In 1984, both Nasiya and Laken debuted on the SSA’s baby name list with 19 baby girls.
Laken, inspired by Santa Barbara, went on to reach the top 1,000 for a 6-year stretch in the 1990s.
Nasiya, on the other hand, never really gained traction.
1986: 5 baby girls named Nasiya
1985: 5 baby girls named Nasiya
1984: 19 baby girls named Nasiya [debut]
This may have been because it was inspired not by a popular soap opera, but by a little girl who was only in the news for a matter of months before slipping into obscurity again.
Nasiya Jobe, a 5-year-old long distance runner from Richmond, California, started making headlines in 1984.
She was on the cover of Jet in June. At that time, she held eight national records for her age group.
In mid-July, various U.S. newspapers ran a photo of Nasiya being passed the Olympic Torch at the start of her 1-kilometer leg of the relay between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
She appeared once more in Jet, twice in Ebony Jr!, and also in other publications. She even appeared on several TV programs, including Good Morning, America.
In a lengthy Sports Illustrated article that September, Nasiya’s father Darrell explained that her name was pronounced NAS-ee-yuh and meant “child of God” in Hebrew. (I can’t find any proof of this.)
SI also mentioned that “[s]he currently holds nine national age-group records and has two more pending for distances ranging from 400 (1:50.5) to 15,000 meters (1:17:56).”
Nasiya turned 6 that November.
The following year, she was profiled by People Magazine in January and Weekly World News in April. WWN mentioned that she was up to 11 national records at that point.
And then…nothing. She seems to disappear. Did she stop doing media appearances/interviews? Did she stop running altogether? I don’t know.
But at least one of her records still stands: her half-marathon time of 1:51:31, which she set at the age of 5 years and 328 days, remains a World Single-Age Record for women according to the Association of Road Racing Statisticians.
Cheers, D. Michael. “Nasiya Jobe: Five-Year-Old Girl Sets National Track and Road Records.” Jet 4 Jun. 1984: 46-49.
On Thanksgiving last year, the Washington Redskins played the Dallas Cowboys.
Before the game, Emmanuel Vega (a Redskins fan) and Marissa Pena (a Cowboys fan) made a bet. Marissa was pregnant with the Tuscon couple’s first child, so if the Cowboys won, she would get to choose the baby’s name. If the Redskins won, Emmanuel would choose the name.
Each of them was granted one veto; Vega nixed “Emmitt Vega,” and Pena said no to “Darrell Green Vega.” They each chose again; Vega went with “Robert Griffin Vega,” and Pena chose “Austin Miles Vega,” after her favorite active player.
(Robert Lee Griffin III, known as RG3, is a Redskins quarterback; Miles Jonathon Austin III is a Cowboys wide receiver.)
“I was second-guessing the whole time, like, What am I thinking?” Vega recalled. “If she’s gonna name him after a Cowboys player, there’s no doubt he would be a Cowboys fan. My son, as a Cowboys fan? I might have to disown him.”
But Vega’s Redskins ended up defeating Pena’s Cowboys, 38 to 31. So when the couple’s baby boy arrives in mid-April, they plan to name him Robert Griffin Vega. And nickname him RGV.
A reader named Laurie is trying to find a name for her baby boy:
I am white, my boyfriend is black. […] The problem is he does not want a “ghetto” baby name, but I don’t want a plain old “Matt or Jeff” name. He seems to be stuck on the name Martell but it reminds me of the name Martin…I hate it. He has now said he wants the name to end in -tell, as in “Dontell” (his brother). I am not creative enough to think of any names that end in -tell, please help me.
I couldn’t come up with many -tell names, either. But there are plenty of names that end with an L-sound, such as: