Where did the baby name Danya came from in 1939?

Advertisement for Danya hand cream (1940)
Danya ad, 1940

The name Danya began showing up in the U.S. baby name data in 1939:

  • 1943: 9 baby girls named Danya
  • 1942: 7 baby girls named Danya
  • 1941: 16 baby girls named Danya
  • 1940: 5 baby girls named Danya
  • 1939: 7 baby girls named Danya [debut]
  • 1938: unlisted
  • 1937: unlisted

The influence?

I think it was Danya hand cream, which was introduced by Pond’s in 1937.

Advertisement for Danya hand cream and Drene shampoo (1939)
Drene & Danya ad, 1939

Danya hand cream was advertised in both newspapers and magazines — particularly women’s magazines, such as Ladies’ Home Journal, McCall’s, Good Housekeeping, and Woman’s Home Companion.

In 1939, incidentally, it was cross-promoted with Drene shampoo. You could buy them both together for just 53¢ (a savings of 32¢!).

Despite all the marketing, Danya lotion saw poor sales. It was discontinued in 1943. (Monchel was another name-influencing beauty product that didn’t last long.)

The baby name Danya, on the other hand, stayed in the data for years to come. In fact, peak usage happened relatively recently: 126 baby girls in 2007.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Danya?


Images from Good Housekeeping (Mar. 1, 1940, page 131) and Chicago Sunday Tribune (Feb. 12, 1939, page 3).

3 thoughts on “Where did the baby name Danya came from in 1939?

  1. Dania and the transliterated-from-Cyrillic Danya (both pronounced Dahn-ya) are Slavic-language diminutives for names like Daniel, Danielle, Daniela, and Danuta. I wonder if that’s the influence on modern usage of the name? Plus, it sounds like Anya with a D. I like it, especially as a diminutive for Daniela.

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