So what gave the name Cinnamon such a big boost in the late ’60s?
Cinnamon Carter, a character from the spy/action TV show Mission: Impossible (1966-1973).
Cinnamon (played by actress Barbara Bain) was a successful fashion model by day, but she was also a member of the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) — a team of secret government agents. (I’m not sure how one can be a both a public figure and a secret agent, but I guess she made it work.)
Though the character was only on the show for the first three seasons, she made a strong impression; Bain won three consecutive Emmy awards for each of those three years.
As soon as the character was off the show, the usage of the name Cinnamon started declining.
What are your thoughts on Cinnamon as a baby name? How high do you think it could have climbed in the rankings had the character remained on the show?
We looked at the top baby name rises last month, so this month let’s look at the opposite: the top drops. That is, the baby names that decreased the most in usage, percentage-wise, from one year to the next in the Social Security Administration’s data.
Here’s the format: girl names are on the left, boy names are on the right, and the percentages represent single-year slides in usage. (For example, from 1880 to 1881, usage of the girl name Clementine dropped 68% and usage of the boy name Neil dropped 76%.)
The SSA data isn’t perfect, but it does become more accurate in the late 1930s, because “many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, so their names are not included in our data” (SSA). Now, back to the list…
I’ve already written about some of the names above (click the links to see the posts) and I plan to write about a few of the others. In the meanwhile, though, feel free to beat me to it — leave a comment and let us know why you think any of these names saw dropped in usage when they did.