Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Jolene

Jolene is a 20th century invention compliments of the United States. The name was created by combining the popular female prefix “Jo” (Joanne, Josephine) with the popular “lene” suffix (Marlene, Helene). As a “Jo” name, Jolene’s etymology is most often connected with Joseph, ultimately derived from the Hebrew meaning “(God) shall add (another son)” in reference to the birth of Jacob’s 11th (and most favorite) son Joseph who became designated as one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Book of Genesis). The name Joseph also appears in the New Testament as Jesus’ foster-father (Mary’s husband) – another instance where God indeed “added another son”! Aside from Jolene’s association with the masculine name Joseph, the name is also occasionally connected with “jolie” which is the French word for pretty. What really brought Jolene to the heights of her popularity as a baby girl’s name was a 1974 song released by Dolly Parton called “Jolene” (off an album of the same name). In the song, Jolene is the beautiful seductress whose “beauty is beyond compare”. The singer (Dolly) fears Jolene has the ability to “take her man” and implores her not to “just because she can.” The song was a massive hit, going to #1 on the country music charts. Apparently, Dolly Parton based the song on a pretty green-eyed, red-headed bank teller who flirted with her husband. After one of her concerts, as she was signing autographs, she wrote one out to a pretty green-eyed, red-headed fan. When Dolly learned the fan’s name, she apparently said: “Well, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene. That is pretty. That sounds like a song. I'm going to write a song about that.” As a given name, Jolene reached her highest success in that same year Ms. Parton sang her vulnerable song about a voluptuous bank teller whose name was inspired by a pretty fan. A perfect name choice, we suppose, for a green-eyed redhead.

All About the Baby Name – Jolene

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME JOLENE

The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth".  Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME JOLENE

Jolene first debuted on the U.S. female naming charts in 1928 and rose modestly in popularity during the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Fresh and modern, mid 20th century American parents seemed to take an immediate interest in the name Jolene for their daughters. It wasn’t until the 1960s when Jolene started trending backwards. That is, until 1974. In that year alone (thanks to Dolly Parton’s song “Jolene”), the name jumped a whopping 321 positions up the Top 1000. A remarkable feat by all accounts. The song would only have a brief impact, however. Jolene once again reversed her course on the charts in the mid-1970s and even disappeared completely from circulation in 1994 (so rare, it no longer made the Top 1000 list). After a nearly 20 year hiatus from usage, Jolene just resurfaced in 2010; and we’re glad to see her back. It’s modern but not kitsch. It’s pretty but doesn’t put on airs. Thanks to the country music song, it’s also a little red-necky. But that, quite frankly, is part of her charm.

Quick Facts

ON JOLENE

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

American

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

926

PRONUNCIATION:

JOE-leen

SIMPLE MEANING:

(God) shall add (another son); God will increase (Joseph); Pretty (Jolie)

Characteristics

OF JOLENE

Mystical

Wise

Eccentric

Intuitive

Imaginative

Philosophical

Solitary

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Jolene

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME JOLENE

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Jolene

Popular Songs

ON JOLENE

Jolene
a song by The Weepies

Famous People

NAMED JOLENE

Jolene Watanabe (tennis player)
Jolene Blalock (actress)
Jolene Unsoeld (politician)

Children of Famous People

NAMED JOLENE

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Jolene

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME JOLENE

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Jolene