Where did the baby name Viviette come from in 1919?

Illustration from book Viviette (1910) by W. J. Locke

The rare name Viviette first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1919:

  • 1921: unlisted
  • 1920: unlisted
  • 1919: 6 baby girls named Viviette [debut]
  • 1918: unlisted
  • 1917: unlisted

After 1919, it fell off the charts for nearly a century before reappearing in 2014 (and hence being knocked off the one-hit wonder list).

The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) also reveals a slight uptick in usage in 1919:

  • 1921: 0 people named Viviette
  • 1920: 1 people named Viviette
  • 1919: 3 people named Viviette
  • 1918: 1 people named Viviette
  • 1917: 1 people named Viviette

So what was the cause? The silent film Viviette, released way back in 1918.

Coincidentally, the character Viviette was played by an actress with a very similar name: Vivian Martin. Both names can be traced back to the Latin word vivus, which means “alive, living.”

The movie was based on the book Viviette (1910) by William J. Locke. Here’s a synopsis:

Viviette is a girl of many lovers, but for the purpose of this story the number narrows down to two, the brothers, Austin and Dick Ware. Austin is the brilliant successful one of the two, Dick, hot tempered and passionate, is the failure. Viviette plays one off against the other and carries the flirtation to dangerous lengths. But in the end she makes her choice.

Which name do you like better, Viviette or Vivian?


3 thoughts on “Where did the baby name Viviette come from in 1919?

  1. I really like the sounds of Verree and Viviette! Thank you fir posting about these rare names. I had never heard of Verree before and would love to know more about the story behind Verree Tinsdale’s name. Unfortunately for Viviette, this book character doesn’t sound appealing and doesn’t augment my liking for the name :(

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