American Names · Modern names


Where are my fellow music-lovers?  Here’s a name I think you’ll like!

Melody has been a popular baby name since the early 1940s.  She’s never been a top 100 name, but last year she cracked the top 150 at #148, beating her old record of #153 in 1960.  It’s somewhat of a mystery how she managed to enter the top 1000 in 1942 with so high a rank of #523, but I’ve found two possibilities with extremely similar names.  The first is a champion horse named Melody Maid who competed throughout the south between 1939 and 1942.  The second is an all-girl band called the Melody Maids, possibly or coincidentally named after the horse.  The group formed in 1942 came to sing in a wartime capacity.  The horse definitely seems to have influenced usage, since there were almost twice as many Melody‘s born in 1941 as in 1940.  What is unknown is whether the horse or the band more strongly affected the results of 1942. 

In more recent years, Melody was the name of Ariel’s daughter in 2000’s direct-to-video The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea.  Yes, I’ve broken the cardinal rule of never mentioning Disney sequels.  But, it’s worth mentioning because the name received a boost that very year and the next.  In 1999, Melody ranked only #436; in 2000, she ranked #398, and then #290 in 2001.

This decade, Melody‘s rising popularity may be helped by the trendiness of other musical names like Aria (#29) and Harper (#10).  I wonder if other “Mel” names like Melanie (#80) and Amelia (#12) have influence too.  

What do you think about the name Melody?  Would you prefer something rarer, like Mélodie or Melodia

Inspired by the Daily Post’s prompt “Melody.”



One thought on “Melody

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