How popular is the baby name Unseld 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 Unseld.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Unseld


Posts that Mention the Name Unseld

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 Unseld come from?

sports, baby name, 1970s, kareem, unseld, basketball
Wes Unseld & Kareem

The unusual baby name Unseld was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. baby name data in 1971:

  • 1973: unlisted
  • 1972: unlisted
  • 1971: 5 baby boys named Unseld [debut]
  • 1970: unlisted
  • 1969: unlisted

Why?

If you remember the image above — which was also in the post about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar the other day — then you already know the answer: professional basketball player Westley “Wes” Unseld.

Unseld played in the NBA from 1968 to 1981, always for the same team: the Baltimore Bullets, which in 1973 became the the Capital Bullets, which in 1974 became the Washington Bullets. (Today they’re the Washington Wizards.)

Though Wes Unseld was clearly the influence behind the name, it’s hard to connect the appearance of “Unseld” in the data with a specific moment in his career. Wes was an All-Star in 1971, but that wasn’t the first time he was an All-Star. Likewise, 1971 was a couple of years after he won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award.

The surname Unseld can be traced back to the Middle High German word unsælde, which meant “misfortune.” It was a nickname for a sad or unlucky person.

Sources:

  • Wes Unseld – Wikipedia
  • Hanks, Patrick. (Ed.) Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.