Mystery baby name: September

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

Here’s a good mystery name to post in September: September.

The name September — just like the name Staria from a couple of weeks ago — debuted in 1955 with 20 baby girls:

  • 1958: 7 baby girls named September
  • 1957: 24 baby girls named September
  • 1956: 15 baby girls named September
  • 1955: 20 baby girls named September [debut]
  • 1954: unlisted
  • 1953: unlisted

Where did it come from? I don’t know.

At first I thought the movie September Affair (or the associated song, “September Song”) might have something to do with it, but the timeline is off. Plus, I feel like September would need to be used as a character name (or a stage name?) to recast it as a potential baby name in the eyes of expectant parents.

But, as usual, word-names are particularly hard to figure out. The origins of Memory and Treasure are still obscure, for instance. (They’re not impossible to solve, though! Check out Rise, or Strange.)

Any ideas about what happened in 1955 (or late 1954) to make people see September as more than month name?

2 thoughts on “Mystery baby name: September

  1. This would seem to be an unlikely name source, but…I found several references in 1954/1955 periodicals to a burlesque dancer/”striptease artist” named September Maughn. Some articles refer with amusement to the fact that she claimed to have really been christened September (Alice) Maughn — September Morn is the name of a nude painting that was widely reproduced as a pin-up in the early 20th century.

  2. Thanks Becca! That’s the best explanation I’ve seen so far. But, you’re right, it doesn’t seem likely that several mentions in newspapers (etc.) would result in a debut that high. Even though the mentions did focus on her name specifically, which is significant.

    Looks like the painting itself was being displayed in the U.S. in the late ’50s, but I don’t think that would have affected U.S. baby names.

    The only burlesque dancer I can think of who had an impact on the charts was Zorita in 1950, and that was only because she happened to appear in a movie around that time.

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