Where did the baby name Claudinette come from in 1960?

Beauty queen Claudinette Fouchard on the cover of JET magazine (Feb. 1960)
Claudinette Fouchard

The name Claudinette was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. baby name data in 1960:

  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: unlisted
  • 1960: 7 baby girls named Claudinette [debut]
  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Haitian beauty Claudinette Fouchard, who was declared “Miss Haiti” early in 1960, and soon after won the title of “World Sugar Queen” in Cali, Colombia. (Haiti put her image on postage stamps following that second accomplishment.)

More importantly in terms of American baby names, Claudinette appeared on the covers of both Ebony and Jet during 1960. Here’s how Jet described her:

The shapely (36-24-36) beauty speaks five languages, has attended Georgetown U., and the Sorbonne, majoring in art, music.

She was the daughter of Jean Fouchard, a diplomat and scholar who had once been Haiti’s ambassador to Cuba. Her mother’s name was Claudette.

I don’t know what kind of influence Claudinette had on Haitian baby names, but I do know that the Haitian-American wife of musician Wyclef Jean, formerly of The Fugees, is named Marie Claudinette Jean. (And their adopted daughter Angelina has the middle name Claudinelle.)

Do you like the name Claudinette?

Sources:

  • “The Beauty who Doesn’t Want to Be Queen.” Ebony Jul. 1960: 110-114.
  • “Haiti Queen.” Jet 14 Jan. 1960: 31.

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