The Debut of Delinah

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.

  • 1979: unlisted
  • 1978: 21 baby girls named Delinah
  • 1977: 22 baby girls named Delinah [debut]
  • 1976: unlisted

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.


  • Armstrong, Lois. “Baretta’s Blake.” People 19 Sept. 1977.
  • Sasso, Joey. “Through Channels.” Garden City Telegram 24 Aug. 1977: 5.

The Entrance of Nicklaus

golf, 1960s, sports, baby name
Jack Nicklaus on the cover of SI

The Nicholas-like name Nicklaus debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1964:

  • 1969: unlisted
  • 1968: 7 baby boys named Nicklaus
  • 1967: 6 baby boys named Nicklaus
  • 1966: unlisted
  • 1965: 6 baby boys named Nicklaus
  • 1964: 5 baby boys named Nicklaus
  • 1963: unlisted

This was around the time now-legendary pro golfer Jack Nicklaus (b. 1940) was gaining fame.

By 1964, he’d already won the U.S. Open, the Masters Tournament, and the PGA Championship once each. He went on to win each of these, plus the Open Championship, multiple times.

The German surname Nicklaus is in the Nicholas family, so it has the same origin: the ancient Greek words nike, meaning “victory,” and laos, meaning “people.”

(BTW, the name Nicholas saw a big jump in popularity from 1977 to 1978, possibly thanks to the TV show Eight Is Enough, in which the eighth child of the family was named Nicholas.)


Image: © 1964 Sports Illustrated

Baby Name Duo: Kipchoge & Keino

baby name, olympics, 1972, keino, kipchoge
Kipchoge “Kip” Keino, 1972

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 Kipchoge Keino‘s names — both first and last — didn’t enter the U.S. baby name data until ’72:

Year# Kipchoges# Keinos
7 baby boys [debut]
9 baby boys
13 baby boys
19 baby boys [debut]

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.


P.S. Two other people who have inspired dual first-and-last name debuts are Cyd Charisse and Pier Angeli.

The Introduction of Tynisa

tynisa, song, baby name, music, 1970s

The name Tynisa debuted in the SSA baby name data in 1976, but it wasn’t just any old debut — it was the most impressive debut of the year with a whopping 79 baby girls:

  • 1979: 14 baby girls named Tynisa
  • 1978: 19 baby girls named Tynisa
  • 1977: 32 baby girls named Tynisa
  • 1976: 79 baby girls named Tynisa [debut] [peak usage]
  • 1975: unlisted
  • 1974: unlisted

Two-thirds of those 79 Tynisas were born in just four states: New York (18), California (14), Pennsylvania (13), and Ohio (7).

Where did the come from all of a sudden?

The Major Harris song “Tynisa (Goddess Of Love),” which was one of the tracks on his 1976 album Jealousy.

“Tynisa” wasn’t a single, but the album was popular (reaching #33 on the R&B charts in early 1976), so a number of people would have heard the song regardless.

What are your thoughts on the name Tynisa?

Source: Major Harris – Billboard

The Baby Name Trevira

trevira, fabric, baby name, 1960s, 1970s
Trevira/Oleg Cassini ad, circa 1968

The name Trevira — not to be confused with the name Tareva — has appeared in the U.S. baby name data only once so far, in 1973:

  • 1975: unlisted
  • 1974: unlisted
  • 1973: 5 baby girls named Trevira
  • 1972: unlisted
  • 1971: unlisted

What inspired it?


Trevira polyester, like Qiana nylon, was one of the branded synthetic fabrics that became trendy during the 1970s.

Trevira was created in Germany in the late ’50s, and by the end of the ’60s could be seen in American retail advertisements that touted the arrival of “The Trevira Era.”

It seems that Trevira hit peak usage among consumers in the early-to-mid ’70s, when it was used to make 1970s fashion staples like flared-leg trousers.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Trevira?

Source: 1970s Disco Fashion –