Mystery baby name: Chyleen

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

Today’s mystery name is Chyleen, a uniquely spelled one-hit wonder from 1945:

  • 1947: unlisted
  • 1946: unlisted
  • 1945: 9 baby girls named Chyleen [debut]
  • 1944: unlisted
  • 1943: unlisted

The names Charlene and Cheryl were on the rise in the ’40s, so the look/sound of Chyleen certainly fits with the trends of the time. But I can’t figure out what put the specific spelling “Chyleen” on the map.

Looking through records, I found a couple of people with other spellings, but “Chyleen” was the dominant favorite. This makes me think the influence was something written (e.g., news story, movie credits, book).

Any ideas about what influenced Chyleen?

P.S. The Chyleen-like name Chyla saw a spike in usage in 1983, with a third of that usage coming from in Illinois. The influence was likely Chicago Bears quarterback Vince Evans, who married a woman named Chyla Dibble in mid-1982. (The couple was featured in the July 19, 1982, issue of Jet magazine.)

3 thoughts on “Mystery baby name: Chyleen

  1. I have a cousin named Chyleen (pronounced shuhleen or shileen soft i) She was named by her father and he was from Arkansas. She was born around 1950.

  2. This isn’t too much help, but looking at records of Chyleens born in 1945, they seem to be all around the country and not centralized in one region or state. So that points to a national rather than a local origin. Chyleen doesn’t necessarily seem to be the most intuitive way to spell this name (I would probably guess Shylene or Shyleen first – but also have to admit I’m looking at it from a 2023 perspective and not a 1945 one) so I would guess it was something in print that prompted this name.

  3. Back at the time ch pronounced as sh was more common. Her older sister is Cheryl and my sister Charlene and a friend Charlotte cases in point. My own feeling is that some people weren’t aware of the proper spelling and thus used an S instead of C because they used the letter that it sounded like. I have noticed that the S has been used in the past 20-30yrs but not hardly or at all before then. I am 71 and I never saw those names with an S until I was past 40. Because I never saw them misspelled when I was younger, when they did start showing up with an S instead of a C, I just figured that some people didn’t know the correct spelling or they wanted to have a more unique spelling. Other languages also may have had an influence on the change in spelling. Down thru time, names of all kinds have changed in spelling for one reason or another.

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