Where did the baby name Celynn come from in 1964?

Contestant Celynn McDonald on the TV game show "The Celebrity Game" (Jun. 1964)
Celynn McDonald on “The Celebrity Game

The name Celynn has only ever appeared in the U.S. baby name data a single time, in 1964:

  • 1966: unlisted
  • 1965: unlisted
  • 1964: 7 baby girls named Celynn [debut]
  • 1963: unlisted
  • 1962: unlisted

Where did it come from?


A short-lived game show called The Celebrity Game was on TV in the mid-1960s. Here’s how host Carl Reiner explained the show:

We ask our celebrity panel a question on some popular topic that can be answered yes or no. Then our three players each get a chance to pick a star and tell us how they think the star voted.

An episode that aired in June of 1964 featured a contestant named Celynn McDonald (first name pronounced seh-LYN). She was described as “a law student and a perpetual movie fan.”

In Celynn’s episode, the three questions posed to the 9-person celebrity panel (which included Mickey Rooney, Gypsy Rose Lee, and Lee Marvin) were:

  • Do romantic screen heroes tend to make wives satisfied at home?
  • Should a woman marry a man ten years younger than she?
  • Should the United States government subsidize children as they do in France?

Alas, Celynn did not win the game. But her fifteen minutes of fame did shine a spotlight on her unusual name, and this, in turn, increased the usage of the name just enough to boost it into the SSA’s baby name data (which, due to privacy concerns, only includes names given to at least five babies per year).

What are your thoughts on the name Celynn? Would you use it?

Sources: The Celebrity Game – IMDb, SSA

2 thoughts on “Where did the baby name Celynn come from in 1964?

  1. I wouldn’t use it personally, but as made-up* names go, it’s not bad. And it kinda sounds like a combination cello/violin, although I guess that would be pronounced CHEL-lin. Maybe this one is a combo of celery and a violin. ?

    *Assuming this, although it could be a family name

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