How did the movie “The Birds” influence baby names in the 1960s?

Actress Tippi Hedren in the movie "The Birds" (1963)
Tippi Hedren in “The Birds

Last month, HBO aired an original movie called The Girl. I didn’t see it, but the reviews tell me it was about the relationship between director Alfred Hitchcock and actress Nathalie Kay “Tippi” Hedren, who starred in two of Hitchcock’s movies: The Birds (1963) and Marnie (1964).

And that reminded me — both of these Hitchcock films had an effect on baby names in the 1960s.

The Birds inspired two SSA debuts: Tippi and Pleshette (from the surname of fellow Birds actress Suzanne Pleshette).

Tippi debuted in 1963:

  • 1966: 8 baby girls named Tippi
  • 1965: 12 baby girls named Tippi
  • 1964: 10 baby girls named Tippi
  • 1963: 6 baby girls named Tippi [debut]
  • 1962: not listed

And Pleshette debuted a year later:

  • 1966: 9 baby girls named Pleshette
  • 1965: not listed
  • 1964: 7 baby girls named Pleshette [debut]
  • 1963: not listed
  • 1962: not listed

Tippi was off the list again by the mid-1970s, and Pleshette hung on until the late 1980s.

The psychological thriller Marnie wasn’t behind any debuts, but it did make the name Marnie trendy for several years:

  • 1968: 446 baby girls named Marnie [rank: 456th]
  • 1967: 252 baby girls named Marnie [rank: 600th]
  • 1966: 245 baby girls named Marnie [rank: 606th]
  • 1965: 267 baby girls named Marnie [rank: 584th]
  • 1964: 112 baby girls named Marnie
  • 1963: 38 baby girls named Marnie
  • 1962: 30 baby girls named Marnie

Marnie saw peak usage in 1969, but was out of the top 1,000 again by 1978. In 2011, just 16 baby girls were named Marnie.

Which of these three names do you like best: Tippi, Pleshette, or Marnie?

Source: SSA

Image: Screenshot of The Birds

One thought on “How did the movie “The Birds” influence baby names in the 1960s?

  1. I went to school with a Tippi (legal name Tiffany) who was born in 1972. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear her parents were big Hitchcock fans.

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