What turned Falcon into a baby name in 1961?

advertisement, ford falcon, 1960s, baby name

The baby name Falcon first emerged in the U.S. data in 1961. After that, it dropped back out of the data and didn’t re-appear until several decades later.

  • 1963: unlisted
  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: 5 baby boys named Falcon [debut]
  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: unlisted

The influence in this case had nothing to do with birds — it had to do with cars. Specifically, a car called the Ford Falcon, which was introduced to consumers in mid-1959 (for the 1960 model year).

I think the name popped up slightly late thanks to a cute marketing campaign that began in 1960. The ads featured characters from the Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip, which was very popular at the time.

In fact, the 1960 commercials for the Falcon mark the very first time the Peanuts crew appeared as animated characters. (The first Peanuts TV special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, didn’t come along until late 1965.)

Though the Ford Falcon was initially a success, sales of the model decreased as the ’60s progressed. This — plus the fact that “Falcon” wouldn’t have struck many ’60s parents as being particularly name-like (as opposed to, say, Chevelle) — helps explain why the baby name didn’t gain traction until much later.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Falcon? Do you like it more or less than other bird-names such as Raven, Wren and Hawk?


Image: © 1960 Life

2 thoughts on “What turned Falcon into a baby name in 1961?

  1. My grandfather bought a 1969 Ford Falcon a few months before he died. My parents were given the car and it was usually the car my mother used to shuttle us around. It had black vinyl seats which would get so hot in Texas summers that we had to put towels on them or else you would burn your legs. Years later that was the car I was allowed to drive when I got my driver’s license, same for my brother 3 years later. It was still going strong when my parents finally gave it away around 1990. It was definitely not a flashy car like the Mustang, and it was most definitely not a cool car by the time I drove it, but it was reliable and really well built.

    I don’t think I’d name a child Falcon, but it’s not the worst car-inspired (or bird-inspired) name either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.