Today’s mystery name, Derl, is one I’ve been trying to figure out for years.
It debuted modestly in the SSA data in 1929, then skyrocketed in usage the very next year. In fact, Derl was the fastest-rising baby name of 1930.
- 1933: 19 baby boys named Derl
- 1932: 27 baby boys named Derl
- 1931: 36 baby boys named Derl
- 5 born in TX, 5 in VA
- 1930: 58 baby boys named Derl [peak usage]
- 7 born in TX, 7 in OK, 5 in NC
- 1929: 5 baby boys named Derl [debut]
- 1928: unlisted
- 1927: unlisted
The spelling Derle both debuted and saw peak usage in 1930 as well.
Despite my best efforts, I still don’t have any theories about this one. But I can offer a couple of clues:
- The state-by-state SSA data suggests that Derl was used most often in the South.
- The 1929 debut might mean that the event we’re looking for occurred in the later months of 1929 instead of in 1930.
Have any ideas about Derl?
P.S. Just for context, the somewhat similar names Dale and Darrell were both on the rise during the ’20s and ’30s.
Update, 11/5/2020: Just noticed that the fastest-rising girl name of 1930, Dorla, is strangely similar to Derl. Could this be a clue…?