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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Travolta

Number of Babies Named Travolta

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Travolta

Most Popular One-Hit Wonder Baby Names – Boys

one hit wonder baby names

Here are some of the top one-hit wonder boy names of all time, from 1880 to 2012:

  1. Christop, 1,082 baby boys in 1989.
  2. Christia, 82 baby boys in 1989.
  3. Jometh, 23 baby boys in 2008.
  4. Jefre, 21 baby boys in 1961.
  5. Eriksson, 15 baby boys in 2008.
    • Alfy, 15 baby boys in 1966.
    • Andamo, 15 baby boys in 1960.
  6. Coopar, 14 baby boys in 2010.
  7. Ardan, 13 baby boys in 2012.
  8. Ramzee, 12 baby boys in 2006.
  9. Brettly, 11 baby boys in 2012.
  10. Aaro, 10 baby boys in 2012.

If we ignore the glitchy 1989 names, the real #1 one-hit wonder becomes Jometh.

Here’s what I can tell you about some of the above: Jometh and Elionaid were inspired by the TV show Objectivo Fama; Andamo was inspired by the TV show Mr. Lucky; Maurkice was inspired by football player Maurkice Pouncey; Kimario was inspired by a mention in Ebony magazine; Willkie was inspired by politician Wendell Willkie; Amareion was inspired by singer Omarion; Ebay was inspired by the TV show Good Times; Brettly was inspired by the TV show American Restoration; Vadir was inspired by actor Vadhir Derbez; Travolta was inspired by actor John Travolta; Macarther was inspired by Douglas MacArthur; Schley was inspired by Winfield Scott Schley.

Can you come up with explanations for any of the others?


Top One-Hit Wonder Baby Names Since 1880

top one-hit wonder baby names of all time

The Social Security Administration’s annual baby name list only includes names given to 5 or more U.S. baby girls (or baby boys) per year.

Most rare names never make the list, but a select group have appeared a single time. I like to call these the one-hit wonder baby names.

One-hit wonders tend to pop up with a relatively low number of babies — 5 or 6 — but a handful are given to dozens of babies…only to disappear again the next year! Intriguing, no?

Below are the highest-charting one-hit wonder names for every year on record before 2013. (We won’t know which 2013 names are one-hit wonders until later lists come out.) The format is: “Girl name(s), number of baby girls; Boy name(s), number of baby boys.”

  • 1880: none; Merida, 5
  • 1881: Zilpah, 9; Roll, 5
  • 1882: none; none
  • 1883: none; none
  • 1884: none; none
  • 1885: Lelie, 5; Ng & Sip, 5
  • 1886: Ottillie, 5; none
  • 1887: none; Pembroke, 5
  • 1888: Etelka & Pantha, 5; Bengiman, 5
  • 1889: Litta & Roxa, 5; Edw & Profit, 5
  • 1890: Modeste, 8; none
  • 1891: Dorilla & Euphemie, 5; Navajo, 5
  • 1892: none; Whitelaw & Wint, 5
  • 1893: Hedwige, 7; Pomp, 5
  • 1894: Onezia, 5; Bess, 5
  • 1895: Isal, 7; none
  • 1896: Phenie, 5; none
  • 1897: Phronie, 5; Rhoda, 7
  • 1898: Maine, 9; Schley, 10
  • 1899: Pellie, 5; none
  • 1900: Henrettia & Ursule, 6; Bruster, 5
  • 1901: Kinnie, 5; none
  • 1902: Azema & Lelea, 5; none
  • 1903: Pheobie, 7; none
  • 1904: Berthal, 6; none
  • 1905: Mintha, 5; Pioet, 5
  • 1906: Nellda, Ocey & Clevia, 5; none
  • 1907: Leecy, Odra & Oklahoma, 5; Lanham, 6
  • 1908: Artena, Essye, Malvie & Oshie, 5; none
  • 1909: Argatha, 5; none
  • 1910: Leneve, 7; Capus, 5
  • 1911: Gaither, 6; Caro & Lavette, 5
  • 1912: Gustina, Iras, Leavy & Senona, 6; Edlow, 7
  • 1913: Nixola & Oleane, 6; Gaillard & Rumsey, 6
  • 1914: Vica, 8; Secondo, 9
  • 1915: Desda & Vonie, 8; Zygmond, 10
  • 1916: Alvene, Bleeker, Cloteen, Deelda, Duffie, Iota, Maggielean, Matrona, Mealie, Mishie, Ortrude, Sirkka, Truma, Valasta, Valesta, Valrea & Ysobel, 6; Hafford, 9
  • 1917: Florenz & Lutrelle, 9; Annis, Clermont, Loddie, Onslow, Rosswell & Runar, 7
  • 1918: Theophila, 10; Hobby, 9
  • 1919: Johnniemae, 9; Lorrain, 10
  • 1920: Dardenella, 9; Mosby, 9
  • 1921: Garnelle, 11; Ive, 9
  • 1922: Donaldine, 12; Crafton, 9
  • 1923: Giovina & Varena, 8; Arbon, Birchel & Wolcott, 7
  • 1924: Klyda, 10; Modell, 9
  • 1925: Ivaline & Valoyce, 8; Evell & Walford, 8
  • 1926: Narice, 13; Lafon & Nola, 9
  • 1927: Genena, Milarain & Seroba, 8; Dalhart, Junor, Maclyn & Mutsuo, 8
  • 1928: Boneva, Geane, Lenard, Loeda & Louvene, 7; Dormon, Hearman, Hover & Shoso, 7
  • 1929: Miladeen, 9; Edsol, 8
  • 1930: Earnease, Lunelle, Magnola & Rhoena, 6; Elice, 7
  • 1931: Dixianna & Vergean, 7; Leroyce, 7
  • 1932: Dolorese, 9; Mannon, 7
  • 1933: Garnieta, 8; Vondal, 7
  • 1934: Delaris, Derene, Ervene, Myrline & Rheata, 6; Cardis, Carloss, Cleophes, Dockie, Exie, Pettus & Shelvie, 6
  • 1935: Nerita, 14; Deuel, 8
  • 1936: Arolyn & Verilea, 7; Rolyn, 8
  • 1937: Noreda, 17; Seavy, 6
  • 1938: Clione, 16; Dall & Vallee, 6
  • 1939: Melsa, 9; Karrol, 7
  • 1940: Lindola, 13; Willkie, 13
  • 1941: Shirey, 7; Saford, 11
  • 1942: Arvina, Floranne, Kaaran & Roine, 6; Macarther, 10
  • 1943: Jerdine, 7; Deming, Dilworth, Eugne, Keener, Rhodell, Rothwell & Sammul, 5
  • 1944: Carolsue, 11; Condy, Hennry, Lemmon & Persell, 5
  • 1945: Diedri, 10; Kermon, 6
  • 1946: Darlia, 13; Cotis, Dowl, Lohn, Rouldph, Royace, Sherryl, Speedy & Trudy, 5
  • 1947: Junellen, 12; Brookie; 7
  • 1948: Gwyned, 9; Beasley, 6
  • 1949: Jerrilyne, 9; Bradbury, Bradfield, Buckey, Hubie, Jubentino, Kurth, Nickola, Varnum & Waynne, 5
  • 1950: Gladystine, 9; Cresenciano, Frosty & Thurnell, 6
  • 1951: Glenalee & Lynnis, 9; Bronnie & Marvine, 8
  • 1952: Charliss, 7; Gevan, 12
  • 1953: Judalon, 11; Credell, Larrey & Uldis, 7
  • 1954: Lilette & Ufemia, 7; Corneall, Danail, Derf, Luann & Michie, 6
  • 1955: Dainette, 14; Christophel, 9
  • 1956: Tirrell, 13; Auddie & Naymon, 7
  • 1957: Theonita, 17; Melivn, 7
  • 1958: Deedy & Lanor, 8; Brete, 7
  • 1959: Rapunzel, 9; Tomm, 8
  • 1960: Devy, 27; Andamo, 15
  • 1961: Shurla, 17; Jefre, 21
  • 1962: Perette, 16; Daphne & Schell, 7
  • 1963: Chrysanne, 12; Darrayl & Daryell, 8
  • 1964: Deeneen, 12; Deneen & Kenndy, 7
  • 1965: Timolyn, 9; Alfonson & Marichal, 8
  • 1966: Agena, 15; Alfy, 15
  • 1967: Malette, 20; Antal, 8
  • 1968: Ondina, 15; Berto, Christoopher, Deith, Mardi, Redginald & Yoram, 6
  • 1969: Dameron, 15; Shoan, 9
  • 1970: Dardi, 14; Cosmos, 9
  • 1971: Anjanet, 9; Demea, 12
  • 1972: Tyhessia, 17; Christerphor, 8
  • 1973: Desheila, 18; Chandar, 13
  • 1974: Charnissa, 32; Sirica, 8
  • 1975: Russchelle, 24; Darweshi, Tchalla & Unborn, 8
  • 1976: Norlisha, 16; Lebrone, 8
  • 1977: Kashka, 16; Ebay, 12
  • 1978: Kushana, 23; Quarterrio & Travolta, 11
  • 1979: Kitzie, 27; Dilanjan & Terdell, 13
  • 1980: Nykeba, 26; Kimario, 13
  • 1981: Tijwana, 18; Cetric & Dharmesh, 8
  • 1982: Ebelina, 11; Chachi & Chezarae, 9
  • 1983: Shadava, 25; Tio, 12
  • 1984: Meghaan, 36; Quisto & Ragene, 9
  • 1985: Miceala, 16; Sophan, 8
  • 1986: Shaquenta, 13; Sarith, 11
  • 1987: Condola & Shayeeda, 12; Calbe, 9
  • 1988: Armisha, 16; Nattiel, 10
  • 1989:
    • Alexandr, 301; Christop, 1082 (glitch names)
    • Cesilie, 10; Madeleine, 10 (non-glitch names)
  • 1990: Jakkia & Shawnic, 16; Pajtim, 13
  • 1991: Deangelis & Jeniqua, 13; Quaysean, 11
  • 1992: Caleesha, 17; Kendrae, 11
  • 1993: Solmaira, 15; Shanquille, 9
  • 1994: Mccaela, 20; Dontonio, 11
  • 1995: Shieda, 14; Jamiroquan, 13
  • 1996: Sidea, 13; Jervontae, 12
  • 1997: Dessiah & Jachai, 10; Versace, 10
  • 1998: Rosisela, 14; Tamija, 14
  • 1999: Ukari, 16; Tyreace, 9
  • 2000: Daebreon & Jadakiss, 13; Zaykeese, 13
  • 2001: Joharis, 12; Kya, 13
  • 2002: Eshanti, 27; Albieri, 12
  • 2003: Saribel, 22; Amareion, 12
  • 2004: Janayra, 12; Mikayla & Quanye, 11
  • 2005: Milenka, 13; Johnbenedict, 14
  • 2006: Sarela, 26; Sunel, 14
  • 2007: Aidsa & Madelis, 30; Joset, 11
  • 2008: Yaindhi, 29; Jometh, 23
  • 2009: Shastelyn, 34; Tyten, 11
  • 2010: Rossibell, 17; Coopar, 14
  • 2011: Jocell, 31; Maurkice, 13
  • 2012: Jeiza, 12; Chander, Drexton, Dristan, Elimelec, Eyian, Hadeed, Khodee, Syir & Vardhan, 8
  • 2013: Jennicka, 15; Jru, 12
  • 2014: Hannaley, 21; Alisher & Zacardi, 11

See anything interesting?

Some of the above — Narice (1926), Saford (1941), Gevan (1952) and Jefre (1961) — are also on the top debuts list.

Lists of the most popular one-hit girl names and one-hit boy names of all time are coming tomorrow and Wednesday…

Update, 5/24/16 – Just revised the 2012 names and added the 2013 and 2014 names.

Drene, The Shampoo-Inspired Baby Name

The first and only time the baby name Drene made it onto the SSA’s list was 1946:

  • 1947: unlisted
  • 1946: 6 baby girls named Drene [debut]
  • 1945: unlisted

Drene Shampoo The inspiration?

Drene shampoo…kind of.

Drene, the first shampoo to use synthetic detergent instead of soap, had been introduced by Procter & Gamble in 1934. So the product had been on the market for more than a decade by the mid-1940s.

What drew people’s attention to Drene in 1946 specifically, then?

“Drene Time,” a late-night radio variety show sponsored by Procter & Gamble. The 30-minute program, which featured singing and comedy, is where the sketch comedy series The Bickersons (starring Don Ameche and Frances Langford) got its start.

“Drene Time” only lasted from mid-1946 to mid-1947, but that gave it enough time to influence the baby name charts, if only slightly.

Drene shampoo continued to be sold until the 1970s, at which point P&G stopped production in the U.S.

Source: Drene Shampoo, Medium, 3 oz. | National Museum of American History

Keeping an Eye on the Name Swayze

patrick swayzeThe late ’80s and early ’90s were good to Patrick Swayze. In 1987 he was in Dirty Dancing. In 1990 he was in Ghost. In 1991, he was in Point Break and also declared the “Sexiest Man Alive” by People magazine.

Not surprisingly, it was during this period the name Swayze started popping up on the SSA’s baby name list:

  • 1992: unlisted
  • 1991: 7 baby boys named Swayze
  • 1990: unlisted
  • 1989: 5 girls named Swayze [debut]
  • 1988: unlisted

But only twice. Then nothing…for more than a decade.

Swayze reappeared on the list in the mid-2000s, along with variant Swayzee:

  • 2008: unlisted
  • 2007: 5 baby girls names Swayzee [debut]
  • 2006: unlisted
  • 2005: 5 baby girls named Swayze
  • 2004: 6 baby girls named Swayze
  • 2003: unlisted

But things didn’t really heat up until a few years later.

Starting in 2009 — the year Patrick Swayze died of pancreatic cancer, sadly — we start to see more and more babies with the names Swayze, Swayzee, Swayzie and Swayzi:

  • 2012:
    • 52 baby girls and 13 baby boys named Swayze
    • 20 baby girls named Swayzee
    • 20 baby girls named Swayzie
    • 7 baby girls named Swayzi [debut]
  • 2011:
    • 26 baby girls and 6 baby boys named Swayze
    • 14 baby girls named Swayzie
    • 13 baby girls named Swayzee
  • 2010:
    • 17 baby girls and 7 baby boys named Swayze
    • 6 baby girls named Swayzie [debut]
  • 2009:
    • 5 baby boys named Swayze
    • 5 baby girls named Swayzee

If we condense the above, that’s 10 babies in 2009, 30 in 2010, 53 in 2011, and 112 in 2012. So, the number of babies with a Swayze-inspired name has been doubling every year.

Why the mini-explosion of Swayzes? I think it has to do with style. The name Swayze is reminiscent of Hollywood/celebrity (like Brando, Harlow, Monroe, Travolta) and it sounds very modern, especially with that kicky “zee” ending (like trendy Mackenzie).

Do you like Swayze as a baby name?

How popular do you think Swayze names will get?

P.S. Here’s one last Swayze-inspired name for you: Orry. It debuted in 1985 and was inspired by a Patrick Swayze’s character Orry Main from the TV miniseries North and South.

Pop Culture Baby Name: Kookie

Before there was Fonzie, there was Kookie.

Kookie
Kookie

Kookie was a hipster played by Edward Byrnes on the detective show 77 Sunset Strip (1958-1964). He worked as a valet parking attendant at the club next door to the detectives’ office. The character quickly became a cultural phenomenon:

Constantly combing his glossy, duck-tailed hair and speaking in what was called ‘jive talk’, Gerald Lloyd Kookson III – ‘Kookie’ to his friends — helped Stu and Jeff out on their cases and stole the show. Teenage girls went wild for Kookie and his fan mail reached 10,000 letters a week. A glossary was issued for those who wanted to learn his language which included such young dude phrases as, ‘let’s exitville’ (let’s go), ‘out of print’ (from another town), ‘piling up the Z’s’ (sleeping), ‘a dark seven’ (a depressing week) and ‘headache grapplers’ (aspirin) – all soon copied by youth worldwide.

This popularity led to Kookie-branded merchandise, including “Kookie’s Comb.”

Kookie's Comb
Kookie’s Comb

It also led to Edward Byrnes’ hit novelty song “Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb” (1959), a duet with Connie Stevens that reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

But I didn’t know any of this when I spotted Kookie on the SSA’s 1959 baby name list:

Until I did some research, I thought it was just a variant of Cookie.

Alas, the baby name Kookie did not stick around; it was a one-hit wonder. But Edward Byrnes went on to appear in many other TV shows and films, most notably Grease (1978).

In 2005, TV Guide ranked the top 25 teen idols of all time. Edward “Kookie” Byrnes came in 5th. (John Travolta came in 3rd. Michael J. Fox came in 23rd.)

Source: Lewis, Jon E. and Penny Stempel. Cult TV: The Essential Critical Guide. London: Pavilion Books, 1996.

My 10 Favorite Uniquely ’70s Baby Names

70s baby names (willona vs darth)

Love 1970s pop culture? Love names? Then check out this list!

Out of the more than 12,000 baby names that debuted on the charts during the ’70s, here are 10 (well, 11) that are particularly symbolic of the decade. All are legit baby names!

  1. Darth. The baby name Darth, inspired by movie villain Darth Vader, debuted on the baby name charts in 1977.
  2. Travolta. The baby name Travolta, inspired by actor John Travolta, debuted on the baby name charts in 1978.
  3. Shaft. The baby name Shaft, inspired by movie character Shaft, debuted on the baby name charts in 1971.
  4. Willona. The baby name Willona, inspired by TV character Willona Woods, debuted on the baby name charts in 1974.
  5. Jorel. The baby name Jorel, inspired by movie character Jor-El, debuted on the baby name charts in 1979.
  6. Rhiannon. The baby name Rhiannon, popularized by Fleetwood Mac song “Rhiannon,” debuted on the baby name charts in 1974.
  7. Starsky & Hutch. The baby names Starsky and Hutch, inspired by the TV show Starsky & Hutch, both debuted on the baby name charts in 1975.
  8. Comaneci. The baby name Comaneci, inspired by gymnast Nadia Comaneci, debuted on the baby name charts in 1976.
  9. Uhura. The baby name Uhura, inspired by TV character Lt. Uhura, debuted on the baby name charts in 1971.
  10. Atari. The baby name Atari, inspired by the Atari game console, debuted on the boys’ side of the baby name charts in 1979. (This one’s actually a borderline case, as it debuted for girls in 1980.)

Not-very-honorable mention goes to my least favorite uniquely ’70s name, Yarnell. She’s the mime lady who haunts my dreams…

Do YOU have any favorite ’70s baby names?

P.S. Here are my 10 favorite uniquely ’80s and ’90s baby names.

Note: Updated in March of 2015.

How Many Babies Were Named Travolta?

how many babies named travolta - posterWe’ve been watching John Travolta for decades. He’s played a Sweathog, a bubble boy, a hit-man, a chubby 1960s housewife…

Despite all this output, though, the surname Travolta has appeared on the SSA’s baby name list only once:

  • 1979: unlisted
  • 1978: 11 baby boys named Travolta [debut]
  • 1977: unlisted

Were the parents of these babies inspired by Travolta’s portrayal of disco dancer Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever (released in late 1977), or by his role as Rydell High greaser Danny Zuko in Grease (released in mid-1978)?

My money’s on Saturday Night Fever, but both films did extremely well at the box office, so it’s hard to know for sure.

Which movie do you think the parents of those 11 baby Travoltas had in mind?