How popular is the baby name Jeff 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 Jeff.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Jeff


Posts that Mention the Name Jeff

Numerology & Baby Names: Number 9

baby names that add up to 9, numerologically

Here are hundreds of baby names that have a numerological value of “9.”

I’ve sub-categorized them by overall totals, because I think that some of the intermediate numbers could have special significance to people as well.

Within each group, I’ve listed up to ten of the most popular “9” names per gender (according to the current U.S. rankings).

Beneath all the names are some ways you could interpret the numerological value of “9,” including descriptions from two different numerological systems.

9

The following baby names add up to 9.

  • “9” boy names: Ace, Ed

9 via 18

The following baby names add up to 18, which reduces to nine (1+8=9).

  • “18” girl names: Lea, Ela, Gaia, Acacia, Addi, Naba, Bana, Anab, Dacia, Febe
  • “18” boy names: Can, Jag, Bao, Aban, Acie, Edi, Ale

9 via 27

The following baby names add up to 27, which reduces to nine (2+7=9).

  • “27” girl names: Leia, Aleah, Alma, Aya, Chana, Adele, Dalia, Elia, Amal, Emi
  • “27” boy names: Caden, Jake, Ahmad, Eddie, Koa, Cain, Cian, Jeff, Job, Angad

9 via 36

The following baby names add up to 36, which reduces to nine (3+6=9).

  • “36” girl names: Malia, Anika, Angie, Lina, Belle, Kiana, Erica, Halo, Maddie, Darla
  • “36” boy names: Chase, Reid, Caiden, Jay, Reece, Kase, Alden, Lian, Bilal, Kiaan

9 via 45

The following baby names add up to 45, which reduces to nine (4+5=9).

  • “45” girl names: Arya, Ariel, Remi, Fiona, Selah, Helena, Emelia, Kora, Briana, Emmie
  • “45” boy names: Elijah, Daniel, Cohen, Luka, Clark, Ty, Ariel, Enoch, Fox, Tadeo

9 via 54

The following baby names add up to 54, which reduces to nine (5+4=9).

  • “54” girl names: Bailey, Elliana, Alivia, Alayna, Regina, Carmen, Marlee, Zahra, Karina, Ariya
  • “54” boy names: Gabriel, Mateo, Gideon, Angelo, Devin, Gianni, Rocco, Kairo, Izaiah, Musa

9 via 63

The following baby names add up to 63, which reduces to nine (6+3=9).

  • “63” girl names: Brielle, Madeline, Noelle, Angelina, Olive, Miriam, Paris, Zariah, Fernanda, Hattie
  • “63” boy names: Matias, Emilio, Leonel, Nehemiah, Kylan, Roger, Jaziel, Otis, Caspian, Kaiser

9 via 72

The following baby names add up to 72, which reduces to nine (7+2=9).

  • “72” girl names: Aubrey, Sophie, Valerie, River, Magnolia, Mikayla, Jayleen, Holly, Everlee, Charley
  • “72” boy names: Cooper, River, Tanner, Darius, Mohammed, Jordy, Rocky, Dwayne, Kylian, Aubrey

9 via 81

The following baby names add up to 81, which reduces to nine (8+1=9).

  • “81” girl names: Brynlee, Vanessa, Jennifer, Malaysia, Tiffany, Xiomara, Sariyah, Tenley, Aubriella, Elisabeth
  • “81” boy names: Oliver, Hudson, Nicholas, Jamison, Lawrence, Samson, Nikolas, Rodney, Mustafa, Rogelio

9 via 90

The following baby names add up to 90, which reduces to nine (9+0=9).

  • “90” girl names: Autumn, Saylor, Skyler, Leighton, Evangelina, Bridgette, Paxton, Anderson, Kensleigh, Makinley
  • “90” boy names: Sebastian, Matthew, Theodore, Maxwell, Waylon, Paxton, Clayton, Anderson, Raymond, Skyler

9 via 99

The following baby names add up to 99, which reduces to nine (9+9=18; 1+8=9).

  • “99” girl names: Emersyn, Gracelynn, Priscilla, Grayson, Presleigh, Verity, Yoselin, Lillyann, Stormie, Jupiter
  • “99” boy names: Grayson, Cristobal, Rockwell, Kassius, Kingsten, Stuart, Jeronimo, Jupiter, Creighton, Coulson

9 via 108

The following baby names add up to 108, which reduces to nine (1+0+8=9).

  • “108” girl names: Journey, Roselyn, Violette, Rylynn, Emberlynn, Jacquelyn, Ellington, Stephany, Yatziri, Scotlyn
  • “108” boy names: Alessandro, Vincenzo, Cristiano, Journey, Fitzgerald, Truitt, Tyshaun, Courtland, Treshawn, Ellington

9 via 117

The following baby names add up to 117, which reduces to nine (1+1+7=9).

  • “117” girl names: Marguerite, Novalynn, Brookelyn, Zaylynn, Quinnley, Roslynn, Kynzleigh, Prestyn, Augustine, Krystina
  • “117” boy names: Augustine, Yitzchok, Maximillian, Trystan, Stockton, Treyton, Krystian, Prestyn, Shreyansh, Rustyn

9 via 126

The following baby names add up to 126, which reduces to nine (1+2+6=9).

  • “126” girl names: Brooklynn, Quinnlyn, Tennyson, Quinlynn, Stellarose, Marvelous, Veronique, Lillianrose
  • “126” boy names: Tennyson, Johnwilliam, Marvelous, Victoriano, Robertson, Royston, Artavious, Tavarious, Dionysus, Zygmunt

9 via 135

The following baby names add up to 135, which reduces to nine (1+3+5=9).

  • “135” girl names: Symphony, Kenzington, Syrenity, Sojourner
  • “135” boy names: Oluwadamilare, Thurston

9 via 144

The following baby names add up to 144, which reduces to nine (1+4+4=9).

  • “144” girl names: Yuritzy, Harleyquinn
  • “144” boy names: Constantino, Johnanthony, Oluwalonimi

9 via 153

The boy name Quintavius adds up to 153, which reduces to nine (1+5+3=9).

9 via 171

The following baby names add up to 171, which reduces to nine (1+7+1=9).

  • “171” girl names: Oluwatomisin
  • “171” boy names: Konstantinos, Oluwatimilehin

9 via 180

The unisex name Kamsiyochukwu adds up to 180, which reduces to nine (1+8+0=9).

What Does “9” Mean?

First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “9” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “9” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.

Numerological Attributes

“9” (the ennead) according to the Pythagoreans:

  • “It is by no means possible for there to subsist any number beyond the nine elementary numbers. Hence they called it ‘Oceanus’ and ‘horizon,’ because it encompasses both of these locations and has them within itself.”
  • “Because it does not allow the harmony of number to be dissipated beyond itself, but brings numbers together and makes them play in concert, it is called ‘concord’ and ‘limitation,’ and also ‘sun,’ in the sense that it gathers things together.”
  • “They also called it ‘Hyperion,’ because it has gone beyond all the other numbers as regards magnitude”
  • “The ennead is the first square based on an odd number. It too is called ‘that which brings completion,’ and it completes nine-month children, moreover, it is called ‘perfect,’ because it arises out of 3, which is a perfect number.”
  • “It was called ‘assimilation,’ perhaps because it is the first odd square”
  • “They used to call it […] ‘banisher’ because it prevents the voluntary progress of number; and ‘finishing-post’ because it has been organized as the goal and, as it were, turning-point of advancement.”

“9” according to Edgar Cayce:

  • “Nine – the change” (reading 261-14).
  • “Nine indicates strength and power, with a change” (reading 261-15).
  • “Nine making for the completeness in numbers; […] making for that termination in the forces in natural order of things that come as a change imminent in the life” (reading 5751-1).
  • “As to numbers, or numerology: We find that the number nine becomes as the entity’s force or influence, which may be seen in that whatever the entity begins it desires to finish. Everything must be in order. It is manifested in those tendencies for the expressions of orderliness, neatness. To be sure, nine – in its completeness, then – is a portion” (reading 1035-1).
Personal/Cultural Significance

Does “9” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 18, 63, 99, 144) — have any special significance to you?

Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. For example, maybe your favorite sport is golf, which has 18 holes per game.

Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.

If you have any interesting insights about the number 9, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!

Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).

Name Quotes #73: Kamilah, Alexa, Bob

Actress Jameela Jamil called "Kamilah Al-Jamil"
Actress Jameela Jamil labeled “Kamilah Al-Jamil” by E! News

The red carpet prank pulled on actress Jameela Jamil at the Golden Globes back in January:

Jameela Jamil’s name was spelled wrong on E! News during the red carpet show before the 76th annual Golden Globes.

In place of The Good Place star’s name, the network referenced a plot point from the show — that Jamil’s character, Tahani, is always outshined by her sister, Kamilah Al-Jamil.

Jamil herself was more than a good sport about the misnaming at the Globes. “This is legit the funniest thing I have ever seen,” the actress tweeted. “Tahani would DIE!”

From a New York Times article about parents allowing children to choose their own names:

Tiffany Towers, a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Beverly Hills, said she understands why parents may be agreeable to allowing their children to choose or change their names so readily.

It can be either an attempt to empower their children or to avoid the pressure of assigning a name to their offspring, Dr. Towers said. Perhaps the parents don’t want to feel responsible for their child being bullied for having a weird or old-fashioned name. Or maybe they believe that their child’s future will be shaped by this initial identity of a name (a name that the child didn’t request), and they fear that their child will resent them or feel oppressed by their name.

From an article that asks, “Where did all the Bobs in baseball go?

By the turn of the century, the Bob-to-Rob transition had been essentially complete. No Major Leaguer has gone by Bob since journeyman reliever Bob Howry retired in 2010. There are dozens of Robs, Robbys and Bobbys currently in the Minors working their way up the ladder, but no Bobs to be found.

Should social media influence your choice in baby names?

[E]xperts say consulting social media when naming your child — be it asking others about a name on Facebook, or using social media handles to inform a name — can be smart. “With the goal of not having your child get lost in the social shuffle and losing opportunities, it may be best to take a proactive social branding strategy or ‘self insurance’ from the very start of their life,” says Robb Hecht, an adjunct professor of marketing at Baruch College in New York City.

[…]

Others disagree: Lots of people have a social media handle that’s different from their name, so that shouldn’t be a factor in naming your child, says Kim Randall, the owner of KiMedia Strategies. Adds Kent Lewis, the president and founder of marketing firm Anvil: “A [social media] handle can be changed or modified over time, and typically isn’t as important as the content and visibility of the profile.”

From an article that attempts to calculate the ROI of Starbucks baristas spelling your name wrong:

How much free advertising has Starbucks got from the incorrect (and correct) spelling of their baristas? […] If we are to accept that people sharing images (especially with a brand name or @ mention) is the most valuable form of “free advertising” for Starbucks on social, the whole name spelling trend is working harder than the general conversation to generate it. […] If this is all a scheme by Starbucks to get free advertising on social media, it’s a very good one indeed.

A sentence from “A tale of two Trump sisters” (Ivanka and Tiffany) in the Telegraph:

One had her own jewellery line, the other was named after a jewellery brand.

From an article about the Cook Islands, which is considering a name change “to reflect its Polynesian heritage”:

The nation was named after British explorer James Cook who landed on the islands in the 1700s.

A committee is considering 60 options in Cook Islands Maori including Rangiaroa, meaning Love from the Heavens and Raroatua which translates as We Stand Under God.

Finally, two more quotes about people named Alexa. (The first was in Name Quotes 53.) One is about a woman in Saskatchewan named Alexa:

“(It’s) kind of weird sometimes when people come right up to me and say ‘Alexa, what’s the best restaurant in …’ or ‘Alexa, how do I get to …’ and they’re joking of course, but initially you’re kind of taken aback a bit that people are using it in that way,” [Alexa] Gorenko said.

[…]

As for Gorenko, she said the newfound prominence of her name has actually helped her embrace it.

“It kind of brought the name out to me, because there aren’t very many people named Alexa and now you hear it all the time,” she said.

The other is about a Maryland couple whose toddler is named Alexa:

The couple is so concerned that they wrote to Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, and proposed a different name to the popular device. Lew Klein said they did hear back.

Amazon explained to them that the product was named after the famous Library of Alexandria that “stored the knowledge of the ancient world.” While the message said the suggestion would be passed along, Amazon has no plans on changing the name anytime soon.

(This reminds me of the time when people named Zoe in France got angry about the name of the Renault Zoe.)

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.

Name Quotes #72: Meadow, Kamiyah, Tanveer

Time for another batch of name quotes!

From the book My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing, and Hope (2019) by Queer Eye co-star Karamo Brown:

“When we were preparing to shoot season 1, a curious crew member asked Tan why he didn’t go by his birth name. Tan replied, “Because when you google ‘Tanveer,’ only terrorists come up. It’s easier.” Now, I love Tan — and I know he is not ashamed of his Muslim or Pakastani heritage. […] I said, “Listen, you can be the one to change the public perception and image associated with your name. If our show is a success, when people google ‘Tanveer,’ they’ll see your positive image. It’s going to be someone who’s doing good in the world. Think of all the little boys who are feeling the same way you feel and how you can inspired them to have pride in their name.”

(Elsewhere in the book he talks about his own first and middle names, Karamo and Karega, which mean “educated” and “rebel” in Swahili.)

Thoughts on being named “Ginny Lindle” from an article about hard-to-pronounce names:

“My slimming club leader has been calling me Guinea – yes, as in guinea pig – for months now.

[…]

“It’s embarrassing and very awkward. I’ve often considered changing my first name so at least one of my names will not confuse people.

“I hold a fairly senior position but it’s hard to make a good first impression when people ask your name several times – usually with socially awkward laughter!”

Sigourney Weaver (born Susan Weaver) talks about her name in an interview with Esquire magazine:

I changed my name when I was about twelve because I didn’t like being called Sue or Susie. I felt I needed a longer name because I was so tall. So what happened? Now everyone calls me Sig or Siggy.

(In another interview, Signourney mentioned that she was nearly named Flavia.)

From a writer who regrets giving his son the middle name Flip:

In hindsight, I wish I’d given my son something a little more ordinary, that didn’t stand out quite so much. Or perhaps not given him a middle name. And sure, I could change it, but I doubt I will go that far. Maybe he will learn to love it. Maybe he will change it on his own someday. I don’t know.

For the most part, he doesn’t really notice his middle name and I’m grateful for that. But when it does come up, I do regret it.

A short item printed a century ago in a short-lived Chicago newspaper (The Day Book, 4 Feb., 1915, page 20):

The tango craze has reached another high notch, a new community in West Virginia being named Tango. Curiously enough there is not a resident who is familiar with the dance.

How Kamiyah Mobley — who was kidnapped at birth and raised under the name Alexis Manigo — deals with having two different names:

“My name tag at my job says Alexis. Kamiyah Mobley is on my paperwork. That’s who gets paid,” she said. “People that know me, call me Alexis. If you know me by Kamiyah – call me Kamiyah. I go by both.”

A name story from New York (from an article about unique baby names on Long Island):

My daughter’s name is Meadow Brooke. I was raised in Merrick, right off of the Meadowbrook Parkway, and my husband loved ‘The Sopranos’ (Meadow was the Sopranos’ daughter in the series). So we named our daughter after the show and the parkway I’ve driven my entire life. Her name means so much to us and only people in New York would understand the meaning behind it.

(The Sopranos began airing in early 1999. Usage of the name Meadow more than doubled that year, then more than tripled the next year. By 2001 it was in the top 1,000, and it’s been there ever since.)

From an essay about baby name obsession:

But like juice cleanses and shower sex, it turns out that naming a human might be more fun in theory than reality. Some people even get more into it after taking the pressure of parenthood out of the equation altogether. Seven years into her marriage, Amanda, 31, said she and her husband are “one hundred percent” sure they won’t have kids, but still chat about their top names. “It’s like online window shopping and then closing out all your tabs before you buy,” she quips.

About the Hmong-American 2019 Gerber Spokesbaby, Kairi [pronounced KY-ree]:

So, who is Kairi? According to her parents, the 15-month-old loves to play hide and seek and build forts with blankets. She has a spunky attitude and vibrant facial expressions. And she was named after a character from the video game Kingdom Hearts.

(According to Gerber, Kairi’s mother Ying went by “Kairi” as a nickname during high school.)

Finally, two quotes about the name of the latest royal baby, Archie. The first is from CNN:

Archie is an approachable, nicknamey, old-school sort of name. Guys like Archie don’t usually live in a palace. Archie is the buddy you go bowling with.

The second is from Esquire:

The royals aren’t known for being wild. A crazy day at Buckingham Palace is when a corgi goes rogue and barks at a pigeon. So when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle name their first born Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, that’s the royal equivalent of doing a line of cocaine in church.

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.

Contrarian Baby Names: Cliff, Janet, Steve, Wanda…

contrarian baby names, uncool baby names

“Everly” is hot…”Beverly” is not. It’s a one-letter difference between fashionable and fusty.

If you’re sensitive to style, you’ll prefer Everly. It fits with today’s trends far better than Beverly does.

But if you’re someone who isn’t concerned about style, or prefers to go against style, then you may not automatically go for Everly. In fact, you may be more attracted to Beverly because it’s the choice that most modern parents would avoid.

If you’ve ever thought about intentionally giving your baby a dated name (like Debbie, Grover, Marcia, or Vernon) for the sake of uniqueness within his/her peer group — if you have no problem sacrificing style for distinctiveness — then this list is for you.

Years ago, the concept of “contrarian” baby names came up in the comments of a post about Lois. Ever since then, creating a collection of uncool/contrarian baby names has been on my to-do list.

Finally, last month, I experimented with various formulas for pulling unstylish baby names out of the SSA dataset. Keeping the great-grandparent rule in mind, I aimed for names that would have been fashionable among the grandparents of today’s babies. The names below are the best results I got.

Contrarian Baby Names: Girls

Alberta
Anita
Ann
Annetta
Annette
Bambi
Becky
Benita
Bertha
Bessie
Beth
Betty
Beverley
Beverly
Blanche
Bobbie
Bobby
Bonita
Candy
Caren
Carlene
Carol
Carole
Cary
Caryn
Cathleen
Cathy
Charla
Charlene
Charmaine
Cheri
Cherie
Cheryl
Chris
Christi
Cindy
Claudette
Coleen
Colleen
Connie
Dale
Danette
Danita
Darlene
Dawn
Dawna
Deanne
Debbie
Debora
Debra
Deirdre
Delores
Denice
Denise
Diane
Dianna
Dianne
Dollie
Dolores
Dona
Donna
Doreen
Dori
Doris
Dorthy
Eddie
Edwina
Ernestine
Ethel
Gail
Gayle
Gena
Geralyn
Germaine
Gilda
Glenda
Glenna
Harriett
Jackie
Janet
Janice
Janis
Jayne
Jean
Jeanette
Jeanie
Jeanine
Jeanne
Jeannette
Jeannie
Jeannine
Jeri
Jerri
Jerry
Jill
Jimmie
Jo
Joan
Joann
Joanne
Jodi
Jody
Joellen
Joni
Juanita
Judi
Judy
Juli
Kandi
Karin
Kathie
Kathy
Kay
Kaye
Kerrie
Kerry
Kim
Kimberley
Kitty
Kris
Kristi
Ladonna
Laureen
Lauretta
Laurie
Lavonne
Lee
Leesa
Lois
Lorene
Lori
Lorie
Lorinda
Lorna
Lorraine
Lorrie
Lou
Louann
Lu
Luann
Luanne
Lucretia
Lupe
Lyn
Lynda
Lynn
Lynne
Madonna
Marcia
Marcy
Margie
Mariann
Marianne
Marla
Marsha
Maryjo
Maureen
Meg
Melba
Melinda
Melva
Michele
Migdalia
Mitzi
Myrna
Nanette
Nelda
Nicki
Nita
Norma
Pamela
Patrice
Patsy
Patti
Patty
Pauline
Peggy
Pennie
Phyllis
Randy
Reba
Rene
Rhonda
Rita
Robbie
Robbin
Roberta
Robin
Rochelle
Ronda
Rosanne
Roseann
Roxane
Roxann
Sandy
Saundra
Sharon
Sheila
Shelia
Shelley
Shelly
Sheri
Sherri
Sherry
Sheryl
Shirley
Sondra
Sue
Susanne
Suzan
Suzanne
Tammie
Tammy
Tena
Teri
Terri
Terry
Thelma
Theresa
Therese
Tina
Tonia
Tonya
Tracey
Traci
Tracie
Tracy
Treva
Trina
Trudy
Velma
Verna
Vicki
Vickie
Vicky
Wanda
Wendy
Willie
Wilma
Yolanda
Yvonne

Contrarian Baby Names: Boys

Adolph
Al
Alford
Alphonso
Arne
Arnie
Arnold
Artie
Barry
Barton
Bennie
Bernard
Bernie
Bert
Bill
Billie
Bob
Bobbie
Brad
Bradford
Brent
Bret
Britt
Bud
Buddy
Burl
Burt
Butch
Carey
Carleton
Carlton
Carmen
Carroll
Cary
Cecil
Chester
Chuck
Clarence
Claude
Cletus
Cleveland
Cliff
Clifford
Clifton
Columbus
Curt
Curtiss
Dale
Dan
Dana
Dannie
Darrel
Darryl
Daryl
Dave
Davie
Del
Delbert
Dell
Delmer
Denny
Derwin
Dewey
Dirk
Don
Donnie
Donny
Doug
Douglass
Doyle
Duane
Dudley
Duwayne
Dwain
Dwaine
Dwane
Dwight
Earl
Earnest
Ed
Edsel
Elbert
Ernie
Farrell
Floyd
Fred
Freddie
Fredric
Gale
Garland
Garry
Garth
Gene
Geoffrey
Gerard
Gerry
Gilbert
Glen
Glenn
Greg
Gregg
Greggory
Grover
Guy
Hal
Haywood
Herbert
Herman
Homer
Horace
Howell
Hubert
Irwin
Jackie
Jame
Jeff
Jefferey
Jeffry
Jerald
Jerold
Jess
Jim
Jimmie
Jodie
Jody
Johnie
Johnnie
Karl
Kelly
Ken
Kenney
Kennith
Kent
Kermit
Kerry
Kim
Kirk
Kraig
Kurt
Laurence
Lawrance
Len
Lenard
Lennie
Les
Leslie
Lester
Lindell
Lindsay
Lindsey
Linwood
Lloyd
Lonnie
Lonny
Loren
Lorin
Lowell
Loyd
Lynn
Marion
Marty
Matt
Maxie
Mel
Merle
Merrill
Mickel
Mickey
Millard
Milton
Mitch
Mitchel
Monty
Neal
Ned
Nicky
Norbert
Norman
Norris
Orville
Perry
Pete
Phil
Ralph
Randal
Randel
Randell
Randolph
Rayford
Rick
Rickey
Rickie
Rob
Robby
Robin
Rock
Rodger
Rogers
Rojelio
Rolf
Ron
Roosevelt
Rudolfo
Rudolph
Rufus
Russ
Rusty
Sal
Sammie
Sandy
Sanford
Scot
Sherman
Sherwood
Skip
Stan
Stanford
Steve
Stevie
Stewart
Stuart
Sylvester
Tad
Ted
Terence
Thurman
Tim
Timmothy
Timmy
Tod
Todd
Tom
Tommie
Toney
Tracey
Tracy
Val
Vernell
Vernon
Waymon
Wendell
Wilbert
Wilbur
Wilford
Wilfred
Willard
Willis
Winfred
Woody

Interestingly, thirteen of the names above — Bobbie, Cary, Dale, Jackie, Jimmie, Jody, Kerry, Kim, Lynn, Robin, Sandy, Tracey, Tracy — managed to make both lists.

Now some questions for you…

Do you like any of these names? Would you be willing to use any of them on a modern-day baby? Why or why not?

“Broken Arrow” Baby Names

Broken Arrow movie poster

Elliott Arnold’s 1947 novel Blood Brother was a fictionalized account of the adventures of Old West historical figures Cochise, a Chiricahua Apache chief, and Tom Jeffords, a U.S. Indian agent.

The book was later adapted into a movie and a TV series, and both of these things ended up influencing U.S. baby names.

Sonseeahray & Debralee

The movie Broken Arrow was released in the summer of 1950. It starred Jeff Chandler as Cochise and James Stewart as Tom Jeffords. But the two baby names that debuted in the data thanks to the movie were associated with a different character: Sonseeahray, played by teenage actress Debra Paget.

Broken Arrow wasn’t Debra Paget’s first movie, but it was her first big hit, and it helped her achieve a new level of fame. And in 1951, her birth name Debralee debuted in the data. In fact, it was that year’s top debut name.

  • 1955: 7 baby girls named Debralee
  • 1954: 6 baby girls named Debralee
  • 1953: 11 baby girls named Debralee
  • 1952: 9 baby girls named Debralee
  • 1951: 19 baby girls named Debralee [debut]
  • 1950: unlisted

The public had become aware that Debra Paget was born “Debralee Griffin” in mid-1950, thanks to a newspaper article by AP journalist Hubbard Keavy, who called Debra’s birth name “improbable” (a curious comment, coming from guy named Hubbard Keavy). He quoted Debra’s mother, Margaret Griffin, as saying:

I christened her Debra. Her father’s people were Pagets. I used to call her Debra Lee, thinking that would be a good professional name. But Paget is more unusual and there are no Pagets in the movies.

Debra’s sister, Marcia Eloise Griffin, also acted under a stage name: Teala Loring.

The name of the character Sonseeahray also debuted in 1951:

  • 1952: unlisted
  • 1951: 7 baby girls named Sonseeahray [debut]
  • 1950: unlisted

Sonseeahray, defined in the novel as “morning star,” seems to be legitimate Apache name; it was included and defined in the book Life Among the Apaches (1868) by John C. Cremony.

Two real-life Sonseeahrays are Fox News reporter Sonseeahray Tonsall and German actress Sonsee Neu, born Sonsee Ahray Natascha Floethmann-Neu.

Marsheela & Ansara

The TV series Broken Arrow first aired on ABC from 1956 to 1958. (Reruns aired in 1959 and 1960.) The show starred Michael Ansara as Cochise and John Lupton as Tom Jeffords. While it did not include the character Sonseeahray, an early episode did feature a Sonseeahray-like character named Marsheela.

Marsheela, played by actress Donna Martell, appeared in the episode “Apache Girl” in mid-1957. The same year, the name Marsheela was a one-hit wonder in the baby name data:

  • 1958: unlisted
  • 1957: 11 baby girls named Marsheela [debut]
  • 1956: unlisted

I figured out the source of this one only after posting about Marsheila, which was the most-used spelling of Marsheela that year (no doubt because of the familiarity of the Irish name Sheila, which was a top-100 girl name in the U.S. throughout the ’50s and ’60s).

Another one-hit wonder was the surname of Arab-American actor Michael Ansara. Five baby boys were named Ansara in 1960:

  • 1961: unlisted
  • 1960: 5 baby boys named Ansara [debut]
  • 1959: unlisted

Though Broken Arrow had made Michael Ansara a household name, this debut lines up more cleanly with a later TV Western that Ansara also starred in: Law of the Plainsman, which lasted from 1959 to 1960.

His surname may be based on the Arabic term al-ansar, meaning “the helpers.”

Sources: