Where did the baby name Bobbiejo come from in 1964?

The character Bobbie Jo Bradley from the TV show "Petticoat Junction."
Bobbie Jo Bradley from “Petticoat Junction”

The folksy-sounding girl name Bobbiejo didn’t start popping up in the U.S. baby name until the middle of the 1960s:

  • 1966: 11 baby girls named Bobbiejo
  • 1965: 8 baby girls named Bobbiejo
  • 1964: 7 baby girls named Bobbiejo [debut]
  • 1963: unlisted
  • 1962: unlisted

What put it there?

Television! The sitcom Petticoat Junction, which aired on CBS from 1963 to 1970, featured a trio of teenage sisters with similar nicknames:

  • Wilhelmina Josephine, “Billie Jo”
  • Roberta Josephine, “Bobbie Jo”
  • Elizabeth Josephine, “Betty Jo”

The main character was their widowed mother, Kathryn “Kate” Bradley, proprietor of the Shady Rest Hotel (located near the fictional farming community of Hooterville).

The role of middle daughter Bobbie Jo was played by actress Pat Woodell for the first two years, then by actress Lori Saunders for the rest of the show’s run.

The series also gave a boost to the baby names Betty Jo and Billie Jo in the 1960s. And when Betty Jo had a baby girl named Kathy Jo in a later season, that name got a boost as well.

The name Bobbie Jo went on to see peak usage in 1976, possibly thanks to the movie Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw (which starred Lynda Carter and Marjoe Gortner).

Which of the three “Jo” names do you like best: Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo, or Betty Jo?


  • Petticoat Junction – Wikipedia
  • Terrace, Vincent. The Television Treasury: Onscreen Details from Sitcoms, Dramas and Other Scripted Series, 1947-2019. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2020.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.