How popular is the baby name Betsy in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Use the popularity graph and data table below to find out! Plus, see all the blog posts that mention the name Betsy.
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The baby name Marty, which was rising in usage during the 1950s, rose much more quickly from 1955 to 1957 specifically:
Boys named Marty
Girls named Marty
1,413 [rank: 198th]
134 [rank: 881st]
1,348 [rank: 200th]
159† [rank: 803rd]
1,014 [rank: 229th]
130 [rank: 877th]
618 [rank: 287th]
422 [rank: 348th]
359 [rank: 360th]
95 [rank: 983rd]
Here’s a visual:
The name Martin (which had ranked inside the boys’ top 100 for decades by the 1950s) likewise saw an increase in usage during those years:
1958: 5,666 baby boys named Martin [rank: 71st]
1957: 5,964 baby boys named Martin [rank: 69th]
1956: 5,683 baby boys named Martin [rank: 73rd]
1955: 5,069 baby boys named Martin [rank: 77th]
1954: 4,964 baby boys named Martin [rank: 79th]
1953: 4,780 baby boys named Martin [rank: 82nd]
I think there are two reasons, though one was probably more influential than the other.
The primary reason was likely the character Marty from three different Spin and Marty serials (which aired as 11-minute segments on The Mickey Mouse Club):
The Adventures of Spin and Marty (1955) – 25 episodes
The Further Adventures of Spin and Marty (1956) – 23 episodes
The New Adventures of Spin and Marty (1957) – 30 episodes
Spin and Marty was set at the Triple R Ranch, a western-style summer camp for boys.
The main characters were teenagers Martin “Marty” Markham (played by David Stollery), who was rich and spoiled, and Spin Evans (played by Tim Considine), who was popular and athletic. “Walt Disney had never before created anything with two diametrically opposed leads.” By the end of the first serial, the boys had overcome their differences and become best friends.
The success of Spin and Marty led to merchandising that included comic books, coloring books, and phonograph records.
The secondary reason for the rise for the name Marty? The 1955 movie Marty, a poignant romantic drama about a man looking for love.
The film follows main character Marty Pilletti (played by Ernest Borgnine) — a lonely 34-year-old who lives with his widowed mother in the Bronx — over the course of a weekend. He meets a woman named Clara (played by Betsy Blair) at a dance hall, and they unexpectedly hit it off. But Marty’s mother and bachelor friends aren’t as excited about his budding romance, and they try to dissuade Marty from pursuing Clara.
The movie — despite being independently produced on a modest budget, and despite featuring ordinary-looking characters and a “quiet, simple story” — was a success at the box office. It also won four Academy Awards: Best Motion Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. (Borgnine’s “Best Actor” Oscar was presented by Grace Kelly.)
If the Pepsi commercial in yesterday’s post on the baby name Sanjana seemed familiar to you, there’s a reason: That commercial was a scene-for-scene remake of an award-winning Diet Pepsi commercial that premiered in the U.S. six years earlier.
The spot, called “Apartment 10-G,” first aired in 1987 — either during the Super Bowl or the Grammy Awards (my sources don’t agree). It starred Michael J. Fox as the “urban knight satisfying the thirst of [the] damsel-next-door.”
Below is the one-minute version of the commercial:
Here’s a description, in case you don’t want to watch:
A young man is alone in his apartment when there’s a knock at the door. He opens the door to find a pretty young woman, who enters and says, “Hi, I just moved in next door. Could I borrow a Diet Pepsi?” He responds, “Sure, come in” (even though she’s already in). As he heads for the kitchen, he shows his excitement with a jump and a quiet “Yes!” She is idly looking around his apartment when he reaches the fridge…only to discover an empty bottle of Diet Pepsi. He calls out, “How about something else?” She responds, “Listen, if you don’t have a Diet Pepsi…” He already has one leg out the kitchen window as he calls back, “No, I got it.” He goes out onto the fire escape — the window slams shut behind him — and jumps down to street level. It’s raining outside. He spots a vending machine selling Diet Pepsi across the street. He tries to cross, but nearly gets hit by a car, so instead he jumps roof-to-roof over the traffic to reach the vending machine. He has a can of Diet Pepsi in his hand as he climbs up the fire escape ladder. He finds the window locked. Just as the woman starts walking toward the kitchen (calling, “You okay in there?”) there’s the sound of glass shattering. The man comes out of the kitchen — soaking wet, out of breath — and hands her the can, saying, “Here’s your diet Pepsi.” Then there’s another knock at the door. The woman says, “That must be my roommate, Danny.” “Danny?” the man repeats, with a worried look on his face. A second woman suddenly comes into view behind them. She leans seductively against the wall and says, “Hi, I’m Danielle. You got another Diet Pepsi?”
(The minute-and-a-half version included a run-in with a motorcycle gang.)
So now, the big question: Did this Pepsi commercial give a boost to the baby name Danielle the same way the Lehar Pepsi commercial gave a boost to the baby name Sanjana?
It’s very possible!
The name Danielle was already well within the U.S. top-20 at that time, but it saw a conspicuous increase in usage in 1987:
1989: 15,366 baby girls named Danielle [rank: 17th]
1988: 16,253 baby girls named Danielle [rank: 17th]
1987: 17,007 baby girls named Danielle [rank: 14th] (peak usage)
1986: 14,943 baby girls named Danielle [rank: 16th]
1985: 15,411 baby girls named Danielle [rank: 18th]
So far, I haven’t been able to find an explanation better than the commercial.
My next-best-guess would be actress Danielle von Zerneck, who played Donna in the 1987 movie La Bamba (with Esai Morales).
There was also a young character named Danielle on the soap opera As The World Turns at that time. I don’t think she caused the 1987 peak, but — because she was born in the storyline in October of 1983 — I do think she’s behind that steep increase in usage in 1984. (Interesting fact: Her mother, Betsy, was played by future movie star Meg Ryan.)
But, getting back to the Pepsi commercial…do you remember seeing it on television in the late ’80s? If so, do you recall whether or not it drew your attention to the name Danielle?
Below are hundreds of baby names with a numerological value of 8.
What do I mean by that?
Well, in numerology, you substitute each letter in a word with that letter’s ordinal value in the alphabet. (The letter B has a value of 2, for instance, because it’s the second letter.) Then you add those ordinal values together to come up with a total. Lastly, you add the digits of that total together to obtain a numerological value.
Here’s an example: The letters in the name Leah have the values 12, 5, 1, and 8. Added together, these values equal 26. And the digits of 26 added together equal 8.
All of the “8” names below are sub-categorized by totals — just in case any of those larger numbers are significant to anyone. Within each group you’ll find some of the most popular “8” names per gender (according to the most recent set of U.S. baby name rankings).
The letters in the following baby names add up to 8.
Girl name (8)
Boy name (8)
8 via 17
The letters in the following baby names add up to 17, which reduces to eight (1+7=8).
Girl names (8 via 17)
Boy names (8 via 17)
Gia, Bo, Afia, Eabha, Cala
Bo, Mac, Cam, Md, Jeb
8 via 26
The letters in the following baby names add up to 26, which reduces to eight (2+6=8).
Girl names (8 via 26)
Boy names (8 via 26)
Leah, Maci, Jana, Pia, Dua, Gema, Calia, Brea, Cami
Eli, Bear, Bode, Obed, Asaad, Adil
8 via 35
The letters in the following baby names add up to 35, which reduces to eight (3+5=8).
The rare name Jymme has appeared in the U.S. baby name data just twice: first in 1955, last in 1963.
1963: 10 baby girls named Jymme
1955: 5 baby girls named Jymme [debut]
Where did it come from? A singer/actress who started her career with one name, then switched to another.
She was born Roberta Jymme Schourup in 1943, but kicked off her career as Jymme Shore. (Jymme is pronounced “Jimmy.”)
As a youngster in the mid-1950s she appeared on 2 televised programs, The Tex Williams Show and The Pinky Lee Show, and also became associated with the Mouseketeers (she was too tall to become an official member of the group). It was around this time that the name Jymme debuted in the data.
While she worked for Disney, though, she changed her professional name:
“When the studio would send out information without a picture, ‘Jymme Shore’ ended up referred to as a he,” she explained. “Walt Disney actually was the one who suggested I use the name Roberta.”
(She continued to go by Jymme in her personal life.)
She worked for Disney a little longer — appearing on The Mickey Mouse Club, voicing animated characters, even yodeling the Switzerland part of the song It’s a Small World. Then she became an independent actor, appearing in TV shows and movies such as Maverick, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, and even the infamous Lolita (1962).
Also in 1962, Roberta landed the role of Betsy Garth on the series The Virginian, which would go on to become one of TV’s most successful Westerns. Media coverage of the new show must have mentioned her former stage name, as this is the year “Jymme” returns for an encore in the data.
Roberta Shore played Betsy for three seasons. Then she got married and retired from show business altogether.
What are your thoughts on the name Jymme?
Hollis, Tim and Greg Ehrbar. Mouse Tracks: The Story of Walt Disney Records. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2006.