Top Baby Girl Name Debuts of 2011

Khaleesi

Khaleesi

Here are the girl names that debuted the highest on the SSA’s 2011 baby name list:

  1. Magaby, 50 baby girls
  2. Gredmarie, 47
  3. Jocell, 31
  4. Cataleya, 28
  5. Khaleesi, 27
  6. Zendaya, 26
  7. Quorra, 25
  8. Jorley, 22
  9. Ayelene, 21
  10. Locklyn, 17
  11. Adrialys, 16
  12. Dim, 16
  13. Mahniya, 15
  14. Lumen, 14
  15. Brynlynn, 13
  16. Calii, 12
  17. Kiyan, 12
  18. Rhyder, 12
  19. Taisley, 12
  20. Yanilen, 12

Some likely explanations:

  • Magaby is from Magaby Garay, a young singer featured on Mexican reality/talent show Pequeños Gigantes.
  • Gredmarie is from Gredmarie Colon, a contestant on beauty pageant/reality show Nuestra Belleza Latina 2011.
  • Jocell is from Jocell Villa, also a contestant on Nuestra Belleza Latina 2011.
  • Cataleya is from Cataleya, a character played by Zoe Saldana in the movie Columbiana (2011). The character’s name is based on the word Cattleya, which refers to a genus of orchid.
  • Khaleesi is the Dothraki word for “queen” in the medieval fantasy TV series Game of Thrones. A khaleesi is the wife of a khal, or “king.” The khaleesi featured in the show is character Daenerys Targaryen, played by actress Emilia Clarke.
  • Zendaya is from Zendaya Coleman, a young singer/actress currently starring in the Disney sitcom Shake It Up.
  • Quorra is from Quorra, the character played by Olivia Wilde in the movie Tron: Legacy (2010).
  • Lumen is from Lumen Pierce, a character played by Julia Stiles during the fifth season of Dexter.
  • Yanilen is from Yanilen Diaz, a contestant on Mexican reality/talent show La Academia 2011.

Can you come up with explanations for any of the others? I’m especially curious about Dim — any ideas?

(Here are last year’s debut names.)

Image: Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones, by Keith Bernstein/HBO, via IMDB

20 Responses to Top Baby Girl Name Debuts of 2011

  1. Locklyn is Vince Vaughn’s daughter’s name… my least favorite celebrity baby name of 2010.

  2. Jocell is the name of the princess in the Disney movie “Enchanted”.

  3. The princess from Enchanted was Giselle.

  4. Jocell Villa was a popular contestant on the Univision show Nuestra Belleza Latina in 2011.

  5. i guess the Mexican folks have the market cornered on making babies…

  6. @jkae – Hm, not sure if I’d quite say that…but Spanish speakers certainly have been driving a lot of the baby name creativity we’ve been seeing lately.

  7. “Lumen” means “light” in latin.

  8. A Lumen is a unit of measurement for light.

  9. As a matter of fact, there are three units that measure different effects of light; the lumen, lux, and candela.

  10. Taisley, let me guess, all 12 were born in Utah, where I live. Paisley is popular here and I’m guessing someone thought that Taisley was an improvement.

    Ayelene just looks like Aileen, and, I have to confess, as creative as it is, I kind of like it.

    Mahniya is interesting. I have a friend named Manja (mahn ya),which is Russian. But it’s hard to know if that’s how Mahniya is pronounced. Since Russian uses a different alphabet, I suppose you can spell the name however you want. But is it ‘mah nye ah’, like a twist on Shania? or ‘muh nee uh’? in which case I wonder if it’s Indian.

    Adrialys I kind of like.

  11. If you guys would only hear the names that I heard in P.R. Hispanics like to create unique names. I’m one of them. I actually named my 2nd daughter Neytiri in 2011. I also added a middle name for her that consisted of my 1st daughter’s nickname and stepdaughter’s nickname which is Bella. Even though they are long names they are very beautiful and unique. I got a lot of compliments about my three daughters’ names. They are all unique.

  12. I added the name to the baby book my daughters name was mahniya it is pronounced mah-neye-ah (beautiful blessing) . Hope this helps :-) A.ELDRIDGE

  13. From Learn to Speak Dothraki and Valyrian From the Man Who Invented Them for Game of Thrones:

    Bad news, Game of Thrones fans: You are mispronouncing Daenerys’s honorific, Khaleesi. But don’t feel bad. On the HBO show, her smitten man-servant Jorah has been saying it incorrectly as well; the more accurate pronunciation should be “KHAH-lay-see,” not “ka-LEE-see.” That’s according to David J. Peterson, the language creator responsible for all of the Dothraki and Valyrian dialogue spoken on the show, and he’s driven mad every time he hears it. “Ugh. God. That’s not how it’s supposed to sound,” said Peterson. “The vowel change bugs me.” As the architect of the language’s grammar and pronunciation rules, he’s the only one who can correct it with authority, but he lost the battle to correct the pronunciation on the show early on. “The producers decided they liked the other way better. They probably thought most people were pronouncing it that way anyway, which is true.”

  14. The 2012 names were released yesterday. I’m still going through them, but here are two things I’ve noticed:

    Khaleesi jumped from 28 (revised total) in 2011 to 146 in 2012.

    Even more impressive, Cataleya jumped from 28 in 2011 to 636 in 2012.

  15. I’d name a daughter of mine “Chair” or “Table” before the ugly “Khaleesi” option!

  16. Lol @ chair or table! That would probably be next on celebrities’ names! I named my first daughter Geomara (06). Her dad’s nickname is Geo and mines is Mara. My 2nd daughter’s name is Neytiri Giabella (11). Her first name I got it from the movie Avatar and her middle name is from her two oldest sisters’ nicknames. And last but not least, my third daughter’s name is Zoey Belle (12) which means Beautiful Life. I usually get alot of compliments of their names and I love them all!

  17. Variants of Khaleesi that have also made the list, either in 2011 or 2012: Kaleesi, Caleesi, Kalisi, Calisi.

    (Kalisi actually debuted in back in 2003. Kinda prophetic.)

  18. Those are precious names! :-) I named one of my daughters Azaelle Samyrah (az-ah-yell sa-mee-rah), and the other one, Eisheizue Eos Athena… (ee-she-zoo). I am a creator of name combinations, too.

  19. Wow, Eisheizue is very different! I would love to hear the whole name! I liked that you added Athena. And I think Azaelle Samyrah its very pretty.

  20. […] remember talking about the name Khaleesi in this post way back in May of 2012. (The link was posted to Reddit the next day and the influx of traffic […]

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