How popular is the baby name Rommel 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 Rommel.

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Popularity of the baby name Rommel

Posts that mention the name Rommel

Where did the baby name Rommel come from in 1943?

Movie poster for "The Desert Fox" (1951)

We’ve talked about the baby name Hitler before, but that particular Nazi-inspired name was never common enough to be included in the U.S. baby name data.

Rommel, on the other hand — a reference to German field marshal Erwin Rommel (1891–1944) — debuted in 1943, right in the middle of WWII:

  • 1945: unlisted
  • 1944: unlisted
  • 1943: 5 baby boys named Rommel [debut]
  • 1942: unlisted
  • 1941: unlisted

Erwin Rommel was put in charge of the German Africa Corps in February of 1941, during the North African Campaign (which included the Tunisian Campaign). Rommel achieved “stunning early victories there,” and the British press dubbed him the Desert Fox. But the Allies were eventually victorious in North Africa, and the Germans surrendered in May of 1943.

The baby name Rommel might have been a one-hit wonder in the data had the movie The Desert Fox (1951), a biographical film about Rommel that portrayed the German officer very sympathetically, not come out nearly a decade later.

  • 1953: 7 baby boys named Rommel
  • 1952: 8 baby boys named Rommel
  • 1951: 6 baby boys named Rommel
  • 1950: unlisted
  • 1949: unlisted

The movie was based on the Desmond Young book Rommel: The Desert Fox (1950), the first Rommel biography. It was particularly popular in Britain.

What does the German surname Rommel mean? It may have originally been a nickname for a noisy person, as it derives from the German verb rummeln, meaning “to make noise” or “to create a create a disturbance.”

What are your thoughts on the baby name Rommel?


Where did the baby name Wavell come from in 1942?

British military officer Archibald Wavell (1883-1950)
Archibald Wavell

In 1942, the baby name Wavell popped up in the U.S. baby name for the first and (so far) only time:

  • 1944: unlisted
  • 1943: unlisted
  • 1942: 7 baby boys named Wavell [debut]
  • 1941: unlisted
  • 1940: unlisted

Where did it come from?

A British Army officer with a very British name: Archibald Percival Wavell (pronounced way-vell).

Wavell served in various wars from the Second Boer War onward, but he would have come to the attention of Americans during the early part of WWII while serving as Commander-in-Chief Middle East. In Northern Africa, his British forces defeated the Italians, but were unable to defeat the Germans (led by Erwin Rommel).

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Source: Archibald Percival Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell –

P.S. Want to see another surname-starting-with-W that turned into a WWII-inspired one-hit wonder? Check out Wainwright