Chaffee [debut]
    • 5 baby girls named Chaffee [debut]
  • 1974: unlisted

So far, that’s the only year the name Chaffee has been popular enough to appear on the national list.

Were these 10 babies the children of Ft. Chaffee refugees?

I can’t say for sure, but I can tell you that all 5 of the baby boys were born in Arkansas. (Not sure about the baby girls.) Also, nearly all of the people I’ve found so far who were born in 1975 and named Chaffee had Vietnamese surnames.

(While researching, I found a Chicago-based business coach named Chaffee-Thanh Nguyen. Don’t know when he was born, but I’d venture to guess 1975.)

How did Fort Chaffee get its name?

It was named after Major General Adna Romanza Chaffee, Jr. (b. 1884) whose surname is of Norman origin. The surname can be traced back to the Old French word chauf, meaning “bald.”

And how did Adna Romanza Chaffee, Jr. get his name? He was named for his father, Lieutenant General Adna Romanza Chaffee, Sr. (b. 1842). Adna is a Biblical name said to mean “pleasure, delight” and Romanza is related to the Italian word romanzo, meaning “romance.” Newspaper writers of the early 1900s called Adna Romanza Sr.’s name “peculiar,” “incomprehensible,” “absurd,” and a “baptismal handicap,” among other things.


  • “Chatting About Chaffee.” Boston Evening Transcript 9 Nov. 1914: 10.
  • Hanks, Patrick. (Ed.) Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Indochinese Resettlement Program – Encyclopedia of Arkansas
  • “Men and Women.” Baltimore American 25 Aug. 1900: 6.
  • Thompson, Larry Clinton. Refugee Workers in the Indochina Exodus, 1975-1982. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2010.
  • “Topics of the Times.” New York Times 1 Aug. 1900.
  • Vietnamese-American – Wikipedia

Unisex Baby Names – Even Splits of 2009

Hundreds of unisex names were given to both baby boys and baby girls last year. But only 65 were split evenly between the two genders, according to SSA data.

Name Boys Girls Total
Michel 55 55 110
Michal 48 48 96
Storm 43 43 86
Haydyn 32 32 64
Avry 27 27 54
Adi 26 26 52
Indiana 26 26 52
Kemani 26 26 52
Clarke 22 22 44
Riyan 20 20 40
Samar 17 17 34
Amori 16 16 32
Bradie 13 13 26
Carlisle 12 12 24
Oluwadamilola 12 12 24
Angell 11 11 22
Eaden 11 11 22
Maika 11 11 22
Nur 11 11 22
Chesley 10 10 20
Dacoda 10 10 20
Mattia 10 10 20

Fewer than 20 babies total: Agam, Aidynn, Amadi, Armahni, Arrington, Ecko, Elim, Elyah, Grae, Jarae, Jasyiah, Jiayi, Keighan, Kumari, Lakshya, Lanny, Lean, Mako, Marcelle, Money*, Nyel, Oluwanifemi, Oluwatomisin, Omega, Phynix, Psalm, Qamar, Rayen, Reyhan, Ryian, Santanna, Shadow, Shyler, Siah, Sinclair, Skiler, Starling, Stellar, Thanh, Ugonna, Windsor, Yali, Yareth

*I’m pleased that Money made the list. There may be a gender-based income gap in the U.S., but at least men and women are named Money in equal measure. That has to count for something, right?