Where did the baby name Tristana come from?

The character Tristana from the Spanish film "Tristana" (1970).
Tristana from “Tristana

The name Tristana has popped up in the U.S. baby name data a total of four times. The first three appearances were in the early 1970s:

  • 1974: unlisted
  • 1973: 5 baby girls named Tristana
  • 1972: 7 baby girls named Tristana
  • 1971: 8 baby girls named Tristana [debut]
  • 1970: unlisted
  • 1969: unlisted

What put Tristana on the map?

The 1970 Spanish-language film Tristana, directed by Luis Buñuel. It was set in the early 1900s, and the title character — whose name was based on the phrase “triste Ana” (“sad Ana”) — was played by French actress Catherine Deneuve.

Here’s a summary of the film:

After the death of her mother, Tristana goes to live with her guardian Don Lope, who seduces her. She runs away from Lope with a young artist named Horacio. Unable to commit to Horacio and in need of health care due to her growing cancer, Tristana returns to Don Lope.

The film was released in the U.S. in September of 1970. It ended up receiving an Oscar nomination for “Best Foreign Language Film.”

It was based on the 1892 novel Tristana by Spanish novelist Benito Pérez Galdós.

Sources: Tristana (1970) – IMDb, The 43rd Academy Awards, Tristana (1970) – Rotten Tomatoes

P.S. Tristana reminds me of Tristaca, another name that debuted in the ’70s…

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