What turned Cinnamon into a baby name in 1967?

The character Cinnamon Carter from the TV series "Mission: Impossible" (1966-1973)
Cinnamon Carter from “Mission: Impossible

The spice name Cinnamon debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1967:

  • 1972: 63 baby girls named Cinnamon
  • 1971: 94 baby girls named Cinnamon
  • 1970: 110 baby girls named Cinnamon
  • 1969: 202 baby girls named Cinnamon [rank: 699th]
  • 1968: 91 baby girls named Cinnamon
  • 1967: 41 baby girls named Cinnamon [debut]
  • 1966: unlisted
  • 1965: unlisted

It was the top debut name of the year and, two years later, reached the top 1,000 for the first and only time. It also gave rise to variant forms such as Cinamon, Cynnamon, and Cinnamin.

So what gave the name Cinnamon such a big boost in the late ’60s?

Cinnamon Carter, a character from the spy/action TV show Mission: Impossible (1966-1973).

Cinnamon (played by actress Barbara Bain) was a successful fashion model by day, but she was also a member of the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) — a team of secret government agents. (I’m not sure how one can be a both a public figure and a secret agent, but I guess she made it work.)

Though the character was only on the show for the first three seasons, she made a strong impression; Bain won three consecutive Emmy awards for each of those three years.

As soon as the character was off the show, the usage of the name Cinnamon started declining.

What are your thoughts on Cinnamon as a baby name? How high do you think it could have climbed in the rankings had the character remained on the show?

Sources: Mission: Impossible – Wikipedia, Should You Choose To Accept: Mission Impossible’s Barbara Bain, SSA
Image: Screenshot of Mission: Impossible

2 thoughts on “What turned Cinnamon into a baby name in 1967?

  1. The first thing I thought of when I saw this post was the Neil Young song “Cinnamon Girl”! I looked it up and the song came out in 1970, right along with this name. I wondered if Young was influenced in any way by Barbara Bain or someone named for her (you never know!) but according to testimony from Young it was about a mysterious, exotic and allusive lover. I bet the song helped give the name some staying power in 1970 – on.

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