Where did the baby name Zully come from in 1955?

Actress Zully Moreno in the movie "La Mujer de las Camelias" (1953).
Zully Moreno

The unusual name Zully first popped up in the U.S. baby name data in 1955:

  • 1957: unlisted
  • 1956: unlisted
  • 1955: 7 baby girls named Zully [debut]
  • 1954: unlisted
  • 1953: unlisted


Because this was the year that Argentine movie actress Zully Moreno was making headlines in the U.S.

Zulema “Zully” Moreno was well-known in her home country, but Americans didn’t learn about her until one of her films, La Mujer de las Camelias (1953), won the inaugural Best Foreign Language Film award at the 1955 Golden Globes. The same year, her name debuted in the U.S. baby name data.

Moreno never won any other prominent U.S. film awards, and never made any English-language films. But some of her Spanish-language films, like María Montecristo and Pecado, did start playing in certain U.S. cities in the mid-1950s.

“Zully” is pronounced zoo-lee or soo-lee, and Zulema is pronounced zoo-ley-mah or soo-ley-mah. The name Zulema could be based on the Turkish male name Süleyman. If that’s the case, then it ultimately comes from the Hebrew name Solomon, which was derived from the Hebrew word shalom, meaning “peace.”

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