How popular is the baby name Chevelle 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 Chevelle.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Chevelle


Posts that Mention the Name Chevelle

What turned Falcon into a baby name?

advertisement, ford falcon, 1960s, baby name

The baby name Falcon first emerged in the U.S. data in 1961. After that, it dropped back out of the data and didn’t re-appear until several decades later.

  • 1963: unlisted
  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: 5 baby boys named Falcon [debut]
  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: unlisted

The influence in this case had nothing to do with birds — it had to do with cars. Specifically, a car called the Ford Falcon, which was introduced to consumers in mid-1959 (for the 1960 model year).

I think the name popped up slightly late thanks to a cute marketing campaign that began in 1960. The ads featured characters from the Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip, which was very popular at the time.

In fact, the 1960 commercials for the Falcon mark the very first time the Peanuts crew appeared as animated characters. (The first Peanuts TV special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, didn’t come along until late 1965.)

Though the Ford Falcon was initially a success, sales of the model decreased as the ’60s progressed. This — plus the fact that “Falcon” wouldn’t have struck many ’60s parents as being particularly name-like (as opposed to, say, Chevelle) — helps explain why the baby name didn’t gain traction until much later.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Falcon? Do you like it more or less than other bird-names such as Raven, Wren and Hawk?

Sources:

Image: © 1960 Life

Where did the baby name Chevelle come from?

Part of a Chevrolet Chevelle advertisement from the 1960s
Chevrolet Chevelle

Ready for another car-inspired baby name?

Today’s name is Chevelle, which made a big splash in the data in 1963 when it debuted both as a girl name and as a boy name — an uncommon occurrence.

  • 1967: 38 baby girls named Chevelle
  • 1966: 35 baby girls named Chevelle
  • 1965: 43 baby girls named Chevelle
  • 1964: 83 baby girls and 5 baby boys named Chevelle
  • 1963: 49 baby girls and 6 baby boys named Chevelle [dual debut]
  • 1962: unlisted

But that’s not all! Also debuting in the data around this time were a slew of similar names: Chevell, Chevella, Shevelle, Shevell, and Shavelle.

The source, of course, was the Chevrolet Chevelle. The new car was introduced in August of 1963 and was an instant success.

How did the company come up with the name?

In all, Chevrolet personnel submitted some 3,000 suggestions for a name. Eventually the list was cut to a half-dozen, including Chevalle (which sounded too much like the French for “horse”) and Chevair.

Bunky Knudsen, Chevy’s general manager, made the final choice.

According to another source, Bunky* admitted that Chevelle was “a coined name with no special meaning.”

What do you think of the baby name Chevelle?

*Bunky’s real name was Semon. The nickname “Bunky,” given to him by his father, was a World War I-era term for bunkmate, or buddy.

Sources:

Mystery baby name: Chevette

So here’s an interesting case. The baby name Chevette debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1965:

  • 1969: 5 baby girls named Chevette
  • 1967: 8 baby girls named Chevette
  • 1966: 6 baby girls named Chevette
  • 1965: 6 baby girls named Chevette [debut]
  • 1964: unlisted
  • 1963: unlisted

You’d think it’d be the car, right? The Chevrolet Chevette? Except, the car didn’t arrive until 1975. You can see the corresponding spike in usage in 1976:

  • 1977: 7 baby girls named Chevette
  • 1976: 17 baby girls named Chevette [peak]
  • 1975: 6 baby girls named Chevette

The only pop culture reference I can find for the mid-1960s is, weirdly, another car: a custom-build race car. Created by engineer Bob McKee, it was called the “Chevette” because it was made out of parts from the Chevelle and the Corvette. It was driven in various American road races in 1964 and 1965, but I can’t find any press coverage.

Another (more likely) possibility is that the name emerged naturally, given the stylishness of -vette names during the ’60s. The name Yvette saw peak usage (125th) in 1967, for instance, and the Chevette-like names Charvette and Jevette popped up in the data just before Chevette did.

What are your thoughts on this one?

Source: Pace, Harold and Mark Brinker. Vintage American Road Racing Cars 1950-1969. St. Paul, MN: Motorbooks International, 2004.

Wrangler, the ’80s Baby Name Enigma!

The baby name Wrangler debuted on the U.S. baby name charts in 1987.

So here’s the mystery: What caused the debut? Was the name inspired by Wrangler Jeans, or by the Jeep Wrangler? Or both?

The '80s Baby Name Wrangler - Was it inspired by the jeans or the jeep?

Wrangler Jeans, which have been around since the 1940s, were available in trendy, tight-fitting “designer” styles during the ’80s (just like Jordache and Murjani). Wrangler commercials from that time period (e.g., 1, 2, 3) all featured the same catchy “live it to the limit in Wrangler” theme song.

The Jeep Wrangler was introduced in 1986. The Jeep Wrangler ads weren’t as eye-catching as the Wrangler Jeans ads, but it’s hard to overlook the correlation between the year the car came out and the year the name debuted, and the fact that new cars with decent names often do inspire baby name debuts (e.g., Chevelle, Allante, Miata).

My opinion? I think both products had some influence here.

A small number babies born prior to 1987 were named Wrangler, and I’m sure a few of them were named with the Jeans in mind. (Favorite example: James Levi Wrangler Dunlap, born in 1984.)

But I think the Jeep Wrangler is what gave the name enough of a boost in 1987 for us to see it on the baby charts.

What do you think?

(Interestingly, the baby name Wrangler was only on the SSA’s list once in the ’80s and a few more times during the ’90s, but it has appeared consistently on the charts since the turn of the century. Its best showing so far was in 2011, with 16 baby boys named Wrangler that year.)

Sources:

Car names as baby names

Mazda Miata
Mazda Miata

Love cars? Here are some car-related names that have been used as baby names:

  • Allante, from Cadillac Allante.
  • Aston, from Aston Martin. Inspired by Aston Hill in England.
  • Audi, German manufacturer. The name is a Latin translation of Horch, surname of founder August Horch.
  • Avanti, from Studebaker Avanti. The word avanti means “forward” in Italian.
  • Bentley, British manufacturer. Named after founder W. O. Bentley.
  • Camry, from Toyota Camry. The name is based on kanmuri, which means “crown” in Japanese.
  • Capri, from Lincoln Capri.
  • Caprice, from Chevrolet Caprice. Named after a New York City restaurant.
  • Catera, from Cadillac Catera.
  • Celica, from Toyota Celica. The name is based on caelica, which means “celestial” in Latin.
  • Chevelle, from Chevrolet Chevelle.
  • Chevy, nickname for Chevrolet.
  • Civic, from Honda Civic.
  • Cooper, from MINI Cooper. Named after auto racer John Cooper.
  • Cressida, from Toyota Cressida.
  • DeLorean, from DMC DeLorean.
  • Diamante, from Mitsubishi Diamante.
  • Dino, from Fiat Dino or Ferrari Dino. Both named after V6 engine designer Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari.
  • Dodge, a division of Chrysler. (I know of two babies named after Dodge pickup trucks specifically.)
  • Elantra, from Hyundai Elantra.
  • Elise, from Lotus Elise. Named after Elisa Artioli, granddaughter of Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli.
  • Elva, British manufacturer. The name is based on elle va, which means “she goes” in French.
  • Florian, from Isuzu Florian. Named after the fictional horse in Florian, the Emperor’s Stallion by Felix Salten.
  • Ford, American manufacturer. Named after founder Henry Ford.
  • Hudson, American manufacturer.
  • Jazz, from Honda Jazz.
  • Jeep, a division of Chrysler.
  • Jetta, from Volkswagen Jetta. The name is based on the phrase “jet stream.”
  • Jimmy, from GMC Jimmy.
  • Kia, South Korean manufacturer.
  • Lexus, a division of Toyota. The name has no specific meaning, according to the company.
  • Lincoln, a division of Ford. Named after former U.S. president Abraham Lincoln.
  • Martin, from Aston Martin. Named after founder Lionel Martin.
  • Mercedes, from Mercedes-Benz, a division of Daimler AG. Named after Mercedes Jellinek, daughter of Austrian entrepreneur Emil Jellinek.
  • Miata, from Mazda Miata. Possibly means “reward” in Old High German.
  • Millenia, from Mazda Millenia.
  • Mondeo, from Ford Mondeo. The name is based on mundus, which means “world” in Latin.
  • Morgan, British manufacturer.
  • Porsche, German manufacturer. Named after founder Ferdinand Porsche.
  • Reatta, from Buick Reatta.
  • Renault, French manufacturer.
  • Royce, from Rolls-Royce. Named after founder Henry Royce.
  • Scion, a Toyota marque.
  • Shelby, from Shelby American. Named for founder Carroll Hall Shelby.
  • Tiburon, from Hyundai Tiburon. The word tiburón means “shark” in Spanish.
  • Torino, from Ford Torino.
  • Toyota, Japanese manufacturer. Named for founder Kiichiro Toyoda.
  • VW, short for Volkswagen.

Blog readers have also told me about babies named Riviera (after the Buick Riviera) and Axel (because of its similarity to the word axle).

Update, 2016 – Here’s a baby whose middle name, Megan, was inspired by a Renault Megane.

Know any babies that were named for automobiles?

[Psst! Were you looking for a post about giving a name to your car?]