Where did the baby name Dyana come from in 1944?

Radio singer Dyana Gayle
Dyana Gayle

The name Diana has been in use for centuries, but the specific spelling Dyana didn’t appear in the U.S. baby name data until the mid-1940s:

  • 1946: unlisted
  • 1945: unlisted
  • 1944: 7 baby girls named Dyana [debut]
  • 1943: unlisted
  • 1942: unlisted

I think the influence here is was radio vocalist Dyana Gayle.

Her photo ran in the newspapers in August of 1943. At that time, she and singing partner Phil Hanna were featured vocalists on the CBS radio show Your Home Front Reporter. They were only on the show for the several months (July to September) it aired out of Hollywood, though. (The show itself only lasted from May 1943 to August 1944.)

Radio singers Dyana Gayle and Phil Hanna in 1943.

An article about Dyana from 1945 called her the “servicemen’s singing favorite.” “Dyana’s mail averages some one hundred and fifty letters daily from men in uniform.” It also mentioned that she had a husband (a Marine named Frank), a daughter (named Barbara), and enjoyed cooking, gardening, and playing gin rummy.

Do you like the spelling “Dyana,” or do you prefer “Diana”?


  • Dunning, John. On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
  • Gordon, Shirley. “Slick Chick First Class.” Radio Life 22 Jul. 1942: 29, 31. (via American Radio History)
  • Banks, Dale. “What’s New from Coast to Coast.” Radio Mirror Nov. 1943: 6, 8-10. (via American Radio History)

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