Where did the baby name Louden come from in 1986?

The character Louden Swain from the movie "Vision Quest" (1985)
Louden Swain from “Vision Quest

The name Louden first appeared in the U.S. baby name data the mid-1980s:

  • 1988: unlisted
  • 1987: 9 baby boys named Louden
  • 1986: 8 baby boys named Louden [debut]
  • 1985: unlisted
  • 1984: unlisted

What put it there?

The coming-of-age movie Vision Quest (1985), which told the story of amateur wrestler Louden Swain.

Louden Swain (played by actor Matthew Modine) was a high school senior in Spokane. He had two goals: to quickly lose 23 pounds so that he could wrestle undefeated Washington state champion Brian Shute (played by Frank Jasper), and to win the affections of an older woman named Carla (played by Linda Fiorentino).

The title of the film is a reference to the Native American “vision quest” — a rite of passage undertaken by adolescent boys that involved (among other things) a period of fasting.

The movie was based on the 1979 novel of the same name by author Terry Davis.

What are your thoughts on the name Louden?

P.S. Did you know that pop singer Madonna made her first movie appearance in Vision Quest? She played a singer at a local bar. The music video for her song “Crazy for You” [vid] features clips of the film.


Image: Screenshot of Vision Quest

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