Where did the baby name Tamarisk come from in 1979?

The book "Tamarisk" (1978)
The book “Tamarisk

The curious name Tamarisk first popped up in the U.S. baby name data in 1979. It stuck around for one more year, then disappeared again:

  • 1981: unlisted
  • 1980: 5 baby girls named Tamarisk
  • 1979: 9 baby girls named Tamarisk [debut]
  • 1978: unlisted
  • 1977: unlisted

Where did it come from?

A romance novel.

The historical romance Tamarisk (1978) was written by British novelist Claire Lorrimer (pen name of Patricia Robins). It was set in Georgian-era England and the main character was a capricious teenager named Tamarisk Barre.

The book "Tamarisk" (1978)
The book “Tamarisk

Tamarisk was part of Robins’ “Women of Fire” trilogy, which included Mavreen (1976) and Chantal (1980).

I’m not sure how the character came to have the name “Tamarisk,” but the word refers to the flowering trees/shrubs of the Old World genus Tamarix. Tamarisk trees may have gotten their name from the river Támaris (today called the Tambre) in Spain.

What do you think of Tamarisk as a baby name? Would you use it?

Sources: SSA, Tamarix – Wikipedia, Patricia Robins – Wikipedia

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