Where did the baby name Sundance come from?

The characters Butch and Sundance from the movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969).
Butch and Sundance from “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Teenage thief Harry Longabaugh served an 18-month jail sentence in Sundance, Wyoming, in the late 1880s. During his imprisonment, he was nicknamed “the Sundance Kid.”

In the 1890s, Harry became associated with Butch Cassidy’s infamous “Wild Bunch” train-robbing gang.

Many years later, in 1969, the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid starring Paul Newman (as Butch) and Robert Redford (as Sundance) came out. Not only did the film win four Academy Awards, but it called attention to the names Cassidy and Sundance.

Babies named CassidyBabies named Sundance
197222 boys + 32 girls.
197126 boys + 17 girls6 boys*
197013 boys + 12 girls.
19695 boys + 5 girls*.
19685 boys*.

Cassidy, which started appearing in the U.S. baby name data in the late ’60s, began rising in usage the year after the movie was released. (It soon became trendy as a girl name, peaking at 99th in the girls’ rankings in 1999.)

Sundance, on the other hand, debuted in the data a couple of years after the movie came out…but never really picked up steam the way Cassidy did.

Which of these two names do you prefer, Sundance or Cassidy?

Image: Screenshot of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.