How popular is the baby name Frosty in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Use the popularity graph and data table below to find out! Plus, see all the blog posts that mention the name Frosty.

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Popularity of the baby name Frosty

Posts that mention the name Frosty

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

single flower

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.


  • 2020: Jexi













  • (none yet)


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?

Image: Adapted from Solitary Poppy by Andy Beecroft under CC BY-SA 2.0.

[Latest update: Apr. 2024]

How did Rudolph Valentino influence baby names in the 1920s?

Actor Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926)
Rudolph Valentino

Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d’Antonguolla was born in Italy in 1895 and emigrated to America in 1913.

He began getting bit parts in silent films in the mid-1910s. As he progressed to larger parts in the later 1910s, he started being credited as “Rudolph Valentino” or some variant thereof.

He finally achieved fame in 1921 with his breakthrough role as Julio in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the top-grossing film of the year.

He went on to make more than a dozen other films — including The Sheik (1921), which turned Valentino into America’s first sex symbol.

But his superstardom was cut short when, at the age of 31, he died suddenly (of peritonitis, after suffering from a perforated peptic ulcer) soon after the premiere of his final film, The Son of the Sheik (1926).

rudolph valentino, vilma banky, the son of the sheik, movie poster

The death of Valentino not only “caused worldwide hysteria, several suicides, and riots at his lying in state, which attracted a crowd that stretched for 11 blocks,” but also influenced U.S. baby names.

The name Rudolph, which had been on the rise during the early 1920s, saw peak usage in 1927. (So did the spelling Rudolf.)

  • 1929: 1,220 baby boys named Rudolph [rank: 140th]
  • 1928: 1,308 baby boys named Rudolph [rank: 134th]
  • 1927: 1,687 baby boys named Rudolph [rank: 110th]
  • 1926: 1,636 baby boys named Rudolph [rank: 111th]
  • 1925: 1,243 baby boys named Rudolph [rank: 136th]
Graph of the usage of the baby name Rudolph in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Rudolph

Similarly, the name Valentino saw a spike in usage in 1927, reaching a level that wasn’t surpassed until the late 1990s.

  • 1929: 30 baby boys named Valentino
  • 1928: 49 baby boys named Valentino [rank: 991st]
  • 1927: 90 baby boys named Valentino [rank: 682nd]
  • 1926: 49 baby boys named Valentino [rank: 990th]
  • 1925: 43 baby boys named Valentino
Graph of the usage of the baby name Valentino in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Valentino

What are your thoughts on the names Rudolph and Valentino? Would you use either one? (If so, which?)

Sources: Rudolph Valentino – Wikipedia, Rudolph Valentino – Britannica

P.S. One factor — beyond style — that could have contributed to the decreasing usage of the name Rudolph from the mid-20th century onward is the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” It was the top song in the nation at the end of 1949 — a year before “Frosty the Snowman” hit big — and went on to become a holiday classic, cementing the association between the name Rudolph and not just reindeer, but Christmastime in general.

What popularized the baby name Cindy in 1957?

Sheet music for "Cindy, Oh Cindy" (1956) by Eddie Fisher
“Cindy, Oh Cindy” sheet music

The name Cindy, which was already trendy in the 1950s, saw a sizeable increase in usage in 1956, followed by massive increase in usage in 1957:

  • 1958: 16,587 baby girls named Cindy [rank: 25th]
  • 1957: 20,269 baby girls named Cindy [rank: 19th] (peak usage)
  • 1956: 9,980 baby girls named Cindy [rank: 37th]
  • 1955: 5,591 baby girls named Cindy [rank: 79th]
  • 1954: 4,715 baby girls named Cindy [rank: 91st]
Graph of the usage of the baby name Cindy in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Cindy

The spelling variants Cindie, Cindee, and Cindye also reached their highest-ever usage in 1957, as did the formal version of the name, Cynthia.

What caused the sharp rise in usage?

The catchy song “Cindy, Oh Cindy,” which was most popular at the end of 1956 and the start of 1957.

During the last two months of 1956, two different recordings of the song peaked on Billboard‘s “Top 100” chart (the precursor to the today’s “Hot 100” chart):

  • The Vince Martin version peaked at #12 (for three weeks)
  • The Eddie Fisher* version peaked at #10 (for two weeks)

Television audiences were also hearing the song: Perry Como sang it on his own show in November, and Vince Martin sang it on The Steve Allen Show in December.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Cindy? Would you use it?

Sources: SSA, Billboard

*Eddie Fisher’s wife, Debbie Reynolds, scored an even bigger hit with “Tammy” later the same year. (Their daughter, Carrie, went on to play Princess Leia in the Star Wars movies.)

P.S. No doubt the popularity of Cindy laid the groundwork for the debut of Cindylou in 1957, but I have to wonder if the character Cindy-Lou Who from the Dr. Seuss story How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (which was published simultaneously in Redbook magazine and as a standalone children’s book in December of 1957) didn’t lend a hand.

The character Cindy-Lou Who from Dr. Seuss book "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" (1957).
Cindy-Lou Who

Incidentally, the Buddy Holly song “Peggy Sue” (1957) was originally called “Cindy Lou.”

Runner-up names for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Names under consideration for the reindeer

We’re all familiar with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, thanks to the catchy Christmas song.

But the character was around for a full decade before the song came out. He was introduced in a 1939 children’s book by Robert L. May.

May, a copywriter at Montgomery Ward, wrote the book as part of the retailer’s annual holiday promotion. More than two million copies of Rudolph were handed out to shoppers nationwide that year.

One of May’s handwritten notes from that era reveals that, before he’d settled on the name “Rudolph” for the red-nosed reindeer, he’d considered the following alliterative R-names:

  • Rodney
  • Roddy
  • Roderick
  • Rudolph
  • Rudy
  • Rollo
  • Roland
  • Reggy
  • Reginald
  • Romeo

The two names he’d circled were Rudolph and Reginald — the top two contenders, no doubt. (Sources say he decided Reginald was “too British,” and Rollo “too happy.”)

Robert L. May’s songwriter brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, later turned Rudolph’s story into a song. Gene Autry recorded “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” in mid-1949 and it became a massive hit that Christmas. (Autry followed it up with “Frosty the Snowman” in 1950.)

So now imagine you’ve gone back in time, oh, say, 78 years. Your copywriter friend Bob sends you a telegram asking for your assistance in naming a fictional reindeer character he’s writing about, for work. He includes a list of ten possibilities. Which name do you select?

Or, if you’re not keen on any of these, feel free to comment with a write-in candidate. Just be sure it starts with R!