What turned Chubby into a baby name in 1962?

Chubby Checker's album "Let's Twist Again" (1961)
Chubby Checker album

Chubby Checker was born Ernest Evans, so, for him, Chubby was a nickname. But when Chubby Checker was at the height of his fame, Chubby became the legal first name of over a dozen baby boys:

  • 1964: unlisted
  • 1963: 5 baby boys named Chubby
  • 1962: 9 baby boys named Chubby [debut]
  • 1961: unlisted
  • 1960: unlisted

Other babies got the variant Chubbie, a one-hit wonder in 1962:

  • 1964: unlisted
  • 1963: unlisted
  • 1962: 5 baby boys named Chubbie [debut]
  • 1961: unlisted
  • 1960: unlisted

Interestingly, the 1962 debut doesn’t correlate with Chubby’s initial success with “The Twist” (1960).

It’s a better match to later songs like “Pony Time” (1961), the Grammy Award-winning “Let’s Twist Again” (1961), and the second run of “The Twist” (which was re-released in late 1961).

“The Twist” is the only song to have ruled the Hot 100 in separate release cycles, as it returned to the top after adults caught on to the song and its namesake dance that younger audiences had first popularized.

While 1962 and 1963 are the only years the name appeared on the SSA’s baby name list, baby boys had been getting the name Chubby long before this. The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) currently lists 19 Chubbys and 3 Chubbies born before 1960, for instance.

How do you feel about the name Chubby?

Sources: The Twist (song) – Wikipedia, Hot 100 Turns 60: Chubby Checker’s ‘The Twist’ & The Beatles Reign | Billboard

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