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.
The intriguing name Gordean appeared in the U.S. baby name data just once, in the early 1960s:
1962: 6 baby girls named Gordean [debut]
5 born in Hawaii
Where did this one come from?
Gordean Leilehua Lee, who was crowned Miss Hawaii 1959. She didn’t win the Miss America 1960 pageant (held in mid-1959, a few weeks after Hawaii was granted statehood), but she did earn the title of Miss Congeniality.
Before winning Miss Hawaii, she was a student at the University of Hawaii by day and a hula dancer at The Royal Hawaiian Hotel by night. She performed under the name “Lehua.”
I’m not sure why the name debuted in ’62 as opposed to ’59 or ’60. Perhaps in 1962 she was being featured locally (like at a festival or some other event) and I just haven’t come across evidence of it yet.
But I do know that her parents were Gordon and Josephine, so it would be logical to assume that her unique first name (pronounced gor-deen) is a combination of her parents’ names.
Gordean went on to become a hula teacher and lei maker. These days she owns/operates Bailey Farms Maui.
Did you know that there have been Miss Americas named Venus (1944), BeBe (1948), Jacque (1949), Vonda (1965) and Leanza (1993)?
Miss America 1926, Norma Smallwood, had the middle name Des Cygne (French for “swans”), which she then passed along to her daughter as a first name (paired with the middle name L’Amour, French for “love”).
In 2000, the Miss America pageant included delegates named Brandee (from New Hampshire), Brandi (from New York) and Brandy (from Arkansas).
Other interesting names I spotted skimming over lists of delegates include…
Acacia Courtney (2015)
Adria Elaine Easton (1970)
Alansa Rounds Carr (1960)
Aloha Eugenia Porter (1926)
Ami Vice (2005) – just two letters away from Miami Vice!