The Baby Name Nakia

The once-rare baby name Nakia burst onto the scene in 1974, when it was suddenly given to hundreds of babies of both genders:

Year Baby Girls Named Nakia Baby Boys Named Nakia
1976 490 [rank: 414th] 110 [rank: 792nd]
1975 972 [rank: 251st] 514 [rank: 337th]
1974 1,135 [rank: 226th] 611 [rank: 302nd]
1973 7 x
1972 x x
Nakia Parker
Nakia Parker

Nakia was the top baby name debut for boys in 1974, and would have been the top debut for girls as well, if not for those 7 baby girls in 1973.

Where did it come from?

Nakia [na-KEE-a] Parker, the fictional Navajo deputy sheriff featured in both Nakia the TV movie (April, 1974) and Nakia the short-lived TV crime drama (September to December, 1974).

Though the character is Navajo, I’m doubtful that Nakia is a genuine Navajo name. It’s certainly a Navajo word — it means “Mexican” — but I haven’t found any evidence that it has ever used as a Navajo name.

Nowadays, the baby name Nakia is still in use, but it’s not as popular as it once was. Last year, 41 baby girls and 8 baby boys were named Nakia.

P.S. Singer Nakia Reynoso, who appeared on NBC’s The Voice in 2011, was born in 1975.


2 thoughts on “The Baby Name Nakia

  1. Tracing Nakia on familysearch, I was able to find some people named Nakia from some reservations in the region, so it might be an original Navajo name (or belonging to another indigeneous language).

    For female Nakia’s there is an arab etymology; Naqiyya means “pure, stainless”.

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