How popular is the baby name Atari 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 Atari.
Atreyu and his horse, Artax
The fantasy novel
Die unendliche Geschichte by Michael Ende was first published in Germany in 1979.
For the English translation of the book, and for the film adaptation that followed, the title was changed to
The Neverending Story.
One of the story’s main characters was the warrior Atreyu (originally spelled Atréju) who fought against the Nothing for the survival of Fantasia.
In 1985, a year after the movie came out, the
baby name Atreyu appeared on the SSA’s baby name list for the very first time:
1987: unlisted 1986: 5 baby boys named Atreyu 1985: 5 baby boys named Atreyu [debut] 1984: unlisted
The name dropped off the list after 1986, but returned in 1991, and it’s been on ever since.
In fact, it’s doing far better now than ever before:
2013: 117 baby boys named Atreyu [rank: 1,409th] 2012: 122 baby boys named Atreyu [rank: 1,371st] 2011: 125 baby boys named Atreyu [rank: 1,344th] 2010: 130 baby boys named Atreyu [rank: 1,310th] 2009: 103 baby boys named Atreyu [rank: 1,572nd] 2008: 114 baby boys named Atreyu [rank: 1,446th]
Atari, another pop culture-invented baby name, has had a similar trajectory: on the list, off the list, then back again decades later.
I’d say both names have managed to outlive the things that inspired them originally.
Image: Warner Brothers, via
Did you know that the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) first went on sale in North America just over 27 years ago?
I didn’t, until
Mental Floss told me.
This, of course, made me wonder if any U.S. babies born in the last 27 years had been named Nintendo.
Nintendo has never popped up on the SSA’s baby name list, like
Atari has, but that doesn’t mean it’s never been used.
The verdict? I found a single baby named Nintendo: a baby boy born in California on July 27, 1991, and named Caprice Nintendo Love.
Now the question is: Is he the only one?
[Another NES-related post:
Baby Named for Princess Zelda]
NES – Controllers by vermegrigio
Love 1970s pop culture? Love names? Then check out this list!
Out of the more than 12,000 baby names that debuted on the charts during the ’70s, here are 10 (well, 11) that are particularly symbolic of the decade. All are legit baby names!
Darth. The baby name Darth, inspired by movie villain Darth Vader, debuted on the baby name charts in 1977.
Travolta. The baby name Travolta, inspired by actor John Travolta, debuted on the baby name charts in 1978.
Shaft. The baby name Shaft, inspired by movie character Shaft, debuted on the baby name charts in 1971.
Willona. The baby name Willona, inspired by TV character Willona Woods, debuted on the baby name charts in 1974.
Jorel. The baby name Jorel, inspired by movie character Jor-El, debuted on the baby name charts in 1979.
Rhiannon. The baby name Rhiannon, popularized by Fleetwood Mac song “Rhiannon,” debuted on the baby name charts in 1974.
Starsky & Hutch. The baby names Starsky and Hutch, inspired by the TV show Starsky & Hutch, both debuted on the baby name charts in 1975.
Comaneci. The baby name Comaneci, inspired by gymnast Nadia Comaneci, debuted on the baby name charts in 1976.
Uhura. The baby name Uhura, inspired by TV character Lt. Uhura, debuted on the baby name charts in 1971.
Atari. The baby name Atari, inspired by the Atari game console, debuted on the boys’ side of the baby name charts in 1979. (This one’s actually a borderline case, as it debuted for girls in 1980.)
Not-very-honorable mention goes to my
least favorite uniquely ’70s name, Yarnell. She’s the mime lady who haunts my dreams…
Do YOU have any favorite ’70s baby names?
P.S. Here are my 10 favorite uniquely
’80s and ’90s baby names.
Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Asteroids…if you grew up in the 1980s, you know all about Atari.
But you might not realize that, at the height of the video game console’s popularity, dozens of U.S. babies were actually named Atari:
1983: 5 baby boys named Atari 1982: 16 baby boys and 11 baby girls named Atari 1981: 13 baby boys and 7 baby girls named Atari 1980: 10 baby boys and 12 baby girls named Atari 1979: 10 baby boys named Atari [debut] 1978: unlisted
The console name comes from the Japanese word
atari, which is used in the board came go in the same way “check” and “checkmate” are used in chess–as a warning to one’s opponent that he/she is in imminent danger of capture.
baby name Atari dropped off the SSA’s baby name list after 1983, but has recently returned:
2011: 8 baby boys named Atari […] 2009: 8 baby boys and 6 baby girls named Atari 2008: 9 baby boys named Atari […] 2006: 5 baby girls named Atari
Pop culture names typically don’t disappear and then reappear decades later, but the explanation in this case is simple: sports. Football player
Atari Bigby (b. 1981) — who claims he wasn’t named for the video game console — made his NFL debut in late 2005.