Where did the baby name Capri come from in 1953?

1955 Lincoln Capri Sport Coupe
Lincoln Capri

The Italian island of Capri has been inhabited for millennia, but very few Americans were naming their babies Capri before Ford introduced the Lincoln Capri in the early 1950s:

  • 1955: 6 baby girls named Capri
  • 1954: 5 baby girls named Capri
  • 1953: 7 baby girls named Capri [debut]
  • 1952: unlisted
  • 1951: unlisted

The car was on the market from 1952 to 1959 and, as far as I can tell, it was the very first car-inspired baby name to appear in the data. Since then, many different cars have inspired baby names (e.g., Camry, DeLorean, Miata, Porsche).

These days the name Capri is given to close to 200 baby girls per year, which puts it pretty close to the top 1,000.

The origin of the island name “Capri” isn’t known for certain, but it could be derived from the ancient Greek word kapros, meaning “wild boar,” or from the Latin word capreae, meaning “goats.”

Do you like the name Capri? Would you use it for a baby girl?

Sources: Lincoln Capri – Wikipedia, SSA
Image: Adapted from a 1955 Lincoln Capri magazine ad

2 thoughts on “Where did the baby name Capri come from in 1953?

  1. Did the decline in the popularity of the name Edsel correspond with poor sales & negative perception of the Ford Edsel?

  2. It looks like the car temporarily *increased* the popularity of the name Edsel, actually.

    The infamous car, introduced the public in 1957 via the Emmy-nominated (!) television special The Edsel Show, was in production from 1958 to 1960.

    Here’s the data on the baby name during those years, and just before/after:

    1961: 25 baby boys named Edsel
    1960: 27 baby boys named Edsel
    1959: 47 baby boys named Edsel
    1958: 56 baby boys named Edsel
    1957: 54 baby boys named Edsel
    1956: 29 baby boys named Edsel

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