The name Delinah popped up in the baby data twice in the late ’70s, and it was given to a relatively high number of baby girls both times.
1978: 21 baby girls named Delinah
1977: 22 baby girls named Delinah [debut]
Where did it come from?
Celebrity gossip. Robert Blake was at the peak of his fame while Baretta was on TV, and, during that time, his family was also in the spotlight. In 1977 specifically, Robert and his wife Sondra separated and nearly divorced. The news outlets covering the story were always sure to mention that the couple had two children: Noah (age 12) and Delinah (11).
Robert and Sondra managed to stay together for another few years, but the marriage finally ended in 1981.
Kenyan middle- and long-distance runner Kipchoge Keino (pronounced kip-CHOH-gay KAY-noh) won a total of four medals at two different Summer Olympics: the 1968 Games in Mexico City and the 1972 Games in Munich.
Kip Keino’s most memorable race was his unlikely win in the 1,500 metre in ’68, but KipchogeKeino‘s names — both first and last — didn’t enter the U.S. baby name data until ’72:
1974 1973 1972 1971 1970
x x 7 baby boys [debut] x x
9 baby boys 13 baby boys 19 baby boys [debut] x x
He won a gold and a silver in ’72, but a more important factor (in terms of baby names) may have been the naming climate in the U.S. in the early ’70s. A growing number of African-Americans were actively looking for African baby names at that time. (Check out this Names from Africa post for more.)
The name Kipchoge, a one-hit wonder in the data, means “born near the store for maize” in the Nandi language.
After retiring from competition, Kip Keino continued to work in sports. In the meanwhile, he and his wife Phyllis took in more than 100 orphaned children (and had seven of their own).
Each child has been given a name in English and Nandi, Kip’s native tongue. They include Claire/Cherop (“born when it’s raining”), Angela/Chepngetrik (“born when the cows go grazing”) and Susan/Chepchirchir (“born in a big hurry”).
For this and other humanitarian work, Keino has been honored in various ways, such as by winning the (very first) Olympic Laurel in 2016.