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

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name Kamilah

Number of Babies Named Kamilah

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Kamilah

A Selection of “Names From Africa”

Names from Africa

A few months back, commenter Becca mentioned the book Names From Africa (1972), which I believe was the first baby name book in the U.S. to focus on African names exclusively.

I have yet to see Ogonna Chuks-orji’s book in full, but Ebony ran an article in 1977 about African-American naming traditions (a few months after Roots first aired) and included a selection of names from the book.

I’ve included the names below, but first here’s a snippet of the article:

Then came the ’60s and ’70s and the rejection of assimilation efforts. Cultural nationalism and separatism replaced integration and Afro-Americans changed their names to reflect their new consciousness. The name of people of African descent as a whole was changed from Negro or colored to Black or Afro-American to reflect an aggressive pride in the African heritage, and an affirmation of the validity of self-defined identity. Africa became a source of names. Very Anglo-Saxon or exotic European names were changed to African names–usually Swahili names with meanings pertinent to the struggle. African leaders, past and present, like Shaka, Kwame Nkrumah and Sekou Toure, began to provide the heroic, strong, inspirational names. The eclectic choice of African names reflects the Pan-Africanist orientation of the Afro-American identity.

Here are all the girl names:

Female African Names, from Ebony Magazine, 1977

Some of the these girl names have appeared on the SSA’s baby name list:

  • Aba debuted in 1978.
  • Abayomi debuted as a male name in 1972 and peaked in 1977.
  • Abimbola debuted in 1973.
  • Akwete debuted in 1977. One-hit wonder.
  • Chinue debuted in 1977.
  • Efia debuted in 1975.
  • Habibah debuted in 1974.
  • Ifetayo debuted in 1969.
  • Jamila debuted in 1962 and peaked in 1977.
  • Kamilah debuted in 1970 and first peaked in 1977.
  • Layla debuted in 1950 and first peaked in 1977.
  • Masani debuted in 1999.
  • Naila debuted in 1953 and first peaked in 1977.
  • Ramla debuted in 1998.
  • Rashida debuted in 1964 and peaked in 1977.
  • Safiya debuted in 1973.
  • Sauda debuted in 1976.

Akwokwo, Bayo, Chuki, Dada, Folayan, Hembadoon, Ifama, Ige, Kambo, Mawusi, Ode, Oseye, Pasua, Quibilah, Serwa and Sigolwide have never been on the list (as girl names).

And here are all the boy names:

Male African Names, from Ebony Magazine, 1977

Some of the these boy names have appeared on the SSA’s list as well:

  • Abdalla debuted in 1973.
  • Abubakar debuted in 1977.
  • Ade debuted in 1919.
  • Ahmed debuted in 1929.
  • Azikiwe debuted in 1971.
  • Bobo debuted in 1935. One-hit wonder.
  • Habib debuted in 1972.
  • Hasani debuted in 1973 and peaked in 1977.
  • Hashim debuted in 1971 and peaked in 1977.
  • Idi debuted in 1977. One-hit wonder. (The name of infamous Ugandan president Idi Amin.)
  • Jabulani debuted in 1975.
  • Kamau debuted in 1971.
  • Kefentse debuted in 1977. One-hit wonder.
  • Khalfani debuted in 1975.
  • Kontar debuted in 1977. One-hit wonder.
  • Kwasi debuted in 1970 and peaked in 1977.
  • Lateef debuted in 1967 and peaked in 1977.
  • Lukman debuted in 2002.
  • Makalani debuted in 1977. One-hit wonder. (Makalani also happens to mean “heavenly eyes” or “eyes of heaven” in Hawaiian.)
  • Mensah debuted in 1977.
  • Nizam debuted in 1974. One-hit wonder.
  • N’Namdi debuted in 1976.
  • N’Nanna debuted in 1997.
  • Nuru debuted in 1977.
  • Oba debuted in 1915.

Bwerani, Chionesu, Chiumbo, Dingane, Dunsimi, Fudail, Gamba, Gogo, Gowon, Gwandoya, Kamuzu, Lumo, Machupa, Mbwana, Mongo, Mosegi, Mwamba and Nangwaya have never been on the list (as boy names).

I was very curious about the definition of Machupa, “likes to drink.” Turns out it’s not alcohol-related; another book on African names specifies that the root of Machupa is probably chupa, a Kiswahili word meaning “bottle.”

Sources:

  • Stewart, Julia. African Names: Names from the African Continent for Children and Adults. New York: Citadel Press, 1993.
  • Walker, Sheila S. “What’s in a Name?Ebony Jun. 1977: 74+.

One-Hit Wonder Baby Names from the 1970s

Here are the one-hit wonder names of the 1970s:

Girl Names

  • Ariane ranked 886th in 1978
  • Brande ranked 785th in 1974
  • Camisha ranked 815th in 1972
  • Chaka ranked 898th in 1976 – influence: Chaka Khan
  • Corie ranked 973rd in 1977
  • Dyan ranked 980th in 1970 – influence: Dyan Cannon
  • Kamilah ranked 855th in 1977
  • Keena ranked 853rd in 1972
  • Kindra ranked 965th in 1978
  • Pepper ranked 956th in 1975
  • Shandra 999th in 1976
  • Sharee ranked 929th in 1979
  • Shawnna ranked 963rd in 1977
  • Shawnte ranked 744th in 1977
  • Somer ranked 932nd in 1978
  • Tamisha ranked 995th in 1974
  • Tisa ranked 912th in 1970
  • Torie ranked 977th in 1976
  • Treena ranked 995th in 1970

Boy Names

  • Abelardo ranked 983rd in 1972
  • Amin ranked 907th in 1977
  • Demetric ranked 993rd in 1977
  • Diallo ranked 918th in 1972
  • Dimitrios ranked 991st in 1976
  • Hakim ranked 879th in 1976
  • Hasan ranked 952nd in 1978
  • Jabbar ranked 912th in 1972 – influence: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Jerimy ranked 964th in 1976
  • Kareen ranked 982nd in 1975 – influence: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Kinte ranked 839th in 1977 – influence: Roots
  • Kunta ranked 572nd in 1977 – influence: Roots
  • Mauro ranked 995th in 1974
  • Shalon ranked 867th in 1977
  • Toma ranked 884th in 1974
  • Torry ranked 996th in 1976

All one-hit wonder lists: 1880s, 1890s, 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s.