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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Tula

Number of Babies Named Tula

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Tula

Double Whammy Baby Names: Cyd & Charisse

cyd charisse, movie, dancer, 1940s, baby name, cyd, charisse

As far as I can tell, the very first person to boost both a first name and a last name into the baby name data was dancer and movie star Cyd Charisse. Charisse debuted in 1946, and Cyd followed a year later:

Year # Cyds # Charisses
1950
1949
1948
1947
1946
1945
14 baby girls
20 baby girls
6 baby girls
8 baby girls [debut]
x
x
17 baby girls
14 baby girls
19 baby girls
10 baby girls
5 baby girls [debut]
x

Singin’ in the Rain (1952) was what propelled Charisse to stardom, but in the late ’40s she had minor dancing parts in various musicals, and these appearances must have given her name enough exposure to influence expectant parents.

But she wasn’t born with the name Cyd Charisse. Her birth name was Tula Ellice (ee-leese) Finklea. Here’s how one name morphed into the other:

My real name was Tula Ellice, it was not Cyd. But my brother was only a year older than myself and he couldn’t pronounce Tula Ellice, so he started calling me Sid as a nickname, for sister. And it stuck with me and all my life I’ve been called Sid. But when I went to MGM, Arthur Freed did not like the spelling of S-i-d, which is a boys’ name. And he changed the spelling to C-y-d — a little more glamorous.

And of course Charisse was my first husband’s name, Nico Charisse. So actually Cyd Charisse you could say is my real name.

But there’s actually more to the story, as she went through several stage names before settling on “Cyd Charisse”:

Before I went to MGM, I had danced with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. And, of course, joining a Russian ballet company in those days, you were supposed to have a Russian name. So Colonel de Basil, who was the regisseur of the ballet at that time, he first named me Felia Siderova. And after a couple of months he decided he would change it to Maria Istomana. Two names.

Then when I wound up back in California, before I went to MGM, I met another Russian director. And he decided that my name should be Lily Norwood.

So finally, when I got to MGM, and Arthur Freed said “We have to change your name,” I said “No please, I’ve had my name changed so many times. Let me just be Sid Charisse.” And that’s when he changed the spelling to C-y-d. And finally I had my own name.

These days, American parents still bestow the name Charisse occasionally, but they rarely go for Cyd. Which name do you prefer?

Which name do you prefer for a baby girl, Cyd or Charisse?

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Sources: SSA, Cyd Charisse Interview [vid]
Image from Singin’ in the Rain (1952).


Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: T (part 2)

tira, 1933, mae west, i'm no angel, movie, name

Looking for a rare girl name with a retro feel? Here are dozens of ideas. All came straight from very old films that were released from the 1910s to the 1940s.

This post is part of a series of posts featuring female names from early cinema. I’m going backwards, so the other lists so far are U, V, W, X, Y, and Z. The names below are the second half of the T-list (Ti- to Ty-). The first half has the Ta- to Th- names. Enjoy!

Tiare
Tiare was a character name in multiple films, including The Leopardess (1923) and The Moon and Sixpence (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Tiare.

Tibbie
Aunt Tibbie was a character played by actress Jessie Ralph in the film St. Louis Blues (1939).

Tibby
Tibby was a character name in multiple films, including Dangerous Females (short, 1929) and Bad Man from Red Butte (1940).

Tika
Queen Tika was a character played by actress Dorothy Christy in the film The Phantom Empire (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Tika.

Tilah
Tilah was a character played by actress Margaret Morris in the film Beasts of Paradise (1923).

Tildy
Tildy was a character played by actress Alice Terry in the short film The Brief Debut of Tildy (1918).

Tilga
Tilga was a character played by actress Louise Emmons in the film The Last Egyptian (1914).

Timka
Timka was a character played by actress Jean Parker in the film Caravan (1934).

Timmins
Timmins was a character played by actress Zasu Pitts in the film Her Private Life (1929).

Tira
Tira was a character played by actress Mae West in the film I’m No Angel (1933). Her name was pronounced TIE-rah.

  • Usage of the baby name Tira.

Tisa
Tisa Kepes was a character played by actress Lilli Palmer in the film My Girl Tisa (1948).

  • Usage of the baby name Tisa (which debuted in the data the year that My Girl Tisa came out).

Tish
Letitia “Tish” Carberry was a character played by actress Marjorie Main in the film Tish (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Tish.

Tisha
Tisha was a character played by actress Greta Nissen in the film The Wanderer (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Tisha.

Titania
Titania was a character name in multiple films, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1909) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935).

Tito
Tito was a character played by actress Dorothy Janis in the film The Pagan (1929).

Tituba
Tituba was a character played by actress Madame Sul-Te-Wan in the film Maid of Salem (1937).

Tiza
Tiza Torreon was a character played by actress Myrna Loy in the film Turn Back the Hours (1928).

Tocati
Tocati was a character played by actress Julie Suedo in the film Afterwards (1928).

Toddy
Toddy was a character name in multiple films, including Cain and Mabel (1936) and Youth Runs Wild (1944).

Tohana
Tohana was a character played by actress Inez Palange in the film One Million B.C. (1940).

Toinette
Toinette was a character name in multiple films, including A Love Sublime (1917) and Rainbow on the River (1936).

Tokiwa
Tokiwa was a character played by actress Margaret Gibson in the short film The Love of Tokiwa (1914).

Tollea
Tollea was a character played by actress Maria Montez in the film Cobra Woman (1944).

Tommie
Tommie Lou Pember was a character played by actress Colleen Moore in the film The Perfect Flapper (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Tommie.

Tommy
Tommy Smith was a character played by actress Dorothy Devore in the film The Tomboy (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Tommy.

Tondelayo
Tondelayo was a character played by actress Hedy Lamarr in the film White Cargo (1942).

Tonia
Tonia was a character name in multiple films, including In Old Arizona (1928) and Young Buffalo Bill (1940).

  • Usage of the baby name Tonia.

Tonie
Tonie was a character name in multiple films, including Hold That Girl (1934) and Flight for Freedom (1943).

  • Usage of the baby name Tonie.

Tonita
Tonita was a character name in multiple films, including Border Law (1931) and The Fighting Ranger (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Tonita.

Tonoma
Tonoma was a character played by actress Eugenie Besserer in the short film A Child of the Wilderness (1912).

Tootie
Tootie Smith was a character played by actress Margaret O’Brien in the film Meet Me in St. Louis (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Tootie (a one-hit wonder in 1958, thanks to a news item that year).

Tootsie
Tootsie Brown was a character played by actress Muriel Ostriche in the film Leap to Fame (1918).

Toppie
Toppie Westmacott was a character played by actress Esther Ralston in the film The Little French Girl (1925).

Topsy
Topsy was a character name in multiple films, including The Gold Diggers (1923) and Topsy and Eva (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Topsy.

Torchy
Torchy Blane was a character played by various actresses in a series of 9 Torchy Blane films (1937-1939).

  • Usage of the baby name Torchy.

Toru
Toru was a character played by actress Rosita Marstini in the film A Prisoner in the Harem (1913).

  • Usage of the baby name Toru.

Toshia
Toshia Mori was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Japan in 1912.

  • Usage of the baby name Toshia.

Toton
Toton was a character played by actress Olive Thomas in the film Toton the Apache (1919).

Towana
Towana was a character played by actress Movita in the film Wolf Call (1939).

  • Usage of the baby name Towana (which debuted in the data the year after Wolf Call came out).

Toyo
Toyo Haynes was a character played by actress Lupe Velez in the film Where East Is East (1929).

Trafalgar
Trafalgar was a character name in multiple films, including Trelawny of the Wells (1916) and The Actress (1928).

Trece
Trece was a character played by actress Gertrude Astor in the film Hit of the Show (1928).

Trenna
Trenna Plaice was a character played by actress Virginia Bruce in the film Shadow of Doubt (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Trenna.

Tressie
Tressie Harlow was a character played by actress Mary Philbin in the film Danger Ahead (1921).

Trilby
Trilby was a character name in multiple films, including Trilby (1914) and Svengali (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Trilby.

Trina
Trina was a character name in multiple films, including His Sweetheart (1917) and Man’s Castle (1933).

  • Usage of the baby name Trina.

Trini
Trini was a character played by actress Paulette Duval in the film Twelve Miles Out (1927).

  • Usage of the baby name Trini.

Trixi
Trixi Du Bray was a character played by actress Seena Owen in the film Officer Thirteen (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Trixi.

Trixie
Trixie Friganza was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1940s. She was born in Kansas in 1871. Her birth name was Delia O’Callahan. Trixie was also a character name in multiple films, including Falling Leaves (short, 1912) and The Good Bad Girl (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Trixie.

Trommy
Trommy was a character played by actress Eula Guy in the film Expensive Husbands (1937).

Truda
Truda was a character played by actress Hedda Nova in the film By the World Forgot (1918).

  • Usage of the baby name Truda.

Trudi
Trudi Hovland was a character played by actress Sonja Henie in the film Second Fiddle (1939).

  • Usage of the baby name Trudi.

Trudie
Trudie Morrow was a character played by actress Lila Lee in the film The Night of June 13 (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Trudie.

Trudy
Trudy was a character name in multiple films, including You Can’t Beat Love (1937) and She Married a Cop (1939).

  • Usage of the baby name Trudy.

Truly
Truly Shattuck was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in California in 1876. Her birth name was Clarice Etrulia de Burcharde.

  • Usage of the baby name Truly.

Trusia
Trusia was a character played by actress June Marlowe in the film Don Juan (1926).

Truth
Truth Eldridge was a character played by actress Belle Bennett in the film Flesh and Spirit (1922).

  • Usage of the baby name Truth.

Tryphena
Tryphena Winter was a character played by actress Helen Gardner in the short film Underneath the Paint (1914).

Tsakran
Tsakran was a character played by actress May Robson in the film Turkish Delight (1927).

Tsuru
Tsuru Aoki was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1960s. She was born in Japan in 1892.

Tui
Tui Bow was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1980s. She was born in New Zealand in 1906. Her birth name was Mary Lorraine Tui.

Tuila
Tuila was a character played by actress Conchita Montenegro in the film La Melodia Prohibida (1933).

Tula
Tula Belle was a child actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Norway in 1906. Her birth name was Borgny Erna Bull Høegh. Tula was also a character name in multiple films, including The Vengeance of Najerra (short, 1914) and Kongo (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Tula.

Tuptim
Tuptim was a character played by actress Linda Darnell in the film Anna and the King of Siam (1946).

Tura
Tura in the film character played by actress Dorothy Lamour in the film Her Jungle Love (1938).

  • Usage of the baby name Tura.

Tweeny
Tweeny was a character played by actress Lila Lee in the film Male and Female (1919).

Tylette
Tylette was a character played by actress Gale Sondergaard in the film The Blue Bird (1940).

*

Which of the above names do you like best?

5 Curious Names – Darcy, Iyla, Manahil, Ruzgar, Tulisa

This is my last post on the 2013 England and Wales baby name list, I promise.

Here are five names from the list that made me curious enough to do some digging…

Darcy

Darcy just keeps rising, doesn’t it? Wonder how high it will go. Two variants of the name are now in the top 100, and a third is just three spots away:

  • Darcey (651 baby girls) – ranks 84th
  • Darcy (588) – ranks 93rd
  • Darcie (540) – ranks 103rd

Lower down on the list there are 22 more variants (I’m including compound names here):

  • Darci (56), D’arcy (11), Darcee (9)
  • Darcie-Mae (22), Darcy-Mae (13), Darcie-Mai (11), Darcy-May (9), Darcie-May (7), Darcey-Mai (5), Darcey-Mae (4), Darcey-May (3), Darci-Mae (3)
  • Darcie-Rae (12), Darcey-Rae (3), Darcy-Rae (3)
  • Darcy-Leigh (9), Darcie-Leigh (8), Darcey-Leigh (4)
  • Darcey-Rose (6), Darcie-Rose (6), Darcy-Rose (3)
  • Darcie-Louise (3)

In total, 1,989 baby girls share these 25 versions of Darcy. If we could rank the entire group, it would fall between #24 Phoebe and #25 Millie on the 2013 list.

As Lou of Mer de Noms noted in a post about female names on the rise, dancer Darcey Bussell became a judge on the TV show Strictly Come Dancing in 2012. This explains why Darcey overtook the more traditional spelling Darcy that year.

And the name is still being used for boys, at least for now. Last year, more than 2 dozen baby boys were named Darcy.

Iyla

The 5th most popular girl name in England and Wales right now is Isla, which is pronounced EYE-la. The –s– is silent, the same way the –s– is silent in the word “isle.”

But more and more parents are opting to simplify the name by respelling it Iyla. Watch how the number of baby girls named Iyla has been rising in the shadow of skyrocketing Isla:

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Isla 964 1,599 1,908 2,384 2,849 3,501 3,526
Iyla 9 22 33 46 72 118 137

I doubt Iyla will ever overtake the traditional version of the name, but you never know, alternative spellings sometimes catch on. Darcey is now ahead of Darcy, after all, and Zoey has been more popular than Zoe here in the U.S. since 2011.

Manahil

Last year, two variants of this name entered the girls’ top 1,000 for the first time:

  • Manahil (52 baby girls) – ranks 750th
  • Minahil (47) – ranks 813th
  • Menahil (4)

And I found a fourth variant, Minaahil, on the list from 2012.

Manahil is an Arabic name that means “springs, fountains.” It’s the plural form of the word Manhal.

Ruzgar

Ruzgar, given to 20 baby boys last year, comes from the Turkish word rüzgâr, meaning “wind.” You can hear the proper pronunciation of Rüzgâr at Forvo.

Tulisa

Usage of the name Tulisa plummeted last year, but that’s only part of the story. The name also increased in popularity markedly from 2009 to 2012:

  • 2013: 33 baby girls named Tulisa [out of the top 1,000 again]
  • 2012: 126 baby girls named Tulisa [ranked 375th]
  • 2011: 86 baby girls named Tulisa [ranked 494th]
  • 2010: 34 baby girls named Tulisa [ranked 988th]
  • 2009: 6 baby girls named Tulisa [debut]
  • 2008: unlisted

What accounts for the steep rise and the even steeper drop?

English singer and television personality Tulisa (born Tula Paulinea Contostavlos). She became famous as a member of the hip hop group N-Dubz (2000-2011) and was a judge on the TV show The X Factor (2011-2012).

But 2013 was not a good year for Tulisa. First, she left television. Second, she was arrested on drug charges. These two things were enough to knock the baby name Tulisa out of the top 1,000.

Though the stage name is pronounced tu-lee-sa, her name was originally pronounced tu-litz-a and was used to distinguish her from her grandmother (and namesake) Tula. The Greek name Tula/Toula is a short form of any Greek feminine name ending with the diminutive –toula such as Aretoula, Fotoula, Kostoula, Kritoula, Margaritoula, Panagiotoula or Stamatoula.

…More?

Have you had a chance to scan the list? Which of the baby names there made you curious?

Sources:

  • Gandhi, Maneka, and Ozair Husain. The Complete Book of Muslim and Parsi Names. New Delhi: Penguin Books India, 2004.
  • Smith, Sean. Tulisa. London: Simon & Schuster UK, 2012.