Where did the baby name Thielen come from?

The name Thielen is relatively new to the U.S. baby name data, having debuted in 2018:

  • 2020: 14 baby boys named Thielen
  • 2019: 34 baby boys named Thielen
    • 12 born in Minnesota, 5 born in South Dakota
  • 2018: 21 baby boys named Theilen [debut]
    • 10 born in Minnesota
  • 2017: unlisted
  • 2016: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Professional football player Adam Thielen, who’s been a wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings since 2013. His surname is pronounced THEE-len (the “th” is unvoiced, as in the words theme, or three).

He’s a Minnesota native who also played football for Minnesota State University (2009-2012), so it seems appropriate that a good proportion of the usage has occurred in Minnesota specifically. :)

Adam Thielen’s breakout season was 2016. His next two seasons were so successful that he ended up being both chosen for the Pro Bowl (2018 & 2019) and voted an NFL Top 100 Player (2018 & 2019) twice in a row.

The German/Dutch surname Thielen can be traced back to the early medieval name Thietilo, a pet form of Dietrich, Diederik, or any other compound personal name starting with the Germanic element theud-, meaning “people,” “race.”

What are your thoughts on this name? Would you use it?


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