How popular is the baby name Aisha in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Aisha and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Aisha.

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.

Popularity of the Baby Name Aisha

Number of Babies Named Aisha

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Aisha

Name News from Saudi Arabia

Three bits of name news out of Saudi Arabia…


The most circulated [baby] names in the Kingdom include Mohammad, Fahd, Abdullah, Abdulrahman, Turki, Bandar, Omar, Ali, Fatima, Aisha, Nora, Hessa, Sheikha, and Maha.

Unfortunately the article didn’t specify exactly which year (or years) this list covers.


Unusual or rare [baby] names have been reduced due to the work of authorities across the Kingdom who have enacted regulations to curb exotic or strange names.

Some of the baby names no longer being used are…

  • Faziah, female name meaning “one who is afraid”
  • Mureibah, female name, “fearful”
  • Najar, male name
  • Rashash, male name, “a gun machine”
  • Zaqam, male name meaning “to do with the mouth” (…?)

Here’s an earlier list of baby names (possibly) banned in Saudi Arabia.


Saudi society is facing a new phenomenon in which many young people are changing their names to be in tune with the latest name trends, Al-Hayat newspaper reported.

Several of the name changes mentioned in the article:

  • Fatimah to Hadeel (woman, 22 years old)
    • “I used the name Hadeel for my social media account before I changed it officially with the Civil Status Department.”
  • Salem to Faris (man, 27 years old)
  • Ethar to Maria (woman, 31 years old)
  • Nouf to Naifah (woman, age not mentioned)

Sources: Naming babies under scrutiny, The name game! Young Saudis changing names to be more trendy

Tajikistan, 98% Muslim, May Ban Muslim Names

Emomali Rahmon, who’s been the leader of Tajikistan since 1992, has some strong opinions about names:

“I pay close attention to surnames and names when I appoint anyone to a leading post in the government,” Mr Rahmon told a group of children in speech televised on national TV.

“Sometimes, reading surnames can make one shudder,” he said.

“For example, Gurgakov comes from the word ‘wolf’. Janjoliyev derives from the word ‘conflict’,” said Mr Rahmon, the father of seven daughters and two sons.

Names must be beautiful because they play an important role in determining a person’s destiny from birth, he said.

“How can you name a person after a wolf?”

Currently, Rahmon is trying to get his country to adopt regulations that would greatly restrict birth names.

The proposed amendments to Tajikistan’s civil-registry law would make it illegal to “register names that are incorrect or alien to the local culture, including names denoting objects, flora and fauna, as well as names of Arabic origin.”

In fact, some registrars have already begun rejecting these types of names.

The part about banning Arabic-origin names has gotten a lot of attention because Tajikistan is overwhelmingly Muslim, and most of the popular baby names in the country right now are of Arabic origin: Sumayah, Asiya, Aisha, Muhammad, Yusuf, Abubakr, etc. (Rahmon’s own name would’t have passed muster under the new law — Emomali is derived from “Imam Ali.”)

Ultimately, Rahmon is interested in promoting (forcing?) the usage of “pure Tajik” names, including those from classical Persian literature. Examples of this type of name include Dilafruz, Firdaus, Firuz, Rustam and Tahmina.

Hopefully the ethnic Uzbeks that make up 15% of Tajikistan’s population won’t be forced to use Tajik names as well…

Sources: President scared by baby names, Tajikistan Mulls Ban on Muslim Names, Tajiks weigh ban on ‘bad names’

P.S. The woman who would have been Rahmon’s most serious opposition candidate in the 2013 election (if she’d been allowed to run) has a very interesting first name: Oinihol (also spelled Oynihol). Anybody know anything about it?

Ebony Magazine’s Influence on Baby Names

10-month-old Cushena in 1985
© Ebony
So far, I’ve found only one baby name (Theonita) that saw increased usage thanks to African-American news magazine Jet.

But I know of five (!) that saw increased usage after being mentioned in various issues of African-American lifestyle magazine Ebony, which is owned by the same company.

Here are all five:


Loukisha has appeared on the SSA’s baby name list three times:

  • 1976: unlisted
  • 1975: 7 baby girls named Loukisha
  • 1974: 14 baby girls named Loukisha
  • 1973: 48 baby girls named Loukisha [debut]
  • 1972: unlisted

The name had been mentioned in the July 1973 issue of Ebony, in an article about SIDS. “Loukisha Gray, four-month-old victim of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, was laid to rest May 11, 1973 in Harlem.”

Kimario and Nykeba

Kimario has appeared on the list once:

  • 1981: unlisted
  • 1980: 13 baby boys named Kimario [debut]
  • 1979: unlisted

And Nykeba was a one-hit wonder the same year:

  • 1981: unlisted
  • 1980: 26 baby girls named Nykeba [debut]
  • 1979: unlisted

Both names had been mentioned in the April 1980 issue of Ebony in an article called “Sex and the Single Parent.” Kimario was the 4-year-old son of Aisha Nanji of Atlanta, and Nykeba was the 3-year-old daughter of Vicki Newsum of Memphis.


Cushena has appeared on the list twice:

  • 1987: unlisted
  • 1986: 9 baby girls named Cushena
  • 1985: 11 baby girls named Cushena [debut]
  • 1984: unlisted

The name had been mentioned in two issues of Ebony — the March 1985 issue and the August 1986 issue. The first time, it was in an article about teenage parenthood. “Fifteen-year-old Lisa Robinson of Chicago cuddles her 10-month-old daughter, Cushena, while trying to concentrate on her homework.” (This quote goes with the image above.) The second time, it was in an article about black children.


Ziyadah has appeared on the list once:

  • 1995: unlisted
  • 1994: 5 baby girls named Ziyadah [debut]
  • 1993: unlisted

The name had been mentioned in the January 1994 issue of Ebony, in an article about first-time mothers. “Joy of motherhood radiates from first-time mom DiAnna Toliver Muhammad of San Diego as she cuddles her 10-month-old daughter Ziyadah Iman.”


I’m sure there are more Ebony– and Jet-inspired baby names out there. If you own any old issues of either magazine, and one of your issues contains an uncommon name, please leave a comment with the name (and the month/year) so I can check it out!


  • Edelman, Marian Wright. “Save the Children.” Ebony Aug. 1986.
  • “First-Time Moms.” Ebony Jan. 1994.
  • Harris, Ron. “Sex and the Single Parent.” Ebony Apr. 1980.
  • Height, Dorothy I. “What Must Be Done About Children Having Children.” Ebony Mar. 1985.
  • Horton, Luci. “The Mystery of Crib Death.” Ebony July 1973.

Name Quotes for the Weekend #15

betty white quote, "I love Cadillacs and name them after birds."

From an interview with Betty White in Parade Magazine:

Ask White if she still drives and she replies, “Of course!” She owns a silver Cadillac nicknamed Seagull. “I love Cadillacs and name them after birds.” Her previous ride, the pale-yellow Canary, was preceded by the green Parakeet.

From an article about how political preferences influence baby name choices in the Washington Times:

“If innovative birth names first appear as expressions of cultural capital, then liberal elites are most likely to popularize them, especially given that liberals are typically more comfortable embracing novelty and differentiation,” the study said. “Sometime afterwards, the name will diminish as a prestige symbol as lower classes begin adopting more of these names themselves thus sending liberal elites in search of ever new and obscure markers.”

When elite liberal parents do search for novelty, the authors write, they are “less likely to make up a name rather than choose a pre-existing word that is culturally esoteric (e.g., ‘Namaste,’ ‘Finnegan,’ ‘Archimedes’), because fabricating a name would diminish its cultural cachet.”

After all, they note, “the value of cultural capital comes, not from its uniqueness, but from its very obscurity.”

From an article on Chinese names in the LA Times:

In China, unusual names are viewed as a sign of literary creativity, UCLA sociology professor Cameron Campbell said.


“Picking a rare character is kind of like a marker of learning,” Campbell said, while in the United States, one-of-a-kind names are sometimes viewed as odd.

From an article about keeping your baby’s name a secret in the StarPhoenix:

“With our first we did not keep the name a secret. We told everyone. Then at 36 weeks, my cousin got a puppy which she named the same name as I had picked for our baby. When I asked why she used the name she choose she said she had heard it somewhere and really liked it but couldn’t remember where. I was devastated. Baby ended up coming at 37 weeks and we had not yet picked a new name! After that we kept the names quiet until they were born.” – Nicole Storms

From an interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates (b. 1975) at Bookslut:

Last month, on the blog he writes for The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates explained the origin of his first name:

[F]or the record Ta-Nehisi (pronounced Tah-Nuh-Hah-See) is an Egyptian name for ancient Nubia. I came up in a time when African/Arabic names were just becoming popular among black parents. I had a lot of buddies named Kwame, Kofi, Malik (actually have a brother with that name), Akilah and Aisha. My Dad had to be different, though. Couldn’t just give me a run of the mill African name. I had to be a nation.

Coates’s father was a former Black Panther who raised seven children by four mothers, while running an underground Afro-centric publishing house from his basement. When Bill Cosby complained about black parents naming their children “Shaniqua, Taniqua and Mohammed and all of that crap, and all of them are in jail,” he may very well have been thinking of Paul Coates.

From a blog post about choosing a baby name by Jodi of Jodilightful! (via Abby of Appellation Mountain):

But if we learned anything from the process of naming Niko and watching him become that name, it was this: we could have called him anything we wanted to, and it would have been fine.

From an essay by Craig Salters in the Hanover Mariner:

I was watching the Little League World Series the other day and the team from New Castle, Indiana has a great bunch of kids and much to be proud of.

But, unfortunately, that wasn’t what I noticed first about them. What I noticed was the first names of their lineup card: Mason, Janson, Cayden, Hunter, Niah, Bryce, Jarred, Blake, and Bryce (again).

So no John? No Jimmy, Bobby, Richard, or Chris? There’s nothing wrong with their names — like I said, their parents should be bursting with pride — but, as an apprentice old fogey, it’s hard to get used to.


I myself was named after Craig Breedlove, a daredevil who broke all sorts of land speed records in what was pretty much a rocket on wheels. I absolutely love my name and am proud of my namesake, but I always feel I’m letting Mr. Breedlove down when I putter along Route 3 at 55 miles per hour, content to listen to sports radio and let the world pass me by.

From a tweet by Sherman Alexie (via A Mitchell):

We gave our sons names they could easily find on souvenir cups, magnets & shirts. Childhood is rough enough.

A poem, “Möwenlied” (Seagulls), by German poet Christian Morgenstern (1871-1914):

Die Möwen sehen alle aus,
als ob sie Emma hiessen.
Sie tragen einen weissen Flaus
und sind mit Schrot zu schießen.

Ich schieße keine Möwe tot,
ich laß sie lieber leben –
und füttre sie mit Roggenbrot
und rötlichen Zibeben.

O Mensch, du wirst nie nebenbei
der Möwe Flug erreichen.
Wofern du Emma heißest, sei
zufrieden, ihr zu gleichen.

…and now the translation, by Karl F. Ross:

The seagulls by their looks suggest
that Emma is their name;
they wear a white and fluffy vest
and are the hunter’s game.

I never shoot a seagull dead;
their life I do not take.
I like to feed them gingerbread
and bits of raisin cake.

O human, you will never fly
the way the seagulls do;
but if your name is Emma, why,
be glad they look like you.

Want more name quotes? Check out the name quotes category.

Baby Names to Celebrate Canberra’s Centennial Year

Canberra, the capital of Australia, was established (and named) on March 12, 1913 — almost exactly a century ago.

So the Canberra Times is asking people to suggest baby names that could commemorate Canberra’s centennial year, 2013.

Here are some names they’ve come up with so far:

  • Acacia, a genus of trees, most of which are native to Australia
  • Bluebelle, “after the Royal Bluebell, our Territory’s floral emblem”
  • Corymbia, a type of eucalyptus
  • Makaira, from the genus of the Black Marlin
  • Melliodora, another type of eucalyptus

One reader mentioned that his daughter was named “Aisha Caitlyn Truelsen” — initials ACT, same as the initials of the Australian Capital Territory. Her father said “she is quite chuffed about seeing ACT all over the place.”

What other Australia-specific (or, better, Canberra-specific) baby names would you suggest?

Here’s one idea: Gertrude, for Gertrude Mary Denman (1884-1954). Her name might not be stylish right now, but she was the person who officially named Canberra back in 1913.

Source: State of baby names range from the botanical to fishy

EDIT: Waltzing More than Matilda has tracked down an article about the baby that kicked off the Canberra Times’ search for centennial names — Allegra Bluebelle, born in Canberra last year on December 28.

Oliver, Olivia – Top Names in England, 2010

Oliver and Olivia still reign supreme in England and Wales. Here are the most popular baby names of 2010:

Boy Names Girl Names
1. Oliver
2. Jack
3. Harry
4. Alfie
5. Charlie
6. Thomas
7. William
8. Joshua
9. George
10. James
1. Olivia
2. Sophie
3. Emily
4. Lily
5. Amelia
6. Jessica
7. Ruby
8. Chloe
9. Grace
10. Evie

George is new to the boys’ top 10. The drop-out was Daniel.

No newbies on the girls’ side.

Ollie, Bobby, Caleb, Jenson, Dexter and Kayden replaced Ellis, Joe, Christopher, Ewan, Morgan and Austin in the boys’ top 100.

Annabelle, Eliza, Laila, Aisha, Maryam and Maisy replaced Lydia, Eve, Alisha, Francesca, Sara and Mya in the girls’ top 100.

To do more comparing of this year’s rankings with last year’s rankings, check out the baby name comparison tool, brought to you by the UK’s Office for National Statistics.

Source: Oliver and Olivia most popular baby names in 2010