How popular is the baby name Keanu in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Keanu and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Keanu.
It’s December 2 — the doubly momentous day on which Britney Spears celebrates her birthday and on which we start another round of the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game.
Which baby names will see significant movement on the charts in 2016 thanks to popular culture (TV, movies, music, sports, politics, products, current events, video games, etc.)? Below are some possibilities. Leave a comment with the names you’d add — and don’t forget to mention the pop culture influence.
- Addison – Chicago Cubs winning season
- Adonis – movie Creed (suggested by Becca)
- Ali – death of Muhammad Ali
- Aroldis – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series
- Auli’i – movie Moana
- Bernie – presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (suggested by elbowin)
- Bison – new national mammal & Dakota Access pipeline protests
- Boomer – son of Michael Phelps
- Bowie – musician David Bowie
- Canaan – son of Oprah Winfrey
- Clark – Chicago Cubs winning season
- Cohen – death of Leonard Cohen
- Creed – movie Creed (suggested by Julie and Becca)
- Cub – Chicago Cubs winning season
- Cubby – Chicago Cubs winning season
- Cyrus – TV miniseries Roots
- Dexter – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series
- Doris – movie Hello, My Name Is Doris
- Emayatzy – TV miniseries Roots
- E’myri – TV miniseries Roots
- Esperanto – number of speakers (suggested by elbowin)
- Greyson – son of JWoww
- Hamilton – musical Hamilton
- Harriet – Harriet Tubman, chosen to appear on $20 bill
- Hillary – presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
- Ingwen – Tsai Ing-wen, president of Taiwan (suggested by elbowin)
- Ivanka – daughter of president-elect Donald Trump (suggested by elbowin)
- Jikan – death of Leonard Cohen (suggested by elbowin)
- Jonbenet – anniversary of the death of JonBenet Ramsey
- Juno – NASA space probe
- Jupiter – NASA space probe
- Lorca – death of Leonard Cohen (suggested by elbowin)
- Luna – daughter of John Legend & Chrissy Teigen
- Keanu – Key & Peele movie Keanu
- Kizzy – TV miniseries Roots
- Kunta – TV miniseries Roots
- Lyanna – TV show Game of Thrones
- Malachi – TV miniseries Roots
- Melania – wife of president-elect Donald Trump (suggested by elbowin)
- Maui – movie Moana
- Moana – movie Moana
- Monica – Puerto Rican Olympian Monica Puig (I’m curious about the rankings in Puerto Rico specifically; Monica fell out of the top 100 in PR after 2002.)
- Mountain – daughter of actress Jena Malone
- Mowgli – movie The Jungle Book
- Muhammad – death of Muhammad Ali
- Murray – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series
- Ode – daughter of actress Jena Malone
- Omran – Syrian boy Omran Daqneesh
- Onyx – daughter of Alanis Morissette
- Phiona – movie Queen of Katwe
- Paisley – death of Prince
- Prince – death of Prince (suggested by elbowin)
- Queen – TV show Queen Sugar & movie Queen of Katwe
- Regé-Jean – TV miniseries Roots
- Rio – location of the 2016 Summer Olympics
- Rykiel – death of Sonia Rykiel (suggested by elbowin)
- Sanders – presidential candidate Bernie Sanders
- Simone – gymnast Simone Biles & daughter of John Legend & Chrissy Teigen
- Solace – daughter of Alanis Morissette
- Sully – movie Sully
- Teresa – canonization of Mother Teresa
- Tiffany – daughter of president-elect Donald Trump (suggested by elbowin)
- Trump – president-elect Donald Trump
- Tulip – movie Storks
- Valor – son of JWoww
- Wilder – death of Gene Wilder (suggested by m4yb3_daijirou)
- Wrigley – Chicago Cubs winning season
- Zephyr – U.S. House of Rep. (NY) candidate Zephyr Teachout, who was endorsed by Bernie Sanders. (She was born in Washington state, where Zephyr is particularly popular.)
- Zobrist – Chicago Cubs winning season/World Series
I’ll post the results next May, when the SSA releases the 2016 baby name data. If you don’t want to miss the results post, please subscribe!
Previous rounds of the Pop Culture Baby Name Game: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011: #1 & #2, 2010.
Which Hawaiian names are popular in Hawaii right now?
I read through the current list of top baby names in Hawaii and picked out as many traditional Hawaiian names as I could. Here they are, plus their definitions (and their missing ‘okinas!).
Popular Hawaiian Names for Girls
- Leilani, 19 baby girls, means “heavenly (lani) flowers/child (lei).”
- Mahina, 15, means “moon” or “moonlight.”
- Kalena, 13, means “the (ka) yellow (lena).” Yellow was once symbolic of the alii, Hawaii’s powerful royal class (source).
- Kaila, 11, means “style, fashion.”
- Hali’a, 9, means “sudden remembrance, memory.”
- Kai’a, 9, means “the (ka) fish (i’a).”
- Kailani, 8, means “heavenly (lani) sea (kai).”
- Keani, 7, means “the (ke) soft breeze (ani).”
- Mehana, 7, means “warmth, heat.”
- Hi’ilani, 6, means “held in the arms (hi’i) of heaven (lani).”
- Kailana, 6, means “calm (lana) sea (kai).”
- Kamaile, 6, means “the (ka) maile vine.”
- Lilinoe, 6, means “fine mist.”
- Malie, 6, means “calm.”
- Anuhea, 5, means “cool, soft fragrance.”
- Hi’ilei, 5, means “child (lei) held in the arms (hi’i).”
- Ilihia, 5, means “excited” or “awe-stricken.”
- Kawena, 5, means “the (ka) glow (wena).”
- Kealani, 5, means “heavenly (lani) whiteness (kea).”
- Lea, 5, is the name of a Hawaiian goddess.
- Mahealani, 5, means “sixteenth day of the lunar month; night of the full moon” (source).
- Nai’a, 5, means “dolphin.”
- Noelani, 5, means “heavenly (lani) mist (noe).”
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser said Malia (ranked 21st overall) was the most popular Hawaiian name for girls in 2013, but Malia is is just the Hawaiian form of the non-Hawaiian name Mary, so I didn’t include it. I didn’t include several other names (like Keoni, Hawaiian for “John”) for the same reason.
Popular Hawaiian Names for Boys
- Kai, 38 baby boys, means “sea.” Kai was the 19th most popular boy name overall in Hawaii last year.
- Kainoa, 21, means “the (ka) namesake (inoa).”
- Kaimana, 20, means “power (mana) of the sea (kai).”
- Koa, 16, means “warrior, brave” or is a reference to the koa tree.
- Nainoa, 11, means “the (na) namesakes (inoa)” — na is the article used for plural nouns.
- Makoa, 10, means “fearless.”
- Nakoa, 10, means “”the (ne) brave ones/koa trees (koa).”
- Kana’i, 9, means “the (ka) conqueror (na’i).”
- Makana, 9, means “gift.”
- Ka’eo, 8, means “full of knowledge.”
- Kahiau, 8, means “generous.”
- Kainalu, 8, means “billowy (nalu) sea (kai).”
- Keanu, 8, means “the (ke) coolness (anu).”
- Noa, 8, means “commoner/free man.”
- Kaleo, 7, means “the (ka) sound/voice (leo).”
- Kamaha’o, 6, means “wondrous.”
- Kanoa, 6, means “the (ka) commoner/free man (noa).”
- Kekoa, 6, means “the (ke) brave one/koa tree (koa).”
- La’akea, 6, means “sacred (la’a) white/light (kea).”
- Makai, 6, means “toward (ma) the sea (kai).”
- Mana, 6, means “supernatural or divine power.”
- Alaka’i, 5, means “leader.”
- Kaiea, 5, means “rising (ea) sea/tide (kai).”
- Ka’imipono, 5, means “the (ka) seeker of righteousness (‘imi pono).”
- Kalani, 5, means “the (ka) heavenly one/royal one (lani).”
- Kamakani, 5, means “the (ka) wind (makani).”
- Koamalu, 5, means “brave (koa) peace (malu).”
While I was gathering all those definitions, I also found a bunch of other interesting Hawaiian names, such as…
- ‘Aukai, “seafarer” (‘au, “travel” + kai, “sea”). It’s like the Hawaiian version of Sailor.
- Kapi’ioho, “curly hair.” It’s like the Hawaiian version of Crispin (Latin crispus, “curly”).
- ‘Opunui, “big-bellied” (‘opu, “belly” + nui, “big”). Big bellies were a status symbol in old Hawaii. According to one source, “the elite lived lavishly, were feasting constantly, and the highest chiefs were distinguished by their corpulence.”
- Leiko is a hybrid Hawaiian-Japanese name: lei, “flowers/child” + ko, “child.”
Do you have a favorite Hawaiian name? Leave a comment and tell me about it!
Source: Bodley, John H. Cultural Anthropology: Tribes, States, and the Global System. Lanham, MD: AltaMira-Rowman & Littlefield, 2011.
Love 1990s pop culture? Love names? Check out this list!
Out of the more than 17,000 baby names that debuted on the charts from 1990 to 1999 (inclusive), here are 10 that are particularly symbolic of the decade.
All 10 are legit baby names!
- Keanu. The baby name Keanu, inspired by actor Keanu Reeves, debuted on the baby name charts in 1990. (Hopefully he’s no longer sad now that he’s #1 on this list.)
- Aniston. The baby name Aniston, inspired by Friends actress Jennifer Aniston, debuted on the baby name charts in 1998.
- Macauley. The baby name Macauley, inspired by Home Alone actor Macaulay Culkin, debuted on the baby name charts in 1991.
- Lestat. The baby name Lestat, inspired by Anne Rice vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, debuted on the baby name charts in 1995.
- Beyonce. The baby name Beyonce, inspired by R&B/pop singer Beyoncé, debuted on the baby name charts in 1998.
- Quindon. The baby name Quindon, inspired by Romeo + Juliet actor/singer Quindon Tarver, debuted on the baby name charts in 1996.
- Draven. The baby name Draven, inspired by The Crow character Eric Draven, debuted on the baby name charts in 1994.
- Mufasa. The baby name Mufasa, inspired by the Lion King character, debuted on the baby name charts in 1995.
- Jamiroquai. The baby name Jamiroquai, inspired by the band Jamiroquai, debuted on the baby name charts in 1998.
- Nomar. The baby name Nomar, inspired by baseball player Nomar Garciaparra, debuted on the baby name charts in 1998.
Runners-up: Anakin, Danzig, Simba and Zhane.
Do YOU have any favorite ’90s baby names?
P.S. Here are my 10 favorite uniquely ’70s and ’80s baby names.
Note: Updated in March of 2015.
Keanu Reeves was born in Lebanon and raised mostly in Canada. But he has ties to Hawaii through his father, so that explains the Hawaiian first name.
What does Keanu mean?
According to A Dictionary of First Names, Keanu means “cool breeze blowing down from the mountains.”
Keanu literally means “the coolness” or “the cold.” Ke is “the” and anu is “cool,” “coolness,” or “cold.”
In fact, if you want to tell someone you’ve gotten a cold (i.e., gotten sick) in Hawaiian you say: “Ua loa’a au i ke anu.”
The name was used rarely in the U.S. — Hawaii included — until the movie Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) came out. That’s when we start to see the baby name Keanu on the SSA’s national list:
- 1996: 280 boys and 23 girls with the name Keanu
- 1995: 356 boys and 31 girls with the name Keanu
- 1994: 195 boys and 13 girls with the name Keanu
- 1993: 102 boys and 13 girls with the name Keanu
- 1992: 105 boys and 12 girls with the name Keanu
- 1991: 71 boys and 15 girls with the name Keanu
- 1990: 8 boys with the name Keanu [debut]
- 1989: not listed
Usage peaked in 1995, right around the time the movie Speed (1994) was popular.
[UPDATE: Check out the Popular Baby Names page to see lists of the top 2,000 since 2000!]
Kelly recently clued me in to something extremely cool: the SSA has released lists of all the baby names that were given to 5+ babies in the U.S. every year since 1880. You can download the lists directly from the SSA.
I was going to publish all of the 2009 names here in a single post, but WordPress couldn’t handle it. So instead I’ll start where the top 1,000 left off and give you all the names that were given to 100+ babies last year.
Let’s start with boy names. The 1,000th most popular boy name last year was Mustafa, given to 194 babies. After Mustafa comes…
- 193: Eddy, Edison, Jovany, Rayden, Ulysses
- 192: Cordell, Leroy
- 191: Brecken, Clarence, Dimitri, Immanuel, Nathanial
- 190: Benson, Coby, Jedidiah, Joziah, Legend, Yehuda
- 189: Kohen, Milton
- 188: Brennon, Jayvon, Pierre, Sheldon, Simeon
- 187: Bernard, Donavan, Taj, Thaddeus
- 186: Eliseo
- 185: Kamren, Kelton
- 184: Jacobi, Rocky, Theo
- 183: none
- 182: Braylin, Turner
- 181: Jaylan, Yousef
- 180: Cristobal, Marcello, Maximillian, Santana
- 179: Anish, Dariel, Gaven, Gordon, Lamont
- 178: Darion, Daylen, Ephraim, Joan
- 177: Domenic, Harvey, Javen, Major, Miller
- 176: none
- 175: Gibson, Iker, Johann
- 174: Bishop, Glenn
- 173: Cayson, Leif, Leighton, Lionel, Rishi
- 172: Braedyn, Gonzalo, Jericho, Langston, Treyton
- 171: Armaan, Jesiah, Lathan, Marquez, Menachem, Oswaldo, Truman
- 170: Andreas, Estevan, Kooper, Reilly, Ryley
- 169: Kamarion
- 168: Coen, Eliot, Hank, Kyan, Markell, Miguelangel, Mikah, Otto
- 167: Dion, Landry, Marques
- 166: Anson, Geovanny, Jaedyn, Jai, Jullian, Maxton
- 165: Aleksander, Bernardo, Channing, Darrius, Destin, Emory, Hendrix, Tayden
- 164: Ameer, Dereck, Dwight, Enoch, Forrest, Nazir, Stephan
- 163: Cornelius, Lucca, Mikel, Shimon, Tyce, Yisroel
- 162: Carmine, Dontae, Jaleel, Keanu, Lennox, Shiloh
- 161: Augustine, Dhruv, Perry
- 160: Colter, Eamon, Thiago
- 159: Boden, Presley, Rowen, Tegan, Treyvon
- 158: Jan, Kenji, Zakary, Zyon
- 157: Adin, Baron, Maksim, Nestor, Norman, Sammy
- 156: Corban, Drayden, Ely, Mariano, Shamar, Tavion
- 155: Arlo, Garret, Jamil, Keven, Shea, Vladimir, Zaden
- 154: Elvin, Gannon, Guadalupe, Kavion, Kayleb, Kylen
- 153: Camdyn, Devonte, Jael, Karim, Koby, Mayson, Nixon, Trenten
- 152: Deshaun, Kenton, Milan, Siddharth
- 151: Alexavier, Arman, Kannon, Lachlan, Zeke
- 150: Abner, Arian, Efren, Jariel, Javian, Jordin
- 149: Alexandro, Dandre, Francesco, Izaac, Kalvin, Stephon
- 148: Amarion, Bayron, Caeden, Dewayne, Kennedy, Mordechai
- 147: Alton, Bilal, Geoffrey, Jermiah, Kye, Lucien, Neel, Om, Tavin
- 146: Barry, Beck, Blayne, Campbell, Ever, Gino, Haven, Ishan
- 145: Benny, Brad, Emil
- 144: Austen, Austyn, Briggs, Canaan, Crew, Dev, Emmitt, Guy, Jakub, Jarvis, Shannon, Trevion
- 143: Clifford, Keller, Travon
- 142: Kyree, Markel, Merrick
- 141: Aarush, Ajay, Denis
- 140: Aubrey, Daveon, Harlan, Sami, Sebastien
- 139: Bryton, Clyde, Kelly, Khalid, Landan, Shlomo
- 138: Bodhi, Briar, Fredy, Irving, Kalen, Rylen, Sabastian, Taven
- 137: Baylor, Brantley, Chayse, Courtney, Cristiano, Dallin, Earl, Fidel, Jeshua, Judson, Korey, Lonnie, Marek, Oakley, Trae
- 136: Anders, Coy
- 135: Chevy, Cian, Don, Ewan, Jordy, Nery, Oskar, Ridge, Tatum, Vince
- 134: Avi, Dezmond, Masen, Princeton, Syed, Tahj, Tristyn, Tylan
- 133: Daryl, Johnpaul, Karsen, Kurt, Wilmer, Xavion
- 132: Britton, Grayden, Rowdy, Tevin, Yahya
- 131: Brandt, Clifton, Evin, Finnian, Gian, Kaidyn
- 130: Coleton, Denver, Freddie, Gianluca, Jaren, Korbyn, Phineas, Yash
- 129: Alexandre, Grey, Haden, Jakari, Leeland, Lloyd, Titan
- 128: Alek, Aven, Ayan, Terence
- 127: Bowen, Desean, Jeff, Jonatan, Kevon, Kollin, Lucius, Malakhi
- 126: Demetri, Gerard, Hagen, Jaedon, Jaheim, Jeremias, Raymundo
- 125: Avraham, Heriberto, Ira, Lester, Stetson, Tye
- 124: Abdul, Arnold, Bodie, Broden, Canyon, Edmund, Gus, Keandre, Latrell, Rico, Shmuel
- 123: Amar, Azariah, Braulio, Ervin, Otis
- 122: Ayush, Brighton, Dyllan, Kent, Magnus, Myron, Nate, Nevin, Ramses, Torin
- 121: Brysen, Daquan, Donnie, Jakai, Josef, Keyshawn, Mauro, Morris, Raheem, Rian, Rickey, Royal, Thatcher, Yaakov
- 120: Benicio, Bryden, Colson, Emir, Fred, Izaak, Kurtis, Osmar, Sutton
- 119: Harris, Jet, Juancarlos, Omarion, Rashawn, Treyson, Zahir
- 118: Abhinav, Benito, Brooklyn, Leyton, Mikhail, Viktor
- 117: Anakin, Darey, Duane, Johnnie, Kegan, Mikael, Osman, Pierson, Talen
- 116: Azael, Dashiell, Devlin, Diesel, Dylon, Giovany, Jameer, Javien, Jaylyn, Kiran, Marion, Massimo, Obed
- 115: Amauri, Deion, Gerson, Ishmael, Jarell, Nikita, Xavi
- 114: Dan, Foster, Glen, Kaysen, Kyran, Rayyan, Tariq, Tiago, Tzvi
- 113: Arya, Isidro, Kaison, Musa, Syncere, Uziel, Vihaan, Yariel
- 112: Amani, Andrei, Carlton, Dameon, Demari, Deonte, Joseluis, Justyn, Karon, Manny, Neal, Patricio, Sahil, Shaan, Shayne, Stuart, Tobin, Vernon
- 111: Damarcus, Darrin, Daylon, Hussein, Isac, Lazaro, Tyron, Zev
- 110: Aayan, Angus, Benton, Brayson, Darrion, Jacorey, Kirk, Lyndon, Yurem
- 109: Dashaun, Dayne, Jaysen, Jayven, Josias, Kaedyn, Linus, Maddix, Zephaniah
- 108: Ahmir, Antwon, Deondre, Hans, Jahir, Khristian, Nolen, Rogan, Shia, Teegan
- 107: Braydin, Clint, Daron, Gabe, Graysen, Jacari, Kain, Kayne, Khamari, Louie, Tavian, Trever, Westley, Zakaria
- 106: Daylin, Eliel, Filip, Jahmir, Javonte, Kamdyn, Koda, Mykel, Rick, Zayd
- 105: Canon, Darin, Gregorio, Kaine
- 104: Adyn, Cadence, Chayce, Demarco, Eliyahu, Javin, Jimmie, Karsten, Ken, Travion, Xavior
- 103: Atreyu, Ismail, Jackie, Kahlil, Marko, Paolo
- 102: Athan, Christofer, Eleazar, Floyd, Henrik, Hyrum, Idris, Isael, Jamaal, Jelani, Kentrell, Maison
- 101: Ashtyn, Emmet, Izak, Jaelyn, Jakobi, Jayshawn, Keshaun
- 100: Achilles, Avrohom, Brant, Corbyn, Cormac, Imran, Javan, Kris, Osiel, Yaseen
Girl names coming soon!
Update – Here are the girl names.