How popular is the baby name Twig 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 Twig.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Twig


Posts that Mention the Name Twig

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

tulips

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.

2020s

  • (none yet)

2010s

2000s

1990s

1980s

1970s

1960s

1950s

1940s

1930s

1920s

1910s

1900s

  • (none yet)

1890s

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?

P.S. You might also be interested in this list of the top one-hit wonder baby names since 1880

[Latest update: 9/2022]

Where did the baby name Thayle come from in 1936?

thalye, name, 1936, short story
Thayle & Malvern

The name Thayle appeared in the U.S. baby name data for one year only, in the middle of the 1930s:

  • 1938: unlisted
  • 1937: unlisted
  • 1936: 6 baby girls named Thayle [debut]
  • 1935: unlisted
  • 1934: unlisted

Where did it come from?

The source is the long-forgotten short story “Company for the Milkman” by Florence Leighton Pfalzgraf. It was published in various newspapers in 1936.

The protagonist is 24-year-old working girl Thayle. She wants to settle down, but first has to choose between two suitors: Nigel “Nig” Duffield (who’s poor, but perfect for her) and Malvern “Mal” Kay (who’s wealthy, but a bad match).

“I don’t mean to offend you, Nig. But — but I’m tired of my tuppenny job. I hate the real estate office, that cold iron typewriter. I don’t want to work after I’m married.”

She nearly marries Mal, but of course there’s a twist (involving a milkman) and she ends up with Nig.

The only thought-provoking thing about this story? The nickname “Nig.” I suspect the author wanted it pronounced “Nige” (long I, soft G–as in Nigel). So why did she leave off the E so that it rhymes with “pig” (or Twig)? Weird omission.

Source: Pfalzgraf, Florence Leighton. “Company for the Milkman.” Reading Eagle 3 May 1936: 14.

What turned Beaver into a baby name?

The character Beaver Cleaver from the TV series "Leave It to Beaver" (1957-1963).
Beaver from “Leave It to Beaver

April 7th is International Beaver Day, so today is a weirdly appropriate day to check out the baby name Beaver, which debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1959:

  • 1965: unlisted
  • 1964: 9 baby boys named Beaver
  • 1963: 5 baby boys named Beaver
  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: unlisted
  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: 5 baby boys named Beaver [debut]
  • 1958: unlisted
  • 1957: unlisted

Why?

Gee whiz, Wally, the answer is Leave It to Beaver, the iconic TV sitcom that aired from 1957 to 1963.

The central character of the series (which had nothing to do with actual beavers) was a boy named Theodore “The Beaver” Cleaver. Beaver was the youngest member of an idealized, post-war family of four living in a fictional suburban community.

As with Rambo and several other pop culture-inspired baby names, “Beaver” had been in use as a first name in the U.S. long before 1959. (In fact, one of the co-creators of the show discovered the name while serving in the Merchant Marine during WWII. One of his shipmates was named Beaver.) Leave It to Beaver simply boosted the visibility/usage of the name enough for it to finally appear on the SSA’s annual baby name list, which doesn’t include names bestowed fewer than five times per year.

So how did a boy named Theodore acquire a nickname like Beaver? When Beaver was born, his older brother Wally couldn’t pronounce “Theodore” correctly. The result was “Tweeter.” From there, the word somehow morphed into “Beaver.”

The nickname was finally explained during the last episode of the series. Jerry Mathers, the actor who played Beaver, thought the explanation was “lame.” Perhaps…but this explicit focus on Beaver’s nickname during the mid-1963 finale may have been what caused the usage of Beaver to peak in 1964.

The name Wally was also used more often during the late ’50s and early ’60s. So was the name of Beaver’s father, Ward, but not the name of his mother, June.

What do you think of the baby name Beaver? Is it better or worse than Bimbo? How about Twig (another sitcom nickname from the 1950s)?

Sources: International Beaver Day – BWW, Leave It to Beaver – Wikipedia, Leave It to Beaver FAQ, Jerry Mathers how the name “Beaver” on “Leave It to Beaver” came about [vid]

P.S. At least one U.S.-born Beaver got the middle name Cleaver. This real-life Beaver Cleaver was born in 1965.

What turned Twig into a baby name in 1955?

The character Twig from the TV series "Professional Father" (1955).
Twig from “Professional Father

Back when I was writing about the baby name Twiggy, I happened upon the one-hit wonder baby name Twig:

  • 1957: unlisted
  • 1956: unlisted
  • 1955: 5 baby boys named Twig [debut]
  • 1954: unlisted
  • 1953: unlisted

Where did it come from?

A short-lived TV sitcom called Professional Father, which aired on CBS from January to July, 1955. The central characters were Dr. Tom Wilson, his wife Helen, and their kids Kathryn, known as “Kit,” and Tom Jr., known as “Twig.”

The show was a mid-season replacement for another sitcom called That’s My Boy. It was replaced in the fall by Gunsmoke, which went on to become the longest-running western in TV history.

What do you think of the baby name Twig? (How about “Twig” as a nickname for Thomas?)

Source: Professional Father – Wikipedia