How popular is the baby name Tula 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 Tula.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Tula


Posts that Mention the Name Tula

What gave the baby name Veva a boost in 1899?

Enthusiastic sub-headlines about Elvia Bell

From 1898 to 1899, the baby name Veva saw a pronounced increase in usage:

  • 1901: 19 baby girls named Veva [rank: 769th]
  • 1900: 30 baby girls named Veva [rank: 654th]
  • 1899: 51 baby girls named Veva [rank: 413th]
  • 1898: 14 baby girls named Veva [rank: 962nd]
  • 1897: 20 baby girls named Veva [rank: 714th]

Compared to other girl names that rose in usage that year, Veva’s leap amounted to the second-largest relative increase (after Tula) and the seventh-largest raw-number increase.

We can see a similar pattern reflected in the SSDI data:

  • 1901: 48 people with the first name Veva
  • 1900: 51 people with the first name Veva
  • 1899: 91 people with the first name Veva
  • 1898: 41 people with the first name Veva
  • 1897: 30 people with the first name Veva

What caused this sudden interest in the name Veva?

The answer might be a news story.

In the spring of 1899, sisters Evern Case (6) and Veva Case (4), who lived with their mother in Greensboro, North Carolina, went to visit their father in Mississippi for several months.

When their father refused to send them home, their mother’s sister, Elvia Bell (“a brunette of distinguished appearance” in her mid-20s), took it upon herself to travel to Mississippi and retrieve her nieces.

On June 10th, Elvia boarded a train bound for Ocean Springs, MS. Once she got there, she

…took lodging at the hotel to study the situation and mature her plans. She carried a letter of introduction to some lawyers there and soon had the sympathy of the hotel keeper and Mr. Martin Turnbull, a reporter of the Times-Democrat, enlisted in her cause. After fruitless interviews, of not too friendly nature, Mr. Case finally agreed that one child could return Monday, the 26th, but the other must remain with him. This concession did not satisfy Miss Bell. She had gone for both and both she must have.

So, with the help of her new friends, she concocted a plan and was able to gain access to both of her nieces ahead of the 26th. “[A]nd here the excitement begins.”

Here’s the full account of Elvia’s adventure as it appeared in the papers back in 1899:

When the children came Saturday morning it had been planned by the Times-Democrat reporter that Miss Bell and the children should go down the river in a boat toward New Orleans, but this miscarried and, to escape unnoticed, they took a carriage for Fontainbleau, a station several miles distant on the L. & N. Railroad, to take the northbound train from New Orleans. It was a fast drive through Mississippi mud and water, and the little party were much bespattered. A smallpox quarantine was encountered and after considerable difficulty was passed. Fortunately the train was an hour late. As it pulled in Miss Bell discovered a man, whom she recognized as the Times-Democrat reporter, on the rear of the train waving to her frantically. She made for him at once, when the conductor and porter lifted her and the children bodily on the train. She learned that the grandfather of the children had caught on to the racket who, as well as the reporter, had boarded the train lower down the road and was now in quest of her.

The irate old gentleman soon put in an appearance, upbraided Miss Bell, taunted her with “trying to do something smart” and informed her that they would get off at Scranton (the next station) intimating that she would be arrested there. Not having a Pullman car ticket this disturbing factor was soon removed from the scene by the porter, and Miss Bell locked herself and the children inside one of the departments of the Pullman car. At Scranton the grandfather alighted from the train and the officers got on, who failing in their search got off at the next station. In the meanwhile the grandfather at Scranton had a warrant issued for Miss Bell on the charge of kidnapping and telegraphed the Mobile, Ala., authorities to have her arrested. The reporter anticipated this and used all his influence with the railroad men in her behalf. It was decided that she and the children should be locked up and the conductor would immediately leave the train.

When the train arrived at Mobile, 1:30, two of the city’s detectives and a crowd, over which hovered an air of suspicion, were there to greet it. The officers at once began their search and one of the trainsmen treacherously gave the scheme away. They demanded admittance, which being refused, the door was battered open. Miss Bell was clutching both children in her arms and boldly demanded their authority for attempting her arrest. Failing to produce any she resisted them and took refuge behind every seat of the car. Reaching the door she kicked it shut, which locking fast, the same tedious process was necessary to reach the other end of the car. Her arms were bruised and blackened in the struggle.

She and the children were now hastened to the police station but the faithful reporter of the Times-Democrat did not desert her. He at once secured the service of Gregory L. Smith, one of the most prominent attorneys of Mobile, who immediately went to her and hearing her story, told her to leave the station. The chief of police objected promptly, saying he had a warrant for her detention, which charged her with being a fugitive from justice on the evidence of being concealed on the train. Mr. Smith then went before Judge Semmer and secured a writ of habeas corpus returnable instanter, and the case was tried in the city court, Mr. Smith representing Miss Bell and the city attorney the chief of police.

The trial was quick, thanks to the fact that Elvia could produce the contract signed by the girls’ parents regarding the details of the trip to Mississippi. The judge ruled in her favor, and she was released — free to return to Greensboro with her nieces.

But the action doesn’t quite end yet. She planned to leave town via train at midnight, but:

…it was suspected by the reporter, and suspected rightly, that the grandfather and officers would come from Scranton on the very train upon which she was to leave. How to evade them was now the problem. It seemed a difficult one, but nothing is too much for reporters and railroad men. It conjunction they planned that Miss Bell an the children should be on the opposite side of the train from which the passengers get off and that a door be opened on that side for her reception. Accordingly when the train came the grandfather and the officers, who had been wired of the arrest, alighted on the side with the throng, while Miss Bell and the children quietly entered from the other.

And the trio made it safely back to Greensboro.

The papers declared Elvia “a heroine” who, “through the whole trying adventure was as cool, unflinching and incisive as a surgeon’s knife.”


Usage of the baby name Elvia increased in 1899 as well — not as impressively as Veva did, but enough to boost Elvia into the girls’ top 1,000 for the first time.

All this said…I’m not 100% sure about this theory. The rise of Veva didn’t occur primarily in North Carolina, even though that’s where most of the news coverage was. And I think the rise of Elvia should have been more significant, given Elvia Bell’s starring role in the story.

In any case…what are your impressions of the baby names Veva and Elvia? Which one do you like more?

Sources:

Popular and unique baby names in each U.S. state, 2019

round bales of hay

Which baby names were the most popular in each U.S. state in 2019?

And which names only popped up in the data for a single state in 2019?

All the answers are below!

Alabama

  • Alabama’s top girl name: Ava
  • Alabama’s top boy name: William
  • Alabama’s 4 unique girl names: Brelynn, Jamaria, Kenslie, Vella
  • Alabama’s 6 unique boy names: Wheeler, Kyser, Walton, Whitaker, Zaylon, Zylon

Alaska

  • Alaska’s top girl name: Emma & Evelyn (tie)
  • Alaska’s top boy name: Liam
  • No unique girl names.
  • Alaska’s 1 unique boy name: Hatcher

Arizona

  • Arizona’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Arizona’s top boy name: Liam
  • Arizona’s 5 unique girl names: Aolanis, Ariza, Zona, Kamri, Polly
  • Arizona’s 1 unique boy name: Aric

Arkansas

  • Arkansas’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Arkansas’s top boy name: William
  • Arkansas’s 1 unique girl name: Savvy
  • No unique boy names.

California

  • California’s top girl name: Olivia
  • California’s top boy name: Noah
  • California’s top 10 unique girl names: Aashvi, Mannat, Emiko, Roxy, Sehaj, Metztli, Yadira, Aiko, Cathy, Daliah (total of 558)
  • California’s top 10 unique boy names: Ekan, Armen, Fateh, Remmy, Hiro, Agam, Angad, Manraj, Rick, Skye (total of 421)

Colorado

  • Colorado’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • Colorado’s top boy name: Liam
  • Colorado’s 2 unique girl names: Ellamae, Analaya
  • No unique boy names.

Connecticut

  • Connecticut’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Connecticut’s top boy name: Liam
  • No unique girl names.
  • Connecticut’s 1 unique boy name: Lukasz

Delaware

  • Delaware’s top girl name: Emma
  • Delaware’s top boy name: Noah
  • No unique baby names.

District of Columbia

  • D.C.’s top girl name: Olivia
  • D.C.’s top boy name: William
  • No unique baby names.

Florida

  • Florida’s top girl name: Emma
  • Florida’s top boy name: Liam
  • Florida’s top 10 unique girl names: Serayah, Ainoha, Anaelle, Anthonella, Derin, Franchesca, Jaelle, Vasilisa, Arielys, Gaelle (total of 100)
  • Florida’s top 10 unique boy names: Omarion, Platon, Chayse, Adams, Ameir, Jakhi, Luccas, Mako, Chauncey, Enrico (total of 98)

Georgia

  • Georgia’s top girl name: Ava
  • Georgia’s top boy name: Liam & William (tie)
  • Georgia’s top 10 unique girl names: Dallis, Honest, Mayleigh, Armonie, Carrigan, Collier, Jahlani, Kaidyn, Khylee, Kylei (total of 36)
  • Georgia’s top 10 unique boy names: Akari, Lawton, Yohannes, Cali, Chozen, Ikenna, Kamir, Mills, Sanchez, Tyshaun (total of 29)

Hawaii

  • Hawaii’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Hawaii’s top boy name: Noah
  • Hawaii’s 6 unique girl names: Lilinoe, Hiilei, Hilinai, Tehani, Haukea, Kealohilani
  • Hawaii’s top 10 unique boy names: Kaimana, Kainalu, Laakea, Keahi, Ryzen, Aukai, Haaheo, Ikaika, Kaniela, Kawelo (total of 12)

Idaho

  • Idaho’s top girl name: Emma & Olivia (tie)
  • Idaho’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique baby names.

Illinois

  • Illinois’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Illinois’s top boy name: Noah
  • Illinois’s top 10 unique girl names: Kayloni, Dariah, Katalyna, Melah, Shaelyn, Shanti, Ajla, Daniya, Jalynn, Kaoir (total of 19)
  • Illinois’s top 10 unique boy names: Demond, Lamari, Lavell, Dawid, Kellin, Lamarion, Patryk, Abdulmalik, Bassam, Damen (total of 22)

Indiana

  • Indiana’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Indiana’s top boy name: Liam
  • Indiana’s 4 unique girl names: Dena, Haizlee, Brynna, Copeland
  • Indiana’s 2 unique boy names: Menno, Finnlee

Iowa

  • Iowa’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • Iowa’s top boy name: Oliver
  • Iowa’s 1 unique girl name: Misty
  • Iowa’s 1 unique boy name: Kinnick

Kansas

  • Kansas’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Kansas’s top boy name: Liam
  • No unique baby names.

Kentucky

  • Kentucky’s top girl name: Amelia
  • Kentucky’s top boy name: Liam
  • No unique girl names.
  • Kentucky’s 2 unique boy names: Koleson, Thayer

Louisiana

  • Louisiana’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Louisiana’s top boy name: Noah
  • No unique baby names.

Maine

  • Maine’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • Maine’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique baby names.

Maryland

  • Maryland’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Maryland’s top boy name: Liam
  • Maryland’s 1 unique girl name: Ayomide
  • Maryland’s 4 unique boy names: Tavon, Ademide, Ifeoluwa, Jabril

Massachusetts

  • Massachusetts’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Massachusetts’s top boy name: Benjamin
  • Massachusetts’s 5 unique girl names: Aylla, Heloisa, Isabelly, Mariaeduarda, Tula
  • Massachusetts’s 3 unique boy names: Guilherme, Jayziel, Nyzaiah

Michigan

  • Michigan’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Michigan’s top boy name: Noah
  • Michigan’s top 10 unique girl names: Zahraa, Breslyn, Germani, Layal, Breslin, Makyla, Talayah, Alaska, Hadeel, Katara (total of 13)
  • Michigan’s top 10 unique boy names: Arkan, Bryton, Karon, Martell, Milano, Mohamadali, Rayvon, Damere, Emad, Fadi (total of 15)

Minnesota

  • Minnesota’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Minnesota’s top boy name: Henry
  • Minnesota’s top 10 unique girl names: Maida, Ahlam, Munira, Anzal, Adna, Bushra, Sabrin, Siham, Maryan, Mumtaz (total of 37)
  • Minnesota’s top 10 unique boy names: Muhsin, Bauer, Musab, Abdulahi, Sabir, Eh, Harun, Mikko, Mohamedamin, Yahye (total of 20)

Mississippi

  • Mississippi’s top girl name: Ava
  • Mississippi’s top boy name: William
  • Mississippi’s 5 unique girl names: Swayze, Ainslee, Eriel, Lynley, Rivers
  • Mississippi’s 2 unique boy names: Hilton, Landan

Missouri

  • Missouri’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Missouri’s top boy name: Liam
  • Missouri’s 3 unique girl names: Makynlee, Dru, Gwendolynn
  • Missouri’s 2 unique boy names: Cale, Darrion

Montana

  • Montana’s top girl name: Emma
  • Montana’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique baby names.

Nebraska

  • Nebraska’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Nebraska’s top boy name: Oliver
  • Nebraska’s 2 unique girl names: Brecklynn, Lennyn
  • No unique boy names.

Nevada

  • Nevada’s top girl name: Sophia
  • Nevada’s top boy name: Liam
  • No unique baby names.

New Hampshire

  • New Hampshire’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • New Hampshire’s top boy name: Benjamin
  • No unique baby names.

New Jersey

  • New Jersey’s top girl name: Emma
  • New Jersey’s top boy name: Liam
  • New Jersey’s top 10 unique girl names: Leeba, Tzivia, Zahava, Bluma, Ruchama, Brocha, Chaitra, Fay, Aanika, Akshaya (total of 14)
  • New Jersey’s top 10 unique boy names: Nosson, Boruch, Philopater, Nechemia, Param, Refoel, Naftoli, Betzalel, Donato, Ziyon (total of 22)

New Mexico

  • New Mexico’s top girl name: Ava
  • New Mexico’s top boy name: Liam
  • No unique baby names.

New York

  • New York’s top girl name: Olivia
  • New York’s top boy name: Liam
  • New York’s top 10 unique girl names: Shaindy, Hindy, Sury, Goldy, Etty, Henny, Idy, Gittel, Shaindel, Fradel (total of 208)
  • New York’s top 10 unique boy names: Lazer, Naftali, Shmiel, Shloma, Benzion, Hershel, Berl, Abubakr, Shaul, Md (total of 175)

North Carolina

  • North Carolina’s top girl name: Ava
  • North Carolina’s top boy name: Liam
  • North Carolina’s top 10 unique girl names: Tyla, Brenley, Dasia, Essie, Nalayah, Passion, Zyana, Chesnee, Kamyra, Kenly (total of 13)
  • North Carolina’s top 10 unique boy names: Quamir, Bowman, Brennon, Cyncere, Azion, Braylan, Jahking, Juel, Kamauri, Layke (total of 13)

North Dakota

  • North Dakota’s top girl name: Amelia
  • North Dakota’s top boy name: Liam
  • North Dakota’s 1 unique girl name: Girl (…probably just a place-holder)
  • No unique boy names.

Ohio

  • Ohio’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Ohio’s top boy name: Liam
  • Ohio’s top 10 unique girl names: Crosley, Coralynn, Aissata, Arbor, Dezire, Jamiah, Larkyn, Neva, Shaelynn, Amarra (total of 24)
  • Ohio’s top 10 unique boy names: Kolsen, Jansen, Kaydon, Dyson, Jayshawn, Krishal, Rayshawn, Urban, Amiir, Bennie (total of 26)

Oklahoma

  • Oklahoma’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Oklahoma’s top boy name: Liam
  • Oklahoma’s 3 unique girl names: Niang, Jentri, Tennessee
  • Oklahoma’s 4 unique boy names: Thang, Pau, Rhyatt, Saxton

Oregon

  • Oregon’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Oregon’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique girl names.
  • Oregon’s 2 unique boy names: Ripley, Rogue

Pennsylvania

  • Pennsylvania’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Pennsylvania’s top boy name: Liam
  • Pennsylvania’s top 10 unique girl names: Barbie, Suhaylah, Allure, Erma, Saloma, Auriella, Lavina, Surah, Aasiyah, Mecca (total of 31)
  • Pennsylvania’s top 10 unique boy names: Masai, Aasir, Mervin, Benuel, Ayyub, Jamin, Kasir, Munir, Naseem, Aleem (total of 31)

Rhode Island

  • Rhode Island’s top girl name: Charlotte
  • Rhode Island’s top boy name: Noah
  • No unique baby names.

South Carolina

  • South Carolina’s top girl name: Olivia
  • South Carolina’s top boy name: William
  • South Carolina’s 4 unique girl names: Elloree, Zyasia, Kerrington, Matilyn
  • South Carolina’s 3 unique boy names: Kinston, Drayton, Rakeem

South Dakota

  • South Dakota’s top girl name: Emma
  • South Dakota’s top boy name: Liam
  • No unique baby names.

Tennessee

  • Tennessee’s top girl name: Ava
  • Tennessee’s top boy name: William
  • Tennessee’s 8 unique girl names: Annslee, Anzlee, Avie, Dearia, Embry, Karsen, Lora, Tylee
  • Tennessee’s 10 unique boy names: Ryman, Tracy, Blakely, Briley, Crews, Dmari, Holston, Jorah, Ladarrius, Marquel

Texas

  • Texas’s top girl name: Emma
  • Texas’s top boy name: Liam
  • Texas’s top 10 unique girl names: Landree, Dariela, Laramie, Irma, Kendalyn, Amarachi, Debanhi, Devany, Jayci, Kenzlie (total of 424)
  • Texas’s top 10 unique boy names: Witten, Rhyder, Eliud, Cutter, Eliab, Zuriel, Homero, Burhanuddin, Prescott, Weldon (total of 304)
    • Jason Witten is a football player who was with the Dallas Cowboys for most of his career.

Utah

  • Utah’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Utah’s top boy name: Oliver
  • Utah’s top 10 unique girl names: Weslie, Mele, Quincey, Taylie, Alta, Cozette, Lyndee, Mccall, Navie, Nayvie (total of 17)
  • Utah’s top 10 unique boy names: Cache, Dallin, Korver, Kaladin, Covey, Kimball, Beckam, Jens, Haze, Oaks (total of 19)

Vermont

  • Vermont’s top girl name: Harper
  • Vermont’s top boy name: Oliver
  • No unique baby names.

Virginia

  • Virginia’s top girl name: Ava
  • Virginia’s top boy name: Liam
  • Virginia’s 1 unique girl name: Ashby
  • Virginia’s top 10 unique boy names: Nahmir, Ashby, Berkley, Jenesis, Leul, Nymir, Amanuel, Antwon, Cornell, Dany (total of 12)

Washington

  • Washington’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Washington’s top boy name: Liam
  • Washington’s 6 unique girl names: Anuhea, Imogene, Keona, Posie, Ravenna, Runa
  • Washington’s 7 unique boy names: Rainier, Abhay, Kelson, Nam, Tidus, Tyr, Whittaker

West Virginia

  • West Virginia’s top girl name: Emma
  • West Virginia’s top boy name: Liam
  • West Virginia’s 1 unique girl name: Laykin
  • No unique boy names.

Wisconsin

  • Wisconsin’s top girl name: Olivia
  • Wisconsin’s top boy name: Oliver
  • Wisconsin’s 2 unique girl names: Lumen, Brexley
  • Wisconsin’s 5 unique boy names: Keston, Dekker, Eivin, Merlin, Sully

Wyoming

  • Wyoming’s top girl name: Charlotte & Olivia (tie)
  • Wyoming’s top boy name: Liam
  • No unique baby names.

Did you spot the name Tennessee on the Oklahoma list, and the name Alaska on the Michigan list? ;)

If you happen to know why any of the single-state names are seeing higher usage in those particular states, please let us know in the comments!

More names from “Star Trek”

Sybo, from a 1967 episode

Yesterday, we looked at three Star Trek characters that influenced U.S. baby names back in the late 1960s.

But those three were just a handful of the many interestingly-named characters from the original Star Trek. Here are some of the others.

For those with names that have appeared in the SSA data before, I’ve included links to the graphs.

Female charactersMale characters
Areel
Aurelan*
Daras
Deela
Drea
Droxine
Elaan
Eleen
Gem
Losira
Luma
Miramanee
Miri
Natira
Nona
Odona
Rayna
Sayana
Sirah
Sybo
Tamoon
Tamula
Thalassa
T’Pau
T’Pring
Tula
Vanna
Zarabeth
Abrom
Akaar
Akuta
Anka
Apella
Ayelborne
Balok
Bela
Bele
Bilar
Claymare
Cloud
Decius
Dionyd
Duur
Egen
Ekor
Eraclitus
Goro
Hacom
Hanar
Hengist
Henoch
Jahn
Jaris
Kahless
Kalo
Kang
Kartan
Keel
Khan
Kloog
Korax
Korob
Krako
Kras
Krell
Krodak
Kryton
Lal
Landru
Lokai
Maab
Makora
Marplon
Melakon
Merik
Midro
Mirt
Morla
Nilz
Parmen
Plasus
Rael
Reger
Rojan
Salish
Sargon
Shras
Stonn
Tamar
Tark
Tepo
Thann
Thelev
Tomar
Tongo
Trefayne
Trelane
Tyree
Wu
Yutan
Zabo
Zefram

*Aurelan is from Aurelan Kirk, Captain Kirk’s sister-in-law.

Do you like any of the names above? Are any usable, in your opinion?

Source: Star Trek (1966-1969) – IMDb

P.S. The word “Trek” itself started appearing in the data in the early 1970s, also likely due to the show.

Fastest-rising U.S. baby names (relative increase), 1881 to today

arrow, increase

Many years ago, I published a list of the top debut baby names. A few years after that, I posted a list of the top one-hit wonder baby names.

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%.)

  • 1881: Isa, 240%; Noble, 333%
  • 1882: Clementine, 300%; Clarance, 300%
  • 1883: Malissa, 243%; Alf, 150%
  • 1884: Belva, 1,220%; Grover, 532%
  • 1885: Phebe, 220%; Bryant, 200%
  • 1886: Felicia, 180%; Thornton, 240%
  • 1887: Ossie, 240%; Aubrey, 240%
  • 1888: Bennie, 250%; Thurman, 414%
  • 1889: Diana, 233%; Grady, 267%
  • 1890: Easter, 238%; Isaiah, 215%
  • 1891: Lutie, 200%; Colonel, 217%
  • 1892: Lollie, 271%; Pierce, 340%
  • 1893: Annabell, 240%; Lindsay, 320%
  • 1894: Versie, 320%; Alvie, 233%
  • 1895: Glenn, 283%; Alma, 220%
  • 1896: Vernice, 217%; Hobart, 744%
  • 1897: Sigrid, 200%; Roswell, 183%
  • 1898: Manila, 1,386%; Dewey, 606%
  • 1899: Tula, 280%; Rogers, 220%
  • 1900: Rosia, 480%; Wilber, 417%
  • 1901: Dellie, 180%; Kermit, 183%
  • 1902: Lolita, 420%; Judge, 260%
  • 1903: Rafaela, 280%; Jordan, 250%
  • 1904: Amber, 314%; Adelbert, 260%
  • 1905: Orma, 300%; Armand, 222%
  • 1906: Ena, 456%; Sheldon, 240%
  • 1907: Lota & Tula, 240%; Quincy, 183%
  • 1908: Bernetta & Nila, 260%; Taft, 288%
  • 1909: Laverna & Nevada, 267%; Toney, 300%
  • 1910: Cleopatra, 240%; Arturo & Sammy, 283%
  • 1911: Maryellen, 280%; Vincenzo & Wyman, 320%
  • 1912: Marina, 420%; Woodrow, 1,423%
  • 1913: Carroll, 263%; Rosendo, 320%
  • 1914: Lucyle, 280%; Irvine, 333%
  • 1915: Zudora, 460%; Charlton, 320%
  • 1916: Aldena, 291%; Tatsuo, 850%
  • 1917: Liberty, 617%; Masami, 338%
  • 1918: Kazuko, 320%; Quentin, 567%
  • 1919: Verbie, 300%; Belvin, 360%
  • 1920: Marcene, 386%; Harding, 718%
  • 1921: Elwanda, 1,860%; Gareth, 560%
  • 1922: Carley, 320%; Colie, 340%
  • 1923: Eris, 1,313%; Coolidge, 820%
  • 1924: Janeth, 517%; Phyllis, 260%
  • 1925: Murlene & Normalee, 260%; Estell & Unknown, 214%
  • 1926: Ileana, 633%; Jarrell & Lenoard, 240%
  • 1927: Charmaine, 825%; Lindbergh, 867%
  • 1928: Jeannine, 1,147%; Hoover, 522%
  • 1929: Dorla, 800%; Davey, 889%
  • 1930: Arlayne, 317%; Derl, 1,060%
  • 1931: Marlene, 745%; Colbert, 280%
  • 1932: Harlene, 270%; Delano, 1,057%
  • 1933: Sharleen, 425%; Delano, 289%
  • 1934: Adriana, 283%; Kelvin, 360%
  • 1935: Norita, 1,171%; Darwyn, 458%
  • 1936: Shelba, 2,667%; Lonzie, 320%
  • 1937: Deanna, 2,009%; Tyrone, 788%

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…

  • 1938: Danielle, 878%; Dion, 355%
  • 1939: Brenda, 308%; Hall, 280%
  • 1940: Scarlett, 743%; Clemmie, 257%
  • 1941: Jerilyn, 1,250%; Rulon, 250%
  • 1942: Michal, 1,520%; Macarthur, 2,740%
  • 1943: Shaaron, 456%; Suzanne, 240%
  • 1944: Dorinda, 568%; Kennedy, 280%
  • 1945: Lauren, 709%; Dorian, 220%
  • 1946: Jacalyn, 740%; Cornel, 533%
  • 1947: Jolinda, 388%; Brock, 364%
  • 1948: Sharman, 275%; Kevan, 260%
  • 1949: Lorry, 360%; Hanson, 240%
  • 1950: Vallorie, 717%; Brion, 400%
  • 1951: Krystal, 588%; Denise, 350%
  • 1952: Pandora, 1,100%; Corby & Wilhelm, 240%
  • 1953: Angelique, 1,157%; Shane, 392%
  • 1954: Sheree, 756%; Dain, 360%
  • 1955: Sabrina, 711%; Davy, 509%
  • 1956: Venetia, 543%; Cheyenne, 680%
  • 1957: Tammy, 1,591%; Tammy, 467%
  • 1958: Keely, 1,100%; Bret, 680%
  • 1959: Torri, 411%; Efrem, 963%
  • 1960: Lisha, 1,096%; Stephon, 1,200%
  • 1961: Marisol, 481%; Parrish, 1,460%
  • 1962: Penne, 447%; Chance, 350%
  • 1963: Tamiko, 1,440%; Tal, 617%
  • 1964: Deneen, 7,191%; Temple, 420%
  • 1965: Fontella, 880%; Branden, 340%
  • 1966: Tabatha, 9,900%; Heath, 1,070%
  • 1967: Anisa, 1,600%; Garrison, 320%
  • 1968: Coretta, 2,485%; Dustin, 778%
  • 1969: Lalena, 640%; Jeromy, 514%
  • 1970: Shiloh, 540%; Jermaine, 3,320%
  • 1971: Ashli, 1,900%; Jermaine, 494%
  • 1972: Catina, 9,033%; Demond, 3,920%
  • 1973: Cicely, 1,827%; Caine, 780%
  • 1974: Nakia, 16,100%; Rashad, 1,100%
  • 1975: Rasheda, 988%; Jamaal, 688%
  • 1976: Rhiannon, 1,713%; Seneca, 1,429%
  • 1977: Shawntae, 686%; Lavar, 5,480%
  • 1978: Aja, 3,407%; Dequan, 988%
  • 1979: Renada, 780%; Yoel, 525%
  • 1980: Genese, 1,920%; Rayshaun, 440%
  • 1981: Krystle, 1,623%; Cavin, 833%
  • 1982: Jere, 1,000%; Colt, 1,620%
  • 1983: Ciji, 2,950%; Remington, 657%
  • 1984: Santana, 3,467%; Ryne, 424%
  • 1985: Kayleigh, 2,914%; Jaymes, 769%
  • 1986: Kyrie, 3,180%; Orry, 789%
  • 1987: Janay, 1,168%; Jareth, 400%
  • 1988: Whitley, 916%; Nico, 860%
  • 1989: Audriana, 3,467%; Alexande, 4,917%
  • 1990: Alannah, 1,583%; Tevin, 4,569%
  • 1991: Tanairi, 820%; Devante, 1,356%
  • 1992: Darian, 703%; Jalen, 3,980%
  • 1993: Coraima, 4,320%; Savon, 2,457%
  • 1994: Aaliyah, 6,495%; Romario, 1,940%
  • 1995: Iridian, 1,845%; Tristin, 747%
  • 1996: Alanis, 1,047%; Json, 880%
  • 1997: Yulisa, 2,729%, Ennis, 620%
  • 1998: Jazsmin, 960%; Denilson, 900%
  • 1999: Tionne, 1,100%; Sincere, 647%
  • 2000: Litzy, 1,189%; Elian, 2,413%
  • 2001: Nevaeh, 1,111%; Jaheim, 5,440%
  • 2002: Lashanti, 2,060%; Omarion, 8,260%
  • 2003: Azeneth, 1,913%; Andon, 2,200%
  • 2004: Betzaida, 1,233%; Jakwon, 1,260%
  • 2005: Mikalah, 1,906%; Talan, 2,130%
  • 2006: Bethzy; 2,636%; Dereon, 1,217%
  • 2007: Jaslene, 9,920%; Leonidas & Renner, 700%
  • 2008: Dayami, 3,464%; Barack, 940%
  • 2009: Baya, 1,020%; Dhani, 520%
  • 2010: Collins, 1,557%; Bentlee, 733%
  • 2011: Thaily, 1,400%; Neymar, 900%
  • 2012: Cataleya, 2,182%; Long, 740%
  • 2013: Daleyza, 1,055%; Jaiceon, 1,057%
  • 2014: Aranza, 1,297%; Jameis, 720%
  • 2015: Vail, 700%; Rhydian, 667%
  • 2016: Kehlani, 571%; Kylo, 580%
  • 2017: Westlynn, 600%; Oseias, 1,080%
  • 2018: Maleni, 950%; Atreus, 1,888%
  • 2019: Yalitza, 1,490%; Ermias, 3,360%
  • 2020: Ehlani, 2,100%; Omere, 460%
  • 2021: Thyri, 1,033%; Calian, 914%

(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 Lauren in 1945, or Dustin in 1968, or Kayleigh in 1985, or Talan in 2005…

How did Cyd Charisse influence baby names?

Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly in the movie "Singin' in the Rain" (1952).
Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly in “Singin’ in the Rain

As far as I can tell, the very first person to boost both a first name and a last name into the baby name data was dancer and movie star Cyd Charisse. Charisse debuted in 1946, and Cyd followed a year later:

Baby girls named CydBaby girls named Charisse
19501417
19492014
1948619
19478 [debut]10
1946.5 [debut]
1945..

Singin’ in the Rain (1952) was what propelled Charisse to stardom, but in the late ’40s she had minor dancing parts in various musicals, and these appearances must have given her name enough exposure to influence expectant parents.

But she wasn’t born with the name Cyd Charisse. Her birth name was Tula Ellice (ee-leese) Finklea. Here’s how one name morphed into the other:

My real name was Tula Ellice, it was not Cyd. But my brother was only a year older than myself and he couldn’t pronounce Tula Ellice, so he started calling me Sid as a nickname, for sister. And it stuck with me and all my life I’ve been called Sid. But when I went to MGM, Arthur Freed did not like the spelling of S-i-d, which is a boys’ name. And he changed the spelling to C-y-d — a little more glamorous.

And of course Charisse was my first husband’s name, Nico Charisse. So actually Cyd Charisse you could say is my real name.

But there’s actually more to the story, as she went through several stage names before settling on “Cyd Charisse”:

Before I went to MGM, I had danced with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. And, of course, joining a Russian ballet company in those days, you were supposed to have a Russian name. So Colonel de Basil, who was the regisseur of the ballet at that time, he first named me Felia Siderova. And after a couple of months he decided he would change it to Maria Istomina. Two names.

Then when I wound up back in California, before I went to MGM, I met another Russian director. And he decided that my name should be Lily Norwood.

So finally, when I got to MGM, and Arthur Freed said “We have to change your name,” I said “No please, I’ve had my name changed so many times. Let me just be Sid Charisse.” And that’s when he changed the spelling to C-y-d. And finally I had my own name.

These days, American parents still bestow the name Charisse occasionally, but they rarely go for Cyd. Which name do you prefer?

Sources: SSA, Cyd Charisse Interview [vid]
Image from Singin’ in the Rain (1952).