Where did the baby name Rydell come from?

Bobby Rydell's album "We Got Love" (1959)
Bobby Rydell album

The baby name Rydell first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1960:

  • 1962: 11 baby boys named Rydell
  • 1961: 11 baby boys named Rydell
  • 1960: 17 baby boys named Rydell [debut]
  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: unlisted

The influence?

Teen idol of the early 1960s Bobby Rydell (who was born Robert Louis Ridarelli in Pennsylvania in 1942).

His first singles started coming out in 1959. His early hits included “Kissin’ Time” (1959), “Wild One” (1960), and “Swingin’ School” (1960).

Here he is lip-syncing to “We Got Love” on Dick Clark’s Saturday Night Beechnut Show in November of 1959:

The 1971 musical Grease, set in 1959, paid tribute to Rydell — one of the breakout stars of ’59 — with the name of Rydell High School.

The surname Rydell has two possible origins: Swedish (meaning “woodland clearing”) or English (based on the Norman personal name Ridel).


P.S. “We Got Love” was co-written by Kal Mann, who I mentioned in the Pier Angeli post…

2 thoughts on “Where did the baby name Rydell come from?

  1. Love Grease!!! And yes, I do love Grease 2 as well. Maxwell Caulfield RIP and Michelle Pfeiffer worked well together, and it hit a place in my writer’s heart to have the stories opposite each other. I have the soundtracks and movies.
    In Grease 2 you hear Rydell High, Beat the Cavaliers by the announcements, so Rydell always brings that part to mind.
    That being said, I like the names, Ryder, Stryder (LotR), Bryder.

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