How popular is the baby name Tammy 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 Tammy.
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The rare name Alisande appeared in the U.S. baby name data for four years straight in the early 1970s before disappearing again:
1973: 5 baby girls named Alisande
1972: 12 baby girls named Alisande
1971: 6 baby girls named Alisande
1970: 13 baby girls named Alisande [debut]
Where did it come from?
Alisande Ullman, the wife of actor Leslie Nielsen (from 1958 to 1974).
Alisande and Leslie appeared together on several TV game shows during that period. They were on five sequential episodes of It Takes Two in June of 1969, and at least five episodes (non-sequential) of It’s Your Bet from 1970 to 1972.
What are your thoughts on the name Alisande? Would you use it?
P.S. More than a decade earlier, Leslie Nielsen played the male lead in the movie Tammy and the Bachelor, which had a big influence on U.S. baby names in the late 1950s…
Two years after the premiere of the sitcom Bewitched, which featured a character named Samantha, the Samantha-like name Tamantha appeared in the U.S. baby name data:
1968: 16 baby girls named Tamantha
1967: 17 baby girls named Tamantha
1966: 16 baby girls named Tamantha [debut]
Bewitched could be a secondary influence here, but I think the main influence was another TV sitcom: The Tammy Grimes Show. This long-forgotten series was cancelled after just four episodes (all of which aired in September of 1966) but the main character, played by Broadway actress Tammy Grimes, was a young heiress named Tamantha “Tammy” Ward.
Even more impressive, though, is the upsurge in usage of the similar name Tamatha the same year:
1968: 381 baby girls named Tamatha [rank: 381st]
1967: 313 baby girls named Tamatha [rank: 532nd]
1966: 222 baby girls named Tamatha [rank: 646th]
For this one, I think it’s the other way around: Bewitched was the primary influence, and Tammy Grimes was secondary.
Newspaper articles about The Tammy Grimes Show did indeed misspell the character’s name “Tamatha” occasionally, but that’s not enough to catapult a name into the top 1,000. It’s far more likely that this was one of the variant names that emerged in the shadow of Tabatha, which saw a dramatic rise in usage in 1966 thanks to the newborn baby Tabatha on Bewitched.
Do you like the names Tamantha and Tamatha? Do you like them more or less than the traditional names Samantha and Tabitha?
P.S. Ironically, Tammy Grimes had been offered the role of Samantha Stephens on Bewitched in 1963 but turned it down.
P.P.S. The name Tammy also happened to enter the top 10 in 1966, but I’m guessing this had more to do with pre-existing momentum than with a 4-episode TV show.
A couple of months ago, we looked at a long, year-by-year list of the top baby name rises. A month after that, we saw the corresponding list of top drops.
On that second post, Frank B. left a comment in which he asked about absolute rises and drops — because the lists only covered relative movement within the data. So I thought two more posts were in order: top raw-number rises, and top raw-number drops.
We’ll start with the rises again. Just keep in mind that the SSA numbers don’t become very accurate until the mid-to-late 20th century, so many of the numbers below don’t quite reflect reality.
Here’s the format: Girl names are on the left, boy names are on the right, and the numbers represent single-year rises in usage. From 1880 to 1881, for instance, the usage of the girl name Ethel increased by 155 babies and the usage of the boy name Chester increased by 106 babies.
So today let’s check out another fun set of “top” names: the top rises. The names below are those that increased the most in usage, percentage-wise, from one year to the next according to the SSA data.
Here’s the format: Girl names are on the left, boy names are on the right, and the percentages represent single-year jumps in usage. (For example, from 1880 to 1881, usage of the girl name Isa grew 240% and usage of the boy name Noble grew 333%.)
The SSA data isn’t perfect, but it does get a lot more accurate starting in the late 1930s, 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…
(Did you catch all the doubles? Tula, Delano, Tammy, Jermaine, and Davey/Davy.)
I’ve already written about some of the names above (click the links to see the posts) and I plan to write about many of the others. In the meanwhile, though, feel free to beat me to it! Leave a comment and let us know what popularized Dorla in 1929, or Dustin in 1968, or Talan in 2005…