How popular is the baby name Darth in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Darth and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Darth.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Darth

Number of Babies Named Darth

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Darth

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.


My 10 Favorite Uniquely ’70s Baby Names

70s baby names (willona vs darth)

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!

  1. Darth. The baby name Darth, inspired by movie villain Darth Vader, debuted on the baby name charts in 1977.
  2. Travolta. The baby name Travolta, inspired by actor John Travolta, debuted on the baby name charts in 1978.
  3. Shaft. The baby name Shaft, inspired by movie character Shaft, debuted on the baby name charts in 1971.
  4. Willona. The baby name Willona, inspired by TV character Willona Woods, debuted on the baby name charts in 1974.
  5. Jorel. The baby name Jorel, inspired by movie character Jor-El, debuted on the baby name charts in 1979.
  6. Rhiannon. The baby name Rhiannon, popularized by Fleetwood Mac song “Rhiannon,” debuted on the baby name charts in 1974.
  7. Starsky & Hutch. The baby names Starsky and Hutch, inspired by the TV show Starsky & Hutch, both debuted on the baby name charts in 1975.
  8. Comaneci. The baby name Comaneci, inspired by gymnast Nadia Comaneci, debuted on the baby name charts in 1976.
  9. Uhura. The baby name Uhura, inspired by TV character Lt. Uhura, debuted on the baby name charts in 1971.
  10. 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.

Note: Updated in March of 2015.

The Baby Name Shaft – Can You Dig It?

shaft movie poster“They say this cat Shaft is a bad mother…shut your mouth!”

I doubted the existence of the baby name Shaft at first. Same as I doubted Rambo, and MacGyver, and Darth.

“For real? Babies named Shaft? I don’t think so.”

After all that I’ve seen, though, I don’t know why I still bother doubting.

Babies have indeed been named Shaft. Dozens of babies, in fact.

The baby name Shaft debuted on the SSA’s list in 1971, the same year the movie Shaft was released:

  • 1975: 7 baby boys named Shaft
  • 1974: 9 baby boys named Shaft
  • 1973: 16 baby boys named Shaft
  • 1972: 31 baby boys named Shaft
  • 1971: 22 baby boys named Shaft [debut]
  • 1970: unlisted

And did you know Shaft had sequels? Shaft’s Big Score in 1972 and Shaft in Africa in 1973. In all three movies, private detective John Shaft was played by actor Richard Roundtree.

I’ve found other ’70s baby names inspired by blaxploitation films, but none are as shocking as Shaft. They include Coffy, Foxy and Sheba, inspired by the Pam Grier movies Coffy (1973), Foxy Brown (1974) and Sheba, Baby (1975).

How Many Babies Were Named After Darth Vader?

Darth Vader photoI’m sure you knew that Star Wars gave a boost to the baby names Luke and Leia. But did you know that it also influenced a handful of parents to name their babies Darth?

Yup, Darth. As in Darth Vader. As in the Jedi-gone-bad who was the main antagonist of the original Star Wars trilogy.

The first Star Wars film was released in 1977, and that’s the year we start seeing baby Darths pop up:

  • 1980: unlisted
  • 1979: 7 baby boys named Darth
  • 1978: 13 baby boys named Darth
  • 1977: 9 baby boys named Darth [debut]
  • 1976: unlisted

But the Force wasn’t strong with this one. The name Darth didn’t stay on the SSA’s baby name the list long enough to see the release of the second film, The Empire Strikes Back, in 1980.

So where does the word Darth come from? It’s a title used by a number Sith Lords in the fictional Star Wars universe. Whoever wrote the Darth Vader’s Wiktionary page is guessing that Darth is a blend of “dark” and either “Sith” or “death,” but only George Lucas knows for sure how the word was concocted.

P.S. Did you know that vader means “father” in various Germanic languages?