What turned Frosty into a baby name in 1950?

Sheet music for the song "Frosty the Snow Man" (1950)
“Frosty the Snow Man”

The unusual baby name Frosty has appeared in the U.S. baby name data just once so far:

  • 1952: unlisted
  • 1951: unlisted
  • 1950: 6 baby boys named Frosty [debut]
  • 1949: unlisted
  • 1948: unlisted

What inspired this sudden interest in Frosty?

The Christmas song “Frosty the Snow Man,” believe it or not. Written and composed by Steve Nelson and Walter “Jack” Rollins, it was first published in 1950.

The lyrics tell the story of a snowman named Frosty (with “a corncob pipe and a button nose and two eyes made out of coal”) who magically comes to life when an “old silk hat” is placed on his head.

Gene Autry was one of the first artists to record it, and his version saw the greatest success during the 1950 holiday season. According to Billboard magazine, Autry’s “Frosty” peaked at #2 on the Best Selling Children’s Records chart for several weeks in a row at the end of 1950 and the beginning of 1951. More importantly, it peaked at #7 on the Best Selling Pop Singles chart during the first week of 1951. (The rankings that week were “based on reports received December 27, 28 and 29.”)

Other recordings of “Frosty the Snow Man” available during the 1950 holiday season included versions by Nat “King” Cole, Red Foley, Roy Rogers, Vaughn Monroe, Curt Massey, Guy Lombardo, Dick “Two-Ton” Baker, Harry Babbitt, and Jimmy Durante.

What are your thoughts on Frosty as a baby name? Do you like it more or less than Bimbo?

P.S. The biggest hit of Gene Autry’s career? “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” released just ahead of the 1949 holiday season. (Incidentally, the name Rudolph saw peak usage around the time Italian-born silent film actor Rudolph Valentino died in 1926, at age 31.)


  • “The Billboard Music Popularity Charts.” Billboard 6 Jan. 1951: 16.
  • “The Billboard Music Popularity Charts.” Billboard 30 Dec. 1950: 10.
  • Frosty the Snowman – Wikipedia
  • SSA

Image: “Frosty the Snow Man” sheet music (Smithsonian)

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