How popular is the baby name Dovahkiin 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 Dovahkiin.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Dovahkiin


Posts that Mention the Name Dovahkiin

Popular and Unique Baby Names in Iowa, 2017 & 2018

iowa state seal, iowa baby names,

I publish a set of name rankings every week, but I don’t post many U.S. state-released rankings anymore. Why? Because the SSA’s yearly dataset always includes a state-by-state breakdown, and the SSA’s data tends to be basically equivalent to what each state releases.

Except for…Iowa! I totally forgot last year to check up on Iowa, the only state I know of to release full sets of baby name data. (Bravo, Iowa!) The last Iowa rankings I posted were for 2016, so, in this post, to catch up, I’ll be covering two years at once.

First up, 2017.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, the most popular baby names in the state in 2017 were Emma and Oliver.

Here are Iowa’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names, 2017

  1. Emma, 175 baby girls
  2. Harper, 172
  3. Olivia, 168
  4. Evelyn, 158
  5. Charlotte, 157
  6. Ava, 139
  7. Amelia & Nora, tied, 127 each
  8. Sophia, 94
  9. Scarlett, 92
  10. Elizabeth, 90

Boy Names, 2017

  1. Oliver, 219 baby boys
  2. Henry, 181
  3. Liam, 179
  4. Lincoln, 160
  5. William, 155
  6. Owen & Wyatt, tied, 151 each
  7. Noah, 135
  8. James, 129
  9. Logan, 124
  10. Benjamin, 118

In the girls’ top 10, Scarlett and Elizabeth replace Addison and Grace. (The SSA’s data for 2017 was similar, but had Harper in first place.)

In the boys’ top 10, James and Logan replace Jackson.

And here are some of the names bestowed just once in Iowa in 2017:

Unique Girl Names, 2017Unique Boy Names, 2017
Adelheid Brunnhilde, Bergamot, Chancelline, Dellaveene, Exaucee Nitocris, Focus, Graxceldie, Hawthorne, Ixamara, Jeggsley, Kalaivani, Lahpoe, MellowBelle, Nyantut, Onolinne, Prairie, Quebella, Rieslyn, Shelter, Tracieux, Vjosa, Wave, Yatzlimar, Zealie-MarieAknowlegde, Bray Ole, Carefree, Dovahkiin, Essolabina, Frantzley, Gamachis, Helgenberger, Igneous, JayDrek, Kellz, Lyrics, Mattavion, Nimalan, Oracle, Power, Quintelle, Rinidi, Salix, Thwin, Vindrix, Wattney, Yaeger, Zollie

Possible explanations/associations for a few of the above:

Now, on to 2018…

The most popular baby names in the state in 2018 were Evelyn and Oliver. Here are Iowa’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2018:

Girl Names, 2018

  1. Evelyn, 167 baby girls
  2. Harper, 158
  3. Charlotte, 155
  4. Emma, 153
  5. Olivia, 142
  6. Amelia, 126
  7. Ava, 119
  8. Sophia, 113
  9. Nora, 106
  10. Isabella, 103

Boy Names, 2018

  1. Oliver, 183 baby boys
  2. Henry, 176
  3. Liam, 174
  4. William, 170
  5. Owen, 161
  6. Wyatt, 143
  7. Noah, 137
  8. Lincoln, 130
  9. Jackson, 124
  10. Hudson, 120

In the girls’ top 10, Isabella replaces Scarlett and Elizabeth. (Yet again: the SSA’s rankings were similar, but had Harper in first place.)

In the boys’ top 10, Jackson and Hudson replace James, Logan, and Benjamin.

And here are some of the names bestowed just once in Iowa in 2018:

Unique Girl Names, 2018Unique Boy Names, 2018
Avocent, Brklyn, Currence, Dacheline, Ever-After, Frisquette, Granuaile, Hallow, Izanami, Jariahlexa, Kelaviene, Lotus Lou, Mighty, Neshbly, Opry, Plu, Qori, Rexha, Samadhi, Tamber, Ventica, Wildly, Ylsy, Ziggy-GreyActs Gabriel, Braveheart, Corvinus, Drinian, Evenir, Flynnigan, Gypsum, Him-Henry, Isidore, Jongroor, Kipden, Liamko, Mastajabu, Nuke, Ordie, Paddington, Questan, Rolex, Safe Haven, Thrusher, Vhett, Wrecker, Ychiari, Zallard

Possible explanations/associations for some of the above:

I posted even more of Iowa’s unique baby names — for both 2017 and 2018 — over on Patreon, if you’re interested.

Sources: Top Baby Names – Iowa Public Health Tracking Portal, frisquette – Wiktionary

Baby Names from Elder Scrolls: Serana, Tamriel, Jagar…

Jagar Tharn, from the video came Arena (1994)
Jagar Tharn from the game Arena (1994)

Elder Scrolls video games have been coming out since the mid-1990s — initially on MS-DOS, then on Windows and Xbox/Playstation, and now online as an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game). The games are set in open worlds and involve free-form gameplay.

The complete Elder Scrolls series is made up of more than two dozen games, but so far there have been only five primary releases:

  1. The Elder Scrolls: Arena (1994)
  2. The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall (1996)
  3. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2002)
  4. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006)
  5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) – featuring Dovahkiin

These elaborate games involve a multitude of characters. I’ve done my best to figure out which ones were the most memorable/important, and then to cross-check their names with baby names in the SSA data. Here’s what I’ve come across so far. I’ll start with the debuts…

The baby name Serana debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 2014.
  • The name Jagar debuted in the data in 1994. The game Arena featured the character Jagar Tharn (pictured above), who was the main antagonist.
  • The name Kanen also debuted in 1994. The game Arena featured the character Kanen the Wise.
  • The name Karliah debuted in 2012. The game Skyrim featured the character Karliah.
  • The name Serana debuted in 2014. The Skyrim add-on Dawnguard (2012) featured the character Serana (pictured at right), who was a vampire.
  • The name Tamriel debuted in 2015. (And it’s a one-hit wonder so far.) Though it sounds Biblical with that -iel ending, Tamriel is actually the continent upon which all Elder Scroll games are set.
  • The name Alduin debuted in 2016. (It’s also a one-hit wonder so far.) The game Skyrim featured the dragon character Alduin, who was the main antagonist.
  • The name Lynly also debuted in 2016. The game Skyrim featured the character Lynly Star-Sung, who was a barmaid.
  • The name Alisanne debuted in 2017. The character Alisanne Dupre (a “Listener”) was mentioned in Skyrim, but was featured in the online game The Elder Scrolls: Legends (2017).

And now a couple of rises…

  • The name Aela saw increased usage after the release of Skyrim, which featured the character Aela the Huntress, who was a werewolf.
  • The name Jordis saw increased usage after Skyrim came out, and this could have been inspired by the character Jordis the Sword-Maiden…or, perhaps more likely, by the appearance of singer Jordis Unga on the second season of The Voice.

For all the Elder Scrolls players out there: What other characters might have had an influence on names? Which character names should I check?

Sources: The Elder Scrolls – Wikipedia, Elder Scrolls – Characters by Game

Baby Names from Classic Arcade Games?

baby names, arcade games

Potential baby names may be hiding in the titles of classic arcade games of the ’80s and early ’90s. No, I’m not talking Q*Bert or Pac-Man. But how about Azurian, Zaviga, or Cadash?

Below are a bunch of possibilities, most not even as daring as Dovahkiin, Tali’Zorah, or Sephiroth. Three of them — Kage, Raiden, and Truxton — have already popped up in the SSA data. (And if you’re in the mood to play, click through to check out playable versions of the games hosted by the Internet Archive!)

  • Amidar (1981)
    • “Amidar” is based on Amidakuji (the name of a Japanese game) which is based on Amida (the name of a figure in East Asian Buddhism).
  • Bosconian (1981)
  • Zarzon (1981)
  • Azurian, from Azurian Attack (1982)
  • Zaxxon (1982)
  • Zektor (1982)
  • Cavelon (1983)
  • Ixion (1983)
  • Regulus (1983)
  • Xevious, from Super Xevious (1983)
  • Zaviga (1984)
  • Kage (“kah-gay”), from Legend of Kage (1985)
  • Rygar (1986)
  • Gryzor (1987)
  • Sauro (1987)
  • Ordyne (1988)
  • Syvalion (1988)
  • Truxton (1988)
  • Xenon (1988)
  • Cadash (1989)
  • Dyger (1989)
  • Sagaia (1989)
  • Tonma, from Legend of Hero Tonma (1989)
    • “Tonma” is translated to “Tommy” within the game, interestingly.
  • Xyonix (1989)
  • Aurail (1990)
  • Raiden (1990)
    • “Raiden” was used again a couple of years later in the original Mortal Kombat.
  • Trigon (1990)
  • Solvalou (1991), one of several Xevious sequels
  • Vimana (1991)
    • “Vimana” is a Sanskrit word that refers to a flying palace or chariot in Hindu mythology.

I half-expect to see Zaxxon on the charts soon, now that Jaxon and Jaxxon are trendy and variants like Maxxon and Daxxon have emerged.

Cortana: Another Video Game Baby Name

Cortana
Cortana in Halo 3

A couple of months ago, I noticed the name Cortana in a birth announcement round-up over at Waltzing More Than Matilda. After reading that post, I realized we hadn’t talked about the name Cortana over here yet. :)

The baby name Cortana first appeared on the U.S. baby name charts in 2008, thanks to the character Cortana from the video game Halo.

  • 2013: 21 baby girls named Cortana
  • 2012: 10 baby girls named Cortana
  • 2011: 10 baby girls named Cortana
  • 2010: 10 baby girls named Cortana
  • 2009: 7 baby girls named Cortana
  • 2008: 12 baby girls named Cortana [debut]
  • 2007: unlisted

Wait a minute, you’re thinking. Didn’t the first Halo come out long before 2008?

Yes — the first installment came out in 2001, and Cortana has been a part of the series since the beginning.

But she began playing a larger role in the game starting with Halo 3, which came out in 2007. This is what accounts for the 2008 debut.

Cortana’s name is thought to refer to a type of short, blunt sword more commonly known as a ‘curtana’ (from the Latin word curtus, meaning “shortened”).

Want to see some other video game baby names? Here are Dovahkiin, Kain, Kairi, Raiden, Rinoa and Tali’Zorah.

UPDATE: Professional namer Nancy Friedman happened to post about the name Cortana today as well: How Cortana Got Its Name (about Microsoft’s intelligent personal assistant for Windows Phone 8.1, Cortana).