How popular is the baby name Teena 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 Teena.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Teena


Posts that Mention the Name Teena

Juneteenth as a baby name?

Birth certificate of June Tenth (?) Anderson (1930-1999)
June Tenth (?) Anderson, b. 1930

A year ago today, Juneteenth (a contraction of “June 19th”) became a federal holiday.

The holiday marks the date (in 1865) that U.S. Army officer Gordon Granger read General Order No. 3 to the people of Galveston, Texas. The order reinforced the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued two and a half years earlier, by asserting that “all slaves are free.”

This mattered because Texas still had about 250,000 slaves. Why? Because “the state never had the large Union army presence necessary to enforce the proclamation.”

Intriguingly, a baby born in nearby Harris County, Texas, in 1930 — long after the Civil War was over — may have been named “Juneteenth.”

I first discovered her a few years ago, while doing research for a post about unusual names in Harris County. She was born into an African-American family on June 26th — a week after Juneteenth — but “June tenth” is the name that appears to be written on her birth certificate (above).

In later records, on the other hand, she’s consistently listed as “Juneteena” or “June Teena.” I even found her mentioned in a 1980s cookbook:

This is one of my personal favorites, the peach pie-cobbler from June Teena Anderson, one of the Panhandle’s finest cooks.

She died in 1999, and on her gravestone her name is written “June T. Anderson.”

It’s impossible to know the original intentions of her parents (who were named Allen and Margie Anderson, btw). But it does seem plausible — given their cultural heritage, their location, and the baby’s birth date — that they had wanted to name her Juneteenth.

What are your thoughts on this?

Sources:

Where did the baby name Teenamarie come from in 1985?

Teena Marie's album "Starchild" (1984).
Teena Marie album “Starchild”

Speaking of Tinamarie…the very similar name Teenamarie first appeared in the U.S. baby name data exactly three decades later, in 1985:

  • 1987: unlisted
  • 1986: unlisted
  • 1985: 7 baby girls named Tennamarie [debut]
  • 1984: unlisted
  • 1983: unlisted

That was the year the song “Lovergirl” [vid] by R&B singer Teena Marie (born Mary Christine Brockert) peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #9 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop chart.

While the name Teenamarie was a one-hit wonder on the baby name charts, Teena Marie herself was not a one-hit wonder on the music charts; she released dozens of successful singles over the course of her career.

The name Teena also saw a spike in usage in 1985.

(Teena saw its highest usage in the mid-1950s, perhaps thanks to both the comic strip Teena and the fashion label Teena Paige. In both of those cases, the name Teena was based on the relatively new term “teenager.” The usage was also no doubt influenced by the rise of Tina.)

Which spelling do you like better, Tinamarie or Teenamarie?