How popular is the baby name Akeem 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 Akeem.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Akeem

Posts that Mention the Name Akeem

Baby Names Inspired by (H)akeem Olajuwon

Akeem Olajuwon emigrated from Nigeria to play basketball at the University of Houston from 1980 to 1984. He then played professional basketball from 1984 to 2002 — half of that time as Akeem, the other half of that time as Hakeem. (He changed the spelling of his first name in 1991.)

How did Olajuwon’s successful career affect the popularity of the baby names Akeem, Hakeem and Olajuwon? Let’s check it out. (I even threw in Elijahjuan, which I think is the most creative of several alternative renderings of Olajuwon that have popped up on the SSA’s baby name list.)

Year Akeem Hakeem Olajuwon Elijahjuan
1981 8 31
1982 32 21
1983 192 35 15 [debut]
1984 255 50 19
1985 160 36 22
1986 283 29 52
1987 178 55 23
1988 221 65 17
1989 459 279 19
1990 570 271 22
1991 419 242 24
1992 325 200 18 5
1993 242 166 16
1994* 222 264 58 5
1995* 174 247 54 6
1996 146 241 26
1997 116 226 24
1998 97 194 16
1999 61 134 15
2000 77 132 8
2001 63 115 11 6
2002 65 83 9 5
2003 56 86 5

*These are the two years Olajuwon led the Houston Rockets to NBA championships.

So, why did Olajuwon change the spelling of his first name?

“It’s no big deal,” Olajuwon says. “I just want to go back to using the original spelling, the way it is meant to be spelled in Arabic.”

According to Olajuwon, “Hakeem,” in Arabic, means “a wise man; a doctor.”

But “Akeem,” which is the way it’s been spelled since he arrived in the United States in 1981, has no translation.

What does Olajuwon’s surname mean? According to, Olajuwon means “always being on top.” In every Yoruba name that starts with Ola- that I’ve come across, though, Ola- means “wealth.” So I don’t know about that NBA definition. (I also don’t know what -juwon might mean.)

Finally, did you notice how the usage of Akeem and Hakeem jumped from 1988 to 1989, but the usage of Olajuwon stayed the same? The inspiration here was Hakim of R&B group The Boys, which had a few hit singles out around this time. In fact, the names of all four of The Boys — Khiry, Hakim, Tajh & Bilal — got a boost in 1989. But I’ll save that for another post…


Huge List of Anagram Baby Names

anagram baby names

Looking for baby names with something in common? Perhaps for a set of twins or triplets? I’ve collected hundreds of anagram baby names for you.

2-Letter Anagram Baby Names

3-Letter Anagram Baby Names

4-Letter Anagram Baby Names

5-Letter Anagram Baby Names

6-Letter Anagram Baby Names

7-Letter Anagram Baby Names

8-Letter Anagram Baby Names

9-Letter Anagram Baby Names

10-Letter Anagram Baby Names

If you like the idea of anagrams but want to avoid sound-alike sets, I recommend anagrams with different numbers of syllables. Pairs like “Etta and Tate” and “Clay and Lacy” are a far more subtle than pairs like “Enzo and Zeno” and “Mary and Myra.”

(Here are some palindromic names from last month.)