The Baby Name Shaft – Can You Dig It?

shaft movie poster“They say this cat Shaft is a bad mother…shut your mouth!”

I doubted the existence of the baby name Shaft at first. Same as I doubted Rambo, and MacGyver, and Darth.

“For real? Babies named Shaft? I don’t think so.”

After all that I’ve seen, though, I don’t know why I still bother doubting.

Babies have indeed been named Shaft. Dozens of babies, in fact.

The baby name Shaft debuted on the SSA’s list in 1971, the same year the movie Shaft was released:

  • 1975: 7 baby boys named Shaft
  • 1974: 9 baby boys named Shaft
  • 1973: 16 baby boys named Shaft
  • 1972: 31 baby boys named Shaft
  • 1971: 22 baby boys named Shaft [debut]
  • 1970: unlisted

And did you know Shaft had sequels? Shaft’s Big Score in 1972 and Shaft in Africa in 1973. In all three movies, private detective John Shaft was played by actor Richard Roundtree.

I’ve found other ’70s baby names inspired by blaxploitation films, but none are as shocking as Shaft. They include Coffy, Foxy and Sheba, inspired by the Pam Grier movies Coffy (1973), Foxy Brown (1974) and Sheba, Baby (1975).


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