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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Ali

Number of Babies Named Ali

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Ali

Pop Culture Baby Name Game, 2016

pop culture baby name game, 2016

It’s December 2 — the doubly momentous day on which Britney Spears celebrates her birthday and on which we start another round of the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game.

Which baby names will see significant movement on the charts in 2016 thanks to popular culture (TV, movies, music, sports, politics, products, current events, video games, etc.)? Below are some possibilities. Leave a comment with the names you’d add — and don’t forget to mention the pop culture influence.

  • Addison – Chicago Cubs winning season
  • Adonis – movie Creed (suggested by Becca)
  • Ali – death of Muhammad Ali
  • Aroldis – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series
  • Auli’i – movie Moana
  • Bernie – presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (suggested by elbowin)
  • Bison – new national mammal & Dakota Access pipeline protests
  • Boomer – son of Michael Phelps
  • Bowie – musician David Bowie
  • Canaan – son of Oprah Winfrey
  • Clark – Chicago Cubs winning season
  • Cohen – death of Leonard Cohen
  • Creed – movie Creed (suggested by Julie and Becca)
  • Cub – Chicago Cubs winning season
  • Cubby – Chicago Cubs winning season
  • Cyrus – TV miniseries Roots
  • Dexter – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series
  • Doris – movie Hello, My Name Is Doris
  • Emayatzy – TV miniseries Roots
  • E’myri – TV miniseries Roots
  • Esperanto – number of speakers (suggested by elbowin)
  • Greyson – son of JWoww
  • Hamilton – musical Hamilton
  • Harriet – Harriet Tubman, chosen to appear on $20 bill
  • Hillary – presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
  • Ingwen – Tsai Ing-wen, president of Taiwan (suggested by elbowin)
  • Ivanka – daughter of president-elect Donald Trump (suggested by elbowin)
  • Jikan – death of Leonard Cohen (suggested by elbowin)
  • Jonbenet – anniversary of the death of JonBenet Ramsey
  • Juno – NASA space probe
  • Jupiter – NASA space probe
  • Lorca – death of Leonard Cohen (suggested by elbowin)
  • Luna – daughter of John Legend & Chrissy Teigen
  • Keanu – Key & Peele movie Keanu
  • Kizzy – TV miniseries Roots
  • Kunta – TV miniseries Roots
  • Lyanna – TV show Game of Thrones
  • Malachi – TV miniseries Roots
  • Melania – wife of president-elect Donald Trump (suggested by elbowin)
  • Maui – movie Moana
  • Moana – movie Moana
  • Monica – Puerto Rican Olympian Monica Puig (I’m curious about the rankings in Puerto Rico specifically; Monica fell out of the top 100 in PR after 2002.)
  • Mountain – daughter of actress Jena Malone
  • Mowgli – movie The Jungle Book
  • Muhammad – death of Muhammad Ali
  • Murray – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series
  • Ode – daughter of actress Jena Malone
  • Omran – Syrian boy Omran Daqneesh
  • Onyx – daughter of Alanis Morissette
  • Phiona – movie Queen of Katwe
  • Paisley – death of Prince
  • Prince – death of Prince (suggested by elbowin)
  • Queen – TV show Queen Sugar & movie Queen of Katwe
  • Regé-Jean – TV miniseries Roots
  • Rio – location of the 2016 Summer Olympics
  • Rykiel – death of Sonia Rykiel (suggested by elbowin)
  • Sanders – presidential candidate Bernie Sanders
  • Simone – gymnast Simone Biles & daughter of John Legend & Chrissy Teigen
  • Solace – daughter of Alanis Morissette
  • Sully – movie Sully
  • Teresa – canonization of Mother Teresa
  • Tiffany – daughter of president-elect Donald Trump (suggested by elbowin)
  • Trump – president-elect Donald Trump
  • Tulip – movie Storks
  • Valor – son of JWoww
  • Wilder – death of Gene Wilder (suggested by m4yb3_daijirou)
  • Wrigley – Chicago Cubs winning season
  • Zephyr – U.S. House of Rep. (NY) candidate Zephyr Teachout, who was endorsed by Bernie Sanders. (She was born in Washington state, where Zephyr is particularly popular.)
  • Zobrist – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series

I’ll post the results next May, when the SSA releases the 2016 baby name data. If you don’t want to miss the results post, please subscribe!

Previous rounds of the Pop Culture Baby Name Game: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011: #1 & #2, 2010.


Pop Culture Baby Name Game Results, 2015

Here are the results of Pop Culture Baby Name Game 2015!

Quick disclaimer: Some of these names were already on the rise. Others were likely influenced by multiple pop culture events/people (not just the one listed). So I leave it up to you to judge the degree/nature of pop culture influence for yourself.

Adaline, +737 [ranked 11th on the list of raw-number increases for girl names]

  • Up from 164 baby girls in 2014 to 901 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie The Age of Adaline (2015).

Abel, +659 [ranked 12th on the list of raw-number increases for boy names]

  • Up from 2,557 baby boys in 2014 to 3,216 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: singer Abęl Makkonen Tesfaye (stage name The Weeknd).

Finn, +301 [ranked 47th on the list of raw-number increases for boy names]

  • Up from 1,580 baby boys in 2014 to 1,881 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).

Taya, +180

  • Up from 93 baby girls in 2014 to 273 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie American Sniper (2014).

Lucille, +142

  • Up from 970 baby girls in 2014 to 1,112 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the death of B. B. King (whose guitars were all called “Lucille”).

Margot, +126

  • Up from 377 baby girls in 2014 to 503 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: actress Margot Robbie.

Atticus, +106

  • Up from 852 baby boys in 2014 to 958 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the book Go Set a Watchman (2015).

Canaan, +104

  • Up from 179 baby girls in 2014 to 283 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the news of Oprah Winfrey’s son, Canaan.

Hakeem, +87

  • Up from 72 baby boys in 2014 to 159 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show Empire (2015-).

Annalise, +78

  • Up from 699 baby boys in 2014 to 777 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show How to Get Away with Murder (2014-).

Lola, +57

  • Up from 1,386 baby girls in 2014 to 1,443 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show Empire (2015-).

Arlo, +54

  • Up from 518 baby boys in 2014 to 572 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie The Good Dinosaur (2015)

Carter, +53

  • Up from 10,674 baby boys in 2014 to 10,727 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: unsure (suggested in the comments).

Carli, +36

  • Up from 110 baby girls in 2014 to 146 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: soccer player Carli Lloyd.

Margo, +36

  • Up from 152 baby girls in 2014 to 188 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Paper Towns (2015).

Bjorn, +35

  • Up from 63 baby boys in 2014 to 98 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show Vikings.

Roland, +32

  • Up from 437 baby boys in 2014 to 469 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie By The Sea (2015).

Taraji, +30

  • Up from 200 baby girls in 2014 to 230 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show Empire (2015-).

Adonis, +29

  • Up from 327 baby boys in 2014 to 356 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Creed (2015).

Sullivan (as a boy name), +29

  • Up from 631 baby boys in 2014 to 660 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: actor Sullivan Stapleton.

Joy, +28

  • Up from 692 baby girls in 2014 to 720 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Inside Out (2015).

Kylo, +27

  • Up from 8 baby boys in 2014 to 35 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).

Alex (as a girl name), +25

  • Up from 160 baby girls in 2014 to 185 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: soccer player Alex Morgan.

Rebel, +25 (as a girl name), -3 (as a boy name)

  • Up from 58 baby girls in 2014 to 83 in 2015.
  • Down from 48 baby boys in 2014 to 45 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the Confederate flag debate.
  • Update, 5/12/16: The state-by-state data was just released. Of the 83 baby girls named Rebel, 12 were born in Texas, 9 in California, 8 in Arkansas and 6 in Oklahoma. Of the 45 boys, 7 were born in Texas and 5 in Tennessee.

Meghan, +24

  • Up from 214 baby girls in 2014 to 238 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: soccer player Meghan Klingenberg.

Lucious, +18

  • Up from 19 baby boys in 2014 to 37 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show Empire (2015-).

Christie, +15

  • Up from 31 baby girls in 2014 to 46 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: soccer player Christie Rampone.

Tobin (as a girl name), re-entered with 14

  • After an absence, returned to the list with 14 baby girls.
  • Pop culture influence: soccer player Tobin Heath.

Alessia, +13

  • Up from 200 baby girls in 2014 to 213 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: singer Alessia Cara.

Lyon, +13

  • Up from 29 baby boys in 2014 to 42 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show Empire (2015-).

Kelsea, +12

  • Up from 35 baby girls in 2014 to 47 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: country singer Kelsea Ballerini.

Gigi, +11

  • Up from 27 baby girls in 2014 to 38 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: model Gigi Hadid.

Ragnar, +11

  • Up from 19 baby boys in 2014 to 30 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show Vikings.

Rollo, re-entered with 10

  • After an absence, returned to the list with 10 baby boys.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show Vikings.

Max (as a girl name), +9

  • Up from 14 baby girls in 2014 to 23 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: Maxima “Max” Chan Zuckerberg, daughter of Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan.

Poe, re-entered with 9

  • After an absence, returned to the list with 9 baby boys.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).

Denali, +8 (as a boy name) and +7 (as a girl name)

  • Up from 20 baby boys in 2014 to 28 in 2015.
  • Up from 55 baby girls in 2014 to 62 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the renaming of Denali.

Bindi, re-entered with 8

  • After an absence, returned to the list with 8 baby girls.
  • Pop culture influence: Dancing with the Stars contestant Bindi Irwin.

Eilis, re-entered with 6

  • After an absence, returned to the list with 6 baby girls.
  • Pop culture influence: the movie Brooklyn (2015).

Trai, re-entered with 6

  • After an absence, returned to the list with 6 baby boys.
  • Pop culture influence: the TV show Empire (2015-).

Becky, +5

  • Up from 53 baby girls in 2014 to 58 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: soccer player Becky Sauerbrunn.

Bernie, +5

  • Up from 6 baby boys in 2014 to 11 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Saint, +5

  • Up from 32 baby boys in 2014 to 37 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: Saint West, son of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.

Serra, +5

  • Up from 12 baby girls in 2014 to 17 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: the canonization of Junipero Serra.

Taron, +4

  • Up from 31 baby girls in 2014 to 35 in 2015.
  • Pop culture influence: actor Taron Egerton.

Names that went down:

Names not on the SSA’s list in 2015:

  • Aslaug
  • Bryshere
  • Cookie
  • Dameron
  • DuVernay
  • Empire
  • Furiosa
  • Halsey
  • Jeralean
  • Junipero
  • Jussie
  • Lagertha
  • Rey (as a girl name)
  • Sonoya
  • Trump

Did any of these surprise you?

P.S. Some of the names from the 2014 game that have started/continued to do well: Hazel, Amal, Tauriel, and Wyatt (as a girl name). Elsa and Anna, on the other hand, both saw drops in usage.

Name News from Azerbaijan

Sayali Sadiqova, deputy chairperson of Azerbaijan’s Terminology Commission, has been in the news twice recently talking about baby names.

She mentioned in one article that the top baby names in Azerbaijan are Ali, Hasan and Huseyn for boys and Fatima and Zeyneb for girls. She also noted that Azerbaijani parents tend to prefer religious baby names to non-religious baby names.

In the other, she said that the government had been receiving requests to use “strange names” such as Newton, Galileo, Ingilis (meaning “English”), and Frunze (refers to Bolshevik military leader Mikhail Frunze). She stated that there was “a definitive ban on these names,” and that hundreds of such names had been banned already.

In the past, the Terminology Commission has also taken issue with Russian baby names, Russian-sounding baby names, baby names influenced by Soviet ideology, Armenian baby names, and more.

Sources: Parents prefer religious baby names in Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan bans strange baby names ‘Frunze’, ‘Newton’, ‘Galileo’

Name News from Saudi Arabia

Three bits of name news out of Saudi Arabia…

First:

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.

Second:

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.

Third:

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?

Popular Names in Dubai – Mohammed, Mariam

Here are two recent sets of name rankings out of the United Arab Emirates.

In mid-2013, the UAE’s Ministry of Health released “year to date” baby name rankings topped by Mariam/Fatima and Mohammed:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Mariam (tie)
2. Fatima (tie)
3. Aiysha
4. Sara
1. Mohammed
2. Abdullah
3. Ahmed
4. Ali
5. Khalid
6. Saeed
7. Omar
8. Rashid

Earlier this month, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) of Dubai — one of the 7 emirates in the UAE — released lists of popular girl names and boy names according to a survey of school registration records. I’m not sure what age range the records covered, but these lists were also topped by Maryam and Mohammed:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Maryam
2. Sara/Sarah
3. Fatima/Fatma
4. Ayesha
5. Noor
1. Mohammed
2. Ali
3. Omar
4. Ahmed/Ahmad
5. Abdulla/Abdullah

One Dubai student named Mohammed was quoted as saying, “It is common to see four or five students share Mohammed as their first name in a class of 25 to 30 students. We usually get called by our second name.”

(I wonder where Hamad fell on these lists…)

Sources: Mohammed most popular name for boys, The baby names that Dubai happens to loves the most

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel, 2012

Israel recently released three lists of popular baby names.

According to the Central Bureau for Statistics, the country’s top names last year were:

  • Noam and Noa for Jewish babies,
  • Mohammad and Maryam for Muslim babies, and
  • George and Maria for Christian babies.

Here are more of the most popular baby names of 2012 within each religious group:

Jewish

Top Girl Names Top Boy Names
1. Noa
2. Shira
3. Tamar
4. Talia
5. Maya
6. Yael
7. Sarah
8. Adele/Edel
9. Ayala
10. Michal
1. Noam
2. Uri/Ori
3. Itai
4. Yosef
5. David
6. Yehonatan
7. Daniel
8. Ariel
9. Moshe
10. Eitan

The Jewish names above were listed in my source article, but the Muslim and Christian names below (beyond the #1 names) I had to translate from Hebrew using various online tools/dictionaries, so they might not be perfect.

Muslim

Top Girl Names Top Boy Names
1. Maryam
2. Linn
3. Rahaf
4. Lian
5. Rimas
6. Hala
7. Nur
8. Bisan
9. Malek
10. Aya
1. Mohammad
2. Ahmed
3. Mahmad
4. Yosef
5. Adam
6. Abd
7. Omar
8. Ali
9. Mahmoud
10. Amir

Christian

Top Girl Names Top Boy Names
1. Maria
2. Celine
3. Aline
4. Maya
5. Nur
6. Lian
7. Miriam
8. Natalie
9. Tala
10. Miral
1. George
2. Elias
3. Majd
4. Daniel
5. Joseph
6. Hana
7. Julian
8. Charbel
9. Jude
10. Emir

A few years ago, a group of Israeli rabbis released a list of names they thought should be off-limits to Jewish children. Ariel, the 8th most popular name for Jewish baby boys last year, was on their forbidden name list. :)

Sources: Noa, Noam top baby names for 2012, Central Bureau of Statistics