Where did the baby name Rolayne come from in 1948?

Arnie Ferrin, college basketball player in the 1940s

The rare name Rolayne has appeared in the U.S. baby name data a total of four times — all in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Usage was particularly high in Utah:

  • 1953: unlisted
  • 1952: 8 baby girls named Rolayne
  • 1951: 5 baby girls named Rolayne
  • 1950: unlisted
  • 1949: 16 baby girls named Rolayne
    • 8 born in Utah
  • 1948: 16 baby girls named Rolayne [debut]
    • 12 born in Utah
  • 1947: unlisted
  • 1946: unlisted

Where did the name come from?

RoLayne Rasmussen, the University of Utah homecoming queen who married well-known University of Utah basketball player Arnie Ferrin in June of 1948.

Arnie was born Chariton Arnold Ferrin, Jr. (The name Chariton is based on the ancient Greek word charis, meaning “grace, kindness.”) He was a four-time All-American during college, and after graduating in 1948 he played for the Minneapolis Lakers from 1948 to 1951. He helped the Lakers win the BAA championship in 1949 and the NBA championship in 1950.

And as Arnie made headlines, RoLayne was often mentioned in the articles as well. As were their children, as they came along. (They had four: Arnold III, Richard Bard, Louanne, and Shawn.)

RoLayne was one of several baby names to be influenced by the partner of a high-profile person. Names similarly influenced include Perian, Stedman, and Josanne.

Sources: Arnie Ferrin to be Inducted into Pac-12 Basketball Hall of Honor, Obituary: RoLayne Rasmussen Ferrin (1999)

2 thoughts on “Where did the baby name Rolayne come from in 1948?

  1. Just discovered this blog and I’m hooked! I’ve been collecting unusual names my whole life; your approach is a bit different from mine — you seem very scholarly and organized — but I expect to be spending a lot of time here!

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