What gave the baby name Tal a boost in 1963?

The character Tal Garrett from the TV series "Empire" (1962-1963).
Tal Garrett from “Empire

According to the U.S. baby name data, the simple name Tal saw peak usage in 1963:

  • 1965: 28 baby boys named Tal
  • 1964: 48 baby boys named Tal
  • 1963: 87 baby boys named Tal [rank: 817th]
  • 1962: 12 baby boys named Tal
  • 1961: 7 baby boys named Tal

That year, Tal was one of the fastest-rising boy names in the country, and it managed to reach the top 1,000 for the first and only time.

What was influencing it?

The single-season TV western Empire (1962-63), which featured a character named Tal.

Empire was set on a modern-day ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The main character was ranch foreman Jim Redigo (played by Richard Egan), but one of the other important characters was Tal Garrett (played by Ryan O’Neal), the adult son of the owner of the ranch.

I don’t know if Tal’s name was short for something more formal, like Talmadge or Talbot, but it rhymed with similarly spelled names, such as Cal and Hal.

Ryan O’Neal’s recurring role on Empire also gave a nudge to the baby name Ryan in 1963:

  • 1964: 515 baby boys named Ryan
  • 1963: 647 baby boys named Ryan
  • 1962: 397 baby boys named Ryan

What are your thoughts on the name Tal? Would you use it as-is, or only as a nickname?

Sources: Empire (1962 TV series) – Wikipedia, SSA

Image: Screenshot of Empire

One thought on “What gave the baby name Tal a boost in 1963?

  1. I love the name Tal. I have a thing for those really short Hebrew names, like Dov, Adi, Lev, and Tzvi. They’re such cool-kid names.

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