How popular is the baby name Lila in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Lila and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Lila.
When I first spotted the one-hit wonder baby name Tsitsiki, I honestly thought it might have something to do with Greek yogurt.
Turns out the answer is not tzatziki, but more likely Chicago news anchor Tsi-Tsi-Ki Félix.
According to the SSA’s baby name list, eight baby girls were named Tsitsiki in 2004. All of these baby girls were born in Illinois.
- 2005: unlisted
- 2004: 8 baby girls named Tsitsiki [debut]
- 2003: unlisted
The name had never been on the list before, and it hasn’t made an appearance since.
Tsi-Tsi-Ki Félix is originally from Michoacán, México. Her name is based on the Purépecha word tsitsiki, which means “flower.”
She joined Telemundo Chicago in 2001 as a reporter, was promoted to co-anchor of the 5 p.m. news in 2005, then became solo anchor of both the 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. news in 2009. I’m not sure what event boosted her profile in 2004, though…maybe a Telemundo advertising campaign?
Which leads me to a sub-theory: 2004 was the year Mexican-American singer Lila Downs released the folk album Una Sangre/One Blood, which include the Purépecha song “Tirineni Tsitsiki.” The album sold well and earned Downs a Latin Grammy Award the following year. The song may have helped popularize the name Tsitsiki in 2004 specifically.
What are your thoughts on the name Tsitsiki?
P.S. Lila Downs has a son named Benito Dxuladi, dxuladi [shoo-la-dee] being the Zapotec word for “chocolate.”
Sources: Félix leaves Telemundo Chicago, Tsi-Tsi-Ki | Bio, Welcome Benito! | The Official Lila Downs Site
Tuesday’s post about the Victorian-style Tylney Hall Hotel reminded me of a list of Victorian-era names that I’ve had bookmarked forever.
The list was created by amateur genealogist G. M. Atwater as a resource for writers. It contains names and name combinations that were commonly seen in the U.S. from the 1840s to the 1890s. Below is the full list (with a few minor changes).
Which female name and male name do you like best?
Source: Victorian Era Names, A Writer’s Guide
Ever heard of the WAMPAS Baby Stars?
They were young actresses on the cusp of movie stardom back in the 1920s and 1930s.
About 13 Baby Stars were selected by the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers every year from 1922 to 1934 (minus 1930 and 1933).
Some of those young women did indeed achieve stardom. Among the Baby Stars were Clara Bow (’24), Mary Astor (’26), Joan Crawford (’26), Fay Wray (’26) and Ginger Rogers (’32).
I thought the names of the Baby Stars — the oldest of whom were born in the final years of the 1800s, the youngest of whom were born in the mid-1910s — would make an interesting set. But I wanted birth names, not stage names, so I tracked down as many birth names as I could. Here’s the result, sorted by frequency (i.e., seven women were named Dorothy).
- 7: Dorothy
- 6: Helen
- 4: Elizabeth
- 3: Frances, Ruth, Virginia
- 2: Anita, Ann, Barbara, Betty, Clara, Doris, Dorothea, Eleanor, Evelyn, Gladys, Gwendolyn, Hazel, Jacqueline, Katherine, Laura, Louise, Lucille, Margaret, Maria, Marian, Marie, Marion, Mary, Patricia, Violet
- 1: Adamae, Alberta, Alma, Anne, Audrey, Augusta, Blanche, Carmelita, Caryl, Constance, Derelys, Dolores, Duane, Edna, Eleanor, Ena, Enriqueta, Ethel, Ethlyne, Evalyn, Flora, Gisela, Gloria, Gretchen, Hattie, Helene, Ina, Ingeborg, Jacquiline, Jean, Joan, Jobyna, Josephine, Juanita, Julanne, Kathleen, Kathryn, Kitty, Launa, Laurette, Lena, Lenore, Lilian, Lola, Lu Ann, Lucile, Madeline, Marceline, Martha, Mildred, Myrna, Natalia, Natalie, Nellie, Neoma, Olive, Olivia, Patsy, Rita, Rochelle, Rose, Sally, Suzanne, Sidney, Toshia, Vera, Vina
And here are the leftover stage names:
- 5: Sally
- 4: Mary
- 3: Joan, June
- 2: Betty, Jean, Judith, Pauline
- 1: Alice, Bessie, Boots, Claire, Colleen, Dolores, Dorothy, Elinor, Evelyn, Fay, Frances, Gigi, Ginger, Gladys, Gloria, Gwen, Iris, Janet, Joyce, Julie, Karen, Kathleen, Lila, Lina, Lois, Lona, Loretta, Lucille, Lupe, Marian, Molly, Mona, Natalie, Patricia, Sue
(Often stage names were the real-life middle names of these women.)
Finally, a few interesting details:
- Jobyna is Jobyna Ralston, named for actress Jobyna Howland, daughter of a man named Joby Howland. Jobyna debuted on the SSA’s baby name list in 1927.
- Derelys is Derelys Perdue. “Perdue’s boss, future presidential father Joseph P. Kennedy, insisted on changing her name to the more palatable Ann Perdue.” She sued, but lost, and her career never recovered. Derelys was a one-hit wonder on the SSA’s baby name list in 1924.
- Sidney is Sidney Fox, a female who had the name Sidney/Sydney long before the name became trendy for girls.
- Lina is Lina Basquette, who I mentioned in last week’s name quote post.
- One of the Marys is Mary Astor, who went on to give her daughter a Hawaiian name.
Which of the above names do you like best? Why?
Source: Derelys Perdue – Biography – Movies & TV – NYTimes.com
Today’s interview is with Maia, a 40 year old from Montreal, Canada.
How did she get her name?
My parents had friends with a daughter named Mira, a name they both liked. Mira’s parents mentioned that another name they had considered was Maia. My parents were apparently instantly sold on it and that was that.
What does she like most about her name?
I love that my name is short and feminine without being over-the-top frilly. I love that it comes from Greek mythology, and that it works well cross-culturally. When I was growing up it was an unusual name, but not so unusual as to baffle people.
What does she like least about her name?
My name sometimes gets mispronounced as Mia, or confused with Maria, but this hasn’t been a major issue.
Would Maia recommend that her name be given to babies today?
Maya and Maia are now quite popular, and they fit into the larger trend of short, vowelly names like Lila, Ava, Mia, Ella etc., so I wouldn’t suggest Maia to parents who are looking for something really out of the ordinary. However, a little Maia would certainly not be out of place today and I’ve had many positive reactions to my name as far back as I can remember, so I’d recommend it based on that. It could also be an interesting choice as a middle name.
Thank you, Maia!
P.S. Want to see how popular the name Maia has been in the U.S. recently?
[Would you like to tell me about your name?]
Remember Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose? I recently found out that one of his ex-wives is named Erin Invicta Everly. Invicta is a form of invictus, Latin for “unconquered.”
What’s the story behind Invicta?
Erin was born in 1965 to musician Don Everly and actress Venetia Stevenson, full name Joanna Venetia Invicta Stevenson. Venetia was born in 1938 to director Robert Stevenson and actress Anna Lee (best known for portraying Lila Quartermaine on General Hospital).
Anna Lee is the one who came up with Invicta. Here’s what she says in her memoir:
Venetia’s middle name, Invicta, meaning “invincible,” came from a childhood memory. I used to watch the street being repaired, and I loved the smell of the thick, black tar as it was poured over the gravel and then flattened and smoothed by a giant steamroller. It was the huge, formidable steamroller that fascinated me. On the front of this piece of machinery was a brass plaque of a horse, rearing up, with the word “Invicta” beneath it.
Interesting, isn’t it? Certainly one of the most vivid baby name stories I’ve seen in a while.
The steamroller would have been an Aveling-Barford steamroller. The company, established in the 1860s as Aveling and Porter, was based in Kent, which is where Anna Lee was born. It used Kent’s motto, Invicta, and the rearing horse from Kent’s coat of arms on its steamrollers and other equipment.
Lee’s memoir also mentions that Venetia’s first name was inspired by a portrait of Venetia Stanley (1600-1633) that Anna had seen at Sherborne Castle.
Source: Lee, Anna and Barbara Roisman. Anna Lee: Memoir of a Career on General Hospital and in Film. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2007.
Image: Adapted from 1871 Aveling and Porter traction engine 04 by Oxyman under CC BY 2.5.