How popular is the baby name Ikea 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 Ikea.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Ikea


Posts that Mention the Name Ikea

Interesting One-Hit Wonder Baby Names

They came, they went, and they never came back!

These baby names are one-hit wonders in the U.S. baby name data. That is, they’ve only popped up once, ever, in the entire dataset of U.S. baby names (which accounts for all names given to at least 5 U.S. babies per year since 1880).

There are thousands of one-hit wonders in the dataset, but the names below have interesting stories behind their single appearance, so these are the one-hits I’m writing specific posts about. Just click on a name to read more. (Names that aren’t links yet have posts coming soon!)

1890s

1900s

  • (none yet)

1910s

1920s

1930s

1940s

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

2010s

2020s

  • (none yet)

As I discover (and write about) more one-hit wonders in the data, I’ll add names/links to this page. In the meanwhile, do you have any favorite one-hit wonder baby names?

P.S. If this content looks familiar, that’s because you’ve seen it before! I’ve just put it in a new spot. :)

Baby Named for Shopping Mall

We’ve seen English babies named for a bingo hall, a shoe store, a fish and chip shop, another fish and chip shop, an Indian restaurant…and now we have one named after a shopping mall.

On October 9, Kim Leighton of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, gave birth outside her family’s flat, which is quite close to the Eden shopping centre. Close enough, in fact, that the birth was recorded on the mall’s CCTV cameras.

The baby girl was named Leanne Eden — middle name for the mall.

Source: Lucky it wasn’t Ikea! Mother names her baby after Eden shopping centre following surprise labour outside stores

P.S. I love how the title of the news story contains a quip about Ikea. The author must not know Ikea has been used as a baby name for decades now.

The Baby Name Atari

atari

Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Asteroids…if you grew up in the 1980s, you know all about Atari.

But you might not realize that, at the height of the video game console’s popularity, dozens of U.S. babies were actually named Atari:

  • 1983: 5 baby boys named Atari
  • 1982: 16 baby boys and 11 baby girls named Atari
  • 1981: 13 baby boys and 7 baby girls named Atari
  • 1980: 10 baby boys and 12 baby girls named Atari
  • 1979: 10 baby boys named Atari [debut]
  • 1978: unlisted

The console name comes from the Japanese word atari, which is used in the board came go in the same way “check” and “checkmate” are used in chess–as a warning to one’s opponent that he/she is in imminent danger of capture.

The baby name Atari dropped off the SSA’s baby name list after 1983, but has recently returned:

  • 2011: 8 baby boys named Atari
  • […]
  • 2009: 8 baby boys and 6 baby girls named Atari
  • 2008: 9 baby boys named Atari
  • […]
  • 2006: 5 baby girls named Atari

Pop culture names typically don’t disappear and then reappear decades later, but the explanation in this case is simple: sports. Football player Atari Bigby (b. 1981) — who claims he wasn’t named for the video game console — made his NFL debut in late 2005.

Where did the baby name Ikea come from?

ikea

In May of 2002, Linda Dagless of the UK welcomed her fourth baby girl. Inspired by an advertisement for the furniture company Ikea, she decided to name the baby Ikea.

The name was so unusual that it made headlines:

At the time, she told her local paper in Norwich: “I was pregnant, sitting on the sofa with my boyfriend and trying to think of a name for the little girl I was going to have when I noticed the Ikea advert.

“I saw the name Ikea and thought it would make a nice name for my baby.

“I have seen the Ikea adverts on the telly and in magazines and thought they always had nice furniture, but I’ve never been to the shop. I’m now planning to go there with my mum.

The name Ikea has been just as unusual in the U.S., at least over the last decade:

  • 2013: unlisted
  • 2012: 5 baby girls named Ikea
  • […]
  • 2007: 5 baby girls named Ikea
  • 2006: 8 baby girls named Ikea
  • 2005: 8 baby girls named Ikea
  • 2004: 7 baby girls named Ikea
  • 2003: 6 baby girls named Ikea
  • 2002: 6 baby girls named Ikea
  • 2001: unlisted
  • 2000: 6 baby girls named Ikea

If you go back a bit further, though, this is what you’ll see:

  • 1999: 14 baby girls named Ikea
  • 1998: 18 baby girls named Ikea
  • 1997: 20 baby girls named Ikea
  • 1996: 23 babies named Ikea
  • 1995: 29 baby girls named Ikea
  • 1994: 33 baby girls named Ikea
  • 1993: 31 baby girls named Ikea
  • 1992: 43 baby girls named Ikea
  • 1991: 45 baby girls named Ikea
  • 1990: 65 baby girls named Ikea
  • 1989: 72 baby girls and 9 baby boys named Ikea
  • 1988: 27 baby girls named Ikea
  • 1987: 44 baby girls named Ikea
  • 1986: 30 baby girls named Ikea
  • 1985: 35 baby girls named Ikea [debut]
  • 1984: unlisted

Nearly 600 babies in the U.S. have been named Ikea (and dozens more named Ikeia and other spelling variants) since the name first popped up on the SSA’s baby name list in 1985. This is the year the Swedish company — whose name is an acronym for Ingvar Kamprad (the founder), Elmtaryd (his childhood homestead), Agunnaryd (his hometown) — opened its first store in the U.S.

Even more interesting is the spread of the baby name Ikea across America, following Ikea store openings:

1985
First Ikea opens near Philadelphia, PA.
35 baby girls named Ikea: 25 in PA, 7 in NJ.

1986
Second Ikea opens near Washington, D.C. (in Virginia).
30 baby girls named Ikea: 10 in D.C., 9 in PA, 6 in VA.

1987
No new Ikea stores.
44 baby girls named Ikea: 12 in D.C., 9 in PA, 7 in NJ, 5 in MD.

1988
Third Ikea opens near Baltimore, MD.
27 baby girls named Ikea: 8 in MD, 6 in PA.

1989
Fourth Ikea opens near Pittsburgh, PA.
72 baby girls named Ikea: 19 in MD, 7 in NC, 6 in PA, 6 in MI.
9 baby boys named Ikea: 7 in D.C.

1990
Fifth and sixth Ikeas open near Los Angeles and new New York City (in New Jersey).
65 baby girls named Ikea: 14 in MD, 7 in LA, 7 in PA, 5 in NJ. (Ikea appears on the state lists for both California and New York during the ’90s.)

Usage of the baby name Ikea tapered off after 1990, perhaps because most Americans were aware that “Ikea” was the name of a furniture store by that point.

Have you ever met a person named Ikea?

Sources: A child called Ikea: Myth or reality?, The Store That Runs on a Wrench, How Ikea Became America’s Furniture-Selling Powerhouse
Image: IKEA Singapore by Calvin Teo under CC BY-SA 2.5.

Sweden Bans the Baby Name Allah

The Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) has decided that a two-month-old boy from Skåne may not be named Allah. It ruled that “the name can be seen as objectionable for religious reasons.”

Skatteverket representative Lars Tegenfelt stated: “God or Allah or the Devil is offensive to the public. Not me personally, but there are religious people who think so.” He added, “Some religious names though, like Jesus, are normal.”

The parents of (the baby formerly known as) Allah do not plan to appeal the decision.

Other controversial baby names that Swedish parents have tried to sneak past the Skatteverket include:

  • Elvis, for a girl (rejected)
  • Google, for a boy (accepted)
  • Ikea, for a boy (rejected)
  • Lego, for a boy (rejected, later accepted)
  • Metallica, for a girl (rejected, later accepted)
  • Michael Jackson, for a girl (rejected)
  • Q, for a boy (rejected, later accepted)
  • X, for a boy (rejected)

Source: Parents refused right to name son Allah