While doing research on old-fashioned double names recently, I spotted the unexpected-but-real name Bluejean on the 1930 U.S. Census:
It belonged to an 8-year-old girl in Colorado, and it made me curious…was this Bluejean the only one? Were there others?
So I did some searching, and I ended up finding about a dozen people, mainly females, named Bluejean or something similar (Blue Jean, Bluejeans, Bluejeana, Bluegene). The most recent was born in the late 1980s.
What do you think of Bluejean as a baby name? Would you ever consider using it?
Actress Olympe Bradna started appearing in bit parts in Hollywood movies in the mid-1930s. When she moved up to lead roles a few years later, the marketing campaign around Olympe emphasized her birth story and name. Here’s what Photoplay said in 1938, for instance:
Well then, on August 12th, 1921, not more than eight blocks from where the widely bally-hooed Eiffel Tower in Paris thrusts its snoot to the sky, the vaudeville couple known as Jean and Joseph Bradna clapped hands for a chubby little newcomer — and worried about their act, then running at the Olympic Theater. It was a routine with trained dogs and the young mother fretted about what the puppies might think of her desertion of them. Papa Joe went on himself that night and the act must have gone along smoothly for it wasn’t cancelled.
The little girl was christened Antoinette but because she was born while the act was at the Olympic, Papa and Mama Bradna added the name of Olympia in honor of the theater and a few months later euphonized it to Olympe, pronounced O-Lamp — and it has been that ever since.
Olympe Bradna retired from acting after getting married in 1941.
Source: Sobol, Louis. “Here is Bradna.” Photoplay Aug. 1938: 14.
Time for another mystery baby name! Today’s stumper is Zeline, a one-hit wonder that charted in 1957 with a dozen baby girls:
1957: 12 baby girls named Zeline
The name Zelene debuted the same year, with half as many baby girls.
I’ve done all my standard research, which includes looking at newspapers and periodicals of the era, and so far I haven’t found any notable people/characters/products named Zeline (or Zelene) in 1956-1957.
These names don’t appear to be a variant of a more popular name, though I should mention that Celine saw an uptick in usage in ’58, which is interesting.
At least three of the Zelines and two of the Zelenes were born in California, but this probably isn’t much a clue, given the relative population of California.
Anyone have a theory about the origin of this one?