Where did the baby name Chadyeane come from in 1924?

The character Chadyeane and Jimmy from the silent film "Born Rich" (1924).
Chadyeane and Jimmy from “Born Rich

The curious name Chadyeane was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. baby name data in the mid-1920s:

  • 1926: unlisted
  • 1925: unlisted
  • 1924: 5 baby girls named Chadyeane
  • 1923: unlisted
  • 1922: unlisted

Where did it come from?

The name’s unusual spelling led me right away to a silent film called Born Rich, which was released in December of 1924. The movie’s main characters were a wealthy couple named James “Jimmie” and Chadyeane “Chad” Fairfax.

Digging through the records, though, I found extra information. First, as expected, more than five baby girls born in the U.S. in 1924 were named Chadyeane. (The total is closer to ten.) Second, unexpectedly, just about all of those 1924 Chadyeanes were born earlier in the year — in some cases, much earlier.

As it turns out, the movie was based on a novel of the same name by Hughes Cornell. And the novel had been serialized in the newspapers toward the beginning of 1924. So it’s far more likely that the influence in this case was the literary character, not the movie character.

I don’t know how Chad’s full first name is pronounced, but it seems to be based on a French surname that can be spelled various ways (e.g., Chadeayne, Chadeyane, Chadeyne).

What are your thoughts on this name? How would you pronounce it?

Source: Born Rich (1924) – TCM

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