Where did the baby name Chipper come from in 1945?

The characters Skeezix, Nina, and Chipper Wallet from the comic strip "Gasoline Alley" (May 1945)
Skeezix, Nina, and baby Chipper

The name Chipper first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in the middle of the 1940s:

  • 1948: unlisted
  • 1947: unlisted
  • 1946: 5 baby boys named Chipper
  • 1945: 7 baby boys named Chipper [debut]
  • 1944: unlisted
  • 1943: unlisted

Where did it come from?

A comic strip!

On April 1, 1945, Nina and Skeezix Wallet of the comic strip Gasoline Alley welcomed a baby boy.

Initially, the baby was simply called Chipper — a nickname chosen ahead of time by his father (who was overseas, serving in WWII).

Skeezix returned home to meet his son in early May. Soon after, on May 15th, the couple gave their son the legal name Thomas Walter Wallet, after both grandfathers. But they continued to call him Chipper.

Chipper Wallet went on to serve with the Seabees in Vietnam, and then become a doctor.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Chipper?

P.S. Chipper’s younger sister was named Clovia.


Image: Clipping from the Daily Alaska Empire (5 May 1945)

[Latest update: Apr. 2024]

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