How popular is the baby name Dinah 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 Dinah.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Dinah


Posts that Mention the Name Dinah

Where did the baby name Taina come from in 1955?

Finnish actress Taina Elg
Taina Elg

Today we have the tale of two Tainas — one pronounced TIE-nah, the other pronounced tah-EE-nah.

The first version of the name Taina debuted in the U.S. baby name data in the mid-1950s:

  • 1957: 12 baby girls named Taina
  • 1956: 8 baby girls named Taina
  • 1955: 21 baby girls named Taina [debut]
  • 1954: unlisted
  • 1953: unlisted

The inspiration here was Finnish dancer/actress Taina (pronounced TIE-nah) Elg, who was being introduced to American audiences in 1955 in the film The Prodigal, a biblical epic starring Lana Turner.

A bizarre advertising campaign from the same year asked readers to rename Taina:

Taina advertisement
Taina Elg re-naming contest

Hurry and enter! Just suggest your choice of a name for Taina Elg — the star with the most unusual name in Hollywood. She’s an acclaimed ballerina, and an actress with M-G-M! She’s 5’5?, with dark blonde hair and sparkling gray-green eyes. Taina (rhymes with Dinah) loves to cook, delights in outdoor sports. […] With that in mind, what do you think her name should be? Look through your telephone book and make up original name combinations. The first name that pops into your mind right now — might very well be the winner! Just find a name you think fits this lovely young star.

Her name, which is a Finnish diminutive of the name Tatiana, was never changed (of course). Elg went on to win two Golden Globes later that decade — one in 1957, the other in 1958 — and also have success on stage and in television. In fact, usage of the name spiked in 1980, the year Taina Elg could be seen on two different U.S. soap operas: Guiding Light (1980) and One Life to Live (1980-2).

Now fast forward to 2001, when the name Taina was suddenly boosted into the top 1,000 for the first and only time:

  • 2003: 130 baby girls named Taina
  • 2002: 168 baby girls named Taina
  • 2001: 248 baby girls named Taina [ranked 913th]
  • 2000: 73 baby girls named Taina
  • 1999: 61 baby girls named Taina

The inspiration in this case? The short-lived Nickelodeon series Taina that aired from early 2001 to mid-2002. The main character, Taina (pronounce tah-EE-nah) Morales, was “a sassy 15-year-old Latina” in NYC played by actress Christina Vidal.

…So Taina is a name with one spelling, but two distinct pronunciations. Which pronunciation do you prefer?

Sources:

 

The Descendants of Tristram Coffyn

Medal depicting Tristram Coffin/Coffyn (c.1609-1681)
Tristram Coffin/Coffyn

Earlier this week we talked about the original Tristram Coffyn of Nantucket, who is known to have a massive number of descendants.

He and his wife Dionis* had five children in England, then four more after relocating to the New World. Here are the names of not only all nine of their children, but also their 76 grandchildren:

  1. Peter (b. 1631) and his wife Abigail had 11 kids:
    • Parnel, Eliphalet, Abigail, Peter, Jethro**, Tristram, Robert, Edward, Judith, Parnell, Elizabeth
  2. Tristram (b. 1632) and his wife Judith had 10 kids:
    • Judith, Deborah, Mary, James, John, Lydia, Enoch, Stephen, Peter, Nathaniel
  3. Elizabeth (b. 1634) and her husband Stephen Greenleaf had 10 kids:
    • Stephen, Sarah, Daniel, Elizabeth, John, Samuel, Tristram, Edmund, Judith, Mary
  4. Stephen (b. 1637)
  5. James (b. 1640) and his wife Mary had 14 kids:
    • Experience, James, Mary, Abigail, Nathaniel, John, Dinah, Elizabeth, Deborah, Ebenezer, Joseph, Benjamin, Ruth, Jonathan
  6. Deborah (b. 1642)
  7. Mary (b. 1645) and her husband Nathaniel Starbuck had 10 kids:
    • Mary, Elizabeth, Nathaniel, Jethro, Barnabas, Eunice, Priscilla, Hephzibah, Ann, Paul
  8. John (b. 1647) and his wife Deborah had 11 kids:
    • Lydia, Peter, John, Love, Enoch, Samuel, Hannah, Benjamin, Tristram, Deborah, Elizabeth
  9. Stephen (b. 1652) and his wife Mary had 10 kids:
    • Daniel, Dionis, Peter, Stephen, Judith, Susanna, Anna, Mehitable, Hepzibah, Paul

Which of the above names do you like best? Are there any you don’t like at all?

*Dionis’s name is evidently a truncated form of Dionysia, which derives from Dionysius, which originally referred to a devotee of the Greek god Dionysos. The names Dennis and Denise are also derivatives of Dionysius.

**Nantucket’s Oldest House, also called the Jethro Coffin House, was built in 1686 as a wedding gift for Jethro Coffin.

Sources: Tristram Coffin, Sr. (1608-1681) – WikiTree, My Father’s Shoes – Our Coffin Story

List of female names from 1888

female names, 1888

A while ago I found a book called “A Collection of Original Acrostics on Ladies’ Christian Names” that was published in Toronto in 1888.

I won’t post any of the poems, which are all pretty cheesy, but author George J. Howson does include an intriguing selection of names. He notes that he wrote acrostics for “all the most popular feminine christian names of the day, and many more that, while not in common use, are known to exist in actual life.”

Here’s the list:

Abigail
Ada
Adelaide
Adelle
Adeline
Addie
Aggie
Agnes
Alberta
Alecia
Aletha
Alfretta
Alice
Allie
Alma
Almeda
Almira
Alta
Althea
Alvira
Alzina
Amanda
Amelia
Amy
Ann
Anna
Annabell
Annas
Annette
Angelia
Angeline
Annie
Athaliah
Athelia
Augusta
Aura
Avis
Barbara
Beatrice
Bell
Bella
Berdie
Bertha
Bertie
Bessie
Beulah
Blanche
Bridget
Calista
Carrie
Carlotta
Cassie
Catherine
Cecilia
Cela
Celia
Celicia
Celis
Charlotte
Chloe
Christie
Christine
Clara
Clarissa
Cleanthe
Clementina
Constance
Cora
Cordelia
Corinne
Cornelia
Cynthia
Cyrena
Debbie
Delia
Della
Diana
Diantha
Dinah
Dollie
Dora
Dorcas
Dorinda
Dorothy
Edith
Edna
Effie
Ella
Eleanor
Eleanora
Electa
Ellen
Elfie
Eliza
Elma
Elsie
Emma
Emmeline
Emily
Ena
Erma
Estelle
Esther
Ethel
Ethelind
Ettie
Eugenie
Eula
Eunice
Euphemia
Euretta
Eva
Evalina
Eveline
Evelyn
Fannie
Felicia
Flora
Florence
Floss
Frances
Frank
Gay
Georgie
Georgina
Geraldine
Gertie
Gracie
Hagar
Hannah
Harriet
Hattie
Helen
Helena
Henrietta
Hulda
Ida
Irene
Isabel
Isabella
Isadora
Jane
Janet
Janie
Jeannette
Jemima
Jennet
Jennie
Jessie
Jerusha
Joanna
Josephine
Josie
Julia
Kate
Kathleen
Katie
Keziah
Lany
Laura
Leah
Leila
Lena
Lera
Lettie
Levina
Levinia
Libbie
Lida
Lilian
Lillie
Lizzie
Lola
Lora
Lorretta
Lottie
Lou
Louisa
Louise
Lucinda
Lucretia
Lucy
Luella
Lula
Lulu
Lydia
Mabel
Madelaine
Maggie
Malvina
Mamie
Marcella
Margaret
Maria
Marilla
Marion
Mary
Marsena
Martha
Mattie
Maud
Maudie
May
Melinda
Mellissa
Mercy
Mertie
Mildred
Millie
Mina
Minerva
Minnie
Mintha
Miranda
Mollie
Muriel
Myra
Myrtle
Nancy
Naomi
Nellie
Nettie
Nina
Nora
Ollie
Olive
Olivia
Ormanda
Ophelia
Pauline
Pearl
Phoebe
Phyllis
Priscilla
Prudence
Rachel
Rebecca
Rhoda
Robena
Rosa
Rosabel
Rosalie
Rosalind
Rosamond
Rose
Ruby
Ruth
Sabina
Sadie
Sally
Samantha
Sarah
Selina
Sophia
Sophronia
Stella
Susanna
Susie
Sybil
Teresa
Theodocia
Theresa
Tillie
Una
Verna
Victoria
Vida
Viola
Violet
Wilhelmina
Winifred
Zuba

Have any favorites?

Hulda/Huldah is one I like. It’s one of those names that I always see on old New England gravestones but never come across in real life. Wonder when that one will become stylish again.

BTW, has anyone ever seen a good name acrostic? Like, one that’s actually well-written and/or thought-provoking? Because I don’t think I ever have.

Source: A Collection of Original Acrostics on Ladies’ Christian Names by George J. Howson

WWII baby named Roger tracks down namesake

Winston Churchill WWII poster

Toward the end of World War II, a British woman named Dinah Gatland met U.S. Army Air Corps Lt. Ira M. Gross while he was recovering in a London hospital.

Weeks later, Gross was seeing London’s sites with Dinah Gatland and her friends, who teasingly called the friendly Yank “Roger” because he always used the military affirmative “Roger” when he meant “yes” or “OK.”

Married and with a daughter he’d not yet met at home, Gross soon found out his good friend Dinah Gatland was pregnant and that her G.I. lover had returned home to Richmond, Ind., leaving her future in doubt.

After Ira Gross returned to the U.S., he and his wife Rose sent care packages — food, clothes, baby items — to Dinah. Ira recalled, “You couldn’t get anything in London. Everything was rationed. Food was rationed. Clothes were rationed.”

Dinah, who was ultimately abandoned by the G.I., welcomed a baby boy on December 24, 1945.

The baby was named Roger, in honor of Gross.

Dinah and Ira eventually lost touch. She never told her son Roger about his American father, or about the origin of his name.

As an adult, Roger managed to track down his father, and they became friends. “But it always intrigued me, this ‘Roger’ Gross, whom she named me after,” he said.

So, while visiting the U.S. in September, Roger visited the Ohio town where “Roger I.M. Gross” (the name written on the letters sent to his mother) used to live.

A local genealogist helped him figure out that “Roger I.M. Gross” was actually an Ira, not a Roger. Even better, she discovered that Ira and Rose Gross were both still alive, living in Texas.

Three weeks later, 67-year-old Roger Gatland and 90-year-old Ira “Roger” Gross spoke for the very first time, over the phone.

“I would love it to be known nationwide just what incredible people (the Grosses) are,” Roger Gatland told the Springfield News-Sun. “In spite of everything that was happening, he still had time to write and wrap up parcels and send things to my mother.”

Source: Roger, that: 67 years later, British child and Yank namesake meet

110+ hidden gems: rare baby girl names

gemstone

Want a girl name that’s not popular, but also not unheard of?

I looked through the names at the bottom of SSA’s 2011 mega-list and found a bunch of hidden gems:

  1. Alberta (9 baby girls)
  2. Alexandrina (6)
  3. Amity (28)
  4. Apollonia (21)
  5. Augusta (31)
  6. Augustina (15)
  7. Avelina (34)
  8. Bernadine (6)
  9. Bertha (45)
  10. Bettina (8)
  11. Blanche (6)
  12. Bryony (5); Briony (16)
  13. Carlotta (20)
  14. Celestina (19)
  15. Celestine (7)
  16. Cicely (14)
  17. Claribel (19)
  18. Clarice (37)
  19. Clarity (17)
  20. Claudette (9)
  21. Claudine (9)
  22. Clementina (7)
  23. Constantina (5)
  24. Coretta (5)
  25. Corinna (37)
  26. Cornelia (17)
  27. Damiana (10)
  28. Davida (10)
  29. Delphine (26)
  30. Dinah (44)
  31. Dolores (39)
  32. Dorothea (15)
  33. Edwina (8)
  34. Eloisa (42)
  35. Enid (15)
  36. Ernestina (5)
  37. Eugenia (29)
  38. Eugenie (8)
  39. Eulalia (25)
  40. Euphemia (5)
  41. Evita (13)
  42. Fabiana (47)
  43. Faustina (21)
  44. Flavia (12)
  45. Floriana (6)
  46. Florina (6)
  47. Georgette (24)
  48. Gertrude (16)
  49. Gloriana (22)
  50. Golda (34)
  51. Goldie (37)
  52. Heloise (8)
  53. Henrietta (34)
  54. Hilda (40)
  55. Imelda (23)
  56. Io (9)
  57. Ione (26)
  58. Isidora (13)
  59. Jeanne (39)
  60. Josette (27)
  61. Junia (17)
  62. Linnaea (12)
  63. Lucette (7)
  64. Lucienne (43)
  65. Lucilla (12)
  66. Marietta (22)
  67. Maude (9)
  68. Mavis (38)
  69. Minerva (38)
  70. Nanette (8)
  71. Nell (32)
  72. Nella (38)
  73. Nicola (30)
  74. Nicoletta (19)
  75. Nicolina (29)
  76. Odette (48)
  77. Olympia (22)
  78. Orla (28); Orlagh (6)
  79. Phillipa (10)
  80. Philomena (41)
  81. Phyllis (20)
  82. Rhoda (28)
  83. Romana (6)
  84. Rosabella (46)
  85. Rosalba (17)
  86. Rosaline (20)
  87. Rosella (26)
  88. Rosetta (25)
  89. Rosette (5)
  90. Rosina (17)
  91. Rowena (15)
  92. Rubina (5)
  93. Rue (13)
  94. Sebastiana (5)
  95. Seraphine (19)
  96. Sigrid (15)
  97. Stephania (32)
  98. Sybilla (5)
  99. Talulla (5)
  100. Therese (47)
  101. Thomasina (6)
  102. Thora (19)
  103. Tova (43)
  104. Ulyssa (8)
  105. Ursula (25)
  106. Vashti (16)
  107. Verity (38)
  108. Violetta (46)
  109. Vita (36)
  110. Wanda (23)
  111. Winifred (30)
  112. Winona (20)
  113. Xanthe (7)
  114. Zenaida (36)
  115. Zenobia (22)
  116. Zillah (9)
  117. Zipporah (41); Tzipporah (12)

(In some cases, a different spelling of the name is more popular than what’s shown here. For instance, Isidora is rare, but Isadora is more common.)

Like any of these?

Did you spot any other great end-of-the-list names?

(Here’s the boys’ list.)