How popular is the baby name Lorne 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 Lorne.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Lorne


Posts that Mention the Name Lorne

How did “Battlestar Galactica” influence baby names?

The TV show "Battlestar Galactica" (1978-1979)

Today, Battlestar Galactica is a sci-fi media franchise. But the original TV series wasn’t terribly successful — it aired on ABC for a single season (September of 1978 to April of 1979) before being canceled.

Still, the initial show managed to have an impact on American baby names. Here are the names that Battlestar Galactica characters managed to influence in the late 1970s:

  • Adama — from Commander Adama (played by Lorne Greene of Bonanza fame). The name Adama debuted (for boys) in 1978.
  • Apollo — from Captain Apollo, the son of Commander Adama. The name Apollo saw a rise in usage in 1978, and then-peak usage in 1979. (That peak was eclipsed in 2002 after speed skater Apolo Ohno became famous.)
  • Athena and Maren — from the daughter of Commander Adama, Lieutenant Athena (played by Maren Jensen). The name Athena saw a spike in usage 1979, and Maren nearly tripled in usage the same year.
  • Cassiopeia — from the character Cassiopeia, who was a “socialator” (a.k.a. prostitute). The name Cassiopeia debuted in 1979.
  • Starbuck — from Lieutenant Starbuck. The name Starbuck was a one-hit wonder in 1979. Both the name of the Lieutanant and the name of the famous coffee chain were inspired by the Moby Dick character Starbuck.
  • Tigh — from Colonel Tigh (played by Terry Carter, whose stage name was inspired in part by the comic strip Terry & the Pirates). The name Tigh debuted in 1979, and the spelling Tighe saw peak usage the same year.
The character Colonel Tigh from the TV series "Battlestar Galactica" (1978-1979).

Would you consider using any of the names above?

Source: Battlestar Galactica – IMDb

Distinctively Canadian First Names

Here are the most distinctively Canadian first names by decade, according to Canadian website The 10 and 3:

  • 2010s: Zainab and Linden
  • 2000s: Gurleen and Callum
  • 1990s: Simran and Mathieu
  • 1980s: Chantelle and Darcy
  • 1970s: Josee and Stephane
  • 1960s: Giuseppina and Luc
  • 1950s: Heather and Giuseppe
  • 1940s: Heather and Lorne
  • 1930s: Isobel and Lorne
  • 1920s: Gwendoline and Lorne

Did you know that Canada’s love of “Lorne” comes from the Marquess of Lorne, the British nobleman who served as Governor General of Canada from 1878 to 1883? To see more explanations, and also more names per decade, check out the source article.

The name I’m most curious about is Josée from the 1970s. It had a “Canadian factor” of 634.6 — larger than any other name in the study — but also had no explanation, and I can’t figure out the influence. Does anyone have a guess?

Source: Gord, Sheila, Graham and Beverley? The Most Distinctively Canadian Names Are Not What You’d Expect

Where did the baby name Giuliani come from in 2002?

NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani

On September 11, 2001, members of the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda carried out four coordinated terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. The attacks killed nearly 3,000 people, most of whom died with the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York City.

New York City mayor Rudolph “Rudy” Giuliani was lauded for his leadership in the aftermath of the attacks. He made a number of appearances on TV* and radio. Oprah Winfrey dubbed him “America’s Mayor.”

On the last day of 2001, Time magazine declared Giuliani “Person of the Year.” (That day was also Giuliani’s last day as mayor, incidentally). Time said:

With the President out of sight for most of that day, Giuliani became the voice of America. Every time he spoke, millions of people felt a little better. His words were full of grief and iron, inspiring New York to inspire the nation. “Tomorrow New York is going to be here,” he said. “And we’re going to rebuild, and we’re going to be stronger than we were before…I want the people of New York to be an example to the rest of the country, and the rest of the world, that terrorism can’t stop us.”

And in 2002, we see the name Giuliani appear for the very first time in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 2004: unlisted
  • 2003: unlisted
  • 2002: 6 baby boys named Giuliani [debut]
  • 2001: unlisted
  • 2000: unlisted

The Italian surname Giuliani was derived from the personal name Giuliano, the Italian equivalent of Julian.

Two other baby names that debuted around this time, Independence in 2001 and Patriot in 2002, were also likely given a boost by the events of 9/11.

*Later in September, Rudy Giuliani was featured in the Saturday Night Live9/11 Tribute” (video) that memorably ended with this short exchange between Lorne Michaels and Giuliani: “Can we be funny?” “Why start now?”

P.S. Fr. Mychal Judge, the first official casualty of 9/11, also had an impact on baby names in the early 2000s.

Sources:

  • Hanks, Patrick. (Ed.) Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Pooley, Eric. “Mayor of the World.” Time 31 Dec. 2001.

Image: © 2001 Time

Where did the baby name Kebrina come from?

Psychic Kebrina Kinkade in the "Kebrina's Psychic Answer" infomercial (1992).
“Kebrina’s Psychic Answer” infomercial

My favorite pop culture baby names are the ones that refer to incredibly cheesy things like Rambo, Star Search, and Dijonniase.

The baby name Kebrina, in terms of cheesiness, does not disappoint.

It debuted on the U.S. baby name data in 1979, and saw peak usage in 1993:

  • 1996: unlisted
  • 1995: 7 baby girls name Kebrina
  • 1994: 7 baby girls name Kebrina
  • 1993: 50 baby girls name Kebrina [peak]
  • 1992: 30 baby girls name Kebrina
  • 1980…1991: unlisted
  • 1979: 5 baby girls name Kebrina [debut]
  • 1978: unlisted

The inspiration?

Kebrina Kinkade, the original “psychic to the stars.”

She was already hobnobbing with celebrities (David Hasselhoff, Bruce Jenner, Dick Van Patten, Lorne Greene, etc.) in the late 1970s, but it wasn’t until 1979, the year she appeared on several TV talk shows, that she achieved enough visibility to influence the baby name charts.

Her name did not make the charts during the ’80s, but it pops up in magazines and newspapers throughout the decade. She’s mentioned in a 1982 People article about a missing person investigation, for instance. (They misspelled her name Kabrina Kincaid.) She also came up in a 1987 newspaper article about how the predictions made by America’s “38 top astrologers and psychics” the year before were mostly incorrect.

Expectant parents didn’t take notice of her name again until the infomercial for “Kebrina’s Psychic Answer” — a psychic hotline that costed callers $3.99 per minute — started airing on television in 1992. The spot, hosted by actors Erik Estrada and Jenilee Harrison, ran until 1994.

I’m not sure what Kebrina Kinkade is up to these days, but I’m sure she’d be happy to know that she’s got dozens of namesakes. (I wonder if she could have predicted it…?)

What do you think of the name Kebrina?

Sources:

What turned Bonanza into a baby name?

Title of the TV western "Bonanza" (1959-1973)

In mining, a bonanza (“prosperity” in Spanish) refers to a rich vein of ore. The word sometimes refers specifically to the Comstock Lode — a lode of silver ore discovered in western Utah Territory in 1859.

This “Comstock Lode” definition is where the TV western Bonanza got its name, as the show was set in the same place and time period (Utah Territory in the 1860s).

The series focused on the Cartwright family — father Ben and sons Adam, Eric, and Joseph — who lived on a ranch near the Virginia City (located in what is now the state of Nevada).

Bonanza started airing in 1959, and, one year later, enough baby boys in the U.S. were named Bonanza for the name to debut in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: unlisted
  • 1960: 7 baby boys named Bonanza [debut]
  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: unlisted

Though Bonanza (1959-1973) was one of the longest-running westerns on television, that was the first and only time the name appeared in the data.

The series did have a strong influence on several other names, though.

Lorne Greene

One of those names is Lorne. Canadian actor Lorne Green played the show’s thrice-widowed patriarch, Ben Cartwright. Here’s what happened to the usage of the baby name Lorne during the early years of the show:

  • 1962: 171 baby boys named Lorne [rank: 595th]
  • 1961: 92 baby boys named Lorne [rank: 795th]
  • 1960: 49 baby boys named Lorne
  • 1959: 24 baby boys named Lorne
  • 1958: 25 baby boys named Lorne
Pernell Roberts

Another is Pernell. Actor Pernell Roberts played the eldest Cartwright son, Adam. Here’s how the usage of the name Pernell was affected:

  • 1962: 128 baby boys named Pernell [rank: 687th]
  • 1961: 68 baby boys named Pernell [rank: 930th]
  • 1960: 37 baby boys named Pernell
  • 1959: 23 baby boys named Pernell
  • 1958: 13 baby boys named Pernell

Both Lorne and Pernell entered the top 1,000 for the first time in 1961.

Later on in the series, there’s Jamie. Teenage orphan Jamie Hunter (played by Mitch Vogel) was introduced as a new character in mid-1970. He was adopted by Ben Cartwright during an episode that aired at the end of the next year.

Male usage of the name Jamie increased enough in 1971 that the name was boosted into the boys’ top 100 for the first time. (It remained there throughout the 1970s.)

  • 1972: 3,679 baby boys named Jamie [rank: 72nd]
  • 1971: 3,233 baby boys named Jamie [rank: 96th]
  • 1970: 2,642 baby boys named Jamie [rank: 125th]
  • 1969: 1,567 baby boys named Jamie [rank: 179th]
  • 1968: 1,224 baby boys named Jamie [rank: 193rd]

Have you ever watched Bonanza? Are there any other notable names I might be missing here? Please leave a comment!

Update, 5/31/2015: Usage of the baby name Tessa more than tripled from 1963 to 1964. Looks like the jump was caused by an episode of Bonanza called “Bullet for a Bride” (Feb. 1964) which featured a character named Tessa Caldwell.

Update, 3/17/2018: The name Petina debuted in 1965 thanks to a single-episode Bonanza character named Petina, an aerialist who appeared in “The Deadliest Game” (Feb. 1965).

Source: Bonanza – Wikipedia