Where did the baby name Manina come from in 1951?

The character Marianne "Manina" Stuart from the movie "September Affair" (1950).
Manina Stuart from “September Affair”

The name Manina first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1951:

  • 1953: 6 baby girls named Manina
  • 1952: 7 baby girls named Manina
  • 1951: 6 baby girls named Manina [debut]
  • 1950: unlisted
  • 1949: unlisted

Where did it come from?

The movie September Affair, which was released in the U.S. in late 1950. One of the main characters was a prominent concert pianist named Marianne “Manina” Stuart (played by Joan Fontaine).

In the film, Manina (pronounced mah-NEE-nah) meets a married American businessman while traveling. When they’re both mistakenly presumed dead (in a plane accident that would have killed them, had they not missed the flight) they take the opportunity to to start new lives together in Italy. But the affair only lasts until their past lives catch up with them.

Manina’s nickname happens to be the Italian word for “small or delicate hand” — fitting for a professional pianist, I suppose, though it might sound silly to an Italian.

The tagline of the film — “it happened in Capri!” — foreshadows the baby name Capri, which popped up on the charts just a few years later.

Which name do you prefer, Manina or Marianne?

Sources: September Affair (1951) – TCM, Manina – Wiktionary

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