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 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

Name Quotes for the Weekend #11

From an article in The Independent about filmmaker Lu Lu:

Lu Lu is no stranger to a language gap. Even her name is a constant source of confusion in America. “They ask me my first name. I say ‘Lu.’ Then they ask me for my last name, and I say ‘Lu.’ They think I misunderstood them.” In Chinese, the characters, while pronounced the same, are written differently. In English, though, Lu Lu’s first and last name are identical. She laughs, being frank, “My name in Chinese is ordinary, but when I came to the US, people think it is interesting.”

From a New York Times article about hipsters:

While waiting at the cash register, I picked up a pair of argyle wool socks from a nearby wicker basket and asked, “Are your socks local?” The salesman self-consciously said no. I returned the socks like an organic farmer who has learned that a friend has named her child Monsanto.

From Momo Fali’s about page:

When my son was an infant I created an on-line account with the user name “momofali” (read: Mom of Ali) and when my best friend saw the site, she sent me an e-mail asking, “Who’s Momo Fali?” I’ve been Momo ever since. As a matter of fact, most people have trouble calling me Diane anymore.

From a Scotsman.com article about surnames:

Looking to the future, a resurgence in the popularity of traditional Scottish forenames in recent years is likely to combat Anglicisation, said Hough.

“Far more Gaelic and Celtic-derived personal names are being chosen by parents in Scotland, which can be a way of affirming national identity,” she says. “Gaelic-derived forenames that are in the top 100 names in Scotland at the moment include Aiden, Callum and Finlay. Cameron is originally a clan name, and Lewis, Evan and Isla are all place names.”

Frank Dixon, statistician for the National Records of Scotland, which compiles the top 100 baby names, says that whilst Jack and Sophie are the most popular forenames, middle names are increasingly being used to showcase a sense of national identity.

From the Allmusic.com profile of Blues/R&B pianist Ivory Joe Hunter (b. 1914):

An accomplished tunesmith, he played around the Gulf Coast region, hosting his own radio program for a time in Beaumont before migrating to California in 1942. It was a wise move since Hunter — whose real name was Ivory Joe, incidentally (perhaps his folks were psychic!) — found plenty of work pounding out blues and ballads in wartime California.

From an interview with photographer Peter Belanger in The Verge:

What’s your favorite movie, period?

True Romance is one of my favorites. There is an intensity of passion. It showed the extent people will go for those they love, blurred the lines between right and wrong, and had some great lines as well. I wanted to name our first child Alabama after the main character, but my wife vetoed it.

From a letter to the editor in the Casper Star-Tribune:

OK, once again I had to laugh at Tuesday’s paper.

The biggest front page news article, sporting a full banner headline in the place of honor just below the masthead was: “Liam and Emma Most Popular Names for Babies in Wyoming in 2012”

Baby names beat out the meteor sighting and the loss of a popular airline route.

Baby names beat out coverage of Israel’s air strikes on Syria.

Baby names beat out the passage of the Internet sales tax bill, sponsored by Wyoming’s Sen. Mike Enzi. That piece of news didn’t even make the front page.

Now, if the Casper Star-Tribune were a supermarket tabloid or a neighborhood weekly I wouldn’t say a thing. Is that what Wyoming’s only statewide newspaper is trying to be? I thought that the Casper Star Tribune was a real newspaper. Real newspapers carry news on the front page and publish baby name surveys in the home-and-family section.

From a post at Appellation Mountain:

Despite that data, here’s my theory: part of the increasing volatility in baby names is due to conversations like this one. The parents agree on Olive for their daughter’s name, but they’re seriously considering using something else for fear that Olive is going to become too popular. I think Anna gives her excellent advice, and some low-key encouragement to use Olive anyhow. But if we’re thinking this way, that means that we’re discarding names as “too popular” before they’re even popular. All of this crystal-ball gazing pushes us towards more and more unusual names, and growing diversity in given names.

And three in a row from an article in The Atlatnic about the names of NPR reporters

1:

But perhaps no reporter’s name is more beloved than Sylvia Poggioli, NPR’s Italian correspondent. Sylvia has had a cow in Cambodia named after her, and a restaurant in Salem, Oregon. “Every time Sylvia says her name,” the restaurateur said, “I envision Italy, I see and smell good food.”

2:

Neda Ulaby’s first name means “dew” and is fairly common in Syria. (“It’s also the name of the heroine of an opera called Pagliacci who is literally killed by a clown,” she told me over email.)

[…]

A few years ago, a pair of hardcore NPR listeners invited Neda Ulaby to their wedding, sending along a picture of their car’s license plate, which reads “OOLABEE.” “Apparently they’d developed the creepy habit of referring to each other as ‘my little Ulaby.’ So I became a mating call,” she explained.

3:

Robert Smith of Planet Money told me by email that the only reason to change his name “would be so that I could be more famous. You would remember it better if I ended by reports with, ‘I’m Mobius Tutti.'” But at the same time, he says, “I’m in this business to tell other people’s stories, and not to promote myself or my own name. Being a Robert Smith is always a good reminder that you aren’t that different than the people you cover.”