In the early 1930s, the name Gayleen popped up in the U.S. baby name data for the very first time:
- 1935: 6 baby girls named Gayleen
- 1934: 9 baby girls named Gayleen
- 1933: 23 baby girls named Gayleen [debut]
- 1932: unlisted
- 1931: unlisted
Gayleen was the top girl-name debut of 1933, in fact.
What gave Gayleen such a a boost in 1933?
The answer seems to be a cute 2-year-old named Gayleen Williams. In December of 1932, her photo ran in newspapers nation-wide. It was accompanied by captions like this one:
Little Gayleen Williams, just past two, is the “best all around girl” in Mormondom, according to judges at a recent baby show at Ogden, Utah, who fell victim to her smile, her dimples, and her pretty set of teeth. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Williams of Ogden.
Before I discovered baby Gayleen, my only guess on this name was a pair of vaudeville “acrobat dancers” called the Gaylene Sisters, who performed on tour and in at least one movie during the ’30s. The baby name Gaylene didn’t see an equivalent spike in usage in 1933, though.
Do you like the name Gayleen? Would you use it?
Source: “Best “All Around Girl” at Two.” Oil City Derrick 19 Dec. 1932: 3.