Where did the baby name Trenny come from?

Trenny Robb, 1967
Trenny Robb, 1967

From 1968 to 1970, the baby name Trenny was popular enough to appear in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1971: unlisted
  • 1970: 6 baby girls named Trenny
  • 1969: 7 baby girls named Trenny
  • 1968: 20 baby girls named Trenny [debut]
  • 1967: unlisted
  • 1966: unlisted

Where did “Trenny” come from?

A bridesmaid, believe it or not.

On December 9, 1967, Lynda Bird Johnson — the elder daughter* of President Lyndon B. Johnson and Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson — married U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Charles Robb in a private ceremony in the East Room of the White House.

One of the bridesmaids was the groom’s sister, a photogenic 20-year-old named Marguerite Trenholm “Trenny” Robb.

Interest in her spiked after the wedding photos came out, and she became somewhat of a media darling for the next few years. In 1968, for instance, Trenny appeared on The Merv Griffin Show and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, she modeled in magazines like Ladies’ Home Journal and Mademoiselle, and she even flew to Rome to screen test for an Omar Sharif film.

The media followed her modeling career over the next couple of years — even after President Johnson was replaced by President Nixon in early 1969.

But then Trenny decided to leave it all behind and pursue other interests. In 1970 she married, moved to a farm in Vermont, and started a business making pot pipes and related paraphernalia (love beads, peace posters).

These days, Trenny is still in Vermont, but she’s moved on from making pipes to making lamps.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Trenny?

P.S. The English surname Trenholm comes from the name of a village in Yorkshire. The place name can be traced back to a pair of Old Norse words meaning “crane” (as in the bird) and “islet.”

Sources:

*Weirdly enough, the wedding of the younger Johnson daughter, Luci, also had an influence on the baby names…

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