How popular is the baby name Linda 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 Linda.

The graph will take a few moments to load. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take 9 months!) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.

Popularity of the baby name Linda

Posts that mention the name Linda

Where did the baby name Kashonna come from in 1984?

Cleveland murder victims Kashona and Myrio Davis (circa 1984)
Kashona and Myrio Davis

The name Kashonna appeared for the first time in the U.S. baby name data in 1984:

  • 1986: unlisted
  • 1985: 8 baby girls named Kashonna
  • 1984: 15 baby girls named Kashonna [debut]
  • 1983: unlisted
  • 1982: unlisted

Where did it come from?

A gruesome news story.

In October of 1984, a mentally ill man in Cleveland named Darnell Parker tortured his family over an 18-hour period. He was trying to “[drive] the devil out of their bodies.”

His common-law wife, Linda Davis, managed to escape and notify authorities. When the police arrived, they found one of Linda’s three children was already dead. Another died hours later at the hospital.

According to the initial news reports, the first victim was 2-year-old Kashonna, who had been decapitated. The second was 8-year-old Myril, who’d been “stabbed in the chest and back” and “also suffered burns on his face.” The third child, 4-year-old Natalia, “was in critical condition with multiple stab wounds and burns.”

By the time of Parker’s indictment a week later, doctors had figured out that the first victim was actually Natalia, not Kashonna, and reporters had figured out that Darnell Parker’s last name was actually Donnell, and that Myril’s first name was actually Myrio.

Though Kashonna survived for several more weeks, she ended up passing away later the same month. (Incidentally, her name is spelled Kashona on the children’s shared gravestone.)


Image: Clipping from Jet magazine (22 Oct. 1984)

Where did the baby name Louden come from in 1986?

The character Louden Swain from the movie "Vision Quest" (1985)
Louden Swain from “Vision Quest

The name Louden first appeared in the U.S. baby name data the mid-1980s:

  • 1988: unlisted
  • 1987: 9 baby boys named Louden
  • 1986: 8 baby boys named Louden [debut]
  • 1985: unlisted
  • 1984: unlisted

What put it there?

The coming-of-age movie Vision Quest (1985), which told the story of amateur wrestler Louden Swain.

Louden Swain (played by actor Matthew Modine) was a high school senior in Spokane. He had two goals: to quickly lose 23 pounds so that he could wrestle undefeated Washington state champion Brian Shute (played by Frank Jasper), and to win the affections of an older woman named Carla (played by Linda Fiorentino).

The title of the film is a reference to the Native American “vision quest” — a rite of passage undertaken by adolescent boys that involved (among other things) a period of fasting.

The movie was based on the 1979 novel of the same name by author Terry Davis.

What are your thoughts on the name Louden?

P.S. Did you know that pop singer Madonna made her first movie appearance in Vision Quest? She played a singer at a local bar. The music video for her song “Crazy for You” [vid] features clips of the film.


Image: Screenshot of Vision Quest

What popularized the baby name Celine in the 1990s?

Céline Dion's first English-language album, "Unison" (1990)
Céline Dion album

According to the U.S. baby name data, the name Celine saw a steep rise in the usage during the 1990s:

  • 1999: 394 baby girls named Celine [rank: 617th]
  • 1998: 565 baby girls named Celine [rank: 456th]
  • 1997: 443 baby girls named Celine [rank: 537th]
  • 1996: 271 baby girls named Celine [rank: 774th]
  • 1995: 231 baby girls named Celine [rank: 846th]
  • 1994: 247 baby girls named Celine [rank: 815th]
  • 1993: 157 baby girls named Celine
  • 1992: 121 baby girls named Celine
  • 1991: 77 baby girls named Celine
  • 1990: 52 baby girls named Celine
  • 1989: 43 baby girls named Celine

The name entered the top 1,000 in 1994, and even reached the top 500 (briefly) in 1998. That 1998 spike remained the name’s highest overall usage until the late 2010s.

Here’s a visual:

Graph of the usage of the baby name Celine in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Celine

What was behind the rise?

Quebec-born singer Céline Dion, who became one of the dominant pop divas of the mid-to-late 1990s (along with Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey).

She’d been putting out French-language music in Canada for a decade before finally releasing her first English-language album, Unison, in 1990. The album featured the song “Where Does My Heart Beat Now,” which reached #4 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart in March of 1991.

This first English-language hit was followed by many more, including…

  • “Beauty and the Beast” (1991), a duet with Peabo Bryson
    • theme song from the 1991 Disney movie Beauty and the Beast
  • “If You Asked Me To” (1992)
  • “The Power of Love” (1993)
  • “Because You Loved Me” (1996)
    • theme song from the 1996 movie Up Close & Personal
  • “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” (1996)
  • “All by Myself” (1996)
  • “My Heart Will Go On” (1997)
    • theme song from the 1997 movie Titanic

“My Heart Will Go On” was Céline Dion’s biggest hit, and today it’s considered her signature song. Here’s a live performance:

The 5-time Grammy winner was born in March of 1968 in the town of Charlemagne, a suburb of Montreal. Her parents, Adhémar and Thérèse Dion, had a total of fourteen children:

  1. Denise
  2. Clément
  3. Claudette
  4. Liette
  5. Michel
  6. Louise
  7. Jacques
  8. Daniel
  9. Ghislaine
  10. Linda
  11. Manon
  12. Paul (twin)
  13. Pauline (twin)
  14. Céline

Céline, the baby of the family, was more than two decades younger than her oldest sibling, Denise.

How did she come to be named Céline?

Her mother had chosen the name after hearing the song “Céline,” written by the French writer and singer-songwriter Hugues Aufray, who had had great success in Quebec and France during the time Céline’s mother was pregnant with her. “Céline” told the story of a good-hearted, well-behaved girl, the oldest of a large family, whose mother died giving birth to the youngest. The Céline of the song sacrificed her youth to care for her brothers and sisters, and the years had passed without her ever knowing the joys of love.

Hugues Aufray’s song “Céline” [vid] was released in 1966.

Quebec’s baby name data, which only goes back to 1980, doesn’t reveal whether or not the song made the name Céline trendy in Quebec in the late 1960s. But it does show the name declining in usage during the 1980s — despite the fact that a teenage Céline Dion was racking up French-language hits in Quebec throughout the decade.

The French name Céline can be traced back (via the Roman family names Caelinus and Caelius) to the Latin word caelum, which means “heaven.”

What are your thoughts on the name Céline?


Named Linda? Join the club.


A few months ago, while revamping a post about the fastest-rising girl names of all time, I came across the L.I.N.D.A. Club — a club exclusively for people named Linda.

The only requirement for membership, according to the club’s website, is that one’s first name be Linda or a spelling variant thereof (such as Lynda, Linnda, or Lynnda).

Nearly every year since 1987, the Lindas have held a convention — including one this past weekend in Niagara Falls, New York.

They cleverly held their 2015 event in Linda, California.

And they invited Jack Lawrence — the man behind the hit song that popularized their shared first name back in the 1940s — to attend the 1989 event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He said:

[A] group of ladies in the middle west contacted me to explain that they had started an organization called LINDA and were holding annual meetings with many other ladies who had been named Linda as a result of my song. I went as their guest to their third annual meeting […] and it was a most peculiar feeling to address each and every one as LINDA. […] I don’t know of any other songs that have sparked such yearly meetings.

Two other name-clubs I’ve blogged about are the Shirley Club and the Lois Club. Do you know of any others?

Source: Linda – Jack Lawrence, Songwriter

Image: Adapted from Chaises-saint-denis (public domain) by Thierry Caro