We know what the top names in the country were last year, but what about the top names in each state? Here’s the list, released just yesterday by the SSA. I’ve also included each state’s most popular unique names (i.e., names that only appeared in the data for that particular state).
If your due date is December 21, why not commemorate the date with an end of the world-inspired baby name?
No, I’m not suggesting you go with something ridiculous like Armageddon or Apocalypse. (Though I have seen both used as names. Examples: Rev. Armageddon James Margerum, born in England in 1833, and Ulysses Apocalypse Johnson, born in California in 1992.)
Instead, try a name with a less obvious EotW connection. Perhaps one of these:
Maya – the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar is most commonly associated with the Maya
Jeremiah – ending sounds like Maya
Nehemiah – ending sounds like Maya
Deedee – short for doomsday
Ann – short for annihilation
Catherine – inspired by cataclysm
Arma – short for armageddon
Armand – inspired by armageddon
Armando – inspired by armageddon
Gideon – inspired by armageddon
Don – inspired by armageddon
Or try one of the dozens of names that happen to contain the word end (short for end of the world, of course).
Hundreds of Hasidic parents (mostly located in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn) named their daughters “Chaya Mushka” after the 1988 passing of Chaya Mushka Schneerson, the wife of prominent New York rabbi.
According to NYC government stats, “the popularity of the name “Chaya” surged shortly after the rebbetzin died, from about 100 girls annually during the mid-1980s to 150 girls annually during the early 1990s. It peaked in 2005 and 2006, with almost 200 girls named “Chaya” in each year.” (They don’t track middle names.)
One Chaya Mushka (b. 1988) mentioned that, at her Beth Rivkah school in Brooklyn, about 75 of the 120 girls in her grade were called Chaya Mushka.
A Crown Heights matchmaker said that, currently, “almost one-third of the 200 women on her list of eligible brides are Chaya Mushkas.”
What does the SSA data show? In 1988, the baby name Chaya (which means “life”) saw a jump in usage, and the baby name Mushka (which refers to a fragrance or an aromatic spice) debuted on the national list:
1991: 9 baby girls named Mushka
1990: 17 baby girls named Mushka
1989: 20 baby girls named Mushka
1988: 18 baby girls named Mushka [debut]
That matchmaker also mentioned that the name Menachem Mendel became extremely popular for boys after Chaya Mushka’s husband Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the leader of the Lubavitch movement, died a few years later in 1994. “In my son’s class, I would say about 90% [of the boys] are called Mendy.”