How popular is the baby name Chardon 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 Chardon.

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Popularity of the baby name Chardon

Posts that mention the name Chardon

What gave the baby name Zena a boost in 1980?

Commercial for Zena Jeans
Commercial for Zena Jeans

If you look at the popularity graph for the baby name Zena, you’ll see two conspicuous increases in usage: the first in the 1960s (thanks to an actress named Zina), the second in the 1990s (thanks to a warrior princess named Xena).

It’s slightly harder to see that Zena doubled in usage from 1979 to 1980, and sustained that elevated usage for several years:

  • 1983: 47 baby girls named Zena
  • 1982: 58 baby girls named Zena
  • 1981: 54 baby girls named Zena
  • 1980: 51 baby girls named Zena
  • 1979: 24 baby girls named Zena
  • 1978: 28 baby girls named Zena
  • 1977: 24 baby girls named Zena


I think it has to do with advertisements for Zena Jeans — one of the many jeans brands that emerged during the designer jeans craze of the late ’70s and early ’80s. (Other brands included Jordache, Calvin Klein, Gloria Vanderbilt by Murjani, Sergio Valente, Chardon, Sasson, and Brittania.)

Zena’s sexy TV commercials featured good-looking young ladies and the tagline: “If you’re a woman, Zena is you!”

New York-based Zena Jeans was named after co-founder Zena Gilbert, who launched the company in 1978 with her husband Richard.

Zena Gilbert, who had four children (with Richard), hadn’t been able to find reasonably priced jeans with the right fit (i.e., “smaller in the waist and roomier in the hips”). So Richard, who worked in the apparel industry, suggested that they design and manufacture their own line of jeans.

“They turned a modest investment into a $22 million business in two years.”

For Zena Gilbert, “Zena” was a nickname. She was born Zenaida Gromoff on the remote island of St. Paul, which lies several hundred miles off the coast of mainland Alaska. Her father was a Russian Orthodox priest named Elary, and her mother was an Aleut woman named Elisaveta (Elizabeth).

What are your thoughts on the name Zena?


Image: Screenshot of Zena Jeans commercial

What gave the baby name Brittania a boost in 1980?

Brittania advertisement

In 1979 and 1980, four very similar girl names — Brittania, Brittanya, Britania and Britanya — all popped up in the U.S. baby name data:

*Debut, †Peak usage

What put them there?

A marketing campaign for Brittania blue jeans.

Sportswear brand Brittania (pronounced brih-TAN-yah) was launched in Seattle in 1973 by businessman Walter Schoenfeld.

He was inspired to start selling “washed” blue jeans to Americans after spotting “a pair of faded blue denim slacks in the window of a London shop.” (Brittania jeans were “fashionable alternatives to the dark denim Levi’s that were so prevalent at that time.”)

Sales of Britannia jeans increased throughout the 1970s:

In [fewer] than 10 years, Brittania Sportswear was selling 30 million pairs a year and Brittania — Schoenfeld spelled it that way to distinguish his brand from the Royal Yacht Britannia — had a team of 40 to 50 designers and about 400 employees in Seattle.

Then, in 1980, Schoenfeld made a “decision which ran against his better judgment: Brittania embarked on the first full-scale advertising campaign in its history.”

Brittania advertisement, 1981
“My home is Texas but I live in Brittania!”

That year, the company spent about $9 million on advertising. The result was the “My home is __ but I live in Brittania” marketing campaign.

The campaign was very successful; brand recognition increased from 48% in 1978 to 96% in 1980.

But it also created a new problem: too much demand for the product. By the spring of 1980, the company “had a 50 percent increase in orders over the previous year, but lacked production capacity to fill them.”

This situation, along with several other issues, led the company to file for bankruptcy protection in 1983. Several years after that, it was purchased by Levi Strauss.

Brittania advertisement

Brittania may not be around anymore, but, as the very first designer jeans company in the U.S., it paved the way for brands like Jordache, Chardon, and Zena.

It also helped kick the baby name Brittany into high gear circa 1980:

  • 1983: 4,377 baby girls named Brittany [64th]
  • 1982: 3,102 baby girls named Brittany [94th]
  • 1981: 1,714 baby girls named Brittany [165th]
  • 1980: 1,406 baby girls named Brittany [190th]
  • 1979: 792 baby girls named Brittany [300th]
  • 1978: 630 baby girls named Brittany [345th]
  • 1977: 488 baby girls named Brittany [419th]

Here’s a visual:

Graph of the usage of the baby name Brittany in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Brittany

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

P.S. Did you know that Seattle’s apparel industry was born in the wake of the Klondike gold rush? Many prospectors bought provisions in Seattle before heading north to Alaska. Apparel companies founded in Seattle include Filson (1897), Nordstrom (1901), and Eddie Bauer (1920).


Where did the baby name Wondra come from in 1963?

Gold Medal Wondra flour
Gold Medal Wondra flour

Ever wonder why the name Wondra started popping up in the U.S. baby name data in 1963?

  • 1967: unlisted
  • 1966: 5 baby girls named Wondra
  • 1965: 5 baby girls named Wondra
  • 1964: 8 baby girls named Wondra
  • 1963: 8 baby girls named Wondra [debut]
  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: unlisted

The similar name Wanda was still seeing strong usage in the mid-1960s, so no doubt it helped set the scene for Wondra.

But Wondra emerged for a specific reason. And that reason has to do with flour, believe it or not.

In 1963, the General Mills company, longtime maker of Gold Medal Flour (see Norita), introduced a new version of the flour: Gold Medal Wondra. It was a fine, “instantized” flour created through a process called agglomeration. Instead of forming clumps in liquid, Wondra flour would quickly dissolve — making it useful for gravies and sauces. It also required no sifting.

Most importantly, there was a marketing campaign with a multi-million dollar budget (“the largest ever placed behind a new General Mills product”) that started in mid-August.

Gold Medal’s parent, General Mills, is allocating to [Wondra] one of the biggest new-product budgets ever established. On the schedule are big ads in 175 dailies, repeated commercials on over 150 TV stations, plugs on major network shows (“Empire,” Concentration,” “The Judy Garland Show”) and mentions on newscasts and other daytime TV programs.

After the name dropped out the data in 1967, it returned one last time, in 1979:

  • 1980: unlisted
  • 1979: 7 baby girls named Wondra
  • 1978: unlisted

This was thanks to an unrelated product with the same name: Wondra skin lotion, introduced by P&G during 1977 and apparently on the shelves until at least the mid-1980s.

Wondra lotion — and many of the other name-influencing products I’ve blogged about, like Monchel, Chardon, and Drene — may be gone, but Wondra instant flour is still available today. In fact, according to Kitchn, “the brand is so widespread [that] the name Wondra tends to reference any instant flour when called for in recipes.”

What are your thoughts on the baby name Wondra?


Image: From a 1964 print ad for Gold Medal Wondra

Where did the baby name Chardon come from in 1981?

Chardón jeans (and an arcade game)
Chardón jeans

The baby name Chardon first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1981:

  • 1983: 5 baby girls named Chardon
  • 1982: unlisted
  • 1981: 15 baby girls named Chardon [debut]
  • 1980: unlisted
  • 1979: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Just like Jordache and Murjani, Chardon was inspired by jeans!

I’m not sure when designer jeans brand Chardón (pronounced shar-DON) was introduced, but I’ve tracked down print advertisements for Chardón going back to 1980.

“I beg your Chardón!” was the catchphrase used in the suggestive commercials that must have started airing in (or just before) 1981:

Another Chardón commercial from the same time period featured basketball player Larry Bird:

Larry Bird in Chardón shirt
Larry Bird in Chardón shirt

The brand didn’t last long, however. The designer jeans trend soon fizzled out, and, by mid-1982, Chardón (and many similar brands) were hard to find at department stores.

Likewise, the baby name Chardon only appeared in the SSA data one more time (in 1983) before dropping out for good.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Chardon?


Images: Screenshots of Chardón commercials