How popular is the baby name Brigitte 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 Brigitte.

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Popularity of the baby name Brigitte

Posts that mention the name Brigitte

Where did the baby name Ingemar come from in 1959?

Swedish boxer Ingemar "Ingo" Johansson (1932-2009)
Ingemar “Ingo” Johansson

Swedish immigration to the United States was heaviest during the last decades of the 19th century, and records show that dozens of U.S. baby boys were given the Swedish name Ingemar during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

But because the number of Ingemars born per year was low, and also because the SSA’s data from that period is incomplete, the name Ingemar didn’t surface in the data until decades later:

  • 1961: 6 baby boys named Ingemar
  • 1960: 7 baby boys named Ingemar
  • 1959: 8 baby boys named Ingemar [debut]
  • 1958: unlisted
  • 1957: unlisted


Because of Swedish boxer Ingemar “Ingo” Johansson, who unexpectedly defeated Floyd Patterson in June of 1959 to become the world heavyweight boxing champion.

The win was followed by TV and film appearances, but Ingo’s boxing success was short-lived. He lost the title back to Patterson in 1960, and wasn’t able to regain it in their third matchup in 1961. (These were the only two losses of Johansson’s professional career.)

The name Ingemar can be traced back to two Germanic elements, the first referring to either the ancient god Ing (a.k.a. Yngvi) or to the Ingaevones (an ancient tribal group), the second meaning “famous.”

Ingemar’s then-fiancée Birgit Lundgren was also in the spotlight around this time. She was a contestant on a June 1959 episode of What’s My Line? (her line: newspaper correspondent) and appeared with Ingemar on the June 1959 cover of Life. Accordingly, the name Birgit saw peak usage in 1960:

  • 1962: 10 baby girls named Birgit
  • 1961: 19 baby girls named Birgit
  • 1960: 25 baby girls named Birgit [peak]
  • 1959: 12 baby girls named Birgit
  • 1958: unlisted [fewer than 5 occurrences]

Coincidentally, the name Brigitte saw peak usage the same year, thanks to French actress Brigitte Bardot, who’d become famous stateside upon the 1957 U.S. release of And God Created Woman. So “Birgit” may have gotten an boost from “Brigitte” as well.

What do you think of the names Ingemar and Birgit? Would you use either one?

Sources: Ingemar Johansson – Wikipedia, Ingemar – Nordic Names Wiki
Image: Adapted from Ingo and Gunnar Grandell by Jowil under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Where did the baby name Rossana come from in 1954?

Italian actress Rossana Podesta (1934-2013)
Rossana Podesta

The name Rossana — which looks Rosanna, but is actually the Italian form of Roxana — first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in the mid-1950s:

  • 1956: 43 baby girls named Rossana
  • 1955: 15 baby girls named Rossana
  • 1954: 10 baby girls named Rossana [debut]
  • 1953: unlisted
  • 1952: unlisted

What was the influence?

Italian actress Rossana Podestà (born Carla Dora Podestà), who first came to the attention of Americans in early 1954, when she was cast in the lead role of the upcoming epic Helen of Troy (1956).

The stars are Rossana Podesta as Helen and Jacques Sernas as Paris, both completely unknown. Rossana, who plays the most fabulous beauty in history, is a 20-year-old Italian cutie who likes strawberries floating in champagne, sandwiches for breakfast, and men who look her straight in the eye.

Rossana had recently finished filming the Italian movie Ulisse (1954), in which she played Nausicaa. It was released in U.S. theaters the following year as Ulysses.

While Helen of Troy was successful, it didn’t turn either Rossana Podestà or Jacques Sernas into instant Hollywood superstars. But the young French actress who played Helen’s slave Andraste — a then-unknown Brigitte Bardot — was about to become quite famous…


Where did the baby name Shalako come from in 1970?

Movie poster for "Shalako" (1968)
Shalako” movie poster

The unusual name Shalako was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. baby name data in 1970:

  • 1972: unlisted
  • 1971: unlisted
  • 1970: 6 baby boys named Shalako [debut]
  • 1969: unlisted
  • 1968: unlisted

Where did it come from?

The movie Shalako, released toward the end of 1968. It was a Western starring Sean Connery as main character Moses Zebulon “Shalako” Carlin, a tracker and former cavalry officer. (Shalako’s love interest was played by Brigitte Bardot.)

In the story, set in New Mexico in 1880, Shalako had to rescue a group of European aristocrats that had decided to go hunting on reservation land and, as a result, gotten in trouble with the local Apaches.

The film was based on a 1962 novel by Louis L’Amour. Here’s how Shalako explained his unusual name in the book:

Name of the Zuni rain god. Seemed like every time I showed up in their country it rained, so they called me that for a joke.

For a time during the 1960s, L’Amour and others tried to build a working Old West town called Shalako in southwestern Colorado, but the town never materialized.

What are your thoughts on Shalako as a baby name?

Source: Shalako by Louis L’Amour – Internet Archive, Shalako (1968) –