How popular is the baby name Cheetara 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 Cheetara.
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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]
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.
The 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.
I’m on a cartoon kick now. I’ve only posted about Pebbles and Cheetara so far, but there are indeed other cartoon-inspired baby names out there. And Aeon is one of them.
The name Aeon [pron. EE-on] was invented for the character Æon Flux, who was first featured on MTV’s Liquid Television in 1991. Æon Flux became a stand-alone show in 1995. That’s when we first start seeing the name on the Social Security Administration’s official baby name list:
1999: 6 baby girls named Aeon
1997: 5 baby boys named Aeon
1996: 7 baby girls named Aeon
1995: 6 baby boys named Aeon [debut]
Notice that both boys and girls were named Aeon. Interesting, isn’t it? The reason may be that the character, while female, wasn’t exactly feminine. She was an assassin who “dressed like a dominatrix” and “always managed to rack up an astonishingly high body count,” according to MTV’s description of the series. The show itself was dark, gritty, violent, sexual…definitely not something you’d see in the Saturday morning line-up.
The name Aeon didn’t make the SSA’s list again until 2006, after the release of the not-very-well-received live-action Æon Flux movie in late 2005.
2006 – 11 baby girls & 6 baby boys named Aeon
2007 – 5 baby boys named Aeon
2008 – 6 baby girls & 8 baby boys named Aeon
2009 – 7 baby girls named Aeon
Do you think we’ll see more baby Aeons on the 2010 list?