How popular is the baby name Ecaterina 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 Ecaterina.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Ecaterina


Posts that Mention the Name Ecaterina

Where did the baby name Ecaterina come from in 1984?

Gymnast Ecaterina Szabo at the 1984 Summer Olympics
Ecaterina Szabo

The name Ecaterina was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. baby name data in 1984:

  • 1986: unlisted
  • 1985: unlisted
  • 1984: 10 baby girls named Ecaterina [debut]
  • 1983: unlisted
  • 1982: unlisted

If you were paying attention to sports that summer, no doubt you’ll recall the source: Ecaterina Szabo, the Romanian gymnast who battled it out with Mary Lou Retton at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. (Romania was the only Eastern Bloc country that did not boycott the ’84 Games.)

Ecaterina Szabo, 17 years old at the time, was the most successful competitor overall at the 1984 Summer Games, winning four golds and one silver. (In second place was American track and field athlete Carl Lewis.) Mary Lou Retton, who was 16 years old, won one gold, two silvers, and two bronzes.

But what most people remember is Retton coming from behind to beat Szabo in “the big one” — the women’s individual all-around competition — by a mere five-hundredths of a point. (The usage of the baby name Marylou increased in both 1984 and 1985 as a result.)

Ecaterina Szabo, an ethnic Hungarian, was born with the first name Katalin. She told Romanian news site Transylvania Now that her name was changed (from the Hungarian form of Katherine to the Romanian form of Katherine) in order to mask her background:

It happened in 1980 when she participated at the Youth European Championship in Lyon. “This was the place where I arrived as Katalin, and left as Ecaterina,” she remembers. “The name change happened without my knowledge. Actually I didn’t have the chance to realize it, since I never even saw my passport.”

What are your thoughts on the baby name Ecaterina?

Sources:

P.S. Did you know another one-hit wonder baby name was inspired by a Romanian Olympic gymnast? Check out Comaneci

Interesting one-hit wonder names in the U.S. baby name data

tulips

They came, they went, and they never came back!

These baby names are one-hit wonders in the U.S. baby name data. That is, they’ve only popped up once, ever, in the entire dataset of U.S. baby names (which accounts for all names given to at least 5 U.S. babies per year since 1880).

There are thousands of one-hit wonders in the dataset, but the names below have interesting stories behind their single appearance, so these are the one-hits I’m writing specific posts about. Just click on a name to read more.

2020s

  • (none yet)

2010s

2000s

1990s

1980s

1970s

1960s

1950s

1940s

1930s

1920s

1910s

1900s

  • (none yet)

1890s

As I discover (and write about) more one-hit wonders in the data, I’ll add the names/links to this page. In the meanwhile, do you have any favorite one-hit wonder baby names?

P.S. You might also be interested in this list of the top one-hit wonder baby names since 1880

[Latest update: 9/2022]

Kilcher family names: Atz, Farenorth, Jewel, Q’orianka

Yule Farenorth Kilcher
Yule Farenorth Kilcher

I don’t normally watch television, but I’m visiting my father right now and he’s got his TV on all the time, so I haven’t been able to help it lately. :)

The other day I was walking past the TV and heard the word ‘Alaska’ — a place I’ve long wanted to visit. So I stopped to see what was on. Soon I was hearing names like Atz, Atz Lee, and Otto.

Who were these people? Where did they get such interesting names?

Turns out it was a reality show called Alaska: The Last Frontier, and the cast members were part of the locally famous Kilcher family.

Atz and Otto are the sons of homesteaders Yule Farenorth Kilcher (b. 1913) and Ruth Kilcher (b. 1920). Yule and Ruth left Switzerland for Alaska in the early 1940s. Yule went on to serve in the Alaska State Senate during the 1960s.

Yule wasn’t born “Yule Farenorth.” He was originally Julius Jakob (pronounced YOO-lee-us YAH-kob) but he changed his first and middle names after immigrating.

Yule and Ruth had a total of eight children — two boys and six girls. Here are the names:

  1. Mairiis
  2. Wurtila Dora (Wurzy)
  3. Linda Fay
  4. Attila Kuno (Atz)
  5. Sunrise Diana Irene
  6. Edwin Otto
  7. Stella Vera Septina (Bonnie)
  8. Catkin Melody

Many of the above also gave their own children distinctive names, such as Cornelius, Davin, Ecaterina, Gawan, Olga and Saskia.

One of Atz’s children is pop singer Jewel Kilcher, a.k.a. Jewel. Her popularity in the mid-1990s helped push the baby name Jewel back into the U.S. top 1,000 in 1997:

  • 1999: 453 baby girls named Jewel [ranked 557th]
  • 1998: 490 baby girls named Jewel [ranked 516th]
  • 1997: 330 baby girls named Jewel [ranked 665th]
  • 1996: 168 baby girls named Jewel [ranked 1,098th]
  • 1995: 154 baby girls named Jewel [ranked 1,141st]

And, moving forward another generation, one of Wurzy’s grandchildren is actress Q’orianka Kilcher, whose appearance in the movie The New World (2005) made Qorianka a one-hit wonder on the baby name charts in 2006.

(Q’orianka told the press that her name means “golden eagle” in Quechua, and it does seem to be based on the Quechua words for “gold,” quri, and “eagle,” anca, but I’m not sure whether it’s a legit Quechua name or a modern invention.)

So do any of you guys watch Alaska: The Last Frontier regularly? Have I missed any other good Kilcher names?