Mystery baby name: Adilene (Solved!)

Graph of the usage of the baby name Adilene in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Adilene

In 1987, the most impressive debut name for girls was Jaleesa.

The next-most impressive debut? The name Adilene:

  • 1990: 166 baby girls named Adilene
  • 1989: 158 baby girls named Adilene
  • 1988: 133 baby girls named Adilene
  • 1987: 72 baby girls named Adilene [debut]
  • 1986: not listed

The name Adilene has managed to stay within the 100-to-200 babies-per-year range all the way to 2010, in fact.

Where did it come from?

…I don’t know. (Argh.)

The other mystery names I’ve written about so far — Wanza (1915), Nerine (1917), Laquita (1930), Djuna (1964) — have been older. I didn’t feel too bad asking for help on these.

But Adilene is relatively recent. I’m frustrated that I can’t come up with an explanation for this one.

What I do know is this: most of the 1987 Adilenes have Spanish surnames. So the inspiration could have been something Spanish-language. Perhaps an obscure 1986/1987 telenovela…?

Do you know the answer?

UPDATE: I think the mystery is solved! Looks like Adilene was inspired by “Adilene,” a song by Los Yonics. Big thank you to Laura and Adi for helping me out!

5 thoughts on “Mystery baby name: Adilene (Solved!)

  1. Thanks, Laura! I saw that as well. But I couldn’t find Adilene on any of their early albums — only on one or two of their later ones — so I couldn’t tell if the song kicked off the trend, or merely followed it.

  2. i was born in 1990 and named Adilene because of that damn song by Los Yonics…apparently my mom liked that name so much she had to name her first child after that song lol

  3. Thank you, Adi!

    I just looked up the song again. According to the Adilene page at AllMusic — which must not have existed the first time I searched (?) — Adilene was indeed on a 1987 Los Yonics album called Corazon Vacio. It was the very first track, in fact.

    So, Laura, you were right all along!

  4. I was born in 1994 and named Adilene because of that exact song!! My dad loves that song… if only people could pronounce it correctly.

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