So, getting back to Andamo…where did it come from?
The single-season TV show Mr. Lucky (1959-1960), which was very loosely based on the 1943 film of the same name starring Cary Grant.
In the show, main character Lucky was the owner/operator of a gambling ship, and Andamo (pronounced ahn-DAH-moh), played by actor Ross Martin, was Lucky’s Latin-American right-hand-man. If the two main characters had proper first names, those names were never revealed over the course of the 34-episode series.
The show was cancelled, despite decent ratings, when a sponsor couldn’t be secured for the second season.
P.S. Lucky’s primary girlfriend, Maggie, was played by Pippa Scott.
The baby name Pippa was popularized recently by royal sister Pippa Middleton, but an even earlier pop culture Pippa put the name on the map initially:
1957: 5 baby girls named Pippa [debut]
That Pippa was young actress Philippa “Pippa” Scott.
Pippa Scott’s first film was the memorable Western The Searchers (1956), which starred John Wayne.
(The title of Buddy Holly’s first hit song, “That’ll Be The Day,” came from an expression that John Wayne’s character, Ethan Edwards, used repeatedly in The Searchers. And his second hit song, “Peggy Sue,” boosted the compound name Peggysue into the data for the first time — just one year after Pippa’s debut.)
Pippa Scott went on to appear in dozens of TV shows and movies during the ’60s and ’70s, and the name’s continued usage during those decades reflects this.
What are your thoughts on the baby name Pippa? Would you use it?
The relatively rare name Aissa started appearing in the U.S. data in the early 1960s:
1962: 5 baby girls named Aissa
1961: 6 baby girls named Aissa [debut]
Looks to be John Wayne’s daughter Aissa (pronounced ie-EES-ah), who was born in 1956 had a short acting career in the early 1960s. Her first and most notable role was that of Lisa Angelina Dickinson in the movie The Alamo (1960).
Photographs of Aissa also occasionally appeared in the newspapers. Perhaps the most prominent photo of her was the one on cover of Cosmopolitan magazine in March of 1961. It was their “diamond jubilee issue” (marking their 75th year in print) and, according to the caption, Aissa was “wearing $850,000 in Cartier diamonds.”
Aissa’s mother was John Wayne’s third wife, Pilar, and her two full siblings were named John Ethan and Marisa.
I know the story behind John Ethan’s middle name — it came from the character John Wayne played in The Searchers (the movie that launched Pippa) — but I don’t know the story behind “Aissa.” Perhaps the Waynes found it in the 1951 movie Outcast of the Islands, which featured an exotic character named Aissa (played by French actress Kerima)…?
In terms of etymology, “Aissa” comes from the French name Aïssa, which is based on the Arabic name Isa, a form of Jesus.
The name saw peak usage in the U.S. in the early 1990s:
1994: 10 baby girls named Aissa
1993: 20 baby girls named Aissa
1992: 58 baby girls named Aissa [peak]
1991: 20 baby girls named Aissa
1990: 11 baby girls named Aissa
Aissa Wayne’s name was in the news a lot during 1992 due to legal troubles. In April, she testified in court against her ex-husband (a physician who had hired two assailants to attack her in 1988 amid their child custody battle). The ex-husband was convicted in May and sentenced in July. In December, Aissa won full custody of their 5-year-old daughter, Anastasia Pilar.
What are your thoughts on the name Aissa/Aïssa?
Coburn, Marcia Froelke. “Legend’s Child.” Chicago Tribune 23 Feb. 1992.