How popular is the baby name Adidas in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Adidas.
The baby name Tequila is a lot like the baby name Adidas. How? The baby name Tequila wasn’t popularized by the drink, just like the baby name Adidas wasn’t popularized by the shoe. Instead, they were both popularized by a song.
In Tequila’s case, the song was “Tequila” by The Champs.
“Tequila” was recorded rather offhandedly in December of 1957. It’s entirely instrumental except for the word tequila, spoken three times as “a silly attempt to cover up the holes in the song.” The speaker, saxophonist Danny Flores, was also the man who’d composed the song.
It was released as the B-side to “Train to Nowhere” in January of 1958, and it might have gone unnoticed had a Cleveland disk jockey not flipped the record over one day. Listeners loved it — so much so that “Tequila” became the #1 pop song in the nation by March.
The baby name Tequila, which had been very rare in the U.S., was suddenly given to at least 20 baby girls that year:
- 1960: unlisted
- 1959: 9 baby girls named Tequila
- 1958: 20 baby girls named Tequila [debut]
- 1957: unlisted
Nine more baby girls were named Tequilla, which also debuted on the list in 1958.
The next year, at the first-ever Grammy Awards, “Tequila” took home the trophy for Best Rhythm & Blues Performance.
How do you feel about the baby name Tequila?
Sources: Tequila by The Champs – Songfacts, The Champs’ “Tequila” is the #1 song on the U.S. pop charts – History.com
Passion fruit-flavored liqueur Alizé Gold Passion was introduced to the U.S. market in 1986.
The next year, the name Alize debuted on the SSA’s baby name list, though it remained rare.
- 1986: not listed
- 1987: 5 baby girls named Alize [debut]
- 1988: not listed
- 1989: 6 baby girls named Alize
- 1990: not listed
During the early 1990s, usage of the baby name Alize picked up steam…
- 1991: not listed
- 1992: 5 baby girls named Alize
- 1993: 12 baby girls named Alize
- 1994: 24 baby girls named Alize
…but it wasn’t until 1995 that the numbers really started climbing.
- 1995: 143 baby girls and 30 baby boys [debut] named Alize
- 1996: 282 baby girls and 44 baby boys named Alize
- 1997: 274 baby girls and 53 baby boys named Alize
- 1998: 311 baby girls and 44 baby boys named Alize
The Alizé website spells it out for us:
Alizé reached great heights with substantial features in music lyrics and videos. Alizé was mentioned in 30 top 10 singles from artists such as 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z & Queen Latifah.
A huge pop-culture push in the mid-1990s, in other words.
Alizé was mentioned in Tupac’s “Thug Passion” (1996), Biggie’s “Juicy” (1994), Jay-Z’s “Can I Get A…” (1998), and by Queen Latifah in a popular remix of Brandy’s “I Wanna Be Down” (1994-ish).
The brand name Alizé comes from the French word alizé, the name of a local trade wind.
[The baby name Adidas has a similar explanation — urban music popularizing a brand name as a baby name.]
In the late 1980s, Adidas appeared on the SSA’s baby name for three consecutive years:
- 1990: unlisted
- 1989: 5 baby boys named Adidas
- 1988: 6 baby boys named Adidas
- 1987: 5 baby boys named Adidas
- 1986: unlisted
The name can obviously be traced back to sportswear company Adidas, which was established in 1949 and named after founder Adolf “Adi” Dassler.
But the baby name Adidas was inspired by music, not by sports.
In 1986, Run-DMC released the song “My Adidas” [vid]. The song was written in response to an editorial entitled “Felon Shoes” written by Dr. Deas, who claimed that kids wearing Adidas shoes and nice clothes were drug dealers and “felons.” The Run-DMC song defended the shoes and those who wore them. In an interview, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels explained:
Here’s the perfect chance for us to write about these sneakers, you know, cause it was associated with the hood, and it was associated with so much negativity. We said here’s a way to get back at Dr. Deas, because we looked at ourselves, yeah, we came from the street corner, yeah, you know, we on the corner with the thugs and stuff like that. But you can’t just look at us cause we wear these sneakers and judge us. So, I was like, from my point of view, I wanted to tell Dr. Deas, yeah I wear these sneakers, but my Adidas went around the world. My Adidas changed people’s lives. These Adidas don’t just stand on the corner of Hollis and 2-5th street. I stepped on stage at Live Aid, which was unheard of.
The “corner of Hollis and 2-5th street” (Hollis Avenue and 205th Street) in Hollis, Queens, was renamed Run-DMC JMJ Way in 2009.
Image: Adapted from Adidas Run DMC shoe by eric molina under CC BY 2.0.