A slew of Mummy-movies have come out since The Mummy in 1999.
After going through the names of the main characters in all the films, I came away with several that might have influenced the baby name data (Imhotep, Pollux, Valina) but only two that I considered slam-dunks: Anubis and Mathayus.
The Mummy Returns (2001) was the second film in the series, but the first to feature the wolf-headed god Anubis. A year after the movie came out, the baby name Anubis debuted in the data:
- 2004: unlisted
- 2003: unlisted
- 2002: 10 baby boys named Anubis
- 2001: unlisted
- 2000: unlisted
Anubis was the god of “death, mummification, embalming, the afterlife, cemeteries, tombs, and the underworld” in ancient Egypt. “Anubis” is actually the Greek form of the name — in ancient Egypt, the god was known as “Inpw.” His name could have been derived from an Egyptian word meaning “royal child, prince,” or from a different Egyptian word meaning “to decay.”
The second film also featured a bad-guy character called the “Scorpion King” (played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). In the 2002 spin-off movie The Scorpion King, this character was not only turned into a good guy, but also given a birth name: Mathayus. Right on cue, the baby name Mathayus debuted in the data:
- 2005: 7 baby boys named Mathayus
- 2004: 7 baby boys named Mathayus
- 2003: 11 baby boys named Mathayus [debut]
- 2002: unlisted
- 2001: unlisted
Mathayus was an Akkadian warrior, but the name “Mathayus” doesn’t seem to be Akkadian. My guess is that the movie-makers simply got creative with the Biblical name Matthias.
Which of these two names do you like more, Anubis or Mathayus?