How popular is the baby name Aristede in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Aristede.
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It’s almost Halloween! So let’s look at the curious girl name Loey, which debuted in the U.S. baby name data at the start of the ’70s:
1970: 11 baby girls named Loey [debut]
What put it there?
A character from the TV horror movie Ritual of Evil, which premiered in February of 1970. It was a sequel to the 1969 TV movie Fear No Evil, and so it featured the same main character: psychiatrist David Sorrell.
In Ritual of Evil, Dr. Sorrell investigated the death of one of his patients, a young heiress. Turns out she was killed by a Satanic cult, and her little sister Loey (played by Belinda Montgomery) was now in danger as well.
In the film, the name “Loey” was pronounced to rhyme with Chloe and Zoe.
Halloween is a few days away, so here’s a pair of horror-imbued baby names, each of which got a boost from the same scary film.
That film was The Ring, released in October of 2002. The film’s main character was a journalist dealing with a cursed videotape (that killed anyone who watched it). But the film’s memorable character — as in all good horror films — was the villain: the vengeful spirit of a little girl named Samara (pronounced sah-MAHR-ah) Morgan. Samara was played by young actress Daveigh (pronounced dah-VAY) Chase.
The year after The Ring came out, the name Samara saw a steep rise in usage, and the name Daveigh debuted in the U.S. data:
Girls named Samara
Girls named Daveigh
825 (rank: 380th)
857 (rank: 365th)
656 (rank: 456th)
242 (rank: 929th)
261 (rank: 883rd)
*Debut & Peak usage
The Ring did well at the box office, and it was followed by two successful sequels: The Ring Two (released in March of 2005) and Rings (February of 2017).
Daveigh Chase was not actively involved in either sequel, so her name didn’t see any subsequent boosts in the data. But Samara Morgan was central to both films (of course) and we can see the corresponding peaks in usage of “Samara” in 2006 and 2018:
(The rise that began in 2016 may have been kicked off by Australian actress Samara Weaving, who was being called a “newcomer” in Hollywood around that time.)
The Ring was a remake of the 1998 Japanese film Ringu, which was based on the 1991 Japanese novel Ringu by Koji Suzuki. In the novel and the original film, the little girl was named Sadako Yamamura. I couldn’t find any information on why the American version of the character was renamed “Samara” specifically, but my guess is that “Samara” was chosen simply because it was a 3-syllable S-name like Sadako.
What are your thoughts on the name Samara? Would you use it (despite the horrific association)?
The rare name Aristede appeared in the U.S. baby name data just twice, debuting in 1969:
1970: 5 baby boys named Aristede
1969: 17 baby boys named Aristede
The Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows (1966-1971). Dark Shadows was never one of the most popular soaps on TV, but it did have a dedicated following, particularly while the “1897 Flashback” storyline was airing from February 1969 to November 1969.
One character who appeared regularly during 1969 was Aristede (played by Michael Stroka). Aristede was a strange young man who was a servant to the warlock Count Andreas Petofi. His curved dagger also had a name: “The Dancing Girl.”
Aristede’s name can be traced back to the ancient Greek word aristos, meaning “best.”
…But we can’t stop with Aristede, because other Dark Shadows characters influenced American baby names as well!
For instance, another character introduced during the “1897 Flashback” was a boy named Jamison Collins. We see a corresponding rise in the usage of the name Jamison in 1969:
1971: 175 baby boys named Jamison [rank: 628th]
1970: 195 baby boys named Jamison [rank: 577th]
1969: 121 baby boys named Jamison [rank: 713th]
1968: 35 baby boys named Jamison
1967: 30 baby boys named Jamison
In fact, actor David Selby, who played werewolf character Quentin Collins (Jamison’s uncle), named his real-life son Jamison Selby (b. 1969) after the character.
Another storyline was the “1795 Flashback” that aired from November 1967 to April 1968. Two primary characters during that period were well-to-do Josette du Pres and servant-girl Angelique (who was also a witch!).
The name Josette saw its highest-ever usage in 1968:
1971: 219 baby girls named Josette [rank: 696th]
1970: 297 baby girls named Josette [rank: 593rd]
1969: 294 baby girls named Josette [rank: 576th]
1968: 502 baby girls named Josette [rank: 420th]
1967: 182 baby girls named Josette [rank: 728th]
1966: 48 baby girls named Josette
And the name Angelique saw a significant increase in usage in 1968 as well:
1971: 820 baby girls named Angelique [rank: 323rd]
1970: 941 baby girls named Angelique [rank: 301st]
1969: 624 baby girls named Angelique [rank: 371st]
1968: 764 baby girls named Angelique [rank: 314th]
1967: 186 baby girls named Angelique [rank: 717th]
1966: 142 baby girls named Angelique [rank: 838th]
Have you ever seen an episode of Dark Shadows? If so, what did you think?
Girl-crazy teenager Dobie Gillis was a character created by writer Max Shulman in the 1940s. He was first brought to life in the movie The Affairs of Dobie Gillis in 1953, but the most memorable portrayal of Dobie was by Dwayne Hickman in the four-season TV sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, which premiered in September of 1959.
Dobie Gillis is notable for being “the first prime-time series to consistently privilege teenage characters, activities, and spaces over those associated with family shows.”
It was also known for the unusual character names. Dobie (pronounced doh-bee, rhymes with Toby) had friends with names like:
Maynard (a beatnik played by Bob Denver, who later portrayed Gilligan)
Zelda (a brainiac played by Sheila James Kuehl, sister of Jeri Lou)
Thalia Menninger (a rich girl played by Tuesday Weld)
These “uncommon first names [were] evidently meant to seem vaguely silly in their failure to conform with ’50s norms.”
The show ended up influencing the usage of several baby names. First of all, it was behind the debut of the name Dobie in 1960:
1964: 9 baby boys named Dobie
1962: 6 baby boys named Dobie
1961: 8 baby boys named Dobie
1960: 9 baby boys named Dobie [debut]
The name Thalia also saw a spike in usage in 1960, which makes sense because all but two of the episodes featuring Thalia Menninger were first-season (1959-1960) episodes. Dobie pronounced Thalia’s name thale-ya.
1964: 46 baby girls named Thalia
1963: 42 baby girls named Thalia
1962: 42 baby girls named Thalia
1961: 46 baby girls named Thalia
1960: 90 baby girls named Thalia
1959: 30 baby girls named Thalia
1958: 24 baby girls named Thalia
Finally, the name Zelda saw elevated usage in the early ’60s:
1964: 133 baby girls named Zelda
1963: 171 baby girls named Zelda
1962: 178 baby girls named Zelda
1961: 168 baby girls named Zelda
1960: 136 baby girls named Zelda
1959: 142 baby girls named Zelda
1958: 131 baby girls named Zelda
Fun fact: Zelda — who pursued Dobie as ardently as Dobie pursued all other females — once convinced a girl named Phyllis to break it off with Dobie by warning her that her married name would be “Phyllis Gillis.”
Many of the secondary and single-episode characters had unusual names as well. Here are some examples:
Aphrodite Arabella Aristede Blossom Bruno Bubbles Chatsworth
Do you like any of the above Dobie Gillis names? How about the name “Dobie” itself?
Kearney, Mary C. “Teenagers and Television in the United States.” Museum of Broadcast Communications Encyclopedia of Television, ed. by Horace Newcomb, 2nd ed., New York: Routledge, 2013, pp. 2276-2281.
Sterritt, David. Mad to be Saved: The Beats, the ’50s, and Film. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1998.