How popular is the baby name Benji 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 Benji.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Benji


Posts that Mention the Name Benji

Pop Culture Baby Name Game, 2020

Happy birthday, Elvis!

It’s hard to put into words just how bizarre 2020 was.

Despite this…people still had babies in 2020, and people still paid attention to pop culture in 2020. (In fact, thanks to quarantine, many people probably paid a lot more attention to pop culture than usual last year.) So, let’s put the seriousness of 2020 aside for a second and kick off the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game!

Of course, “pop culture” includes not just things like movies and music and social media, but also anything that was in the news — including COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, and the U.S. presidential election.

Which baby names will see higher usage — or appear for the very first time — in the 2020 SSA baby name data thanks to pop culture?

Here are some initial ideas (plus some context):

  • Aalam, DJ Khaled’s baby
  • Ahmaud, shooting of Ahmaud Arbery
  • Amala, Doja Cat album
  • Azula, character from Avatar: The Last Airbender (made available on Netflix in mid-2020)
  • Breonna, shooting of Breonna Taylor
  • Bryant, death of Kobe Bryant
  • Casme, contestant on season 19 of The Voice
  • Catori, Chris Brown’s baby (suggested by alex)
  • Chadwick, death of Chadwick Boseman
  • Charli, singer Charli XCX
  • Corona, coronavirus
    • Not to mention the brand new Daddy Yankee song “Corona” [vid]…
  • Crozier, naval captain Brett Crozier (suggested by elbowin)
  • Daisy, Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom’s baby
  • Desz, contestant on season 19 of The Voice
  • Doja, singer Doja Cat
  • Domhnall, Irish actor on (canceled) HBO series Run
  • Dua, singer Dua Lipa
  • Esty, character on the Netflix miniseries Unorthodox
  • George, killing of George Floyd
  • Gianna, death of Gianna Bryant
  • Greta, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg
  • Isaias, hurricane
  • Jack, death of Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s unborn baby
  • Kamala, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris
  • Kamiyah, character in the Lifetime movie Stolen by My Mother: The Kamiyah Mobley Story*
  • Kaori, Kevin Hart’s baby
  • Katara, character from Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • Kobe, death of Kobe Bryant
  • Kraken, NHL expansion team (Seattle)
  • Larriah, contestant on season 19 of The Voice
  • Laura, hurricane
  • Lenin, Starbucks barista Lenin Gutierrez (suggested by elbowin)
  • Liberty, Meghan McCain’s baby
  • Lovella, singer Matt Bellamy’s baby
  • Lynika, death of Lynika Strozier (suggested by elbowin)
  • Lyra, Ed Sheeran’s baby
  • McGivney, beatification of Fr. Michael McGivney
  • Neowise, comet (suggested by elbowin)
  • Onyx, Iggy Azalea’s baby
  • Raddix, Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden’s baby
  • Rayshard, shooting of Rayshard Brooks
  • River, Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara’s baby
  • Robinette, President-elect Joseph Robinette Biden (suggested by elbowin)
  • Rona, coronavirus
  • Rue, Teyana Taylor and Iman Shumpert’s baby
  • Rumble, model Lucky Blue Smith’s baby
  • Ruth, death of RBG
  • Sovereign, Usher’s baby
  • Tchalla, death of Chadwick Boseman (who played T’Challa in 2018’s Black Panther)
  • Wenliang, Chinese doctor Li Wenliang (suggested by elbowin)
  • Willa, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner’s baby
  • Win, Ciara and Russell Wilson’s baby
  • Yara, actress Yara Shahidi
  • Zuko, character from Avatar: The Last Airbender (here’s one Zuko from 2020)

Some of the names from the 2019 game could be applicable to the 2020 data as well.

Also, feel free to zoom out and consider name trends this year. Here are a few ways in which baby-naming may have been influenced by our collective experience of COVID-19, for instance:

  • “In my opinion this unprecedented situation will affect naming towards something “bolder” or “more badass” baby names and so you’ll probably see a spike of certain names like King, Major or Royal.” (Gheba)
  • “I’d bet on the rise of virtue names, or at least modern version of virtue names, like Brave/Bravery, Courage, Honor, etc. And I’d say names like Legend, Messiah, Legacy, Major, King, will probably rise some more too.” (Skizzo)
  • “I think it will also affect which media influence names this year. Eg we’ll miss out on names inspired by Olympic athletes, but might see even more from Netflix and YouTube.” (Clare)

What other names (or name trends) should we add to the list? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Just remember to make a note of the pop culture influence!

I’ll post the results as soon as I can after the SSA releases the 2020 data (in May of 2021, hopefully).

*Did you know that the actress who played Kamiyah in that Lifetime movie is named Rayven Symone Ferrell? Certainly a nod to Raven-Symoné

Names in the News: Arrow, Burrow, Winter

Some recent and not-so-recent baby names from the news…

Alam: DJ Khaled’s second baby boy, born in January of 2020, was named Alam* (SheKnows). At the 2020 Grammys, where he co-won the award for Best Rap/Sung Performance, DJ Khaled announced both the birth and the name:

I just had a new baby boy a week ago. His name is Alam. It means “the world” in Arabic.

Arrow: A baby boy born in Missouri on a recent Super Bowl Sunday was named Arrow after Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs (KCTV). In light of the fact that Arrow was born with a congenital heart defect that ultimately required a heart transplant, his mother had this to say about his name:

His name has been so fitting for his journey and everything he’s been through. I think we couldn’t have chosen a better name for him and his life. […] I’ve had people tell me an arrow must be pulled back before it can be launched, and I think about that a lot. He’s had a lot of things that have pulled him back but he’s being launched into his future and it’s going to be a very beautiful future.

Burrow: A baby boy born in Louisiana in January of 2020 was named William Burrow McKnight, middle name in honor of LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (TigerDroppings.com).

Raddix: Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden’s first child, a baby girl born in December of 2019, was named Raddix Chloe Wildflower Madden. (The Blast). Here’s what Cameron posted on Instagram:

Happy New Year from the Maddens! We are so happy, blessed and grateful to begin this new decade by announcing the birth of our daughter, Raddix Madden. […] While we are overjoyed to share this news, we also feel a strong desire to protect our little one’s privacy. So we won’t be posting pictures or sharing any more details, other than the fact that she is really, really cute!! Some would even say RAD:)

Winter & Winter: The first baby born in the Fredericksburg, Virginia, region in 2020 was a baby girl named Winter Wren Kagarise. The second 2020 Fredericksburg baby was a boy who was also named Winter: Winter Gael Aparicio. (Fredericksburg.com — thank you Ellyn for the link!)

*Not “Another One” as I had hoped. ;)

[For more names in the news, check out the name news category.]

Invented Surname: Wojin

Successful entrepreneurs Sergey Brin (Google) and Anne Wojcicki (23andMe) were married from 2007 to 2015. During that time they had two children, a son and a daughter.

They named the kids Benji and Chloe, but that’s not all — they also gave the kids a brand new surname: Wojin, a combination of Wojcicki (which is pronounced wo-JIT-skee) and Brin. According to a Gawker tipster, the surname had been created “for security reasons.”

Do you know of any families with invented/blended surnames?

Source: Meet the kids of the world’s richest tech billionaires, Google Founder Sacrifices Son, Last Shreds of Integrity to Science

Name Quotes for the Weekend #39

Quote from Uzo Aduba's mother on the name Uzoamaka

From “The Eyes Have It,” an interview with Orange Is the New Black actress Uzoamaka “Uzo” Aduba, who was asked whether she ever considered changing her name:

When I started as an actor? No, and I’ll tell you why. I had already gone through that. My family is from Nigeria, and my full name is Uzoamaka, which means “The road is good.” Quick lesson: My tribe is Igbo, and you name your kid something that tells your history and hopefully predicts your future. So anyway, in grade school, because my last name started with an A, I was the first in roll call, and nobody ever knew how to pronounce it. So I went home and asked my mother if I could be called Zoe. I remember she was cooking, and in her Nigerian accent she said, “Why?” I said, “Nobody can pronounce it.” Without missing a beat, she said, “If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka.”

(There’s a Tchaikovsky in Brazil.)

From an article about a woman named Cinderella in the Irish Independent:

“I’d been living as Eva my whole life until I found out my name was Evangeline Cinderella. Of course this was the most amazing news as a seven year old girl and unfortunately I told everybody. I’ve paid for it ever since. People have always remembered,” she said.

From the essay “The name shame of Axl, Anakin, Arya…” by Gene Weingarten (via Name News):

To consult this list [the SSA’s Change in Popularity list] is to dip your toe into the fetid waters of cheesy celebrity worship. Consider this: One of the skyrocketing names is … “Anakin.” Yes, people are giving their baby boys a name invented specifically to sound non-human, for a character in another galaxy far, far away, one who grows up to become Darth Vader, an evil overlord who wants to enslave the universe. (There have been plenty of Darths, too.)

(Here’s more on Darth.)

From the video “Instrument: Celeste” featuring keyboardist Elizabeth Burley of the Philharmonia Orchestra of London:

I’ve got a celeste here today to show you how that works. As you’ll see it looks a little bit like an upright piano, but it’s actually a lot different. Although it’s operated by a keyboard, inside, instead of strings, it’s a set of…metal chime bars. They’re suspended over wooden resonating boxes, and when I press a key, a hammer hits the chime bar to make the sound, like on a piano the hammer would hit the string. The name celeste…it’s a French name meaning “heavenly,” and it does make a very heavenly sound, as you’ll hear.

From a blog post about electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire at Open Culture:

With her buttoned-up style, work with the UN, and name like a plucky character in a certain English wizard series, Delia Derbyshire may not seem a likely pioneer of experimental electronic music.

From the blog post “What’s in a Name?” by theology professor/social activist Rev. Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre:

Today, no one calls me Brother Mike. Nonetheless, if the first act of liberation is self naming, why do I still insist on spelling my surname the way those who had power over me taught me? I have no doubt the reader is probably wondering what’s the big deal? Just spell my name correctly. What they fail to recognize is the power of the colonizing process, and the difficulty to reclaim identity. So as I tag my name to my liberationist works I am reminded with each upper case letter how far I still need to go to claim my own liberation. The struggle, la lucha, continues, even in the letters of my name.

From the article “What Your Conference Room Names Say About Your Company Culture” by Ekaterina Walter:

At Sprinklr, our conference rooms are named after the company’s values. Honesty, Passion, Perseverance, Humility, Character, Courage, and Integrity are just some of the names you will encounter. My personal favorites are Awesomeness and 1+1=3. When I asked our founder, Ragy Thomas, why the leadership team chose to name conference rooms in this way, he said: “It would be kind of hard to be arrogant in a room named Humility, wouldn’t it? Or give up in a room named Perseverance, don’t you think?”

From the New York Times article “Jens and Vita, but Molli? Danes Favor Common Names” (2004) about Denmark’s Law on Personal Names, which was “initially designed to bring order to surnames”:

Then in the 1960’s, a furor erupted over the first name Tessa, which resembled tisse, which means to urinate in Danish. Distressed over the lack of direction in the law, the Danish government expanded the statute to grapple with first names. Now the law is as long as an average-size book.

Among the baby names rejected in Denmark: Anus, Pluto, and Monkey. Among those accepted: Leica, Benji, Jiminico, and Fee.

Want more quotes? Here’s the name quotes category.

Popular Baby Names in Northern Ireland, 2014

According to data from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), the most popular baby names in Northern Ireland in 2014 were Emily and Jack.

Here are NI’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2014:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emily, 261 baby girls
2. Grace, 189
3. Sophie, 180
4. Amelia, 175
5. Ella, 172
6. Olivia, 152
7. Anna, 150
8. Lucy, 149
9. Sophia, 148
10. Eva, 146
1. Jack, 285 baby boys
2. James, 276
3. Daniel, 236
4. Charlie, 224
5. Harry, 193
6. Noah, 190
7. Oliver, 155
8. Ethan, 153
9. Jacob, 148
10. Thomas, 147

Olivia and Eva replace Aoife and Jessica in the girls’ top 10.

Thomas replaces Matthew in the boys’ top 10.

Two names that made big jumps into the top 100 were Kian (171st to 78th) and Aria (218th to 89th).

Finally, here are some of the unusual names that were given to only 1 or 2 babies in Northern Ireland last year:

Girl Names Boy Names
Aoifrie, Cobhlaith, Cuisle, Deirbhile, Enfys, Ermioni, Ezraelle, Flossie-Bo, Ionagh, Ionela, Labhaoise, Loveday, Maoiliosa, Maureen-Nevaeh, Narbflaith, Rimgaile, Saorfhlaith, Saylor-Doll, Tsz, Vogue, Zinifer Aodh, Benji-Beau, Caoilte, Cavani, Connlaoth, Davog, Dualta, Epaphroditus, Feidhlim, Goldberg, Grantas, Jecstonio, Jeef, Kal-El, Laochra, Laoghaire, Mjtba, Peanut, Seachlann, Stanex, Theo-Thaddeus, Tucgan

Earlier rankings for Northern Ireland: 2013, 2012, 2007, 2006.

Sources: NISRA – Demography, Most popular NI baby names for 2014 are Jack and Emily