What turned Jeopardy into a baby name in 1983?

Greg Kihn Band album

This one confused me for a while:

  • 1985: unlisted
  • 1984: unlisted
  • 1983: 6 baby girls name Jeopardy [debut]
  • 1982: unlisted
  • 1981: unlisted

The name Jeopardy was a one-hit wonder in the SSA’s baby name data in 1983.

My first (and only) guess was the popular quiz show Jeopardy!, but the show began airing in the mid-1960s, so that probably wasn’t it.

Then, a week or two ago, I heard what I think is the answer on an ’80s radio station. It was a tune called “Jeopardy” by The Greg Kihn Band.

“Jeopardy” was apparently one of the top songs in the nation in 1983, reaching #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in May. I would never have guessed it by the bizarre music video.

The word jeopardy, which today means “danger” or “risk,” was derived on the Old French phrase jeu parti, meaning “a divided game, game with even chances.”

Sources: Jeopardy Chart History – Billboard, Jeopardy – Online Etymology Dictionary

5 thoughts on “What turned Jeopardy into a baby name in 1983?

  1. Really? I swear that was the first time I’d ever heard it, even though I listen to 80s music all the time. (Of course, maybe I’ve heard it millions of times and just never paid attention…)

  2. I would have thought the TV show too, but the rebooted Alex Trebek version debuted in 1984.

    I can’t link to the video here, but I’m guessing it’s the “our love’s in Jeopardy, baby” song, which I can hear in my head only as the Weird Al version “I lost on Jeopardy, baby”.

  3. @C in DC – Yep, that’s the song. I do think I remember the Weird Al version, now that you mention it. Just not the original. Strange.

    After I learned Jeopardy had been on the air since the ’60s, that was my thinking as well — gotta be Trebek. Sadly it was not. Would’ve been pretty cool, though. :)

  4. OMG!! This is so weird that I found this!! My name is Jepardy, no “o”!! Ahhhh! CRAZY!!

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