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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Kizzy

Number of Babies Named Kizzy

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Kizzy

Pop Culture Baby Name Game, 2016

pop culture baby name game, 2016

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.


How Will the Remake of “Roots” Influence Baby Names?

"I am Kunta" ad, Roots, History Channel

The phenomenally popular mini-series Roots (1977) didn’t just set TV viewership records and win a slew of awards. It also had a big impact on U.S. baby names — the biggest impact of any pop culture event of the 20th century, in fact.

But I’ve already posted about the influence of Roots on baby names. So why am I bringing it up again?

Because it’s back! The History Channel will be airing a 4-part remake of Roots in a couple of weeks, starting on May 30.

Many of the ads I’ve seen so far happen to be name-focused, ironically. Several of the teaser clips on YouTube feature a voice saying, “Your name is your spirit. Your name is your shield. Your name is Kunta Kinte.”

I don’t expect the new version of Roots to have the same impact that the original did. But I’m sure it will raise the profile (and thereby increase the usage) of at least a few baby names — likely a mix of names we’re already familiar with (e.g., Kizzy, Kunta) and names that are new this time around, such as:

  • Malachi – the name of the actor who plays Kunta Kinte
  • Regé-Jean – the name of the actor who plays Chicken George
  • Emayatzy – the name of the actress who plays Belle
  • E’myri – the name of the actress who plays young Kizzy
  • Cyrus – the name of a (new?) character, played by hip-hop artist T.I.*

Which baby name do you think will get the biggest boost from the remake of Roots?

*The baby names Major, Messiah and King made big gains in 2012 thanks to T.I.’s reality show T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle.

Biggest Baby Name Debuts of All Time: Girls, 10 to 1

biggest baby name debuts of all time, girl names, 10 to 1

The final installment of the top baby name debuts for girls!

From 10 to 1:

Greidys, #10

  • Greidys debuted with 186 baby girls in 2009.
    Inspired by Greydis Gil, winner of the TV beauty pageant “Nuestra Belleza Latina 2009.”

Ayanna, #9

  • Ayanna debuted with 194 baby girls in 1971.
    Inspired by Ayanna (b. 1971), baby of comedian/activist Dick Gregory.

Djuna, #8

  • Djuna debuted with 198 baby girls in 1964.
    Inspired by…I’m not sure what. I still don’t have a solid explanation for this one.

Fallon, #7

  • Fallon debuted with 232 baby girls in 1981.
    Inspired by Fallon Carrington, a character on the soap opera “Dynasty.”

Erykah, #6

  • Erykah debuted with 279 baby girls in 1997.
    Inspired by singer Erykah Badu.

Alexandr, #5

Sade, #4

  • Sade debuted with 393 baby girls in 1985.
    Inspired by singer Sade [shah-DAY].

Moesha, #3

  • Moesha debuted with 426 baby girls in 1996.
    Inspired by Moesha Mitchell, a character on the TV sitcom “Moesha.”

Isamar, #2

  • Isamar debuted with 446 baby girls in 1990.
    Inspired by Isamar Medina, a character on the telenovela “La Revancha.”

Kizzy, #1

  • Kizzy debuted with 1,116 baby girls in 1977.
    Inspired by Kizzy Reynolds, a character on the TV miniseries “Roots.”

And there you have it! The top girl name debuts ever, so far. Did any of the names this week surprise you?

Stay tuned for the boys’ list in a couple of weeks.

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

Biggest Baby Name Debuts of the 1970s

More decade-by-decade debuts!

Here are the biggest debuts of the 1970s, a follow-up to the biggest debuts of the 1980s.

These are all of the “100+” debut names — names that went from being given to fewer than 5 babies per year to suddenly being given to more than 100 babies in one particular year.

  1. Kizzy: 1,115 baby girls in 1977
  2. Nakia: 611 baby boys in 1974
  3. Levar: 523 baby boys in 1977
  4. Kunta: 215 baby boys in 1977
  5. Ayanna: 194 baby girls in 1971
  6. Azure: 121 baby girls in 1975
  7. Turkessa: 119 baby girls in 1975
  8. Cotina: 109 baby girls in 1972
  9. Tennille: 103 baby girls in 1975

And, again, all came from pop culture:

  • Kizzy, Levar and Kunta were inspired by the TV miniseries Roots (1977).
  • Nakia was inspired by short-lived TV show Nakia (1974).
  • Ayanna was inspired by Ayanna, daughter of Dick Gregory.
  • Azure was inspired by Azure Dee, both a character and a song (sung by Telly Savalas himself) in an episode of Kojak.
  • Turkessa was inspired by Turkessa, daughter of Mary Wilson of the Supremes.
  • Cotina was inspired by soap opera Where the Heart Is.
  • Tennille was inspired by Captain & Tennille.

Nineties next!

Baby Names from Alex Haley’s “Roots”

In late 1976, Alex Haley’s novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family was published.

The book tells the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century African man who is captured, brought to North America, and sold as a slave to a Virginia plantation owner.

In January of 1977, an 8-episode TV miniseries based on the novel aired in on ABC.

The televised version of Roots was wildly popular — 9 Emmy Awards, 1 Golden Globe, 1 Peabody, and some of the highest Nielsen ratings of all time.

More importantly, though, it had an unprecedented influence on baby names, inspiring thousands African-American parents to name their babies after Roots characters and actors. Below are some examples.

Kizzy and Kunta Kinte, Roots
Kizzy (Leslie Uggams) and Kunta Kinte (LeVar Burton) of Roots © Ebony

Levar & Kizzy

The top debut names of 1977 were Levar and Kizzy.

Levar comes from actor LeVar Burton, who played protagonist Kunta Kinte in the miniseries.

  • 1979: 175 baby boys named Levar [rank: 645th]
  • 1978: 254 baby boys named Levar [rank: 512th]
  • 1977: 523 baby boys named Levar [rank: 343rd] [debut]
  • 1976: not listed

The names Lavar, Levarr, Lavarr and Lavare also got a boost in 1977. (The last three were debuts.)

Kizzy comes from the character Kizzy, daughter of Kunta Kinte.

  • 1979: 269 baby girls named Kizzy [rank: 648th]
  • 1978: 456 baby girls named Kizzy [rank: 439th]
  • 1977: 1,115 baby girls named Kizzy [rank: 223rd] [debut]
  • 1976: not listed

So far, Kizzy’s 1977 debut is the highest baby name debut ever.

The names Kizzie, Kizzi, Kizzey, Lakizzy and Kizi also got a boost in 1977. (The last four were debuts.)

Kunta & Kinte

Kunta not only debuted in 1977, but it popped into the top 1,000 for the first and only time that year as well.

  • 1979: 16 baby boys named Kunta
  • 1978: 52 baby boys named named Kunta
  • 1977: 215 baby boys named Kunta [rank: 572nd] [debut]
  • 1976: not listed

Kinte also reached the top 1,000 for the first and only time in 1977, after debuting the year before.

  • 1978: 38 baby boys named Kinte
  • 1977: 104 baby boys named Kinte [rank: 839th]
  • 1976: 5 baby boys named Kinte [debut]
  • 1975: not listed

Related 1977 debuts include Kuntakinte, Kinta, Quinte, and Kunte.

Fanta, Jitu, Kairaba, Lamin, Omoro & Yaisa

Here are some other Roots-related debuts I’ve noticed.

Fanta, the name of a woman captured and enslaved along with Kunta Kinte (in the miniseries, not in the book):

  • 1979: 31 baby girls named Fanta
  • 1978: 34 baby girls named Fanta
  • 1977: 66 baby girls named Fanta [debut]
  • 1976: not listed

Jitu, from Ji-Tu Cumbuka, the name of the actor who played a wrestler in the miniseries:

  • 1979: not listed
  • 1978: not listed
  • 1977: 7 baby boys named Jitu [debut & one-hit wonder]
  • 1976: not listed

Kairaba, the name of Kunta Kinte’s grandfather:

  • 1979: not listed
  • 1978: not listed
  • 1977: 8 baby boys named Kairaba [debut & one-hit wonder]
  • 1976: not listed

Lamin, the name of Kunta Kinte’s brother:

  • 1979: not listed
  • 1978: 7 baby boys named Lamin
  • 1977: 12 baby boys named Lamin [debut]
  • 1976: not listed

Omoro, the name of Kunta Kinte’s father:

  • 1979: 8 baby boys named Omoro
  • 1978: 11 baby boys named Omoro
  • 1977: 19 baby boys named Omoro [debut]
  • 1976: not listed

Yaisa, the name of Kunta Kinte’s grandmother:

  • 1979: 6 baby girls named Yaisa
  • 1978: 11 baby girls named Yaisa
  • 1977: 17 baby girls named Yaisa [debut]
  • 1976: not listed

Binta, Haley & Toby

Finally, two names that were given a boost by Roots, and one that was definitely not.

Binta, the name of Kunta Kinte’s mother:

  • 1979: 10 baby girls named Binta
  • 1978: 11 baby girls named Binta
  • 1977: 16 baby girls named Binta
  • 1976: not listed
  • 1975: 5 baby girls named Binta

Haley, from Alex Haley, the name of the author:

  • 1979: 512 baby girls named Haley [rank: 414th]
  • 1978: 516 baby girls named Haley [rank: 398th]
  • 1977: 462 baby girls named Haley [rank: 442nd]
  • 1976: 117 baby girls named Haley
  • 1975: 110 baby girls named Haley

Toby, the name given to Kunta Kinte by the plantation owner:

  • 1981: 458 baby boys named Toby [rank: 375th]
  • 1980: 648 baby boys named Toby [rank: 304th]
  • 1979: 666 baby boys named Toby [rank: 299th]
  • 1978: 884 baby boys named Toby [rank: 239th]
  • 1977: 1,060 baby boys named Toby [rank: 209th]
  • 1976: 1,095 baby boys named Toby [rank: 201st]

The usage of Toby declined quickly after Roots aired. Was it already on its way out? Was it pulled down by the slave-name association? Both? Hm…

Source: “Pride in ‘Roots’ Inspiring Blacks to Name Babies After Characters.” Morning Record and Journal 19 Mar. 1977: 14.
Image from Ebony, June 1977, page 76.

The Mysterious Djuna (and Djuana)

So far I’ve only posted about two mystery names, Laquita and Nerine. But there are plenty of others.

One of those others is Djuna. It was the highest-hitting newbie name for girls in 1964, and the jump was impressive:

  • 1966: 24 baby girls named Djuna
  • 1965: 32 baby girls named Djuna
  • 1964: 198 baby girls named Djuna [rank: 738th] [debut]
  • 1963: unlisted

In fact, 198 was the highest debut number up to that point, and it remained the record-holder until Kizzy (inspired by Roots) came along with a whopping 1,115 baby girls in 1977.

And that’s not all. A bunch of similar names became more popular in 1964 as well:

Name 1963 1964 1965 1966
Djuna 198* 32 24
Djuana 190 77 35
Dwana 17 82 39 37
Duana 7 29 18 11
Dejuana 24 11 13
Dewanna 13 24 22 30
Dwanna 10 24 10 12
Duanna 10 6 6
Dujuana 10* 5
Djana 9*
Duuna 9*
Duwana 9*
Djuan 7*
Dejuna 6*
Duuana 6*
Duwanna 6*
Dywana 6*
Djuanna 5*
Dajuana 9*

*Debuts. (Djana, Duuna, Djuan, Dejuna and Duuana were one-hit wonders.)

Where did these names come from?

I haven’t a clue. The very first Djuna seems to be writer Djuna Barnes (1892-1982), but I don’t think she made any headlines in the 1960s.

The name was also used in a bunch Ellery Queen novels, but that Djuna was a boy. (And the books were published in the ’40s and ’50s, mostly.)

Olympian Wilma Rudolph named her baby girl Djuana in mid-1964. This may have contributed to the surge in usage. But many (most?) of the Djunas and Djuanas I’ve seen so far were born during the first half of the year, so it can’t be the main cause.

So…I’m stumped.

Do you guys have any ideas?