Mystery baby name: Caster

Graph of the usage of the baby name Caster in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Caster

The top two debut names of 1953 were Trenace (for girls) and Caster (for boys). And you know what? Both have me stumped.

We’ve already talked about Trenace, so here are some details about Caster:

  • 1957: unlisted
  • 1956: 5 baby boys named Caster
  • 1955: 11 baby boys named Caster
  • 1954: 16 baby boys named Caster
  • 1953: 21 baby boys named Caster [debut]
  • 1952: unlisted

Caster doesn’t seem to be a variant of some other name (like Casper, or Lancaster). So I’m assuming this usage corresponds to someone named Caster — either real or fictional — who was in the public eye for several years in a row.

The tricky thing is, of course, that any online search for the name “Caster” turns up all sorts of extraneous stuff — fishing, furniture, music (stratocaster), sports (sportscaster), and so forth.

Still, I was able to track down a few clues.

Records suggest that the majority of these 1950s Casters had middle names that started with D. Here’s a Caster D. born in 1953, and another Caster D. born in 1957.

And every single D-middle I tracked down included the letter L and/or the letter R. Some examples: Dell, Derrell, Derrel, Derriel, Daryl, Deryl, Derald, Derra, Doria, and Doral. A handful of people even had combination names like Casterdale or Casterdell (b. 1953).

Finally, it looks like most of the people named Caster D. were born in the South.

Do you have any idea where the name Caster might have come from?

6 thoughts on “Mystery baby name: Caster

  1. Caster may have been someone who was semi-well known in the south in the 50’s. I’m thinking along the lines of a college athlete or coach, radio personality or given the time/region, maybe a preacher?

    I also wonder if Caster was the nickname of whomever the original inspiration was, rather than their actual name.

  2. @lucubratrix – Thanks for letting me know! (And I think those would be excellent cat names. :)

    @Ellyn – I think a radio personality is a particularly intriguing idea, as there wouldn’t necessarily be a written record of that. Then again, I don’t know how much reach a local show/personality would have had during that era, due to transmission strength (and maybe other factors?). The name popped up in multiple states…did local shows cover multi-state areas? Hm.

  3. This is still nagging at me. I’ve not heard back from any of the Casterd_r/ls I’ve reached out to, but I really feel like there has to be a solution to be found.

  4. I’m sorry you haven’t heard back. Thank you for trying to talk to them though.

    Yeah I feel the same way about probably two or three dozen names at this point — I *know* there’s a smoking gun out there, just haven’t found it yet…

  5. Something that isn’t mentioned here that’s definitely relevant to the solution is that most of the Casters who came from this trend were African-American, so whatever inspired the name trend must’ve had some importance to the black community.

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