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

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 also saw increased usage after Skyrim came out. This could have been inspired by the character Jordis the Sword-Maiden…or, 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).

Baby Named Tali’Zorah for Video Game Character

A baby girl born in North Carolina in early January was named Tali’Zorah (full first name) after a character in the video game Mass Effect.

Tali’Zorah’s father, Adam, said the name was his wife’s idea:

“I was playing the first Mass Effect while she enjoyed it as a spectator, and she fell in love with the name ‘Tali’Zorah’ the instant we met the Quarian being hunted by Fist.

“She told me back then, ‘If we ever have a daughter, I’d love to name her Tali’Zorah,'” Adam said. “It just sounds so beautiful.”

Is he worried Tali’Zorah might be teased about her unusual name?

“Kids will pick on other kids, whether it’s for a name, their hair, or their clothes, so the best I can do is to teach her how to treat people with respect and how to handle those who refuse to do the same.”

Good answer.

What do you think of the name Tali’Zorah? (Her middle name is Rose, btw.)

Source: This Baby’s Name Comes From Mass Effect, and Grandma is Thrilled

Other video game baby names: Dovahkiin, Kain, Kairi, Raiden, Rinoa, Zelda. Not Turok, though.

Top Baby Girl Name Debuts of 2012

Katniss and Daenerys have arrived, you guys! Time to start the party.

The debut name party, that is.

Here are the girl names that debuted the highest on the SSA’s 2012 baby name list:

  1. Kimbella, 52 baby girls
  2. Catalaya, 51
  3. Cattaleya, 45
  4. Daleyza, 41
  5. Aaradhya, 38
  6. Catalia, 34
  7. Katalaya, 32
  8. Katalia, 26
  9. Kattleya, 26
  10. Aayat, 23
  11. Karliah, 23
  12. Daenerys, 21
  13. Catalea, 20
  14. Iviona, 19
  15. Itzae, 18
  16. Kataleah, 17
  17. Kattaleya, 17
  18. Katalea, 16
  19. Nirvi, 15
  20. Brely, 14
  21. Merliah, 14
  22. Aamilah, 13
  23. Anabrenda, 13
  24. Carliana, 13
  25. Kinsler, 13
  26. Lynnley, 13
  27. Abishai, 12
  28. Adylee, 12
  29. Ahri, 12
  30. Brenlynn, 12
  31. Drayah, 12
  32. Jeiza, 12
  33. Katalayah, 12
  34. Kathaleya, 12
  35. Katniss, 12
  36. Sebella, 12
  37. Analeyah, 11
  38. Aubreelynn, 11
  39. Cataleyah, 11
  40. Cateleya, 11
  41. Ireoluwa, 11
  42. Jonier, 11
  43. Nahyla, 11
  44. Noomi, 11
  45. Payzlie, 11
  46. Renesmae, 11
  47. Yandy, 11

And a selection from the 10-babies-and-under group: Scarlettrose, Eevee, Venba, Eponine, Swayzi, Anemone, Aoibheann, Hunnie, Kambreigh, Mlak, Paislyn, Paislynn, Paizly, Parizoda, Adn, Alanoud, Annabellelee, Ayoola, Bellaluna, Callalily, Cataliyah, Catilaya, Catileya, Cymphonique, Eilonwy, Ellyot, Fiore, Goodness, Hannabella, Heartlynn, Inchara, Kymbella, Myjoy, Pfeiffer, Renezmae, Sorella, Timberlynn.

Where do the names above come from?

Here are some likely explanations:

  • Aaradhya – from the daughter of Indian actress Aishwarya Rai. The baby was born in late 2011, but not named until early 2012.
  • Catalaya, Cattaleya, Catalia, Katalaya, Katalia, etc. – variants of Cataleya, which debuted last year. (And which now happens to be skyrocketing in popularity.) Cataleya was a character in the movie Columbiana (2011).
  • Daenerys – from “Game of Thrones” character Daenerys Targaryen. (Last year’s fifth-highest debut was her title, Khaleesi.)
  • Eponine – from Les Miserables character Eponine Thenardier.
  • Karliah – from a character in the video game Skyrim. (Another Skyrim name we’ve seen used as a baby name is Dovahkiin.)
  • Katniss – from Hunger Games character Katniss Everdeen.
  • Kimbella, Kymbella – from reality show “Love & Hip Hop” cast member Kimberly “Kimbella” Vanderhee.
  • Merliah – from Barbie in A Mermaid Tale 2 (2012) character Merliah Summers.
  • Noomi – from Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, who was in the 2011 movies The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.
  • Pfeiffer – from Michelle Pfeiffer…?
  • Renesmae, Renezmae – variants of Renesmee, which debuted in 2009. Renesmee is a character in the Twilight series.
  • Sebella – from the daughter of Puerto Rican actress Roselyn Sanchez. The baby was born in early 2012.
  • Yandy – from reality show “Love & Hip Hop” cast member Yandy Smith.

Can you come up with explanations for any of the others?

P.S. Here’s last year’s debut list.