Where did the baby name Damone come from in 1959?

Singer Vic Damone (1928-2018)
Vic Damone

The name Damone first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in the late 1950s:

  • 1961: 6 baby boys named Damone
  • 1960: 8 baby boys named Damone
  • 1959: 5 baby boys named Damone [debut]
  • 1958: unlisted
  • 1957: unlisted

Italian-American pop singer Vic Damone (birth name: Vito Farinola) seems to be the obvious answer here. If this is the case, though, I wonder why didn’t the name appear in the data years earlier, as Vic Damone had been famous since the late 1940s.

Perhaps it was the gossip columns? He was in the middle of a very public divorce from Italian actress Pier Angeli from late 1958 to late 1959.

That was long after they’d had their only son, Perry (named after godfather Perry Como). His birth in 1955 helped make the name Perry trendier during the second half of the ’50s:

  • 1958: 2,737 baby boys named Perry [rank: 132nd]
  • 1957: 2,366 baby boys named Perry [rank: 145th]
  • 1956: 1,864 baby boys named Perry [rank: 163rd]
  • 1955: 1,452 baby boys named Perry [rank: 183rd]
  • 1954: 1,255 baby boys named Perry [rank: 199th]

The surname Damone (Americans pronounce it dah-MOHN) was the singer’s mother’s maiden name. It can be traced back to the personal name Adamo, the Italian form of Adam.

Do you like the name Damone? Do you like it more or less than the similar names Damon and Damian?

Source: Hanks, Patrick. (Ed.) Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Image: Vic Damone 1959

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