How popular is the baby name Lisa 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 Lisa.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Lisa


Posts that Mention the Name Lisa

The One-Hit Wonder Trinere

The baby name Trinere has appeared a single time in the SSA’s baby name data so far:

  • 1992: unlisted
  • 1991: unlisted
  • 1990: 5 baby girls named Trinere
  • 1989: unlisted
  • 1988: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Miami-based freestyle vocalist Trinere, who saw the most success from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s. Although the name was a one-hit wonder, Trinere herself was not — a number of her songs ended up on Billboard’s Hip Hop and Dance Singles charts.

Trinere’s full name at birth was Trinere Veronica Farrington.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Trinere?

Sources: Trinere – Wikipedia, Rare and Obscure Music: Trinere

P.S. Another Latin freestyle singer we’ve talked about before? Lisa Lisa!

Name Quotes 86: Sena, Fennis, LeBron

Time for the monthly quote-post!

From the speech “How Everything Turns Away” by children’s book author Lois Lowry (b. 1937):

My first photograph…or the first photograph of me…was taken, by my father, when I was 36 hours old. My name was different then. They had named me Sena, for my Norwegian grandmother, and that was my name until she was notified; then she sent a telegram insisting that they give me an American name, and so I was renamed Lois Ann for my father’s two sisters.

From an article about baby-naming in Armenia:

Armenia does not have a censorship for names, while its neighbor Azerbaijan has. There are three categories of names in Azerbaijan: “allowed,” “undesirable,” and “prohibited.” No comment is necessary for the first group. The second group includes funny and bizarre names. The third group refers to Armenian names.

On the names of spirit guides, from the book Journey of Souls (1994) by LBL hypnotherapist Dr. Michael Newton:

The personal names my clients attach to their guides range from ordinary, whimsical, or quaint-sounding words, to the bizarre. Frequently, these names can be traced back to a specific past life a teacher spent with a student. Some clients are unable to verbalize their guide’s name because the sound cannot be duplicated, even when they see them clearly while under hypnosis. I tell these people it is much more important that they understand the purpose of why certain guides are assigned to them, rather than possessing their names. A subject may simply use a general designation for their guide such as: director, advisor, instructor, or just “my friend.”

From a 1987 Sports Illustrated interview with basketball player Fennis Dembo:

With apologies to World B. Free, Shaquille O’Neal and, yes, even God Shammgod, when it comes to staking a claim to basketball’s alltime name, Fennis Dembo enjoys Jordanlike distance from the pretenders. “I’m always a bit stunned that people still remember me,” says Fennis, whose mother, Clarissa, selected his name, along with that of his twin sister, Fenise, as a declaration that after 11 children, her childbearing days were finis. “I tried to set up an E-mail account, but two other guys–basketball fans, I guess–were already using my name in their address.”

From a 2018 interview with basketball player LeBron James [vid]:

I still regret giving my 14-year-old my name […] When I was younger, obviously, I didn’t have a dad. So, my whole thing was, like, whenever I have a kid, not only is he gonna be a junior, but I’m gonna do everything that this man didn’t do. They’re gonna experience things that I didn’t experience, and the only thing I can do is give them the blueprint, and it’s up to them to take their own course.

(LeBron, Jr., is nicknamed “Bronny” — no doubt to differentiate son from father, but perhaps also to take some of the pressure off. Here’s a post about how LeBron James has affected baby names over the years.)

From a 2016 Maxim interview with movie director Ron Howard:

Q: Is it true that your kids’ middle names come from the locations where they were conceived?

A: David Letterman got that out of me, and my kids will never let me forget it. My daughter, Bryce [Dallas Howard], was conceived in Dallas, and our twins [Jocelyn Carlyle Howard and Paige Carlyle Howard] were conceived while we were doing a publicity tour at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City. For the last one [Reed Cross Howard], we were on Lower Cross Road, so we decided to go with Cross. “Volvo” wouldn’t be such a good middle name.

From a review of the memoir The Kennedy Chronicles by former MTV veejay Kennedy (full name: Lisa Kennedy Montgomery):

According to Kennedy, her secret dalliance with the then-married lead singer and frontman of the Goo Goo Dolls led to one of the group’s most well-known songs, the 1995 mega-hit “Name.” To Kennedy, the lyrics hit a little to close to home: “Did you lose yourself somewhere out there? Did you get to be a star?” And then “You could hide beside me/ Maybe for a while. And I won’t tell no one your name.”

She writes: “When I asked him about it he indeed admitted the inspiration and told me there was no way all we’d shared wasn’t going to show up in his writing.”

Here’s the song:

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.

The Coming of Keir

The baby name Keir debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1963.

The compact name Keir first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in the early 1960s:

  • 1968: 28 baby boys named Keir
  • 1967: 6 baby boys named Keir
  • 1966: 12 baby boys named Keir
  • 1965: 6 baby boys named Keir
  • 1964: 21 baby boys named Keir
  • 1963: 13 baby boys named Keir [debut]
  • 1962: unlisted

The spelling Kier debuted as well.

What was the influence?

Actor Keir Dullea, whose first big movie role was the a lead part in the offbeat romance David and Lisa (1962). He ended up winning a Golden Globe for “Most Promising Newcomer – Male” in early 1963.

He went on to appear in other movies, none more successful than Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), in which he played another David: astronaut David Bowman, who spoke the classic line, “Open the pod bay doors please, HAL.”

His full name is pronounced KEER duh-LAY, which is easy to remember if you think of the Noel Coward witticism, “Keir Dullea, gone tomorrow.” I’m not sure how his parents came up with the name Keir, but it could be an Anglicized form of the Irish name Ciar, which means “black.”

(Keir was also on TV a lot, and once appeared in an episode of the short-lived show Channing — just like Joan Hackett, whose character Djuna Phrayne had a big impact on the baby name Djuna.)

Do you like the name Keir?

Source: Keir Dullea – Wikipedia

The Inception of Sway

sway, gone in 60 seconds, movie, character
Angelina Jolie as Sara “Sway” Wayland

The word Sway popped up for the first time in the U.S. baby name data in 2001:

  • 2003: 14 baby girls and 5 baby boys named Sway
  • 2002: 12 baby girls named Sway
  • 2001: 8 baby girls named Sway [debut]
  • 2000: unlisted
  • 1999: unlisted

For a long time I assumed the main influence was MTV personality Sway Calloway. But, while I still think Sway had an influence on male usage, I’ve since discovered a much better explanation for the 2001 debut as a female name.

One of the main characters in the 2000 car heist film Gone in 60 Seconds was mechanic-slash-bartender Sara “Sway” Wayland (played by Angelina Jolie). She was the love interest of protagonist Randall “Memphis” Raines (played by Nicolas Cage), who was tasked with stealing 50 specific, expensive cars inside of 72 hours.

The film didn’t get great reviews, but I do remember appreciating the fact that each of the 50 cars was assigned a feminine code-name:

Mary, Barbara, Lindsey, Laura, Alma, Madeline, Patricia, Carol, Daniela, Stefanie, Erin, Pamela, Olga, Anne, Kate, Vanessa, Denise, Diane, Lisa, Nadine, Angelina, Rose, Susan, Tracey, Rachel, Bernadene, Deborah, Stacey, Josephine, Hillary, Kimberley, Renee, Dorothy, Donna, Samantha, Ellen, Gabriela, Shannon, Jessica, Sharon, Tina, Marsha, Natalie, Virginia, Tanya, Grace, Ashley, Cathy, Lynn, Eleanor

So, how do you feel about the name Sway? If you were having a baby girl, would you be more likely to name her something modern, like Sway, or something traditional, like Sara or Susan?

Sources: Gone in 60 Seconds (2000 film) – Wikipedia, Talk:Gone in 60 Seconds (2000 film) – Wikipedia

“Addams Family” Baby Names

addams family, television, 1960s, baby names
The Addams Family (l-r): Gomez, Wednesday, Uncle Fester, Morticia, Lurch, Grandmama, Pugsley

The characters in The Addams Family originated in single-panel newspaper cartoons drawn by Charles Addams in the late ’30s. They were all nameless until the darkly funny TV sitcom The Addams Family (1964-1966) came along and named them.

And so, thanks to the show, three brand-new baby names debuted in the U.S baby name data in the mid-1960s:

Wednesday

The name Wednesday appeared in 1965:

  • 1968: 14 baby girls named Wednesday
  • 1967: 15 baby girls named Wednesday
  • 1966: 22 baby girls named Wednesday
  • 1965: 15 baby girls named Wednesday [debut]
  • 1964: unlisted

This was inspired by somber 6-year-old Wednesday Addams (played by Lisa Loring). Her name was taken from “Wednesday’s child is full of woe” — a line in the nursery rhyme “Monday’s Child.”

Morticia

The name Morticia also appeared in 1965:

  • 1968: 5 baby girls named Morticia
  • 1967: unlisted
  • 1966: 7 baby girls named Morticia
  • 1965: 9 baby girls named Morticia [debut]
  • 1964: unlisted

The variant Marticia debuted that year as well.

This one was inspired by Addams family matriarch Morticia Addams (played by Carolyn Jones). Her name was clearly based on the Latin word mort, meaning “death,” and closely resembles the modern word mortician.

Addam

A third baby name that appeared in the data in 1965 was Addam:

  • 1968: unlisted
  • 1967: unlisted
  • 1966: unlisted
  • 1965: 6 baby boys named Addam [debut]
  • 1964: unlisted

It’s not technically “Addams,” but it’s close enough for us to assume it was inspired by the show. (The standard spelling, Adam, saw a spike in usage in 1964. I’m not sure if this was caused by the show, though.)

So here’s today’s question: which goth-girl name do you like more, Morticia or Maleficent?

Source: The Addams Family (TV series) – Wikipedia