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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Erika

Number of Babies Named Erika

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Erika

Cosby Show Baby Names – Vanessa, Keshia, Phylicia…

cosby showRemember The Cosby Show?

The ground-breaking ’80s sitcom focused on the Huxtables, a well-off African-American family living in New York City. It starred Bill Cosby as Heathcliff “Cliff” Huxtable.

The show ran from mid-1984 to mid-1992 and was the top-rated program in the nation for 5 consecutive seasons.

And it influenced a whole bunch of baby names, such as…

Vanessa & Tempestt

Vanessa, the second-youngest Huxtable child, was played by Tempestt Bledsoe. The baby name Vanessa saw its highest-ever levels of usage during the years the show was on:

  • 1989: 6,955 baby girls named Vanessa (ranked 50th)
  • 1988: 7,515 baby girls named Vanessa (ranked 41st)
  • 1987: 7,345 baby girls named Vanessa (ranked 43rd)
  • 1986: 7,367 baby girls named Vanessa (ranked 43rd)
  • 1985: 7,562 baby girls named Vanessa (ranked 42nd)
  • 1984: 7,153 baby girls named Vanessa (ranked 45th)
  • 1983: 6,383 baby girls named Vanessa (ranked 49th)

And the baby name Tempestt debuted on the charts the year after the show premiered:

  • 1990: 70 baby girls named Tempestt
  • 1989: 98 baby girls named Tempestt
  • 1988: 72 baby girls named Tempestt
  • 1987: 87 baby girls named Tempestt
  • 1986: 78 baby girls named Tempestt
  • 1985: 36 baby girls named Tempestt [debut]
  • 1984: unlisted
  • 1983: unlisted

The name Tempest also got a boost during the last half of the ’80s.

Rudy & Keshia

Rudith “Rudy” Huxtable, the baby of the family, was played by Keshia Knight Pulliam. The baby name Keshia entered the top 1,000 for the very first time the year after the show premiered:

  • 1990: 385 baby girls named Keshia (ranked 594th)
  • 1989: 496 baby girls named Keshia (ranked 479th)
  • 1988: 398 baby girls named Keshia (ranked 547th)
  • 1987: 483 baby girls named Keshia (ranked 457th)
  • 1986: 511 baby girls named Keshia (ranked 426th)
  • 1985: 321 baby girls named Keshia (ranked 596th)
  • 1984: 96 baby girls named Keshia
  • 1983: 64 baby girls named Keshia

The name Rudy also rose in usage, and the variant spelling Rudi debuted on the charts in 1985.

Phylicia

Huxtable mother Clair was played by actress Phylicia Rashād. The baby name Phylicia entered the top 1,000 for the first time two years after the show premiered:

  • 1990: 257 baby girls named Phylicia (ranked 787th)
  • 1989: 265 baby girls named Phylicia (ranked 744th)
  • 1988: 286 baby girls named Phylicia (ranked 679th)
  • 1987: 290 baby girls named Phylicia (ranked 649th)
  • 1986: 213 baby girls named Phylicia (ranked 789th)
  • 1985: 122 baby girls named Phylicia
  • 1984: 13 baby girls named Phylicia
  • 1983: 7 baby girls named Phylicia

Theo & Malcolm-Jamal

Theo, the middle Huxtable child (and the only male in the family besides Cliff) was played by Malcolm-Jamal Warner. The baby name Theo almost tripled in usage the year after the show premiered:

  • 1990: 66 baby boys named Theo
  • 1989: 75 baby boys named Theo
  • 1988: 77 baby boys named Theo
  • 1987: 75 baby boys named Theo
  • 1986: 85 baby boys named Theo
  • 1985: 76 baby boys named Theo
  • 1984: 23 baby boys named Theo
  • 1983: 26 baby boys named Theo

Usage of the baby name Malcolm also began to rise in the mid-’80s, and the baby name Malcolm-Jamal (rendered Malcolmjamal by the SSA, which leaves off hyphens) debuted on the baby name charts two years after the show premiered:

  • 1990: unlisted
  • 1989: unlisted
  • 1988: 5 baby boys named Malcolm-Jamal
  • 1987: unlisted
  • 1986: 5 baby boys named Malcolm-Jamal [debut]
  • 1985: unlisted
  • 1984: unlisted
  • 1983: unlisted

(Where did actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner get his name, btw? He was named after civil rights activist Malcolm X and jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal.)

So now here’s the question: Does The Cosby Show beat Family Ties in terms of impact on the baby name charts? Cosby clearly affected a greater number of names, but is that enough to offset the massive rises of both Mallory and Alex?

P.S. Did you know that Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa and Rudy Huxtable were loosely based on Cosby’s real-life kids Erika, Erinn, Ennis, Ensa, Evin?


Baby Name Battle – Erika, Erinn, Ensa, Evin

bill cosbyBetween 1965 and 1976, Bill Cosby and his wife Camille had 5 children:

  1. Erika (daughter)
  2. Erinn (daughter)
  3. Ennis (son)
  4. Ensa (daughter)
  5. Evin (daughter)

Asked why he begins every child’s name with the letter “E”, Cosby replies that it stands for “excellence in performance.”

Which of Cosby’s daughters’ names do you like best?

I like:

View Results

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Source: “Cosby is Happy Father of New Baby Girl.” Jet 16 Sep 1976: 58.

Will the Baby Name Toby Be Getting a Boost?

The Disney sitcom Good Luck Charlie has been popularizing the baby name Charlie for girls. Will it now have a similar influence on the baby name Toby?

In December of 2011, Disney announced that the family in the sitcom would be welcoming a fifth child. Fans were given a 2-week window in which to vote for their favorite baby name via the show’s official webpage. These were the choices:

Bo
Bobby Jr.
Jonah
Noah
Toby
Erika
Jenny
Mallory
Sydney
Talia

The baby, a boy, arrived during the episode that aired on June 24, 2012. He was born in an ice cream truck and given the name Toby (which had received nearly 26 million votes).

Usage of the baby name Toby has been declining in the US lately:

  • 2007: 457 baby boys, 51 baby girls with the name Toby
  • 2008: 439 baby boys, 52 baby girls with the name Toby
  • 2009: 396 baby boys, 56 baby girls with the name Toby
  • 2010: 356 baby boys, 50 baby girls with the name Toby
  • 2011: 289 baby boys, 60 baby girls with the name Toby

Do you think the popular sitcom could turn this trend around?

Baby Names that Became Less Popular in 2011

The SSA has re-ordered the top 500 (or so) most popular baby names by rank change. According to these lists, the boy and girl names that decreased the most in terms of rank from 2010 to 2011 were these:

Girl names:

  1. Brisa, -343 (464th to 807th)
  2. Dana, -147 (463rd to 610th)
  3. Desiree, -121 (473rd to 594th)
  4. Denise, -114 (489th to 603rd)
  5. Kimora, -109 (498th to 607th)
  6. Brenda, -104 (426th to 530th)
  7. Erika, -103 (429th to 532nd)
  8. Miley, -99 (217th to 316th)
  9. Danna, -98 (267th to 365th)
  10. Janiya, -91 (448th to 539th)

Boy names:

  1. Brett, -119 (389th to 508th)
  2. Jamarion, -112 (475th to 587th)
  3. Shaun, -105 (483rd to 588th)
  4. Jaydon, -100 (492nd to 592nd)
  5. Nickolas, -86 (465th to 551st)
  6. Brenden, -81 (382nd to 463rd)
  7. Davion, -76 (474th to 550th)
  8. Braiden, -76 (468th to 544th)
  9. Salvador, -75 (457th to 532nd)
  10. Braeden, -67 (409th to 476th)

To know which names fell the most overall, check out my follow-up posts Biggest Changes in Girl Name Popularity, 2011 and Biggest Changes in Boy Name Popularity, 2011.

How to Find a Boy Name that Won’t Become a Girl Name

Are there any boy names out there that aren’t at risk of becoming girl names?

This may not be the answer you want to hear, but: nope. There’s simply no way to guarantee that a boy name won’t suddenly become trendy for girls. (A movie mermaid was all it took for the name Madison — a name with the word “son” right in there — to become a girl name.)

No boy names are girl-proof, but some are certainly girl-resistant. Which ones? Here are five types I’ve come up with:

1. Boy names with unstylish elements, such as “bert” and “stan.” If a boy name isn’t fashionable enough to be popular for boys, it shouldn’t be too tempting to use for girls either.

Albert
Archibald
Bernard
Bertrand
Donald
Irwin
Gilbert
Leopold
Maynard
Rudolph
Stanford
Woodrow

2. Boy names with few vowels. They tend to sound more masculine than other names.

Bryant
Chad
Charles
Clark
Desmond
Grant
Kenneth
Mark
Ralph
Scott
Seth
Trent

3. Boy names with length. Most of today’s popular unisex names stop at two syllables.

Abraham
Alexander
Augustine
Balthazar
Benedict
Barnaby
Benjamin
Emmanuel
Ferdinand
Mortimer
Reginald
Sylvester

4. Boy names with hard endings, such as D, K and T. Many of the boy names being used by girls end with softer consonants like L, N and R.

Bennett
Caleb
Conrad
Craig
Derek
Emmett
Garrick
Isaac
Jared
Patrick
Stuart
Wyatt

5. Boy names with well-known feminine forms. If there’s a readily available girl-version, doesn’t it seem silly to use the masculine form for a female?

Brian (Brianna)
Carl (Carla)
Erik (Erika)
Gerald (Geraldine)
George (Georgia)
Henry (Henrietta)
Joseph (Josephine)
Martin (Martina)
Paul (Paula)
Robert (Roberta)
Theodore (Theodora)
Victor (Victoria)

As I mentioned, there’s never a guarantee. (A female Scrubs character is named Elliot — will that be the next to go? How about Blake, thanks to Blake Lively?) But I think boy names that fit into the above categories are relatively safe bets.

Are there any other types of names you’d add to the list?

Baby Name Needed – Name for Kai’s Little Sister

A reader named Anna would like a few baby name suggestions:

I’m expecting my second child, a girl, in April, and she’ll be half-English and half-Japanese. We already have a son named Kai, and we are trying to find a name that, like Kai’s, sounds good in both languages.

So far, they’ve come up with Sara, Ema, Naomi and Maya.

My first thought was to look for Japanese names that resemble familiar English names. Here’s what I found:

  • Ami, which looks like a variant of Amy.
  • Emi, which looks like a nickname for Emily or Emma.
  • Erika, which happens to match Erika.
  • Hana, which looks like a streamlined version of Hannah.
  • Kimi, which looks like it’s based on Kim.
  • Mari, Mariko, Marika and similar names containing Mari-, which is close to Mary.
  • Marina, which starts with Mari- and also happens to match Marina.
  • Megumi, which could be shortened to Meg.
  • Miki, which looks like a feminized version of Mickey.
  • Noa, which looks like the male name Noah…though there is a female in the Bible with the H-less version.
  • Suzu, Suzume, Suzuna, and other Su- names that could be shortened to Sue or Susie.

English names that are stylistically similar to Japanese names might also work well. Names like Mara, Nora, Dara, Dora, Tara, Tori and Una fit the pattern, for instance.

What other names can you come up with for Anna?

Huge List of Anagram Baby Names

anagram baby names

Looking for baby names with something in common? Perhaps for a set of twins or triplets? I’ve collected hundreds of anagram baby names for you.

2-Letter Anagram Baby Names

3-Letter Anagram Baby Names

4-Letter Anagram Baby Names

5-Letter Anagram Baby Names

6-Letter Anagram Baby Names

7-Letter Anagram Baby Names

8-Letter Anagram Baby Names

9-Letter Anagram Baby Names

10-Letter Anagram Baby Names

If you like the idea of anagrams but want to avoid sound-alike sets, I recommend anagrams with different numbers of syllables. Pairs like “Etta and Tate” and “Clay and Lacy” are a far more subtle than pairs like “Enzo and Zeno” and “Mary and Myra.”

(Here are some palindromic names from last month.)