Where did the baby name Sinatra come from?

Singer Frank Sinatra (1915-1998)
Frank Sinatra

The singular name Sinatra has popped up in the U.S. baby name data several times — twice in the late 1950s, and once more in the mid-1960s:

  • 1967: unlisted
  • 1966: 7 baby boys named Sinatra
  • 1960…1965: unlisted
  • 1959: 5 baby boys named Sinatra
  • 1958: 6 baby boys named Sinatra [debut]
  • 1957: unlisted

It’s hard for me to tie these in with specific moments in Frank Sinatra’s career, as Sinatra released multiple albums per year, acted in movies, appeared on television, got married four times (and divorced thrice). As we all know, any of these sorts of things can inspire expectant parents.

This first appearance may have had something to do with the release of Sinatra’s Grammy-nominated album Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely (1958), or his second attempt at The Frank Sinatra Show (1957-1958).

The second could simply correlate to the mid-1960s surge in popularity Sinatra experienced on the heels of September of My Years (1965), A Man and His Music (1965), and Strangers in the Night (1966).

If you know more about Sinatra than I do, please chime in and let me know why you think more boys were named Sinatra in these particular years.

In the meanwhile, I can offer you the etymology: The Italian surname Sinatra can be traced back to the Latin word senator, which originally referred to a member of the Roman Senate.

Source: Hanks, Patrick. (Ed.) Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

P.S. The movie that kicked off Sinatra’s 1950s comeback, From Here to Eternity (1953), also kicked off the Hawaiian name Haunani.

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