Name Doppelgangers: Candace and Cadence
The surface resemblance between Candace and Cadence is obvious. The more interesting parallels run deeper. Here's a graph showing American babies named Candace/Candice, starting in 1920:
Candace is an ancient hereditary title of queens of Ethopia, and is mentioned in the Bible. That Biblical reference made it an occasional, obscure choice of American parents for generations. A small handful of Candaces were born each year; alternate spellings were pretty much unheard of. Then, as the graph above clearly shows, something happened. The year was 1942, when the name Janice was at its fashion peak. The "something" was a movie called Meet the Stewarts, a romantic comedy about socialite Candace "Candy" Goodwin, who marries her blue-collar sweetheart.
The movie isn't much remembered today. It doesn't even show up on Wikipedia's list of 1942 film releases. But boy, did it make an impact on America. From 1942-45, over a thousand girls were named Candace, and another hundred Candice (a spelling shift toward the more familiar Janice model).
Then in 1946, another something happened: a celebrity baby. The popular ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, creator of Charlie McCarthy, had a daughter named Candice. The little girl made appearances on her father's radio show, further raising the name's profile.
Candace & Candice started a gradual decline in the mid-1950s, only to come back a decade later when Candice Bergen, now all grown up, made her debut as a film actress. Ms. Bergen continued to propel the name for the next 25 years, making her spelling of the name more popular than the traditional version.
Flash forward into the 21st Century. The Janice craze is long forgotten; the name Kaitlyn, it all its many spellings, is now at its fashion peak. Movies have changed, too -- the raunchy American Pie franchise is a world apart from Meet the Stewarts. But when an installment called American Wedding introduces a new character named Cadence to the ensemble, the result is mighty familiar:
Once again, a relatively minor but attractive film character has popped up with exactly the name parents were looking for. It's a name that echoes the sound of an established hit, with a modest fresh twist.
Will Cadence continue to follow in Candace's footsteps? That's in the hands of all the young Cadences out there. Could skateboard star Tony Hawk's daughter Kadence be the next Candice Bergen?