How popular is the baby name Cary 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 Cary.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Cary


Posts that Mention the Name Cary

Where did the baby name Andamo come from in 1960?

The character Andamo from the TV series "Mr. Lucky" (1959-1960).
Andamo from “Mr. Lucky

The one-hit wonder baby name Andamo popped up for the first and only time in the data in 1960:

  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: unlisted
  • 1960: 15 baby boys named Andamo [debut]
  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: unlisted

It wasn’t just a mere one-hit wonder, though — it was the top one-hit wonder of the year. In fact, it was one of the top one-hit wonder boy names of all time — tied for 3rd with Alfy and Eriksson, if we ignore the 1989 glitch names.

So, getting back to Andamo…where did it come from?

The single-season TV show Mr. Lucky (1959-1960), which was very loosely based on the 1943 film of the same name starring Cary Grant.

In the show, main character Lucky was the owner/operator of a gambling ship, and Andamo (pronounced ahn-DAH-moh), played by actor Ross Martin, was Lucky’s Latin-American right-hand-man. If the two main characters had proper first names, those names were never revealed over the course of the 34-episode series.

The show was cancelled, despite decent ratings, when a sponsor couldn’t be secured for the second season.

P.S. Lucky’s primary girlfriend, Maggie, was played by Pippa Scott.

Where did the baby name Charade come from?

charade, movie, 1960s

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word charade as “an empty or deceptive act or pretense.”

Given this rather unsavory meaning, it’s surprising that a handful of parents named their baby girls Charade in the 1960s:

  • 1968: unlisted
  • 1967: 5 baby girls named Charade
  • 1966: unlisted
  • 1965: unlisted
  • 1964: 6 baby girls named Charade [debut]
  • 1963: unlisted

So what was the influence here?

That debut in 1964 can be attributed to the movie Charade and/or the movie’s theme song, also called “Charade.”

The movie was a romantic comedy/thriller starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant that came out in December of 1963 (less than a month after the Kennedy assassination). Here’s how TCM sums it up: “A beautiful widow tries to find her husband’s lost fortune while eluding the killers who want it themselves.”

(Interesting fact: The movie fell out of copyright immediately upon release because the word “copyright” was mistakenly omitted from the title screen.)

The song was a sad-sounding Parisian waltz composed by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Henry Mancini’s version reached #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February of 1963. Crooner Andy Williams also released a version that managed to reach the top 100 that year (but just barely — 100th place in January).

What are your thoughts on the baby name Charade?

Sources: Charade – Merriam-Webster, Charade (1963) – TCM.com, Charade (1963 song) – Wikipedia

What gave the baby name Arlynne a boost in 1951?

Newspaper photo of Roller Derby competitor Arlynne Buchman (1951)

The baby name Arlynne popped up a few times in the SSA data in the ’30s and ’40s before seeing its highest-ever usage in 1951:

  • 1953: unlisted
  • 1952: unlisted
  • 1951: 15 baby girls named Arlynne [peak]
    • 5 in New York specifically
  • 1950: unlisted
  • 1949: unlisted

What caused this isolated popularity spike?

Arlynne Buchmann, a 19-year-old New Jersey roller skater who was voted Roller Derby Beauty Queen of 1950. At least two different photos of her ran in various newspapers in from mid-1950 to mid-1951.

A former model, Arlynne had only been skating for only 14 months in the fledgling National Roller Derby League (NRDL) before being voted “Queen” by fans. At that time, the league consisted of six teams. Arlynne’s was the Jersey Jolters.

In fact, the early 1950s was when Roller Derby itself was at peak popularity. The sport, which had been around since the 1930s, began to be televised locally in New York City in 1948 — back when TV sets could only be found in bars and storefronts. This coverage was enough to kick off a national craze.

For instance, Roller Derby fans included well-known celebrities like Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Milton Berle, Ed Sullivan, Cesar Romero, Sonja Henie, Eddie Cantor, Marilyn Maxwell, Eleanor Powell, George Raft, Jack Benny, W. C. Fields, Cary Grant, George Burns, and Gracie Allen. Many were photographed either at games or socializing with Derby athletes.

Also notable is the fact that a multi-day “Roller Derby World Series” was held annually at Madison Square Garden starting in 1949. Here’s some video footage of the very first one.

By the mid-1950s, the public had grown tired of the sport due to TV overexposure (ironically). Though Roller Derby continues to this day, it has never again achieved the level of popularity that it had for a handful of years in the middle of the 20th century.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Arlynne? Would you use it?

Sources:

Contrarian baby names: Cliff, Janet, Steve, Wanda…

corn

“Everly” is hot…”Beverly” is not. It’s a one-letter difference between fashionable and fusty.

If you’re sensitive to style, you’ll prefer Everly. It fits with today’s trends far better than Beverly does.

But if you’re someone who isn’t concerned about style, or prefers to go against style, then you may not automatically go for Everly. In fact, you may be more attracted to Beverly because it’s the choice that most modern parents would avoid.

If you’ve ever thought about intentionally giving your baby a dated name (like Debbie, Grover, Marcia, or Vernon) for the sake of uniqueness within his/her peer group — if you have no problem sacrificing style for distinctiveness — then this list is for you.

Years ago, the concept of “contrarian” baby names came up in the comments of a post about Lois. Ever since then, creating a collection of uncool/contrarian baby names has been on my to-do list.

Finally, last month, I experimented with various formulas for pulling unstylish baby names out of the SSA dataset. Keeping the great-grandparent rule in mind, I aimed for names that would have been fashionable among the grandparents of today’s babies. The names below are the best results I got.

Contrarian Baby Names: Girls

Alberta
Anita
Ann
Annetta
Annette
Bambi
Becky
Benita
Bertha
Bessie
Beth
Betty
Beverley
Beverly
Blanche
Bobbie
Bobby
Bonita
Candy
Caren
Carlene
Carol
Carole
Cary
Caryn
Cathleen
Cathy
Charla
Charlene
Charmaine
Cheri
Cherie
Cheryl
Chris
Christi
Cindy
Claudette
Coleen
Colleen
Connie
Dale
Danette
Danita
Darlene
Dawn
Dawna
Deanne
Debbie
Debora
Debra
Deirdre
Delores
Denice
Denise
Diane
Dianna
Dianne
Dollie
Dolores
Dona
Donna
Doreen
Dori
Doris
Dorthy
Eddie
Edwina
Ernestine
Ethel
Gail
Gayle
Gena
Geralyn
Germaine
Gilda
Glenda
Glenna
Harriett
Jackie
Janet
Janice
Janis
Jayne
Jean
Jeanette
Jeanie
Jeanine
Jeanne
Jeannette
Jeannie
Jeannine
Jeri
Jerri
Jerry
Jill
Jimmie
Jo
Joan
Joann
Joanne
Jodi
Jody
Joellen
Joni
Juanita
Judi
Judy
Juli
Kandi
Karin
Kathie
Kathy
Kay
Kaye
Kerrie
Kerry
Kim
Kimberley
Kitty
Kris
Kristi
Ladonna
Laureen
Lauretta
Laurie
Lavonne
Lee
Leesa
Lois
Lorene
Lori
Lorie
Lorinda
Lorna
Lorraine
Lorrie
Lou
Louann
Lu
Luann
Luanne
Lucretia
Lupe
Lyn
Lynda
Lynn
Lynne
Madonna
Marcia
Marcy
Margie
Mariann
Marianne
Marla
Marsha
Maryjo
Maureen
Meg
Melba
Melinda
Melva
Michele
Migdalia
Mitzi
Myrna
Nanette
Nelda
Nicki
Nita
Norma
Pamela
Patrice
Patsy
Patti
Patty
Pauline
Peggy
Pennie
Phyllis
Randy
Reba
Rene
Rhonda
Rita
Robbie
Robbin
Roberta
Robin
Rochelle
Ronda
Rosanne
Roseann
Roxane
Roxann
Sandy
Saundra
Sharon
Sheila
Shelia
Shelley
Shelly
Sheri
Sherri
Sherry
Sheryl
Shirley
Sondra
Sue
Susanne
Suzan
Suzanne
Tammie
Tammy
Tena
Teri
Terri
Terry
Thelma
Theresa
Therese
Tina
Tonia
Tonya
Tracey
Traci
Tracie
Tracy
Treva
Trina
Trudy
Velma
Verna
Vicki
Vickie
Vicky
Wanda
Wendy
Willie
Wilma
Yolanda
Yvonne

Contrarian Baby Names: Boys

Adolph
Al
Alford
Alphonso
Arne
Arnie
Arnold
Artie
Barry
Barton
Bennie
Bernard
Bernie
Bert
Bill
Billie
Bob
Bobbie
Brad
Bradford
Brent
Bret
Britt
Bud
Buddy
Burl
Burt
Butch
Carey
Carleton
Carlton
Carmen
Carroll
Cary
Cecil
Chester
Chuck
Clarence
Claude
Cletus
Cleveland
Cliff
Clifford
Clifton
Columbus
Curt
Curtiss
Dale
Dan
Dana
Dannie
Darrel
Darryl
Daryl
Dave
Davie
Del
Delbert
Dell
Delmer
Denny
Derwin
Dewey
Dirk
Don
Donnie
Donny
Doug
Douglass
Doyle
Duane
Dudley
Duwayne
Dwain
Dwaine
Dwane
Dwight
Earl
Earnest
Ed
Edsel
Elbert
Ernie
Farrell
Floyd
Fred
Freddie
Fredric
Gale
Garland
Garry
Garth
Gene
Geoffrey
Gerard
Gerry
Gilbert
Glen
Glenn
Greg
Gregg
Greggory
Grover
Guy
Hal
Haywood
Herbert
Herman
Homer
Horace
Howell
Hubert
Irwin
Jackie
Jame
Jeff
Jefferey
Jeffry
Jerald
Jerold
Jess
Jim
Jimmie
Jodie
Jody
Johnie
Johnnie
Karl
Kelly
Ken
Kenney
Kennith
Kent
Kermit
Kerry
Kim
Kirk
Kraig
Kurt
Laurence
Lawrance
Len
Lenard
Lennie
Les
Leslie
Lester
Lindell
Lindsay
Lindsey
Linwood
Lloyd
Lonnie
Lonny
Loren
Lorin
Lowell
Loyd
Lynn
Marion
Marty
Matt
Maxie
Mel
Merle
Merrill
Mickel
Mickey
Millard
Milton
Mitch
Mitchel
Monty
Neal
Ned
Nicky
Norbert
Norman
Norris
Orville
Perry
Pete
Phil
Ralph
Randal
Randel
Randell
Randolph
Rayford
Rick
Rickey
Rickie
Rob
Robby
Robin
Rock
Rodger
Rogers
Rojelio
Rolf
Ron
Roosevelt
Rudolfo
Rudolph
Rufus
Russ
Rusty
Sal
Sammie
Sandy
Sanford
Scot
Sherman
Sherwood
Skip
Stan
Stanford
Steve
Stevie
Stewart
Stuart
Sylvester
Tad
Ted
Terence
Thurman
Tim
Timmothy
Timmy
Tod
Todd
Tom
Tommie
Toney
Tracey
Tracy
Val
Vernell
Vernon
Waymon
Wendell
Wilbert
Wilbur
Wilford
Wilfred
Willard
Willis
Winfred
Woody

Interestingly, thirteen of the names above — Bobbie, Cary, Dale, Jackie, Jimmie, Jody, Kerry, Kim, Lynn, Robin, Sandy, Tracey, Tracy — managed to make both lists.

Now some questions for you…

Do you like any of these names? Would you be willing to use any of them on a modern-day baby? Why or why not?

Where did the baby name Topper come from in 1954?

The character Cosmo Topper from the TV series "Topper" (1953-1955).
Cosmo Topper (right) w/ his ghost friends

The baby name Topper popped up in the U.S. data for the first and only time in 1954:

  • 1956: unlisted
  • 1955: unlisted
  • 1954: 5 baby boys named Topper [debut]
  • 1953: unlisted
  • 1952: unlisted

Where did it come from?

The two-season TV show Topper, which aired on CBS from October of 1953 to mid-1955. Though it isn’t well remembered today, Topper was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Situation Comedy in 1954 (it lost to I Love Lucy) and ranked the 24th in the Nielsen ratings during the 1954-55 season.

But the tale of Topper actually began three decades earlier, in the form of a book. The comic fantasy Topper (1926) was written by Thorne Smith, who the New York Times called “one of America’s most significant humor writers.”

The title character, Cosmo Topper, is a “law-abiding, mild-mannered bank manager [who] decides to buy a secondhand car, only to find it haunted by the ghosts of its previous owners–the reckless, feckless, frivolous couple who met their untimely demise when the car careened into an oak tree.” The mischievous ghosts, named George and Marion, proceed to take Topper on series of adventures.

Smith followed the first book with a sequel, Topper Takes a Trip (1932).

His two books were eventually turned into three films: Topper (1937), Topper Takes a Trip (1938), and Topper Returns (1941). The first movie starred Cary Grant (as a ghost, not as Topper) and it later became the very first black-and-white motion picture to be digitally colorized (by Hal Roach Studios, in 1985).

There was also short-lived radio sitcom called The Adventures of Topper that aired in 1945, from June to September. In the radio show, Topper’s wife is named Malvena — I’ll bet this is what accounts for Malvena jumping back onto the charts one final time in 1946.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Topper? (Do you like it more or less than Tinker?)

P.S. Hopalong Cassidy (played by actor William Boyd from the 1930s to the 1950s) rode a horse called Topper, likely named after the book character.

Sources: Thorne Smith Profile – TCM, Topper by Thorne Smith — Goodreads, Hopalong Cassidy – The Old Corral