Where did the baby name Kaseem come from in 1957?

The character Kaseem from the TV series "Jungle Jim" (1955-1956).
Kaseem from “Jungle Jim

Jungle Jim started as a comic strip in the mid-1930s. The titular character, Jim Bradley, was an American hunter living in the jungles of Southeast Asia. Another main character was his native sidekick, Kolu.

Jungle Jim stories were adapted for radio, film, and eventually a short-lived television series consisting of 26 episodes that aired from 1955 to 1956. The TV show introduced several new characters, including a boy named Skipper, a chimp named Tamba, and a new native sidekick named Kaseem. (Many sources called him a “Hindu manservant.”)

The show didn’t do much for the names Skipper or Tamba, but it did boost the name Kaseem up over the SSA’s 5-baby threshold for the first time:

  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: unlisted
  • 1957: 11 baby boys named Kaseem [debut]
  • 1956: unlisted
  • 1955: unlisted

Incidentally, in the 1956 movie Zarak included a character named Kasim. And, surprisingly, Kaseem wasn’t the only turbaned man on TV influencing baby names in the ’50s — check out Korla.

Sources: Don Markstein’s Toonopedia: Jungle Jim, SSA

Image: Screenshot of Jungle Jim

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