How popular is the baby name Jemal 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 Jemal.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Jemal


Posts that Mention the Name Jemal

The Emergence of Jemal

The baby name Jemal debuted in the US baby name data in 1968.

The name Jemal debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1968:

  • 1972: 24 baby boys named Jemal
  • 1971: 30 baby boys named Jemal
  • 1970: 52 baby boys named Jemal
  • 1969: 204 baby boys named Jemal [rank: 549th]
  • 1968: 47 baby boys named Jemal [debut]
  • 1967: unlisted

In fact, it was the top debut name of 1968. The next year, it became one of the highest-hitting one-hit wonders in the top 1,000 — the very highest for boys, if you ignore the glitch-name Christop.

So what was the influence?

Jemal David, an African-American character played by actor Otis Young on the single-season TV western The Outcasts (1968-1969).

The series was set in the decade following the Civil War, when “people of all creeds and colors were part of the West” (according to the narrated introduction). The two protagonists, both bounty hunters, were an unlikely pair: Jemal, an ex-slave freed by the Proclamation, and Earl Corey, a former slave owner from Virginia.

Young’s Jemal David was possibly television’s angriest African American protagonist; a defiant man who refused to forget the indignities and humiliations of slavery. He also never let his partner’s racism go unchallenged.

There was even an episode called “My name is Jemal” that drew extra attention to the name:

my name is jemal, the outsiders, television, 1960s

The similar name Jamal also saw a big boost in usage thanks to the character. But, unlike Jemal, which quickly petered out, Jamal’s usage continued to increase for several decades.

What are your thoughts on the name Jemal? Which spelling do you prefer?

Sources:

  • Bogle, Donald. Primetime Blues: African Americans on Network Television. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001.
  • The Outcasts (TV series) – Wikipedia
  • Terrace, Vincent. Television Introductions: Narrated TV Program Openings since 1949. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2014.

Biggest Baby Name Debuts of All Time: Boys, 40 to 31

biggest baby name debuts of all time, boy names, 40 to 31

Here’s the second installment of top baby boy name debuts.

From 40 to 31:

Dvante, Raekwon & Savion, 3-way tie for #40

  • Dvante debuted with 39 baby boys in 1992.
    Inspired by singer DeVante Swing, a member of Jodeci.
  • Raekwon debuted with 39 baby boys in 1994.
    Inspired by rapper Raekwon, a member of the Wu-Tang Clan.
  • Savion debuted with 39 baby boys in 1989.
    Inspired by dancer Savion Glover.

Devanta, #39

  • Devanta debuted with 41 baby boys in 1992.
    Inspired by DeVante Swing as well.

Jamaine, #38

  • Jamaine debuted with 42 baby boys in 1971.
    Inspired by singer Jermaine Jackson, a member of The Jackson 5.

Cross & Toma, 2-way tie for #37

  • Cross debuted with 43 baby boys in 1997.
    I’m not sure what inspired it. Inspired by Alex Cross, a character in the movie Kiss the Girls.
  • Toma debuted with 43 baby boys in 1973.
    Inspired by David Toma, a character on the TV show “Toma.”

Kristoph & Yohance, 2-way tie for #36

Quayshawn, #35

  • Quayshawn debuted with 45 baby boys in 1991.
    Inspired by rapper Quayshaun.

Jencarlos, #34

  • Jancarlos debuted with 46 baby boys in 2009.
    Inspired by singer Jencarlos Canela.

Jemal, #33

  • Jemal debuted with 47 baby boys in 1968.
    Inspired by Jemal David, a character on the TV western “The Outcasts.”

Eder, Jayceon & Nikia, 3-way tie for #32

  • Eder debuted with 48 baby boys in 1982.
    Inspired by soccer player Éder Aleixo de Assis.
  • Jayceon debuted with 48 baby boys in 2005.
    Inspired by rapper The Game (born Jayceon Taylor).
  • Nikia debuted with 48 baby boys in 1974.
    Inspired by Nakia Parker, a character on the TV movie/show “Nakia.”

Trayvond, #31

  • Trayvond debuted with 49 baby boys in 1994.
    I’m not sure what inspired it. (Looks like it’s a variant of Trayvon, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.)

Do you have any thoughts on Trayvond/Trayvon or Cross?

*The Top 50 Baby Name Debuts for Boys: 50-41, 40-31, 30-21, 20-11, 10-1*

The Top Baby Name Debuts, 1881 to Today

baby names, debut names, name list

Though vast majority of the baby names on the Social Security Administration’s yearly baby name lists are repeats, every list does contain a handful of brand-new names.

Below are the highest-charting debut names for every single year on record, after the first.

Why bother with an analysis like this? Because debut names often have cool stories behind them, and high-hitting debuts are especially likely to have intriguing pop culture explanations. So this is more than a list of names — it’s also a list of stories.

Here’s the format: “Girl name(s), number of baby girls; Boy name(s), number of baby boys.” Keep in mind that the raw numbers aren’t too trustworthy for about the first six decades, though. (More on that in a minute.)

  • 1881: Adell & Celeste, 14; Brown & Newell, 14
  • 1882: Verda, 14; Cleve, 13
  • 1883: Laurel, 12; Brady, Festus, Jewell, Odell & Rosco, 8
  • 1884: Crystal & Rubie, 11; Benjamen, Jens, Oakley & Whitney, 9
  • 1885: Clotilde, 13; Arley & Terence, 9
  • 1886: Manuelita, 10; Terrence, 10
  • 1887: Verlie, 13; Myles, 11
  • 1888: Ebba, 18; Carlisle, Hughie & Orvel, 9
  • 1889: Garnett, 12; Doyle, 9
  • 1890: Verena, 11; Eduardo & Maggie, 10
  • 1891: Gayle, Idabelle & Zenia, 9; Sheridan, 14
  • 1892: Astrid, Dallas & Jennett, 9; Corbett, 23
  • 1893: Elmyra, 12; Estel, Mayo, Shelley & Thorwald, 8
  • 1894: Beatriz, Carola & Marrie, 9; Arvel, Erby & Floy, 8
  • 1895: Trilby, 12; Roosevelt, 12
  • 1896: Lotus, 11; Hazen, 11
  • 1897: Dewey, 13; Bryon, Frankie, Mario & Rhoda, 7
  • 1898: Manilla, 35; Hobson, 38
  • 1899: Ardis & Irva, 19; Haven, 9
  • 1900: Luciel, 14; Rosevelt, 20
  • 1901: Venita, 11; Eino, 9
  • 1902: Mercie, 10; Clarnce, 9
  • 1903: Estela, 11; Lenon & Porfirio, 7
  • 1904: Magdaline, 9; Adrain, Arbie, Betty, Desmond, Domenic, Duard, Raul & Severo, 8
  • 1905: Oliver, 9; Eliot & Tyree, 9
  • 1906: Nedra, 11; Domenico & Ryan, 10
  • 1907: Theta, 20; Taft, 16
  • 1908: Pasqualina, 10; Robley, 12
  • 1909: Wilmoth, 9; Randal & Vidal, 9
  • 1910: Ellouise, 12; Halley, 12
  • 1911: Thurley, 12; Colie, 16
  • 1912: Elynor, Glennis, Mariann, 12; Woodroe, 25
  • 1913: Wilba, 18; Vilas, 24
  • 1914: Floriene, 14; Torao, 17
  • 1915: Wanza, 33; Audra, 18
  • 1916: Tatsuko, 14; Verdun, 14
  • 1917: Nerine, 43; Delwyn, 14
  • 1918: Marne, 24; Foch, 58
  • 1919: Tokie, 12; Juaquin, 11
  • 1920: Dardanella, 23; Steele, 11
  • 1921: Marilynne, 13; Norberto, 14
  • 1922: Evelean, 14; Daren, 35
  • 1923: Nalda, 15; Clinard & Dorland, 9
  • 1924: Charis, 14; Melquiades, 13
  • 1925: Irmalee, 37; Wayburn, 11
  • 1926: Narice, 13; Bibb, 14
  • 1927: Sunya, 14; Bidwell, 14
  • 1928: Joreen, 22; Alfread & Brevard, 9
  • 1929: Jeannene, 25; Donnald, Edsol, Rhys & Wolfgang, 8
  • 1930: Laquita, 68; Shogo, 11
  • 1931: Joanie, 12; Rockne, 17
  • 1932: Carolann, Delano & Jenine, 11; Alvyn, Avelardo, Elena, Mannon & Wenford, 7
  • 1933: Gayleen, 23; Skippy, 10
  • 1934: Carollee & Janean, 12; Franchot, 9
  • 1935: Treasure, 16; Haile, 11
  • 1936: Shelva, 89; Renny & Shelva, 9

This is where the numbers start becoming more accurate. Why? Because “many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, so their names are not included in our data.” (SSA)

Now back to the list:

I’ve already written about some of the names above, and I plan to write about all the others as well…eventually. In the meanwhile, if you want to beat me to it and leave a comment about why Maverick hit in 1957, or why Moesha hit in 1996, feel free!

*If you ignore the Great Baby Name Glitch of 1989, the top debut names of 1989 are actually Audreanna and Khiry.

Highest Hitting One-Hits – Cinnamon, Destry, Kunta, Yulissa

Here are the one-hit wonder baby names that ranked the highest overall — 700th or above — the single year they made the U.S. top 1,000:

Name Ranked… Likely Explanation
Christop 241st in 1989 Typo*
Yulissa 424th in 1997 The 1996 telenovela Te Sigo Amando featured a character named Yulissa played by Claudia Ramírez.
Nira 463rd in 1933 The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) was authorized by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933.
Elizabet 524th in 1989 Typo*
Manilla 536th in 1898 The first military action of Spanish-American War was the 1898 battle for Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
Jemal 549th in 1969 The Outcasts (1968-1969), the first TV Western with an African-American co-star, featured a character named Jemal.
Alexande 554th in 1989 Typo*
Kunta 572nd in 1977 The 1977 miniseries Roots (based on the Alex Haley novel) featured a character named Kunta Kinte.
Shafter 604th in 1898 Maj. Gen. William Rufus Shafter’s forces took Santiago (and hence helped end the Spanish-American War) in 1898.
Destry 636th in 1964 The short-lived 1964 show Destry was a spin-off of the 1939 film “Destry Rides Again.”
Sonji 638th in 1966 In 1966, Muhammad Ali and his first wife, Sonji Roi, divorced.
Sheilah 665th in 1955 Sheilah Graham Westbrook (1904-1988) was a gossip columnist during Hollywood’s “Golden Age.”
Clarisa 665th in 1994 The popular Nickelodeon sitcom Clarissa Explains it All (1991-1994) won an Emmy in 1994.
Tatia 670th in 1966 A notable 1965 episode of the TV show I Spy (1965-1968) featured a character named Tatia Loring.
Alexandr 676th in 1989 Typo*
Cinnamon 700th in 1969 The first 3 seasons of the Mission: Impossible TV series (1966-1973) featured a character named Cinnamon Carter. (That’s what put Cinnamon on the map.) Early in 1969, “Cinnamon” by Derek (a.k.a. Johnny Cymbal) was an actual one-hit wonder that peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. Later the same year, “Cinnamon Girl” by Neil Young was released.
Beyonce 700th in 2001 Destiny’s Child (featuring Beyoncé Knowles) won two Grammy Awards in 2001.

I didn’t include one-hits from 1880-1889 (Manerva, Zilpah, Worley, Ambers, Orilla, Simona) or the names that debuted on the 2006 list (Rihanna, Addisyn, Krish, Yandel).

*Here’s more about those typos from 1989.

One-Hit Wonder Baby Names from the 1960s

The names below are “one-hit wonder” names that ranked among the 1,000 most popular U.S. baby names only once–sometime during the 1960s.

Girl Names

  • Caprice – ranked 942nd in 1966 (influence: Chevrolet Caprice)
  • Cinnamon – ranked 700th in 1969 (influence: TV show Mission: Impossible)
  • Daneen – ranked 906th in 1964 (influence: mystery!)
  • Denine – ranked 905th in 1964 (influence: mystery!)
  • Denita – ranked 956th in 1966
  • Djuana – ranked 754th in 1964 (influence: mystery!)
  • Djuna – ranked 738th in 1964 (influence: mystery!)
  • Inger – ranked 947th in 1966
  • Jeanmarie – ranked 969th in 1963
  • Melissia – ranked 944th in 1968
  • Sonji – ranked 638th in 1966 (influence: Sonji Roi, first wife of Muhammad Ali)
  • Sunday – ranked 985th in 1966
  • Tatia – ranked 670th in 1966
  • Wende – ranked 859th in 1967

Boy Names

  • Anthoney – ranked 938th in 1968
  • Destry – ranked 636th in 1964 (influence: TV show Destry)
  • Dwyane – ranked 996th in 1962
  • Jemal – ranked 549th in 1969 (influence: TV show The Outcasts)
  • Tal – ranked 820th in 1963

Want more one-hit wonders? Here are…