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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Malala

Number of Babies Named Malala

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Malala

Pop Culture Baby Name Game Results, 2013

Here are the results of the 2013 pop culture baby name game!

But I’m writing them up a bit differently this year — I’m only focusing on 20 big winners.

How did I choose these 20? First, I eliminated all the names that didn’t see increased usage in 2013. Then I eliminated the names that saw relatively small increases in usage. Then I eliminated the names that saw more or less expected increases in usage, given their trajectories.

That left me with about 20 names that became more popular in 2013 due mainly (in some cases entirely) to pop culture influence.

The links will take you to popularity graphs.

1. Jace

  • Increase: +1,649 baby boys (4,692 to 6,341) and +8 baby girls (36 to 44).
  • Inspiration: “Duck Dynasty” character Jason “Jase” Robertson.
  • Even more impressive, the name Jase increased +3,410 and +13.

2. Lincoln

  • Increase: +1,112 baby boys (2,898 to 4,010) and +28 baby girls (33 to 61).
  • Inspiration: The film Lincoln (2012).

3. Ariana

  • Increase: +816 baby girls (3,568 to 4,384).
  • Inspiration: Singer/actress Ariana Grande.
  • 4,384 baby girls is a new all-time high for Ariana. The previous high was 4,322 baby girls in 2007.

4. Everly

  • Increase: +517 baby girls (287 to 804).
  • Inspiration: Celebrity baby Everly, daughter of Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan.

5. Kendrick

  • Increase: +472 baby boys (570 to 1,042).
  • Inspiration: Hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar.
  • 1,042 baby boys is a new all-time high for Kendrick. The previous high was 763 baby boys in 1991.

6. Milan

  • Increase: +333 baby boys (151 to 484) and +89 baby girls (382 to 471).
  • Inspiration: Celebrity baby Milan, son of Shakira and Gerard Pique.

7. George

  • Increase: +194 baby boys (2,328 to 2,522).
  • Inspiration: Royal baby George, son of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

8. Francis

  • Increase: +101 baby boys (429 to 530) and +13 baby girls (44 to 57).
  • Inspiration: The election of Pope Francis.
  • Even more impressive, the name Francisco increased +125.

9. Bruno

  • Increase: +91 baby boys (284 to 375).
  • Inspiration: Singer Bruno Mars.
  • 375 baby boys is a new all-time high for Bruno. The previous high was 353 in 1916.

10. Paul

  • Increase: +78 baby boys (1,939 to 2,017).
  • Inspiration: The death of actor Paul Walker.
  • Walker saw an even bigger increase (+128) but I thought Paul’s rise was more compelling as it went against a decades-long decline in usage.

11. Robin

  • Increase: +48 baby boys (104 to 152).
  • Inspiration: Singer Robin Thicke.

12. Diamond

  • Increase: +41 baby girls (345 to 386).
  • Inspiration: Rihanna song “Diamonds” (2012).

13. Wendy

  • Increase: +37 baby girls (357 to 394).
  • Inspiration: Texas politician Wendy Davis.
  • I’m dying to see how much of Wendy’s increase can be attributed to Texas specifically. The SSA’s state lists haven’t been updated yet, though.

14. Nori

  • Increase: +18 baby girls (11 to 29).
  • Inspiration: Celebrity baby “Nori” (North), daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
  • 29 baby girls is a new high for Nori. The previous high was 20 in 2009.

15. Primrose

  • Increase: +17 baby girls (17 to 34).
  • Inspiration: Hunger Games (2012) character Primrose Everdeen.
  • Prim, a nickname for Primrose, debuted with 7 baby girls.

16. Marnie

  • Increase: +14 baby girls (13 to 27).
  • Inspiration: “Girls” character Marnie Michaels.

17. Rainbow

  • Increase: +9 baby girls (7 to 16).
  • Inspiration: Celebrity baby Rainbow, daughter of Holly Madison and Pasquale Rotella.

18. Kitai

  • Debuted with 16 baby boys.
  • Inspiration: After Earth (2013) character Kitai Raige.
  • Cypher, the name of another After Earth character, increased +4.

19. Sansa

  • Debuted with 11 baby girls.
  • Inspiration: “Game of Thrones” character Sansa Stark.

20. Malala

  • Debuted with 9 baby girls.
  • Inspiration: Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai.

Did any of the above surprise you?

Past PCBNG results: 2012, 2011, 2010.

Top Baby Girl Name Debuts of 2013

Vanellope, the name of the feisty Wreck-It Ralph character, was the top debut name of 2013.

Of all the girl names appearing for the very first time on a Social Security Administration baby name list in 2013, the following were the most popular:

1. Vanellope, 63 baby girls
Top Girl Name Debut of 2013? Vanellope.2. Delayza, 24
3. Adalind, 23
4. Jonylah, 22
5. Daleiza, 19
6. Daleisa, 18
7. Dalayza, 17
8. Daleyssa, 16
9. Ariebella, 15
10. Jennicka, 15
11. Stassi, 14
12. Jayceona, 13
13. Dalexa, 12
14. Graceleigh, 12
15. Kemely, 12
16. Lennan, 12
17. Pihu, 12
18. Spruha, 12
19. Hypatia, 11
20. Idalie, 11
21. Jessalee, 11
22. Mayalen, 11
23. Mirola, 11
24. Riyaan, 11
25. Sansa, 11

And a selection from the 10-and-under group: Aleciram (Maricela backwards), Jayceon, Oswin, Zaleigha, Azealia, Eribella, Jayceonna, Kahleesi, Malala, Pistol, Pragati, Vanelope, Venelope, Wrenly, Faraday, Happiness, Pemberley, Wrenley, Epic, Prim, Rarity, Briggs, Charlemagne, Kinzington, Bow, Essined (Denisse backwards), Gunner, Lwren (L’Wren), Moxxi, Quora, Sierraleone, Thisbe, Versavia, Zeppelin.

Where do these names come from? Here are some explanations:

  • Vanellope, Vanelope, Venelope – from Vanellope von Schweetz, a character in the Disney movie Wreck-It Ralph (2012). Her name is a portmanteau of “vanilla” and “Penelope.”
  • Delayza, Daleiza, Daleisa, Dalayza, Daleyssa, Dalexa – from Daleyza Hernandez, a character on the Spanish-language TV show “Larrymania.”
  • Adalind – from Adalind Schade, a character on the TV show “Grimm.”
  • Jonylah – from Jonylah Watkins, the 6-month-old Chicago baby who was fatally shot back in March.
  • Stassi – from Stassi Schroeder (birth name Nastassia) of the Bravo reality TV show “Vanderpump Rules.”
  • Jayceona, Jayceon, Jayceonna – from Jayceon Taylor (a.k.a. The Game) of the VH1 reality TV show “Marrying The Game.”
  • Pihu – from Pihu Kapoor, a character on the Indian TV show “Bade Achhe Lagte Hain.”
  • Spruha – from Indian actress Spruha Joshi?
  • Hypatia – from the film Agora (2009)?
  • Sansa – from Sansa Stark, a character on the TV show “Game of Thrones.”
  • Malala – from Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani activist.

Can you come up with explanations for any of the others?

P.S. Here are the girl name debuts for 2012, 2011 and 2010.

U.S. Baby Names 2013: Most Popular Names, Top Girl Name Debuts, Top Boy Name Debuts, Biggest Girl Name Changes, Biggest Boy Name Changes, Top First Letters, Top Lengths, Top Girl Names by Letter, Top Boy Names by Letter, Top 1-Syllable Names

Is the Name Cressida About to Get a Boost?

The royal family has given me a lot to blog about in the last few years — Pippa in 2011, Jubilee in 2012, the royal baby name (twice!) in 2013…

So will the royal-inspired baby name of 2014 be Cressida?

The gossip sites are telling me that Prince Harry and his girlfriend, socialite Cressida Bonas, may marry next year. Apparently Harry met Cressie (as friends call her) via cousin Eugenie.

Where does the name Cressida come from?

We know it from Shakespeare’s play Troilus and Cressida (1602). Cressida is a medieval form of the Greek name Chryseis, which Shakespeare would have known from Homers’ Iliad. In the Iliad, Chryseis (as her name indicates) was the daughter of Chryses, whose name was derived from the Ancient Greek word chrysos, meaning “gold” or “golden.”

How are Cressida and Cressie doing on the charts right now?

  • The baby name Cressida has appeared on the SSA’s list a handful of times, mostly in the 1970s and 1980s, but no more than 8 Cressidas have ever been born in a single year. It was last listed in 1990.
  • The baby name Cressie has had better luck, though it was more popular during the 1910s and 1920s than it is today. It was last listed in 1987.

If Harry and Cressie marry next year, do you think the royal wedding will popularize the name Cressida in the U.S.?

(And if they don’t, do you think there’s a chance the name could become trendy anyway thanks to the third Hunger Games film, due out in late 2014?)

Source: Prince Harry planning to marry Cressida Bonas, friends say

Other predictions so far for 2013: D’Ussé, Lincoln, Cypher, Elon, Macklemore, Elon, Malala, Gatsby, and more.

Name Quotes for the Weekend #8

From Kim Gillespie of the Bay of Plenty Times:

Yes, some want unique names for their babies. Others are happy to choose traditional or family names with meaning. Either way, having labelled your kid for life, how about mums and dads concentrate on growing a human being who will stand out, make a difference and be loved for who they are, not for what they’re called.

From the American Name Society [pdf]:

“Malala” was chosen as the Personal Name of the Year. The first name of Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban for refusing to abandon her campaign for girls’ education, is now known worldwide as a symbol for women’s rights.

The overall Name of the Year was Sandy.

From’s Meg Matenaer, who named her first son Augustine:

When our oldest son Augustine was born, there was lots of confusion on the part of people asking what his name was. Either they misheard (“Justin? What a nice name.” or “Augustus?”) or they mispronounced it, especially if they were from a different faith tradition. Many a nurse has called for Augusteen across a crowded waiting room.

And named her second son Ignatius:

In the days following his birth, I tried not to worry about how other people perceived his name. Everyone had been very polite and remarked on what a beautiful or interesting name it was. No one actually said what they might have been thinking, “Are you serious?” Filling out the birth certificate paperwork, I tried to banish thoughts of how our little guy might grow up to hate us.

From Nina Badzin, writing for TC Jewfolk:

I speak from the experience of not waiting to announce my kids’ names. Of course after the birth of our first three children, my husband and I let approximately twenty-two seconds pass before broadcasting our name choices. But with our fourth child due in a few weeks, we’ve decided to hold out until the proper ceremony (we don’t know if we’re having a boy or a girl) before telling anyone the name. Practically speaking, there’s something cool and uniquely private about forcing ourselves to rise above the fast-paced announce everything on Facebook three minutes after it happens culture.

From a Fortune article about finance guru Ramit Sethi:

Sethi says his name was originally supposed to be Amit, not Ramit. But when his parents realized that Amit Singh Sethi’s initials spelled out a profanity, they went back to the registrar and convinced him that he had erroneously dropped an “R.” “Like true immigrants, they didn’t request a name change, because that would be, like, $50,” he says.

From Elizabeth Walne of UK genealogy blog Your Local History:

Some first names can be very helpful in providing an approximate birth date for an individual if you are unsure. I once researched a family with sons Foch, Petain and Joffre – all Marshals of France during WWI, effectively ‘dating’ them to around 1914-18.

Another example with less specific dates is the girl’s name ‘Adelaide’ which became popular with Adelaide, wife of William IV (born 1792, crowned Queen Consort 1831 and died 1849) and then fell in popularity – but importantly for red herring purposes didn’t disappear completely – after the turn of the century.

From Melinda Ozongwu of This Is Africa (via A Mitchell):

These days it isn’t uncommon to meet young African parents who’ve succumbed to one naming trend or the other, naming their children after celebrities, for instance: the Blue Ivy’s and all the rest of it. It’s quite a new thing, as the form and parameters of African names have traditionally been fairly standard, unlike in the West where spellings of names change, new names get invented, names rise and fall in popularity from one year to the next and so on. Recently it seems that Africans are more likely to include popular English names as well as ‘trend’ names when naming their children. It must be quite frustrating for the older generation to see the younger generations opting out of using traditional names, especially so for those who were around during our countries’ liberation from colonialism, many of whom are proud traditionalists, and many of whom are already exhausted by the younger generation abridging and altering their culture in other ways.

From Bella Clarke of the blog Glitz and Pram:

Chose a middle name first. You might want a family name as a middle name, or have a name that you’ve always loved but don’t think it seems right as a forename. For some reason it’s a lot easier to decide on a middle name for your baby and I found that having this choice set in stone made it easier to eliminate some of my forename choices.

From Drew Magary of Deadspin:

I’m waiting for Utah parents to seize upon the W as the next replacement vowel. If you don’t think there’s a Jwcwlwnn in our future, you are dead wrong. Eventually, all American baby names will resemble some kind of old Welsh dialect.

Previously: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7