How popular is the baby name Wainwright 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 Wainwright.

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Popularity of the baby name Wainwright

Posts that mention the name Wainwright

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 Wainwright come from in 1942?

U.S. General Jonathan Wainwright (1883-1953)
Gen. Jonathan Wainwright

The baby name Wainwright was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. baby name data back in 1942:

  • 1944: unlisted
  • 1943: unlisted
  • 1942: 6 baby boys named Wainwright [debut]
  • 1941: unlisted
  • 1940: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, who was in command of the Filipino and U.S. Army forces (under Gen. Douglas MacArthur) when the Japanese began their invasion of the Philippines in December of 1941. He surrendered to the Japanese in May of 1942, and was held in prisoner by the Japanese until 1945.

An original bearer of the surname Wainwright would have been a person who either made or repaired wagons and carts. (The name Wayne has a similar derivation.)

Source: Jonathan M. Wainwright (general) – Wikipedia

P.S. Want to see another surname-starting-with-W that turned into a WWII-inspired one-hit wonder? Check out Wavell

Where did the baby name Wavell come from in 1942?

British military officer Archibald Wavell (1883-1950)
Archibald Wavell

In 1942, the baby name Wavell popped up in the U.S. baby name for the first and (so far) only time:

  • 1944: unlisted
  • 1943: unlisted
  • 1942: 7 baby boys named Wavell [debut]
  • 1941: unlisted
  • 1940: unlisted

Where did it come from?

A British Army officer with a very British name: Archibald Percival Wavell (pronounced way-vell).

Wavell served in various wars from the Second Boer War onward, but he would have come to the attention of Americans during the early part of WWII while serving as Commander-in-Chief Middle East. In Northern Africa, his British forces defeated the Italians, but were unable to defeat the Germans (led by Erwin Rommel).

What are your thoughts on the baby name Wavell?

Source: Archibald Percival Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell –

P.S. Want to see another surname-starting-with-W that turned into a WWII-inspired one-hit wonder? Check out Wainwright

Baby born in Alberta town of Wainwright, named Wainwright

Welcome sign in Wainwright, Alberta

The town of Wainwright in Alberta, Canada, was established in 1908 and named in honor of William Wainwright, a vice-president of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. (The town was on the Grand Trunk line.)

The first baby born in the small community was the daughter of Martin L. Forster, proprietor of the Wainwright Hotel. She was named Wainwright Marguerite Forster, after the town.

(Wainwright was the fourth of eight children. Her siblings were named Russell, Claudine, Carl, Jessie, Doris, Eileen, and Jeanette.)

While being interviewed in 1958 — just before the town’s 50th anniversary celebration — Wainwright admitted: “It’s a strange first name for a woman and one that has caused quite a bit of confusion, believe me.”

(Other babies named after towns include Salida, Kelowna, and Nira.)


Image: Adapted from Wainwright sign by Awmcphee under CC BY-SA 4.0.