How popular is the baby name Chardon 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 Chardon.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Chardon


Posts that Mention the Name Chardon

Where did the baby name Brittania come from?

Brittania advertisement

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

BrittaniaBrittanyaBritaniaBritanya
198313 baby girls...
198213 baby girls6 baby girls..
198135 baby girls 7 baby girls9 baby girls10 baby girls
198060 baby girls [peak]19 baby girls [debut]13 baby girls [debut]16 baby girls [debut]
19795 baby girls [debut]...
1978....
1977....

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 less 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 spend 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, Murjani, and Chardon.

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

popularity graph for the baby name Brittany
  • 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]

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

Sources:

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?

wondra, flour, baby name, 1960s

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?

Sources:

Where did the baby name Chardon come from?

From a Chardon commercial, c. 1981

We’ve talked about Jordache, Murjani, even Wrangler…ready for yet another baby name inspired by designer jeans?

This one is Chardón, pronounced shar-DON — as if it were French. (The closest legit French word I could find, chardon, means “thistle.”)

“I beg your Chardón!” was the catchphrase used in the semi-suggestive commercials* that must have started airing circa 1981, as that’s when the baby name Chardon debuted on the SSA’s list:

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

But the brand didn’t last long, and neither did the name, which made the list just once more before dropping off for good.

*Here’s one of those commercials:

What do you think of the baby name Chardon?