How popular is the baby name Tunny 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 Tunny.

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Popularity of the baby name Tunny

Posts that mention the name Tunny

Interesting one-hit wonder names in the U.S. baby name data

single flower

They came, they went, and they never came back!

These baby names are one-hit wonders in the U.S. baby name data. That is, they’ve only popped up once, ever, in the entire dataset of U.S. baby names (which accounts for all names given to at least 5 U.S. babies per year since 1880).

There are thousands of one-hit wonders in the dataset, but the names below have interesting stories behind their single appearance, so these are the one-hits I’m writing specific posts about. Just click on a name to read more.


  • 2020: Jexi













  • (none yet)


As I discover (and write about) more one-hit wonders in the data, I’ll add the names/links to this page. In the meanwhile, do you have any favorite one-hit wonder baby names?

Image: Adapted from Solitary Poppy by Andy Beecroft under CC BY-SA 2.0.

[Latest update: Apr. 2024]

Where did the baby name Tunney come from in 1926?

American boxer Gene Tunney (1897-1978)
Gene Tunney

The name Tunney was being used often enough in the 1920s to register in the U.S. baby name data for three years straight:

  • 1929: unlisted
  • 1928: 9 baby boys named Tunney
  • 1927: 23 baby boys named Tunney
  • 1926: 8 baby boys named Tunney [debut]
  • 1925: unlisted

The variant spelling Tunny also popped up just once, in 1927.

Where did these names come from?

Professional boxer James Joseph “Gene” Tunney, who held the World Heavyweight title from 1926 to 1928.

He won the title by defeating Jack Dempsey in 1926, retained the title by defeating Dempsey again in 1927 (in a famous match now known as “The Long Count Fight”), and retired in 1928 after defeating Tom Heeney of New Zealand.

Gene Tunney in the movie serial "The Fighting Marine" (1926)
Gene Tunney in “The Fighting Marine

Another factor that could have influenced the name in 1926 was the 10-episode film serial The Fighting Marine, which starred Tunney. (Tunney had served as a Marine during World War I.)

The Irish surname Tunney is ultimately based on the personal name Tonnach, which may have meant either “billowy” or “shining.”

What do you think of Tunney as a baby name?


P.S. In the 1952 movie Sailor Beware, the characters played by Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis had a short conversation in which they mixed up the similar names of boxer Gene Tunney and actress Gene Tierney — who was not behind the debut of the baby name Tierney, incidentally.