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Names from Pop Culture
Stars, Film Characters, Televison Characters, Musical Artists, Songs, and the Myths



From glamorous film stars of the 1930s and 1940s to love songs of the seventies to the hot shows of the WB, modern pop culture has had a significant influence on our pool of common names.


The Stars:
Broadway and the Silent Era: Marilyn, Colleen, and Gloria.

The 1930s: Cary, Claudette, Errol, Ginger, Greta, Jennifer, Judy, Leigh, Marlene, Maureen, Myrna, Paulette, Tyrone.

The 1940s: Lana, Lauren.

The 1950s: Kelly, Marlon.

The 1960s: Beau, Dustin, Mia, Whitney.

The 1970s: Landon.

The 1980s: Harrison, Mackenzie.

The 1990s: Cameron, Denzel, Drew, Gillian.


Colleen
Colleen Moore (1900-1988, born Kathleen Morrison) was a famous silent film actress who popularized the “bob” haircut of the 1920s. She starred in the 1923 movie Flaming Youth which helped initiate the “flapper” style.

Popularity of “Colleen” in the United States...
1919: N/A
1920: 817th most popular.
1921: 698th most popular.
1922: 511th most popular.
1923: 378th most popular.
1924: 291st most popular.
1925: 252nd most popular.
1926: 205th most popular.
1927: 194th most popular.
1928: 185th most popular.
1929: 185th most popular.
etc.


Gloria
Gloria Swanson (1899-1983) was an American actress. She was one of first “big” stars and a major figure in the silent era.

Popularity of “Gloria” in the United States...
1900-1910: 452nd most popular.
1910-1920: 291st most popular.
1920-1930: 36th most popular.
1930-1940: 29th most popular.
1940-1950: 26th most popular.
1950-1960: 40th most popular.
1960-1970: 98th most popular.
Etc.

Marilyn
Marilynn Miller (1898-1936) was an American actress and one of the biggest Broadway stars of the 1920s.

Popularity of “Marilyn” in the United States...
1900-1910: N/A
1910-1920: 536th most popular.
1920-1930: 88th most popular.
1930-1940: 16th most popular.
1940-1950: 29th most popular.
1950-1960: 56th most popular.
1960-1970: 138th most popular.
1970-1980: 263rd most popular.
Etc.


Cary

Cary Grant (Archie Leach, 1904-1986) was a British actor, who specialized in handsome, debonair roles. He starred in Hollywood movies from 1932 until 1970. Some of his more famous hits include: The Awful Truth (1937) Bringing Up Baby (1938), Suspiscion (1941) Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), Notorious (1946), To Catch a Thief (1955), and North by Northwest (1959).

Popularity of “Cary” in the United States...
1900-1910: 795th most popular.
1910-1920: N/A
1920-1930: 994th most popular.
1930-1940: 936th most popular.
1940-1950: 409th most popular.
1950-1960: 338th most popular.
1960-1970: 307th most popular.
1970-1980: 443rd most popular.
1980-1990: 726th most popular.
Etc.

Claudette

Claudette Colbert (Lily Claudette Chauchoin, 1903-1996) An American actress who usually played independent women in romantic comedies, including It Happened One Night (1934).

Popularity of “Claudette” in the United States...
1900-1930: N/A
1930-1940: 314th most popular.
1940-1950: 343rd most popular.
1950-1960: 436th most popular.
1960-1970: 653rd most popular.
1970-2000: N/A

Errol

Errol Flynn (1909-1959) was an Australian actor. He was known for his swashbuckling roles, including: Captain Blood (1935), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), The Sea Hawk (1940).

Popularity of “Errol” in the United States...
1900-1930: N/A
1930-1940: 936th most popular.
1940-1950: 461st most popular.
1950-1960: 678th most popular.
1960-1970: 713th most popular.
1970-1980: 894th most popular.
1980-2000: N/A

Ginger

Ginger Rogers (Virginia Katherine McMath, 1911-1995) was an American actress and dancer, who began appearing in films in 1930. Her fame, however, came when she was partnered with fellow dancer Fred Astaire for half a dozen romantic comedies in the 1930s (starting with Flying Down to Rio in 1933).

Popularity of “Ginger” in the United States...
1900-1930: N/A
1930-1940: 637th most popular.
1940-1950: 361st most popular.
1950-1960: 286th most popular.
1960-1970: 277th most popular.
1970-1980: 242nd most popular.
1980-1990: 480th most popular.
1990-2000: N/A


Greta

Greta Garbo (Greta Lovisa Gustafasson, 1905-1990), a Swedish actress, was a silent star who transitioned to the talkies in a big way in Anna Christie (1930), Mata Hari (1931), Grand Hotel (1932), Queen Christina (1933), Anna Karenina (1935) and others. She retired in 1941.

Popularity of ”Greta” in the United States...
1900-1910: 533rd most popular.
1910-1920: 758th most popular.
1920-1930: 702nd most popular.
1930-1940: 372nd most popular.
1940-1950: 676th most popular.
Etc.

Jennifer

Jennifer Jones (Phyllis Isley, 1919-) is an Oscar-winning American actress who starred in The Song of Bernadette (1943), Since You Went Away (1943) and other hits of the 1940s.

Popularity of “Jennifer” in the United States...
1900-1940: N/A
1940-1950: 210th most popular.
1950-1960: 105th most popular.
1960-1970: 19th most popular.
1967: 10th most popular.
1968: 5th most popular.
1969: 2nd most popular.
1970: 1st most popular.
Etc.

Judy

Judy Garland (Frances Gumm, 1922-1965) was an American actress and singer and major star of the 1940s, who starred in the Andy Hardy (1937+) series, The Wizard of Oz (1939), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Easter Parade (1948), and A Star is Born (1954).

Popularity of “Judy” in the United States...
1800: 79th most popular.
1850: 172nd most popular.
1875: 349th most popular.
1900-1910: N/A
1910-1920: 672nd most popular.
1920-1930: 463rd most popular.
1930-1940: 110th most popular.
1940-1950: 17th most popular.
1950-1960: 27th most popular.
Etc.

Leigh
(for girls)
Vivien Leigh (Vivian Mary Hartley, 1913-1967) was a British actress. She starred in Gone With the Wind (1939), and A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), among others.

Popularity of “Leigh” for girls in the United States...
1900-1940: N/A
1940-1950: 926th most popular.
1950-1960: 468th most popular.
1960-1970: 286th most popular.
Etc.

Marlene

Marlene Dietrich (Maria Magdalene von Losch, 1901-1992) was a German actress. She was introduced to Hollywood with The Blue Angel (1930) and continued a very succesful career for several decades.

Popularityof “Marlene” the United States...
1900-1920: N/A
1920-1930: 835th most popular.
1930-1940: 63rd most popular.
1940-1950: 112th most popular.
1950-1960: 149th most popular.
Etc.

Maureen

Maureen O’Sullivan (1911-1998) was an American actress who starred in the Tarzan films and was very popular in the 1930s.

Popularity of “Maureen” in the United States...
1910-1920: 730th most popular.
1920-1930: 485th most popular.
1930-1940: 176th most popular.
1940-1950: 102nd most popular.
1950-1960: 101st most popular.
Etc.

Myrna

Myrna Loy (Myrna Williams, 1905-)
An American actress, she began acting in films in the 1920s, and later starred in The Thin Man (1934)

Popularity of “Myrna” in the United States...
1900-1910: 672nd most popular.
1910-1920: 575th most popular.
1920-1930: 509th most popular.
1930-1940: 185th most popular.
1940-1950: 240th most popular.
1950-1960: 343rd most popular.
1960-1970: 476th most popular.
1970-1980: 669th most popular.
1980-2000: N/A

Paulette

Paulette Goddard (Pauline Marion Levy, 1911-1990) was an American actress and star of the 1930s and 1940s.

Popularity of “Paulette” in the United States...
1900-1930: N/A
1930-1940: 863rd most popular.
1940-1950: 168th most popular.
1950-1960: 217th most popular.
1960-1970: 363rd most popular.
1970-1980: 543rd most popular.
1980-2000: N/A

Tyrone

Tyrone Power (1914-1958) was an American actor famous for his often heroic roles in movies like Lloyd’s of London (1936), Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1938), Jesse James (1939), The Mark of Zorro (1940), and The Black Swan (1942).

Popularity of “Tyrone” in the United States...
1900-1930: N/A
1930-1940: 750th most popular.
1940-1950: 309th most popular.
1950-1960: 220th most popular.
1960-1970: 173rd most popular.
Etc.

Lana
Lana Turner (Julia Jean Mildred Frances Turner, 1921-1995), called “Sweater Girl,” was an American actress who became a star in the 1940s with such films as The Three Musketeers

Popularity of “Lana” in the United States...
1900-1940: N/A
1940-1950: 207th most popular.
1950-1960: 281st most popular.
1960-1970: 318th most popular.
1970-1980: 417th most popular.
Etc.

Lauren

Lauren Bacall (Betty Joan Perske, 1924-) is an American actress who gained instant stardom in 1944 with To Have and To Have Not. She also starred in The Big Sleep (1946), and Key Largo (1948) among others. She was married to Humphrey Bogart.

Popularity of “Lauren” in the United States...
1900-1940: N/A
1940-1950: 568th most popular.
1950-1960: 313th most popular.
1960-1970: 239th most popular.
1970-1980: 139th most popular.
Etc.

Kelly (for girls)
Grace Patricia Kelly (Princess Grace) (1929-1982) was an American actress who starred in High Noon (1952), Dial M for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), The Country Girl (1954), To Catch a Thief (1955), and High Society (1956). She later married Prince Rainier III of Monaco and became the beloved “Princess Grace.”

Popularity of “Kelly” for girls the United States...
1900-1950: N/A
1950-1960: 209th most popular.
1960-1970: 31st most popular.
1970-1980: 14th most popular.
1980-1990: 29th most popular.
1990: 42nd most popular.
Etc.

Marlon
The name Marlon first appeared in the 1950s, when Marlon Brando (1924-) was a hot new star. He starred in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), On the Waterfront (1954), Desiree (1954), The Godfather (1972), Apocolypse Now (1979) and other prestigious films.

Popularity of “Marlon” in the United States...
1900-1950: N/A
1950-1960: 528th most popular.
1960-1970: 486th most popular.
1970-1980: 290th most popular.
1980-1990: 422nd most popular.
Etc.


Beau
Beau Bridges (1941-) was originally named Lloyd Vernett Bridges, III. He was nicknamed Beau after the little boy in Gone With the WInd. After he became a star with 1967’s The Incident.

Popularity of “Beau” in the United States...
1880-1966: N/A
1967: 965th most popular.
1968: N/A
1969: 817th most popular.
1970: 625th most popular.
1971: 627th most popular.
1972: 634th most popular.
Etc.


Dustin
Dustin Hoffman (1937-) is a critically acclaimed American actor. His break-out role was 1967’s The Graduate.

Popularity of “Dustin” in the United States...
1900-1960: N/A
1960-1970: 625th most popular.
1970-1980: 113th most popular.
1980-1990: 45th most popular.
1990: 53rd most popular.
1991: 58th most popular.
Etc.

Mia

Mia Farrow (Maria de Lourdes Villiers Farrow, 1945-) is the daughter of Marueen O’Sullivan and became a star herself in the 1960s. She starred in the television series Peyton Place (1964-1966), Rosemary’s Baby (1968), and a number of Woody Allen movies.

Popularity of “Mia” in the United States...
1900-1960: N/A
1960-1970: 500th most popular.
1970-1980: 485th most popular.
1980-1990: 403rd most popular.
1990: 353rd most popular.
Etc.

Whitney
Whitney Blake (Nancy Whitney) (1925-2002) was an American actress who appeared in television programs like Hazel (1961-1966). But see also Whitney under Singers.

Popularity of Whitney the United States...
1900-1960: N/A
1960-1970: 685th most popular.
1970-1980: 459th most popular.
1980-1990: 66th most popular.
1990: 60th most popular.
1991: 68th most popular.
1992: 86th most popular.
Etc.

Landon
Michael Landon (1936-1991) is an American actor who became famous through the television series Bonaza (1959-1973) and Little House on the Prairie (1974-1982).

Popularity of “Landon” in the United States...
1938-1962: N/A
1963: 919th most popular.
1964: 927th most popular.
1965: 868th most popular.
1966: 912th most popular.
1967: 883rd most popular.
1968: 867th most popular.
1969: 746th most popular.
1970: 789th most popular.
1971: 782nd most popular.
1972: 749th most popular.
1973: 879th most popular.
1974: 712th most popular.
1975: 551st most popular.
1976: 545th most popular.
1977: 522nd most popular.
1978: 474th most popular
Etc.

Harrison
Harrison Ford (1974-) is an American actor who became famous through Star Wars (1977) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and was one of the biggest stars of the eighties and nineties.

Popularity of “Harrison” in the United States...
Etc.
1950-1960: 560th most popular.
1960-1970: 693rd most popular.
1970-1980: 821st most popular.
1980-1990: 435th most popular.
1990: 291st most popular.
1991: 284th most popular.
1992: 285th most popular.
1993: 283rd most popular.
1994: 225th most popular.
Etc.

Mackenzie
(for girls)
(Laura) Macenzie Phillips (1959-) is an American actress, she starred in 1973’s American Graffiti and the television show One Day at a Time (1975-1984).

Popularity of “Mackenzie” for girls in the United States...
1900-1980: N/A
1980-1990: 524th most popular.
1990: 259th most popular.
1991: 203rd most popular.
1992: 130th most popular.
1993: 117th most popular.
Etc.


Cameron (for girls)
Cameron Diaz (1972-) is an American film actress. The name Cameron, given to girls, was a practice that increased in popularity after Cameron Diaz became a star in 1994’s The Mask.

Popularity of “Cameron” for girls in the United States...
1900-1980: N/A
1980-1990: 816th most popular.
1990: 712th most popular.
1991: 734th most popular.
1992: 722nd most popular.
1993: 691st most popular.
1994: 641st most popular.
1995: 587th most popular.
1996: 531st most popular.
1997: 342nd most popular.
1998: 206th most popular.
1999: 179th most popular.
2000: 207th most popular.
2001: 244th most popular.
2002: 260th most popular.
2003: 305th most popular.

Denzel
Denzel Washington (1954-) is an Oscar-winning American actor who starred in A Soldier’s Story (1984), Glory (1989), Malcolm X (1992), among others.

Popularity of “Denzel” in the United States...
1900-1990: N/A
1990-2000: 397th most popular.
1990: 453rd most popular.
1991: 357th most popular.
1992: 343rd most popular.
1993: 319th most popular.
1994: 346th most popular.
1995: 425th most popular.
1996: 470th most popular.
1997: 533rd most popular.
Etc.

Drew (for girls)
Drew Barrymore (1975-) was an American child actress of the early 1980s, who had a second wind in the mid-nineties, starring in such films as Boys on the Side (1995), Scream (1996) and many others.

Popularity of “Drew” for females in the United States...
1900-1990: N/A
1994: N/A
1995: 749th most popular.
1996: 749th most popular.
1997: 846th most popular.
1998: 828th most popular.
1999: 613th most popular.
2000: 815th most popular.
2001: 880th most popular.
2002: N/A


Gillian
Gillian Anderson (1968-) is an American actress who became famous when her paranormal/conspiracy show The X-Files debuted in 1993 and became a hit.

Popularity of “Gillian” the United States...
1900-1980: N/A
1980-1990: 775th most popular.
1990: 827th most popular.
1991: 942nd most popular.
1992: 983rd most popular.
1993-1994: N/A
1995: 860th most popular.
1996: 605th most popular.
1997: 403rd most popular.
1998: 329th most popular.
1999: 301st most popular.
2000: 321st most popular.
2001: 347th most popular.
2002: 387th most popular.
2003: 466th most popular.


The Movies:
Charmaine (1926), Heidi (1937), Melanie and Tara (1939), Desiree (1954), Sabrina (1954), Samantha and Tracy (1956), Benjamin (1967), Regan (1973), Madison (1984) , Jonah (1993), Maverick (1994).


Charmaine
The popular silent film What Price Glory was released in 1926. It told the story of a flirtatious French girl named Charmaine and the solider who loved her.

Popularity of “Charmaine” in the United States...
1900-1930: N/A
1930-1940: 757th most popular.
1940-1950: 817th most popular.
1950-1960: 497th most popular.
1960-1970: 617th most popular.
Etc.

Heidi
In 1937 young Shirley Temple (the biggest box-office draw of the 1930s) was in a filmed adaptation of the classic novel Heidi by Johanna Spyri. Soon after, Heidi became a common name in the U.S. It was a popular name in the 1970s.

Popularity of “Heidi” in the United States...
1880-1938: N/A
1939: 973rd most popular.
1940-1941: N/A
1942: 935th most popular.
1943: 802nd most popular.
1944: 763rd most popular.
1945: 822nd most popular.
1946: 635th most popular.
Etc.

Melanie and Tara
Gone With the Wind (1939) was probably the biggest movie event ever. One of its stars was Olivia de Havilland, who played the angelic Melanie Hamilton Wilkes. he name of the O’Hara’s beloved estate was “Tara.”

Popularity of “Melanie” in the United States...
1900-1940: N/A
1940-1950: 348th most popular.
1950-1960: 172nd most popular.
1960-1970: 114th most popular.
1970-1980: 56th most popular.
Etc.

Popularity of “Tara” in the United States...
1900-1950: N/A
1950-1960: 521st most popular.
1960-1970: 232nd most popular.
1970-1980: 43rd most popular.
Etc.

Desiree
Desiree was almost certainly introduced to the Untied States by the 1954 movie Desiree starring Marlon Brando. It was about the life of Bernardine Eugénie Désirée Clary, a woman who became engaged to Napoleon but married the future King of Sweden.

Popularity of “Desiree” in the United States...
1900-1950: N/A
1950-1960: 513th most popular.
1960-1970: 356th most popular.
Etc.

Sabrina
Sabrina was almost certainly introduced as a name by the In the United States by the 1954 movie Sabrina (starring Audrey Hepburn).

Popularity of “Sabrina” in the United States...
1900-1950: N/A
1950-1960: 406th most popular.
1960-1970: 241st most popular.
1970-1980: 130th most popular.
Etc.

Tracy and Samantha
There was a popular movie 1956 film High Society starring Grace Kelly as Samantha Tracy Lord. Both names had existed in the past (Samantha had been rather common in the 19th century), but this movie certainly helped both names. Samatha was probably reinforced by the television sitcom Bewitched (1964-1972) starring Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha Stephens.

Popularity of “Tracy” in the United States...
1900-1940: N/A
1940-1950: 943rd most popular.
1950-1960: 250th most popular.
1960-1970: 41st most popular.
Etc.

Popularity of “Samantha” in the United States...
1900-1960: N/A
1960-1970: 272nd most popular.
1970-1980: 107th most popular.
Etc.

Benjamin
Benjamin experienced a startling jump in the 1970s, and some say this is due to the character of Benjamin Braddock in the 1967 movie The Graduate.

Popularity of “Benjamin” in the United States...
Etc.
1940-1950: 130th most popular.
1950-1960: 126th most popular.
1960-1970: 131st most popular.
1970-1980: 42nd most popular.
1980-1990: 31st most popular.
Etc.

Regan
The 1973 horror film The Exorcist was about the possession of a little girl named Regan MacNeil. The movie almost certainly reintroduced this Shakespearean name to the naming pool.

Popularity of “Regan” in the United States...
1900-1970: N/A
1970-1980: 961st most popular.
1980-1990: N/A
1990: N/A
1991: 984th most popular.


Madison (for girls)
Madison almost certainly began its use as a name for girls, thanks to the 1984 movie Splash about a mermaid who names herself after Madison Avenue.

Popularity of “Madison” in the United States...
1900-1980: N/A
1980-1990: 537th most popular.
1990: 216th most popular.
1991: 133rd most popular.
1992: 112th most popular.
Etc.

Jonah
Jonah may have been given a boost by the immensly popular 1993 movie Sleepless in Seattle, where the little boy was called Jonah.

Popularity of “Jonah” in the United States...
Etc.
1980-1990: 532nd most popular.
1990: 666th most popular.
1991: 665th most popular.
1992: 710th most popular.
1993: 481st most popular.
1994: 252nd most popular.
1995: 226th most popular.
1996: 204th most popular.
Etc.


Maverick
In 1994 there was a comic-Western entitled Maverick (starring Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster). Soon after, the name Maverick began appearing on the lists.

Popularity of “Maverick” in the United States...
1900-1990: N/A
1993: N/A
1994: 993rd most popular.
1995: 912th most popular.
1996: 858th most popular.
1997: 797th most popular.
Etc.

Minor Influences...
... may be seen in other movies as well. Luke and Leah may have been rising names before 1977’s Star Wars, but the characters of Luke and Leia were certainly not detrimental to their success. Likewise, the names Elliot and Eliot both rose slightly after 1982’s E.T, but the change is negligible.



The Tube: Alexis, Amaya, Chandler and Phoebe, Dawson, Fallon, Meadow, Nash, Trista, Willow and Xander, Yesenia

Alexis
The name Alexis was probably popularized by the character of Alexis Carrington Colby, who appeared on ABC’s soap opera Dynasty (1981-1989).

Popularity of “Alexis” in the United States...
1900-1940: N/A
1940-1950: 716th most popular.
1950-1960: 734th most popular.
1960-1970: 855th most popular.
1970-1980: 394th most popular.
1980-1990: 112th most popular.
1990: 67th most popular.
Etc.

Amaya
The name Amaya was probably popularized by Amaya Brecher, who starred in MTV’s The Real World in 1999.

Popularity of “Amaya” in the United States...
1900-1990: N/A
1998: N/A
1999: 405th most popular.
2000: 198th most popular.
2001: 296th most popular.
2002: 286th most popular.
2003: 184th most popular.

Chandler
and Phoebe
The name Chandler was probably helped by the character of Chandler Bing and thhe name Phoebe was probably helped by the character of Phoebe Buffay on NBC’s very popular comedy Friends (1994-2004).

Popularity of “Chandler” in the United States...
1900-1980: N/A
1980-1990: 701st most popular.
1990: 518th most popular.
1991: 469th most popular.
1992: 424th most popular.
1993: 378th most popular.
1994: 363rd most popular.
1995: 182nd most popular.
1996: 164th most popular.
1997: 190th most popular.
1998: 176th most popular.
1999: 156th most popular.
2000: 176th most popular.
2001: 207th most popular.
2002: 240th most popular.
2003: 263rd most popular.

Popularity of “Phoebe” in the United States...
Etc.
1940-1950: 749th most popular.
1950-1960: N/A
1960-1970: 962nd most popular.
1970-1990: N/A
1990: 903rd most popular.
1991: 887th most popular.
1992: N/A
1993: 915th most popular.
1994: 819th most popular.
1995: 584th most popular.
1996: 539th most popular.
1997: 550th most popular.
1998: 604th most popular.
1999: 493rd most popular.
2000: 438th most popular.
2001: 388th most popular.
2002: 431st most popular.
2003: 437th most popular.

Dawson
The name Dawson was probably popularized by the character of Dawson Leery from the WB’s popular teen drama Dawson’s Creek (1998-2003).

Popularity of “Dawson” in the United States...
1900-1990: N/A
1993: N/A
1994: 879th most popular.
1995: 924th most popular.
1996: 785th most popular.
1997: 744th most popular.
1998: 198th most popular.
1999: 136th most popular.
2000: 168th most popular.
2001: 188th most popular.
2002: 194th most popular.
2003: 204th most popular.


Fallon
The name Fallon was probably introduced by the character of Fallon Carrington Colby who appeared on ABC’s soap opera Dynasty (1981-1989).
Popularity of “Fallon” in the United States...

In the United States...
1900-1980: N/A
1980-1990: 545th most popular.
1990: 970th most popular.
1991: N/A

Meadow
The name Meadow was probably introduced by the character of Meadow Soprano from HBO’s hit series The Sopranos (1999-)

Popularity of “Meadow” in the United States...
1900-1990: N/A
2000: N/A
2001: 805th most popular.
2002: 864th most popular.
2003: 769th most popular.

Nash
The name Nash was probably introduced by the character of Nash Bridges on the television show Nash Bridges (1996-2001).

Popularity of “Nash” in the United States...
1900-2000: N/A
1996: N/A
1997: 785th most popular.
1998: 736th most popular.
1999: 751st most popular.
2000: 935th most popular.
2001: 918th most popular.
2002: 874th most popular.
2003: 982nd most popular.

Trista
The name Trista was boosted considerably by the 1983 character of Trista Evans on the soap opera Days of Our Lives (1996-2001). Later, it was the name of a personality on the “reality” show The Bachelorette in 2003.

Popularity of “Trista” in the United States...
1980: 841st most popular.
1981: 964th most popular.
1982: 977th most popular.
1983: 285th most popular.
1984: 214th most popular.
Etc.
2002: 968th most popular.
2003: 503rd most popular.
2004: 528th most popular.

Willow
and Xander
The names Willow and Xander were probably introduced by the characters of Willow Rosenberg and Xander Harris on the WB’s hit show Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003).

Popularity of “Willow” in the United States...
1997: N/A
1998: 877th most popular.
1999: 750th most popular.
2000: 771st most popular.
2001: 674th most popular.
2002: 510th most popular.
2003: 529th most popular.

Popularity of “Xander” in the United States...
1998: N/A
1999: 930th most popular.
2000: 930th most popular.
2001: 760th most popular.
2002: 541st most popular.
2003: 237th most popular.


Yesenia
The name Yesenia was probably popularized by the character of Yesenia on Yesenia a very popular Mexican “telenovela” (soap opera) that first aired in 1970.

Popularity of “Yesenia” in the United States...
1900-1970: N/A
1970-1980: 388th most popular.
1980-1990: 267th most popular.
1990: 142nd most popular.
1991: 166th most popular.
1992: 157th most popular.
1993: 177th most popular.
1994: 176th most popular.
1995: 192nd most popular.
Etc.


The Singers:
Popular singers have left their mark on our pool of names. Such names include: Alanis, Ashanti, Carly, Darin, Dylan, Jagger, Jewel, Mariah, Mya, Selena, Whitney

Alanis
Alanis Morisette (1974-) is a Canadian singer who became world-famous in the mid-nineties, especially with a 1995 song called “Jagged Little Pill.”

Popularity of “Alanis” in the United States...
Etc.
1900-2000: N/A
1997: 963rd most popular.
1998: N/A
1999: 803rd most popular.
2000: 776th most popular.
2001: 776th most popular.
2002: 798th most popular.
2003: 735th most popular.

Ashanti
Ashanti (Douglas) (1970-) is an American singer who became popular around 2001.

Popularity of “Ashanti” in the United States...
Etc.
1997: 803rd most popular.
1998: 801st most popular.
1999: 894th most popular.
2000: N/A
2001: 832nd most popular.
2002: 117th most popular.
2003: 322nd most popular.

Carly
Carly Simon (1945-) is an American singer who became famous in 1971 with her song “That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be.”

Popularity of “Carly” in the United States...
1900-1970: N/A
1970-1980: 607th most popular.
1980-1990: 214th most popular.
1990: 172nd most popular.
1991: 140th most popular.
1992: 139th most popular.
Etc.


Darin
Bobby Darin (Walden Robert Cassotto, 1936-1973) was an American singer who became popular in the late 1950s. His hits include “Splish Splash” (1958) and “Mack the Knife” (1959).

Popularity of “Darin” in the United States...
1900-1960: N/A
1960-1970: 213th most popular.
1970-1980: 255th most popular.
1980-1990: 446th most popular.
Etc.

Dylan
Bob Dylan (Robert Allen Zimmerman, 1941-) was an American singer-songwriter, initialy famous for being a folk-singer in the 1960s.

Popularity of “Dylan” in the United States...
1900-1970: N/A
1970-1980: 392nd most popular.
1980-1990: 193rd most popular.
1990: 86th most popular.
1991: 48th most popular.
Etc.

Jagger
British singer Mick Jagger (1943-) was a star from the early 1970s, although it took several decades for his surname to be used as a first name for boys.

Popularity of “Jagger” in the United States...
2000: N/A
2001: 672nd most popular.
2002: 658th most popular.
2003: 776th most popular.


Jewel
Jewel was a Victorian jewel name that disappeared by the 1970s. Jewel (1974-), an American singer, contributed to its revival in the 1990s. Her first hit was in 1997.

Popularity of “Jewel” in the United States...
Etc.
1970-1990: N/A
1996: N/A
1997: 674th most popular.
1998: 537th most popular.
1999: 560th most popular.
2000: 605th most popular.
2001: 609th most popular.

Mya
Mya (Harrison) (1979-) is an American singer who released her debut album in 1998.

Popularity of “Mya” in the United States...
1997: N/A
1998: 287th most popular.
1999: 168th most popular.
2000: 176th most popular.
2001: 152nd most popular.
2002: 151st most popular.
2003: 118th most popular.

Mariah
Mariah Carey (1970-) is an American singer who debuted in 1990 and within months became a #1-artist.

Popularity of “Mariah” in the United States...
1900-1970: N/A
1970-1980: 892nd most popular.
1980-1990: 583rd most popular.
1990: 268th most popular.
1991: 69th most popular.
1992: 77th most popular.
1993: 83rd most popular.
Etc.

Selena
Selena Quintanilla Perez (1971-1995) was a popular Mexican-Americn singer, murdered in 1995.

Popularity of “Selena” in the United States...
In the United States...
Etc.
1970-1980: 470th most popular.
1980-1990: 567th most popular.
1990: 802nd most popular.
1991: 712th most popular.
1992: 630th most popular.
1993: 398th most popular.
1994: 307th most popular.
1995: 92nd most popular.
1996: 142nd most popular.
1997: 158th most popular.
1998: 145th most popular.
Etc.


Whitney
Whitney Elizabeth Houston (1963-) is a famous American singer, first famous in the 1980s. She was named after actress Whitney Blake who appeared in television programs like Hazel (1961-1966).

Popularity of “Whitney” in the United States...
1900-1960: N/A
1960-1970: 685th most popular.
1970-1980: 459th most popular.
1980-1990: 66th most popular.
1990: 60th most popular.
1991: 68th most popular.
1992: 86th most popular.
Etc.


The Songs:
The following is a list of names, and the songs and artists who popularized them in the United States:

Ramona - “Ramona” - 1927 - Mick Leffler
Misty - “Misty” - 1954 - Johnny Mathis and Errol Garner
Brandy - “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” - 1972 - Looking Glass
Mandy - “Mandy” - 1974 - Barry Manilow (the song was “Brandy” in Britain)
Rhiannon - “Rhiannon” - 1975 - Fleewood Mac


The Myths:
Love Story Jennifer
It is often said that the name Jennifer was so popular in the 1970s because the immensely popular novel and 1970 film Love Story featured a tragic character named Jennifer.

But the facts are, Jennifer had been a common name since the fifties and steadily rose throughout the sixties. It is much more likely that the name Jennifer was chosen for the character because it was already a trendy name.


Little Shirley
Likewise, child star Shirley Temple is often credited with popularizing the name Shirley.
Statistical evidence, however, shows that although Shirley reached its height in the 1930s, it had been rising steadily for the past several decades , before Shirley Temple was even born. In fact, the name Shirley declined after the 1930s and her stardom.


Bonnie Blue Butler
In the novel and movie Gone With the Wind (1936;1939) a daughter of the heroine is named Bonnie. The rise of the name Bonnie is often credited to this widely popular book and film. In her book the child was named Eugenie Victoria, but nicknamed Bonnie Blue because her eyes were as blue as the “bonnie blue flag” of the Confederacy.

It is true that Gone With the Wind introduced and/or popularized many names including Melanie, Tara, Scarlett, Rhett, and Suellen, but this is not the case with Bonnie. For Bonnie, as census information suggests, first appears on the U.S. charts in the 1920s, before Margaret Mitchell even dreamt of the novel she would write or the film that would be based on it. Like the fictional Bonnie Blue, other little southern girls were named Bonnie in honor of the Bonnie Blue Flag after the Civil War.

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