Where did the baby name Guendalina come from in 1964?

The character Guendalina from the Italian film "Guendalina" (1957)
Guendalina from “Guendalina

The pretty name Guendalina appeared for the first and only time in the U.S. baby name data in the mid-1960s:

  • 1966: unlisted
  • 1965: unlisted
  • 1964: 5 baby girls named Guendalina [debut]
  • 1963: unlisted
  • 1962: unlisted

It ultimately comes from a 1957 Italian movie called Guendalina, a romantic comedy about an Italian teenager named Guendalina (played by actress Jacqueline Sassard). The movie apparently never saw wide release in the United States.

So…how did a late ’50s foreign film come to affect mid-’60s American baby names?

The answer is television. Various television stations played the film during the first half of the ’60s, according to the TV schedules published in the newspapers. As a result, not only did the name Guendalina rise above that 5-baby threshold to debut in the U.S. data, but the modified version Gwendalina became a one-hit wonder during that period as well (in 1961).

Do you like the name Guendalina, or do you prefer the original Welsh form Gwendolen?

Source: Guendalina (1957) – TCM.com

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