Where did the baby name Capucine come from in 1961?

French actress Capucine in the movie "Song Without End" (1960).
Capucine in “Song Without End

The curious name Capucine first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in the early 1960s:

  • 1964: 8 baby girls named Capucine
  • 1962: 8 baby girls named Capucine
  • 1961: 5 baby girls named Capucine [debut]
  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: unlisted

Where did it come from?

French actress/model Capucine (pronounced kah-pu-seen, roughly).

Her first English-language film, Song Without End, was released in mid-1960. The film was about 19th-century Hungarian composer Franz Liszt, and Capucine played a fictionalized version of Polish princess Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, who was romantically linked to Liszt. The role earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

The film’s trailer introduced Capucine to American audiences by emphasizing the uniqueness of her name:

Capucine — a name to whisper, a name to shout, a name to remember.

Capucine — one of France’s great beauties.

Capucine’s birth name was Germaine Hélène Irène Lefebvre. When she started to model professionally as a teenager, she was given the name Capucine — the French word for the nasturtium flower (which is shaped like the hood of a Capuchin monk’s robe). According to Capucine’s Song Without End co-star Dirk Bogarde, “[s]he couldn’t remember who pinned it on her — Chanel, Givenchy or just a publicist somewhere.”

At the end of the ’60s, Capucine appeared alongside fellow model Donyale Luna in the film Fellini Satyricon.

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