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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Jamal

Number of Babies Named Jamal

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Jamal

Men with “Black” Names Seen as Aggressive, Low Status

According to a study published recently in Evolution and Human Behavior, men with black-sounding names “are thought to be larger and more dangerous” than men with white-sounding names.

The study involved more than 1,500 participants, most of whom were white. After reading three different vignettes (“neutral,” “successful,” “threatening”) that featured characters with either stereotypically white-sounding or stereotypically black-sounding names, the participants were asked to describe the characters.

The study…found that men with black-sounding names, such as Jamal, DeShawn, or Darnell, were assumed to be physically larger, more aggressive, and lower in status, compared to men with white-sounding names such as Connor, Wyatt, or Garnett.

The lead author of the study, Colin Holbrook, said via press release: “I’ve never been so disgusted by my own data.” He also called the results disturbing. I agree…though I don’t find them particularly surprising.

Source: Baby Names 2015: ‘Black’-sounding Names Usually Met With Prejudice, Assumed To Be Large, Dangerous People [Study]

Empire Baby Name Predictions – Cookie? Jussie?

Cookie, Empire

The first season of hit drama Empire aired from January through March of this year.

The show’s audience grew bigger and bigger with each successive episode (no small feat!) and the first-season finale was the most successful of “any new series on any broadcast network” since the first-season finale of Grey’s Anatomy back in 2005.

I think the show — which will be back on the air with new episodes in September — could have a big impact on baby names in 2015. Some Empire names to keep an eye on:

  • Taraji, for actress Taraji P. Henson.
  • Cookie, for character Cookie Lyon. This name was last on the SSA’s list in the early 1990s, but the character is giving the name Cookie a whole new image, so…will it be back in 2015?
  • Lyon, for the family surname.
  • Lucious, for character Lucious Lyon. It gets a fraction of the usage that Lucius gets, but could this character change that?
  • Lola, for character Lola Lyon. Not a major character, but extremely adorable — and when it comes to names, that’s sometimes all that matters.
  • Trai, for actor Trai Byers.

And three names that might debut on the SSA’a list in 2015…

  • Bryshere, for actor Bryshere Y. Gray.
  • Jussie, for actor Jussie Smollett. Smollett has been in and out the spotlight for a long time now, and his name has never made the list, but maybe this will change in 2015. (His character, Jamal, is probably the most likable person on the show.)
  • Empire, for the show itself. This one might seem improbable, but I wouldn’t count it out as similar names (e.g., King, Kingdom, Emperor, Sire, Sovereign) do exist.

What are your thoughts on the names in Empire? Did I miss any good ones?

Sources: Empire – Wikipedia, ‘Empire’ strikes back as season’s hottest show, ‘Empire’ Finale Ratings Rise Even More, Best New Series Result In 10 Years – Update

P.S. Actor Terrence Howard, who plays Lucious, recently welcomed a son named Qirin. The name was derived from qilin, the name of a mythical Chinese creature.

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.


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?

My 10 Favorite Uniquely ’80s Baby Names

80s baby names

Love baby names? Love the ’80s? Then you’ll love this list!

Out of the nearly 12,000 baby names that debuted on the charts from 1980 to 1989 (inclusive), here are 10 that are particularly symbolic of the ’80s.

All 10 are legit baby names straight from the SSA’s lists!

  1. MacGyver. The baby name MacGyver, inspired by TV character Angus MacGyver, debuted on the baby name charts in 1989.
  2. Rambo. The baby name Rambo, inspired by movie character John Rambo, debuted on the baby name charts in 1984.
  3. Cheetara. The baby name Cheetara, inspired by ThunderCats character Cheetara, debuted on the baby name charts in 1985.
  4. DeLorean. The baby name DeLorean, inspired by the car, debuted on the baby name charts in 1982.
  5. Cetera. The baby name Cetera, inspired by singer Peter Cetera, debuted on the baby name charts in 1987.
  6. Malcolmjamal. The baby name Malcolmjamal, inspired by Cosby Show actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner, debuted on the baby name charts in 1986.
  7. Atreyu. The baby name Atreyu, inspired by the NeverEnding Story character Atreyu, debuted on the baby name charts in 1985.
  8. Martika. The baby name Martika, inspired by singer Martika, debuted on the baby name charts in 1986.
  9. Luka. The baby name Luka, inspired by the song “Luka” by Suzanne Vega, debuted as a girl name on the baby name charts in 1987.
  10. Jareth. The baby name Jareth, inspired by the Labyrinth character Jareth, debuted on the baby name charts in 1986.

Runners-up: Axl, Enya, Jeanluc, Jordache, Roxette, Wrangler.

Do YOU have any favorite ’80s baby names?

P.S. Here are my 10 favorite uniquely ’70s and ’90s baby names.

Note: Updated in March of 2015.

Egyptian Baby Girl Named Facebook

A man in Egypt has named his newborn daughter Facebook to commemorate the social network’s role in bringing about the recent Egyptian Revolution — “the revolution that started on Facebook,” according to Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram.

The baby girl’s full name is Facebook Jamal Ibrahim.

Sources: Report: Egyptian dad names child ‘Facebook’, To Celebrate The #Jan25 Revolution, Egyptian Names His Firstborn “Facebook”

Baby Name Needed – Name for Biracial Baby Boy

A reader named Laurie is trying to find a name for her baby boy:

I am white, my boyfriend is black. […] The problem is he does not want a “ghetto” baby name, but I don’t want a plain old “Matt or Jeff” name. He seems to be stuck on the name Martell but it reminds me of the name Martin…I hate it. He has now said he wants the name to end in -tell, as in “Dontell” (his brother). I am not creative enough to think of any names that end in -tell, please help me.

I couldn’t come up with many -tell names, either. But there are plenty of names that end with an L-sound, such as:


Do any of you have other name suggestions or advice for Laurie?