Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Bachelorette Tandra Steiner

As I do, I was checking out the list of the new bachelorettes who will be vying for the heart of Chris Soules in the next season of 'The Bachelor'. Among the usual suspects (the Ashleys and the Brittanys) I noticed this rarity - Tandra.

Maybe you've met a Tandra. She first charted in the U.S in 1947, and made regular appearances up until 2009. She's never come close to cracking the top 1000 though.

But where did Tandra come from? I can't find any examples that explain why she came to people's attention in 1947 in particular. It's also interesting that it's seen as a girls name, as one of the most famous Tandra's was a male. Tandra Paparayudu was an Indian General and hero who was present at the Battle of Bobbili in 1757. So is Tandra an Indian or Sanskrit name? Maybe, although there isn't much evidence of this. Some sources cite that it's Indian meaning is 'daughter', which seems a little strange for a country where the name is associated with a male hero.

Other sources say that Tandra is a female name from Madagascar and means 'mole or beauty marks'. Not the most inspirational meaning. Others agree that it is African, but that it means 'sleep', or more specifically 'the feeling of drowsiness just before going off to sleep'. That's a little more poetic. Or maybe it could be a variant of Tandy, or even a nickname for Timandra (a Greek name used by Shakespeare).

Seems this is a name infused with mystery.

Then again, maybe the explanations of it's use in the U.S is a little more ordinary. Perhaps people were simply attracted to Tandra as an alternative to Sandra or Tanya. Sandra was after all at the height of her popularity and a top 10 name in the decade that Tandra started charting, so it's entirely plausible.

I like the sound of it. She feels a little girl-next-door, but with enough of a twist to hint at a fun and spirited personality. And we won't have to wait much longer to see what additional impressions this bachelorette will give us of the name. Maybe her appearance on the show will see Tandra back on the charts soon.

Chris Soules and his 2015 bacherlorettes


  1. My name is Tandra also. I've also found 1 more origin and meaning: Russian, a derivative of Tania, meaning Queen of Faeries. Interesting!

  2. It does not mean "mole" that is inaccurate and offensive. Tandra is actually is a stream in Madagascar and it also means nap in Bengali. The origin is not African, it is just a made up name in America a variant of Sandra (with a T). Not all made up or creative names are African origins.

  3. Hello from another Tandra. I've often wondered how my parents came up with my name as it is so uncommon. I have been the one and only Tandra in my County my entire life. I like having my unusual name, but wish people would learn to say it correctly. I would like to find out how many Tandra's there were between 1947 when the name supposedly appeared until 1963 when I was born.
    When I was a child/teenager I liked thinking that I was the one and only since I had never seen my name or heard it spoken anywhere.
    Would anyone be able to find that information?