What gave the baby name Jana a boost in 1979?

The title character from the animated series "Jana of the Jungle" (1978).
Jana from “Jana of the Jungle

The name Jana saw a sudden increase in usage in 1979, according to the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1981: 939 baby girls named Jana [rank: 267th]
  • 1980: 1,046 baby girls named Jana [rank: 247th]
  • 1979: 1,161 baby girls named Jana [rank: 226th]
  • 1978: 959 baby girls named Jana [rank: 248th]
  • 1977: 949 baby girls named Jana [rank: 261st]


Because of the short-lived cartoon Jana of the Jungle, which consisted of 13 episodes that aired during the last months of 1978 (September to December).

The Tarzan-inspired main character Jana (pronounced JA-nuh; rhymes with Hannah and Vanna) lived in the rain forest of South America along with her animal friends and several other humans. She defended the jungle with the help of her necklace, which doubled as a throwing weapon (similar to a chakram).

Interestingly, the name topped out at 226th (rankings-wise) in both 1961 and 1979 — despite the fact that about 300 fewer babies were named Jana in 1979 than in 1961.

Sources: Jana of the Jungle – Wikipedia, SSA

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