How popular is the baby name Tequila 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 Tequila.

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Popularity of the baby name Tequila

Posts that mention the name Tequila

What gave the baby name Mescal a boost in 1924?

The characters Jack Hare and Mescal from the movie "The Heritage of the Desert" (1924)
Jack and Mescal from “The Heritage of the Desert

The curious name Mescal, which began popping up in the U.S. baby name data in the mid-1910s, saw its highest usage in the mid-1920s:

  • 1926: 12 baby girls named Mescal
  • 1925: 17 baby girls named Mescal
  • 1924: 22 baby girls named Mescal (peak)
  • 1923: 11 baby girls named Mescal
  • 1922: 12 baby girls named Mescal

Where did the name come from, and what happened in 1924?

It all starts with the Zane Grey western The Heritage of the Desert (1910). The book’s main character was Jack Hare, and Jack’s love interest was a half-Navajo, half-Spanish woman named Mescal.

More than a decade after the book was published, a silent film based on the book was released. The Heritage of the Desert (1924) starred actor Lloyd Hughes as Jack and actress Bebe Daniels as Mescal.

(Interestingly, one baby born in Alabama in 1930 was named Mescal Bebe — a nod to both the character and the actress.)

According to the book, Mescal was named after a cactus flower by her grandfather, a Navajo chief. In fact, in one scene, Mescal took Jack to see the eponymous flower:

“Jack, this is mescal,” said the girl, pointing to some towering plants.

All over the sunny slopes cacti lifted slender shafts, unfolding in spiral leaves as they shot upward and bursting at the top into plumes of yellow flowers. The blossoming stalks waved in the wind, and black bees circled round them.

The problem with Zane Grey’s description, however, is that the word mescal — besides referring to a type of alcoholic drink made from agave — signifies the peyote cactus specifically. Peyotes are squat, round, and just a couple of inches tall — definitely neither “towering” nor “slender.”

The word mescal (also spelled mezcal) comes from the Nahuatl word mexcalli, which is made up of the elements metl, meaning “maguey” (a type of agave) and ixca, meaning “to cook.”

Grey’s book was made into a movie twice more, in 1932 and 1939, but in both remakes the primary female character was given a more mainstream name (Judy in 1932, Miriam in 1939).

What are your thoughts on the name Mescal?

P.S. Tequila is another agave-based baby name…

Sources: The Heritage of the Desert (film) – Wikipedia, Peyote – Wikipedia, Online Nahuatl Dictionary, SSA
Image: Screenshot of The Heritage of the Desert

Where did the baby name Cerrone come from?

Cerrone's album "Supernature" (1977)
Cerrone album

The interesting name Cerrone appeared in the U.S. baby name data during the late ’70s and the early ’80s — never before, and never since.

  • 1980: 7 baby boys named Cerrone
  • 1979: 20 baby boys named Cerrone
  • 1978: 15 baby boys named Cerrone
  • 1977: 7 baby boys named Cerrone [debut]
  • 1976: unlisted

What’s the explanation?

French disco music producer, composer, and drummer Marc Cerrone (pronounced ser-OWN). He became famous in the U.S. when his song “Love in C Minor” unexpectedly became popular in the discos:

An employee at Champs Disques in Paris had mistakenly sent a box of Love in C Minor records back to the shop’s wholesaler in New York. Intrigued by the album’s provocative cover photo, a DJ who worked for the wholesaler began spinning the title track at a local disco. Other DJ’s quickly followed suit […] Cerrone recalls, “I made an appointment and met Atlantic’s Ahmet Ertegun, who offered me a contract immediately.”

In March and April of 1977, “Love in C Minor” peaked at #2 on the Dance Club chart, #29 on the R&B chart, and #36 on the Hot 100. The Guardian recently said that “the string-adorned Love In C Minor practically defined the slick Studio 54 sound.”

Cerrone followed it up with other successful songs, including “Supernature” (1977) and “Je Suis Music” (1978).

Though Cerrone was from France, his surname is apparently Italian. The root is the word cerro, which refers to the Quercus cerris, a type of oak tree native to south-eastern Europe and Asia Minor.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Cerrone?


P.S. Like “Love in C Minor,” the song “Tequila” was also a surprise hit…

Mystery baby name: Dollinda

Graph of the usage of the baby name Dollinda in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Dollinda

The baby name Dollinda has appeared in the U.S. baby name data twice:

  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: 12 baby girls named Dollinda
  • 1958: 18 baby girls named Dollinda [debut]
  • 1957: unlisted
  • 1956: unlisted

That’s an impressive debut — just a few babies away from Tequila, which appeared the same year thanks to a hit song.

But I can’t figure out what gave Dollinda a boost. I don’t see the name anywhere in typical pop culture places (e.g., TV) and I also don’t see any telling similarities among the late-’50s Dollindas I’ve found online (e.g., birthplaces, middle names).

One interesting fact is that the spelling “Dolinda” is nowhere to be seen in the data. It’s just Dollinda. This makes me think two things. First, the source must have had a visual component in order to anchor the spelling. Second…is there some sort of “doll” association here? Was this the name of a toy? Hm.

Around the same time Dollinda was in the data, Dorinda was seeing peak usage. A little later, in the early ’60s, Delinda peaked. I’m not sure if these names had any influence on Dollinda, though.

Any thoughts on this one?

Where did the baby name Takeela come from?

Kenny Burrell's album "Introducing Kenny Burrell" (1956).
Kenny Burrell album

A couple of years before Tequila popped up on the charts, the like-sounding name Takeela debuted:

  • 1958: unlisted
  • 1957: unlisted
  • 1956: 5 baby girls named Takeela [debut]
  • 1955: unlisted
  • 1954: unlisted

Like Tequila, Takeela can be traced back to music.

Introducing Kenny Burrell, the debut album of jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell, was released by Blue Note in September of 1956. One of the seven tracks on the album was a song called “Takeela,” which “starts with a fast Latin beat on congas, giving Burrell a nice opportunity for fast, fluid solos.” (The congas were played by Cuban-born percussionist Candido Camero, who included a version of “Takeela” on his own 1957 album The Volcanic.)

According to the text on the back of the Introducing Kenny Burrell record album, the song “allegedly was not named after a bottle or even a glass of tequila, but after a girl.”

Sources: Introducing Kenny Burrell – Blue Note 1525, Introducing Kenny Burrell – AllMusic