Mystery baby name: Goddess

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

This one might sound like a very modern name — and it is. It’s been given to dozens of baby girls yearly for about a decade now. But Goddess also popped up in the data once in the 1950s, and I’m not sure why.

  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: unlisted
  • 1957: 6 baby girls named Goddess [debut]
  • 1956: unlisted
  • 1955: unlisted

A quick search pulls up a a bunch of mid-’50s movies with the word “Goddess” in the title, but none of these movies seem to line up with a 1957 debut.

  • The American film Devil Goddess (1955) came out too early.
  • The American film The Goddess (1958) came out too late.
  • The German film Liane, Jungle Goddess (1956) wasn’t released in the U.S. until 1959. (We can see a corresponding spike in the number of babies named Liane.)
  • The Italian film The Goddess of Love (1957) wasn’t released in the U.S. until 1960.

The word was also in the title of the 1955 Aldous Huxley novel The Genius and the Goddess, which became a Broadway play of the same name in December of 1957…but the play didn’t even last a week before closing, so I doubt that’s the answer.

Any thoughts on this one?

3 thoughts on “Mystery baby name: Goddess

  1. When was the Citroen ds (car) introduced in the US? It’s nickname was goddess. Perhaps there had been a marketing push or something like that?

  2. Oh, interesting! Looks like the DS was available in the U.S. starting in 1956…I’ll have to go find some advertisements/reviews from around that time to see whether or not the word “goddess” was being emphasized. Thanks, May!

  3. Lately I’ve been looking through U.S. newspapers and magazines from 1956/1957 for any mentions of the Citroen DS. I haven’t found much, and none of what I’ve seen includes the word “goddess.” Doesn’t rule the theory out — maybe there were “goddess” ads on radio or TV? — but so far I’m not finding any evidence of it.

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