How popular is the baby name Joanie 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 Joanie.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Joanie


Posts that Mention the Name Joanie

Popular and unique baby names in each U.S. state, 2021

round bales of hay

Which baby names were the most popular in each U.S. state in 2021?

And which names appeared in the data for just one state last year?

Here are all the answers! (Any unique name that also popped up in last year’s post is in boldface.)

Alabama

  • Alabama’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Alabama’s top boy name: William
  • Alabama’s 9 unique girl names: Crimson, Dominga, Cailyn, Carrington, Embree, Jabria, Jaloni, Kassidi, Petrona
    • The University of Alabama’s football team is called the Crimson Tide (after one of the team colors).
  • Alabama’s 6 unique boy names: Courtney, Wheeler, Kyser, Kemoni, Kharter, Khazi

Alaska

  • Alaska’s top girl name: Amelia
  • Alaska’s top boy name: Noah
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Arizona

  • Arizona’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Arizona’s top boy name: Liam
  • Arizona’s 4 unique girl names: Ariza, Aolanis, Graciella, Nizhoni (from the Navajo word nizhóní, meaning “beautiful” or “nice”)
  • Arizona’s 1 unique boy name: Luisfernando

Arkansas

  • Arkansas’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Arkansas’s top boy name: Liam & Oliver (tie)
  • No unique girl names.
  • Arkansas’s 2 unique boy name: Aycen, Jadyn

California

  • California’s top girl name: Olivia
  • California’s top boy name: Noah
  • California’s top 10 unique girl names: Avni, Jasleen, Mehar, Cyra, Metztli, Quetzalli, Alitzel, Nara, Yadira, Aneliz (total of 526)
  • California’s top 10 unique boy names: Narek, Armen, Ekam, Yasiel, Caesar, Arya, Daksh, Gavino, Artur, Esaias (total of 382)

Colorado

  • Colorado’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Colorado’s top boy name: Liam
  • No unique girl names.
  • Colorado’s 1 unique boy name: Angelito

Connecticut

  • Connecticut’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Connecticut’s top boy name: Noah
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Delaware

  • Delaware’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • Delaware’s top boy name: Liam & Noah (tie)
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

District of Columbia

  • D.C.’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • D.C.’s top boy name: Henry
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Florida

  • Florida’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Florida’s top boy name: Liam
  • Florida’s top 10 unique girl names: Keisha, Abigaelle, Alanys, Maiah, Anyeli, Breeze, Elianys, Alis, Anthonella, Calani (total of 104)
  • Florida’s top 10 unique boy names: Marvens, Fabio, Dayron, Janiel, Piero, Tafari, Yoan, Dany, Fritz, Jahmiel (total of 76)

Georgia

  • Georgia’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Georgia’s top boy name: Noah
  • Georgia’s top 10 unique girl names: Choyce, Khori, Raylan, Destini, Kayli, Khaleah, Kylani, Tyanna, Alaura, Alonni (total of 29)
  • Georgia’s top 10 unique boy names: Chauncey, Theron, Amiris, Demoni, Harden, Horace, Jakori, Makel, Nolyn, Oryan (total of 28)

Hawaii

  • Hawaii’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Hawaii’s top boy name: Noah
    • #2 on the boys’ list was the Hawaiian name Kai (meaning “sea”).
  • Hawaii’s 5 unique girl names: Lilinoe, Alohi, Kelia, Mahealani, Tehani
  • Hawaii’s 10 unique boy names: Kainalu, Ryzen, Kaikoa, Kamaehu, Rusty, Ikaia, Kawika, Kupaa, Kahekili, Kealii

Idaho

  • Idaho’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Idaho’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Illinois

  • Illinois’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Illinois’s top boy name: Noah
  • Illinois’s top 10 unique girl names: Aasiya, Monika, Novi, Taniyah, Braya, Jaia, Jori, Milica, Ainslee, Charolette (total of 20)
  • Illinois’s top 10 unique boy names: Vuk, Damario, Krystian, Lazar, Lukasz, Dakhari, Dontrell, Ferris, Georgios, Kainen (total of 15)

Indiana

  • Indiana’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • Indiana’s top boy name: Liam
  • Indiana’s 5 unique girl names: Gatlin, Theodosia, Delainey, Kimberlynn, Maevis
  • Indiana’s 8 unique boy names: Oaklyn, Hendricks, Jamin, Kenlin, Kurtis, Oslo, Quenton, Rhyker

Iowa

  • Iowa’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • Iowa’s top boy name: Oliver
  • Iowa’s 1 unique girl name: Maize
  • Iowa’s 2 unique boy names: Kinnick, Cael
    • The University of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium was named after 1939 Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick.

Kansas

  • Kansas’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Kansas’s top boy name: Liam
  • Kansas’s 1 unique girl name: Breckyn
  • No unique boy names.

Kentucky

  • Kentucky’s top girl name: Emma
  • Kentucky’s top boy name: Liam
  • Kentucky’s 3 unique girl names: Averleigh, Caraline, Crosley
  • Kentucky’s 1 unique boy name: Enos

Louisiana

  • Louisiana’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Louisiana’s top boy name: Liam
  • Louisiana’s top 10 unique girl names: Amyri, Damani, Jai, Jersei, Krislynn, Cailee, Jacelyn, Jeanne, Kaileigh, Kelsi (total of 11)
  • Louisiana’s top 10 unique boy names: Acen, Kullen, Kamauri, Taylon, Brees, Jakyrie, Cayman, Gabe, Kendal, Tyquan (total of 11)
    • QB Drew Brees played football for the New Orleans Saints for most of his career.

Maine

  • Maine’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • Maine’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Maryland

  • Maryland’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Maryland’s top boy name: Liam
  • Maryland’s 2 unique girl names: Edyn, Harlym
  • Maryland’s 4 unique boy names: Tavon, Edvin, Dyson, Rahim

Massachusetts

  • Massachusetts’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Massachusetts’s top boy name: Noah
  • Massachusetts’s 8 unique girl names: Heloisa, Mariaalice, Aleysha, Aine, Anaclara, Analiz, Eloah, Vitoria
  • Massachusetts’s 2 unique boy names: Heitor, Jayvien

Michigan

  • Michigan’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • Michigan’s top boy name: Noah
  • Michigan’s top 10 unique girl names: Raneem, Zahraa, Areej, Kateri, Maizee, Renad, Zeinab, Brazil, Hayat, Kamyra (total of 17)
  • Michigan’s top 10 unique boy names: Ameir, Haidar, Chet, Delano, Nasser, Adian, Amr, Auston, Blade, Chip (total of 23)

Minnesota

  • Minnesota’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • Minnesota’s top boy name: Oliver
  • Minnesota’s top 10 unique girl names: Anzal, Rayan, Maryama, Adna, Ahlam, Afnan, Britta, Nawal, Hamdi, Ikhlas (total of 27)
    • Also on the list: Solveig, Signe, Sigrid, Solvi
  • Minnesota’s top 10 unique boy names: Akram, Ayub, Mohamedamin, Mubashir, Suhayb, Mubarak, Nels, Amaar, Eh, Muzamil (total of 18)

Mississippi

  • Mississippi’s top girl name: Ava
  • Mississippi’s top boy name: William
  • Mississippi’s 2 unique girl names: Chyna, Caisley
  • Mississippi’s 1 unique boy name: Swayze

Missouri

  • Missouri’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Missouri’s top boy name: Oliver
  • Missouri’s 7 unique girl names: Brenley, Damiya, Jozie, Kamori, Ramiyah, Renleigh, Saloma
  • Missouri’s 2 unique boy names: Jansen, Lexton

Montana

  • Montana’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Montana’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Nebraska

  • Nebraska’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Nebraska’s top boy name: Henry
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Nevada

  • Nevada’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Nevada’s top boy name: Liam
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

New Hampshire

  • New Hampshire’s top girl name: Olivia
  • New Hampshire’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

New Jersey

  • New Jersey’s top girl name: Olivia
  • New Jersey’s top boy name: Liam
  • New Jersey’s top 10 unique girl names: Gittel, Leeba, Shulamis, Tzivia, Leba, Anny, Naimal, Viha, Adeena, Anshika (total of 18)
  • New Jersey’s top 10 unique boy names: Avrohom, Boruch, Zalman, Laksh, Moksh, Nachum, Nicolo, Aras, Mina, Aarvik (total of 21)

New Mexico

  • New Mexico’s top girl name: Mia
  • New Mexico’s top boy name: Noah
  • New Mexico’s 1 unique girl name: Azriella
  • No unique boy names.

New York

  • New York’s top girl name: Olivia
  • New York’s top boy name: Liam
  • New York’s top 10 unique girl names: Gitty, Malky, Chany, Esty, Goldy, Pessy, Shifra, Perel, Frady, Shaindel (total of 184)
  • New York’s top 10 unique boy names: Mendel, Lipa, Simcha, Shmiel, Usher, Yechiel, Avrum, Cheskel, Naftuli, Yossi (total of 180)

North Carolina

  • North Carolina’s top girl name: Olivia
  • North Carolina’s top boy name: Liam
  • North Carolina’s top 10 unique girl names: Lawson, Barrett, Favor, Omni, Tailynn, Arlynn, Blessin, Brelynn, Ellanor, Jorja (total of 17)
  • North Carolina’s top 10 unique boy names: Nylan, Nymir, Sampson, Whitaker, Avett, Finan, Jalil, Jaycion, Nyzir, Walton (total of 22)

North Dakota

  • North Dakota’s top girl name: Olivia
  • North Dakota’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique girl names.
  • North Dakota’s 1 unique boy name: Dekker

Ohio

  • Ohio’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Ohio’s top boy name: Oliver
  • Ohio’s top 10 unique girl names: Larkyn, Mahayla, Graylynn, Keturah, Kierra, Royce, Samya, Alura, Amauri, Callahan (total of 26)
  • Ohio’s top 10 unique boy names: Jyaire, Marquan, Aayush, Bakari, Jibril, Masen, Pryor, Davonte, Gavyn, Jensyn (total of 19)

Oklahoma

  • Oklahoma’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Oklahoma’s top boy name: Liam
  • Oklahoma’s 3 unique girl names: Dim, Kodie, Copelyn
  • Oklahoma’s 4 unique boy names: Thang, Creedence, Creek, Hesston

Oregon

  • Oregon’s top girl name: Evelyn
  • Oregon’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Pennsylvania’s top boy name: Noah
  • Pennsylvania’s top 10 unique girl names: Barbie, Rosanna, Maryann, Suhana, Suzanne, Verna, Kirsten, Surah, Auriella, Avionna (total of 26)
  • Pennsylvania’s top 10 unique boy names: Benuel, Arlan, Asir, Noor, Sylvan, Menno, Munir, Sahir, Atlee, Glendon (total of 26)

Rhode Island

  • Rhode Island’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Rhode Island’s top boy name: Liam
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

South Carolina

  • South Carolina’s top girl name: Olivia
  • South Carolina’s top boy name: William
  • South Carolina’s 3 unique girl names: Britton, Jamaica, Kansas
  • South Carolina’s 4 unique boy names: Bowman, Jos, Holston, Kyland

South Dakota

  • South Dakota’s top girl name: Evelyn
  • South Dakota’s top boy name: Henry
  • South Dakota’s 1 unique girl name: Kimimila (from the Lakota word kimímila, meaning “butterfly”)
  • No unique boy names.

Tennessee

  • Tennessee’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Tennessee’s top boy name: William
  • Tennessee’s top 10 unique girl names: Callaway, Declan, Kaniya, Khloee, Serayah, Amellia, Annlee, Darcie, Jamyah, Joanie (total of 12)
  • Tennessee’s 10 unique boy names: Neyland, Karas, Kerolos, Philopateer, Calloway, Dejuan, Ryman, Timber, Walt, Wright
    • The University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium was named after former athletic director/coach Robert Neyland.
    • Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, home of the Grand Ole Opry for several decades, was named after Nashville businessman Thomas Ryman.

Texas

  • Texas’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Texas’s top boy name: Liam
  • Texas’s top 10 unique girl names: Darianna, Katalyna, Devany, Laramie, Mariafernanda, Jayci, Jessalyn, Justyce, Naidelyn, Naydelin (total of 473)
    • Also on the list: Abilene, Tulsa
  • Texas’s top 10 unique boy names: Roel, Brazos, Pete, Eliud, Priest, Rhyder, Homero, Reymundo, Zamarion, Eider (total of 280)
    • Also on the list: Rebel, Tex, Texas, Augie
    • Brazos (“arms” in Spanish) is both a river and county in Texas.

Utah

  • Utah’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Utah’s top boy name: Oliver
  • Utah’s 9 unique girl names: Scotland, Alta, Swayzee, Bentlee, Quincey, Quincee, Reggie, Scotty, Swayzie
  • Utah’s 9 unique boy names: Ammon, Dallin, Talmage, Taft, Griffey, Korver, Oaks, Rexton, Treysen
    • Dallin H. Oaks is one of the leaders of the LDS Church.

Vermont

  • Vermont’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • Vermont’s top boy name: Henry
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Virginia

  • Virginia’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • Virginia’s top boy name: Liam
  • Virginia’s 6 unique girl names: Heba, Husna, Yemariam, Yohanna, Aamirah, Jena
  • Virginia’s 5 unique boy names: Ezana, Barkon, Malakhai, Raekwon, Walid

Washington

  • Washington’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Washington’s top boy name: Liam
  • Washington’s 7 unique girl names: Ellinor, Azaylia, Baby, Dempsey, Khamila, Ravenna, Solomia
    • Seattle’s Ravenna neighborhood was named after Ravenna, Italy.
  • Washington’s 6 unique boy names: Amnen, Dashel, Ole, Sven, Tor, Vihan

West Virginia

  • West Virginia’s top girl name: Amelia
  • West Virginia’s top boy name: Liam
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Wisconsin

  • Wisconsin’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • Wisconsin’s top boy name: Oliver
  • Wisconsin’s 2 unique girl names: Rosetta, Alona
  • Wisconsin’s 2 unique boy names: Cylas, Dameir

Wyoming

  • Wyoming’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Wyoming’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique girl names.
  • No unique boy names.

Many of the unique names above can be attributed to large religious/ethnic groups within particular states, such as the Jews in New York/New Jersey, the Mormons in Utah, the Somali in Minnesota, and the Amish in Pennsylvania.

Source: Popular Names by State – SSA

Name quotes #54: Roella, Rumi, Tsh

splash, movie, quote, quotation, madison, 1980s

From the 1984 movie Splash, the character Allen (Tom Hanks) talking with his then-nameless lady friend (Daryl Hannah) as they walk around NYC:

Woman: “What are English names?”

Allen: “Well, there’s millions of them, I guess. Jennifer, Joanie, Hilary. (Careful, hey, those are hot!) See names, names… Linda, Kim– (Where are we? Madison.) Uh, Elizabeth, Samantha–“

Woman: “Madison…I like Madison!”

Allen: “Madison’s not a name… Well, all right, ok, Madison it is. Good thing we weren’t at 149th Street.”

Jay-Z on the names of his twins, Rumi and Sir, from a recent Rap Radar interview (via People):

“Rumi is our favorite poet, so it was for our daughter,” he shared. “Sir was like, man, come out the gate. He carries himself like that. He just came out, like, Sir.”

From a 2016 interview with Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander in the Tampa Bay Times:

In the early ’90s, he and wife, Pam, who grew up in Pinellas County, settled down in the Sunshine State, drawn by family ties and the promise of a nice, safe community in which to raise their son, Robin Taylor, now 23, and daughter, Robin-Sailor, 15. (Zander’s go-to line about his kids’ quirky names: “My wife just calls us Robin, and we all come running.”)

From a 2009 review of the book Looking In, about photographer Robert Frank:

On November 7 1955, part-way through a two-year, Guggenheim-funded voyage around America, the photographer Robert Frank was arrested by Arkansas state police who suspected he was a communist. Their reasons: he was a shabbily dressed foreigner, he was Jewish, he had letters of reference from people with Russian-sounding names, he had photographed the Ford plant, possessed foreign whisky and his children had foreign names (Pablo and Andrea).

From an article called This Is The Biggest Influence On Baby Names:

[Neil] Burdess says most parents’ baby-name decisions are shaped by affluent, highly educated families who live near them, rather than prominent figures in pop culture.

[…]

He cites research conducted in California in the 1960s, which found that names adopted by high-income, highly educated parents are soon embraced by those lower down the socioeconomic ladder.

From a 2015 obituary of movie star Rex Reason:

Contrary to what one might think, Rex Reason was his birth name, not one dreamed up by a Hollywood executive. Universal Pictures, in fact, had billed him as “Bart Roberts” in a couple of films before he insisted on being credited with his real name.

From a 1998 obituary of surfer Rell Sunn:

There seemed to be a bit of destiny attached. Her middle name, Ka-polioka’ehukai, means Heart of the Sea.

“Most Hawaiian grandparents name you before you’re born,” she says. “They have a dream or something that tells them what the name will be.” Hawaiians also have a knack for giving people rhythmic, dead-on nicknames, and for young Rell they had a beauty: Rella Propella.

“My godmother called me that because I was always moving so fast,” says Rell. “To this day, people think my real name is Rella. Actually I was born Roella, a combination of my parents’ names: Roen and Elbert. But I hated it, and no one used it, so I changed it to Rell.”

From a blog post by Jason Fisher on naming practices in Nigeria:

When [Kelechi Eke] was born, his mother experienced dangerous complications, which his parents acknowledged in his naming. In Igbo, Kelechi means “thank God”, and Eke means “creation”. The usual Igbo name for God, Chineke, means literally, “God of Creation”, and you can see both elements (chi + eke) in his two names. When K.C.’s own son was born, it was in the wake of difficulties in bringing his wife to the United States; consequently, they chose the name Oluchi, meaning “God’s work”, suggesting their gratitude that the immigration problems were resolved before his mother went into labor.

From the about page of writer Tsh Oxenreider:

My name is Tsh Oxenreider, and no, my name is not a typo (one of the first things people ask). It’s pronounced “Tish.” No reason, really, except that my parents were experimental with their names choices in the 70s. Until my younger brother was born in the 80s, whom they named Josh, quite possibly one of the most common names for people his age. Who knows what they were thinking, really.

Top debut names in the U.S. baby name data, 1881 to today

flower bud

Though vast majority of the baby names on the Social Security Administration’s yearly baby name lists are repeats, every list does contain a handful of brand-new names.

Below are the highest-charting debut names for every single year on record, after the first.

Why bother with an analysis like this? Because debut names often have cool stories behind them, and high-hitting debuts are especially likely to have intriguing explanations tied to historical people/events. So this is more than a list of names — it’s also a list of stories.

Here’s the format: “Girl name(s), number of baby girls; Boy name(s), number of baby boys.” Keep in mind that the raw numbers aren’t too trustworthy for about the first six decades, though. (More on that in a minute.)

  • 1881: Adell & Celeste, 14; Brown & Newell, 14
  • 1882: Verda, 14; Cleve, 13
  • 1883: Laurel, 12; Brady, Festus, Jewell, Odell & Rosco, 8
  • 1884: Crystal & Rubie, 11; Benjamen, Jens, Oakley & Whitney, 9
  • 1885: Clotilde, 13; Arley & Terence, 9
  • 1886: Manuelita, 10; Terrence, 10
  • 1887: Verlie, 13; Myles, 11
  • 1888: Ebba, 18; Carlisle, Hughie & Orvel, 9
  • 1889: Garnett, 12; Doyle, 9
  • 1890: Verena, 11; Eduardo & Maggie, 10
  • 1891: Gayle, Idabelle & Zenia, 9; Sheridan, 14
  • 1892: Astrid, Dallas & Jennett, 9; Corbett, 23
  • 1893: Elmyra, 12; Estel, Mayo, Shelley & Thorwald, 8
  • 1894: Beatriz, Carola & Marrie, 9; Arvel, Erby & Floy, 8
  • 1895: Trilby, 12; Roosevelt, 12
  • 1896: Lotus, 11; Hazen, 11
  • 1897: Dewey, 13; Bryon, Frankie, Mario & Rhoda, 7
  • 1898: Manilla, 35; Hobson, 38
  • 1899: Ardis & Irva, 19; Haven, 9
  • 1900: Luciel, 14; Rosevelt, 20
  • 1901: Venita, 11; Eino, 9
  • 1902: Mercie, 10; Clarnce, 9
  • 1903: Estela, 11; Lenon & Porfirio, 7
  • 1904: Magdaline, 9; Adrain, Arbie, Betty, Desmond, Domenic, Duard, Raul & Severo, 8
  • 1905: Oliver, 9; Eliot & Tyree, 9
  • 1906: Nedra, 11; Domenico & Ryan, 10
  • 1907: Theta, 20; Taft, 16
  • 1908: Pasqualina, 10; Robley, 12
  • 1909: Wilmoth, 9; Randal & Vidal, 9
  • 1910: Ellouise, 12; Halley, 12
  • 1911: Thurley, 12; Colie, 16
  • 1912: Elynor, Glennis, Mariann, 12; Woodroe, 25
  • 1913: Wilba, 18; Vilas, 24
  • 1914: Floriene, 14; Torao, 17
  • 1915: Wanza, 33; Audra, 18
  • 1916: Tatsuko, 14; Verdun, 14
  • 1917: Nerine, 43; Delwyn, 14
  • 1918: Marne, 24; Foch, 58
  • 1919: Tokie, 12; Juaquin, 11
  • 1920: Dardanella, 23; Steele, 11
  • 1921: Marilynne, 13; Norberto, 14
  • 1922: Evelean, 14; Daren, 35
  • 1923: Nalda, 15; Clinard & Dorland, 9
  • 1924: Charis, 14; Melquiades, 13
  • 1925: Irmalee, 37; Wayburn, 11
  • 1926: Narice, 13; Bibb, 14
  • 1927: Sunya, 14; Bidwell, 14
  • 1928: Joreen, 22; Alfread & Brevard, 9
  • 1929: Jeannene, 25; Donnald, Edsol, Rhys & Wolfgang, 8
  • 1930: Laquita, 68; Shogo, 11
  • 1931: Joanie, 12; Rockne, 17
  • 1932: Carolann, Delano & Jenine, 11; Alvyn, Avelardo, Elena, Mannon & Wenford, 7
  • 1933: Gayleen, 23; Skippy, 10
  • 1934: Carollee & Janean, 12; Franchot, 9
  • 1935: Treasure, 16; Haile, 11
  • 1936: Shelva, 89; Renny & Shelva, 9

This is where the numbers start becoming more accurate. Why? Because “many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, so their names are not included in our data.” (SSA)

Now back to the list:

I’ve already written about some of the names above, and I plan to write about all the others as well…eventually. In the meanwhile, if you want to beat me to it and leave a comment about why Maverick hit in 1957, or why Moesha hit in 1996, feel free!

*If you ignore the baby name glitch of 1989, the top debut names of 1989 are actually Audreanna and Khiry.

Image by kazuend from Unsplash

Mystery baby name: LaQuita

When the popularity of a particular baby name spikes, there’s always an explanation.

Most of the time, the explanation isn’t hard to come up with. Hundreds of baby girls were named Rhiannon after Fleetwood Mac’s Rhiannon was released in 1976, dozens of baby boys were named Rambo after the Rambo movies started coming out in the early 1980s, and so forth.

Sometimes, the explanation isn’t as conspicuous. I didn’t immediately see the connection between the name Aquanette and B-movie actress Burnu Acquanetta, for instance. Only after mulling it over for a while was I able to link the name Kasara to a long-forgotten Lisa Lisa song.

Today’s name belongs in that latter group. In fact, the explanation for today’s name is so inconspicuous that I haven’t been able to piece it together, even after months of trying.

So I’m giving up. I’m just going to post what I know and hope that some wise soul leaves a comment that helps me unravel the mystery. :)

The name is Laquita. (It’s often written LaQuita in obituaries.) It debuted on the SSA’s baby name list in 1930, coming out of nowhere to be given to an impressive 68 baby girls that year.

laquita popularity graph

Now, the number 68 might seem trivial. Today’s most popular names are given to tens of thousands of babies each, after all. As far as newbie names go, though, 68 is huge. Especially when you’re talking about the early 20th century. Here’s some context:

  • Top debut names of 1926: Narice, 13; Bibb, 15
  • Top debut names of 1927: Sunya, 14; Bidwell, 14
  • Top debut names of 1928: Joreen, 22; Alfread & Brevard, 9
  • Top debut names of 1929: Jeannene, 26; Donnald, Edsol, Rhys & Wolfgang, 8
  • Top debut names of 1930: Laquita, 68; Shogo, 11
  • Top debut names of 1931: Joanie, 12; Rockne, 17
  • Top debut names of 1932: Carolann, Delano & Jenine, 11; Alvyn, Avelardo, Elena, Mannon & Wenford, 7
  • Top debut names of 1933: Gayleen, 23; Skippy, 10
  • Top debut names of 1934: Carollee & Janean, 12; Franchot, 9

Laquita jumped into the top 1,000 right away, ranking 874th. It remained there for the next three years.

Here’s a final fact that could be helpful: None of the 28 1930-Laquitas listed in the SSDI were born during the first four months of the year. The name starts to show up in May, with 3 Laquitas born that month. This may mean that a mid-year event triggered the spike.

Ideas?

What gave the baby name Fonzie a boost?

The character Fonzie from the TV show "Happy Days."
Fonzie

I posted about Joanie and Chachi yesterday, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t say a few words about Fonzie today.

Now, babies were getting the name Fonzie long before Happy Days. Long before television, in fact. But the names of these early Fonzies were all likely based on Alfonso, not on Fonzarelli.

Popular character Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli, played by actor Henry Winkler, started appearing on TV when Happy Days debuted in 1974.

A year later, the baby name Fonzie — which had been absent from the SSA’s baby name lists for four decades — experienced a brief revival:

  • 1979: unlisted
  • 1978: unlisted
  • 1977: 8 baby boys named Fonzie
  • 1976: 6 baby boys named Fonzie
  • 1975: 9 baby boys named Fonzie
  • 1974: unlisted
  • 1973: unlisted

That’s a grand total of 23 Fonz-inspired Fonzies.

What do you think of the name Fonzie?

(And, the Happy Days opening theme song [vid] is far better than yesterday’s theme song, don’t you think?)