How popular is the baby name Messiah in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Messiah and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Messiah.
In 2011, New Zealand released a list of banned baby names. Names from that list have be circulating for years now, but I’d never seen any legit updates…until a few weeks ago.
Here are four baby names that were rejected by the NZ Department of Internal Affairs in 2015:
And here’s what the country’s Registrar-General had to say about intentionally misspelled names like Royahl:
“People will try it on, they will try to change a letter here or there and say it’s not an official title because it’s spelt differently. But if it sounds like an official title I won’t approve it, and that’s because potentially that child is going to end up perhaps in a court, and that name would be read out in court, and that would be inappropriate.”
He also noted that “about 60 names…[come] to his attention” every year. He didn’t specify, though, whether or not all of these names eventually get rejected.
The names above join previously rejected baby names such as Anal, Christ, Justice, King, Lucifer, Mafia No Fear, Messiah, Queen Victoria, Rogue, Senior Constable, and V8.
Source: When bad baby names go too far
Not long ago, the image of an I.D. card belonging to an Indonesian man named Tuhan went viral.
The joke? Tuhan happens to mean “god” or “lord” in Indonesian.
This brought the name to the attention of the Indonesian Ulema Council, Indonesia’s top Muslim clerical body. The group is now asking Tuhan — a 42-year-old Muslim from East Java — to either change his name or prefix it with Abdu, meaning “servant of.” They’re also threatening to exclude him from “any public service until such time as the name [is] amended.”
But according to Antariksawan Jusuf, an expert on the Osing people of East Java, Tuhan’s name has an entirely different origin:
The offending word, Antariksawan said, came from maftuhan, which means “open” in the Osing language. Members of the tribe, however, tend to abbreviate names according to speech. Thus, maftuhan is often shortened to [Tuhan].
“We must be careful not to equate a word in a traditional language with a similar one used in another language, including Indonesian,” Antariksawan said.
So far, Tuhan has decided to keep his birth name as-is.
(Something similar happened to both Justice of New Zealand and Messiah of Tennessee, whose names had been deemed acceptable before coming to the attention of the wrong person/group.)
Sources: This man’s name means ‘God,’ and he’s being asked to change it, East Java man’s divine name upsets local clerics, Man’s divine name is dialect, says expert (found via Nothing Like a Name)
The first season of hit drama Empire aired from January through March of this year.
The show’s audience grew bigger and bigger with each successive episode (no small feat!) and the first-season finale was the most successful of “any new series on any broadcast network” since the first-season finale of Grey’s Anatomy back in 2005.
I think the show — which will be back on the air with new episodes in September — could have a big impact on baby names in 2015. Some Empire names to keep an eye on:
- Taraji, for actress Taraji P. Henson.
- Cookie, for character Cookie Lyon. This name was last on the SSA’s list in the early 1990s, but the character is giving the name Cookie a whole new image, so…will it be back in 2015?
- Lyon, for the family surname.
- Lucious, for character Lucious Lyon. It gets a fraction of the usage that Lucius gets, but could this character change that?
- Lola, for character Lola Lyon. Not a major character, but extremely adorable — and when it comes to names, that’s sometimes all that matters.
- Trai, for actor Trai Byers.
And three names that might debut on the SSA’a list in 2015…
- Bryshere, for actor Bryshere Y. Gray.
- Jussie, for actor Jussie Smollett. Smollett has been in and out the spotlight for a long time now, and his name has never made the list, but maybe this will change in 2015. (His character, Jamal, is probably the most likable person on the show.)
- Empire, for the show itself. This one might seem improbable, but I wouldn’t count it out as similar names (e.g., King, Kingdom, Emperor, Sire, Sovereign) do exist.
What are your thoughts on the names in Empire? Did I miss any good ones?
Sources: Empire – Wikipedia, ‘Empire’ strikes back as season’s hottest show, ‘Empire’ Finale Ratings Rise Even More, Best New Series Result In 10 Years – Update
P.S. Actor Terrence Howard, who plays Lucious, recently welcomed a son named Qirin. The name was derived from qilin, the name of a mythical Chinese creature.
Which baby names are the most disproportionately popular in each U.S. state?
Name blog Republic of Names has your answer — a bunch of cool lists of the most distinctive baby names by state. Here are some highlights for about half of the states.
- Crimson – Crimson Tide is the University of Alabama football team.
- Denali – Denali (Mount McKinley) in Alaska is North America’s highest peak.
- Nizhoni – Nizhóní is a Navajo word meaning “it/he/she is pretty/beautiful.”
- Sedona – Sedona is a city in Arizona.
- Eztli – Eztli is a Nahuatl (Aztec) word meaning “blood.”
- Trindon – Trindon Holliday played pro football in Colorado.
- Kinnick – Kinnick Stadium is where the Iowa Hawkeyes football team plays.
- Marigny – Foubourg Marigny is a New Orleans neighborhood.
- Baxter – Baxter is a state park in Maine.
In North Carolina:
In North Dakota:
- Autzen – Autzen Stadium is where the Oregon Ducks football team plays.
- Avenir – Avenir is a French word meaning “future.” It’s also on the Washington state list below. In fact, nearly two-thirds of last year’s Avenirs were born on the west coast: 10 in Washington, 7 in California, 5 in Oregon. Anyone know why?
- Brazos – Brazos is a Spanish word meaning “arms.” The Brazos River in Texas was originally called Rio de los Brazos de Dios, or “River of the Arms of God.”
- Korver – Kyle Korver played pro basketball in Utah.
In Washington, D.C.:
In Washington (state):
- Avenir – see Oregon
In West Virginia:
See the original post for the rest. You might also be interested in checking out the “most regional” baby names in the US.
Overconfident baby names like Classy, Epic, Majestic, Handsome and Einstein.
The ones I’ve blogged about so far are Envy, Foxy, Suave and Unique.
Here are some of the baby names that didn’t make the cut: Aristotle, Artist, Boss, Brave, Couture, Czar, Dandy, Emperor, Fancy, Fantasy, Great, Hercules, Legacy, Ninja, Peerless, Pride, Pristine, Ritzy, Romeo, Royalty, Sassy.
If you know anyone who appreciates baby name humor, please share!
See also: Embarrassing Baby Names.
Speaking of Tennessee…a few weeks after Tennessee judge Lu Ann Ballew attempted to change a 7‑month‑old’s first name from Messiah to Martin, Nashville-based Christian organization LifeWay Research asked 1,001 Americans a couple of questions about religious baby names.
Here are the two statements LifeWay asked respondents to either agree or disagree with, plus the survey results.
Q: “Judges should be allowed to change the name parents give their children if there are religious implications to those names that some people might find offensive.”
- 08% strongly agree
- 11% somewhat agree
- 15% somewhat disagree
- 61% strongly disagree
- 06% don’t know/not sure
Q: “Parents should be allowed to select names for their children such as Messiah or Christ, even if those names have religious meaning to some people.”
- 53% strongly agree
- 21% somewhat agree
- 11% somewhat disagree
- 10% strongly disagree
- 05% don’t know/not sure
So, 19% of respondents think government-appointed judges should have the right to change children’s names on religious grounds, and 21% think parents should not be allowed to choose certain religious names for their children. I find these numbers slightly disturbing, but they’re not as high as I would have guessed, given the religiosity of many Americans (e.g., 46% of Americans are creationists).
What do you think?
Source: Naming a Baby “Messiah” is Fine with Most Americans
Remember the Tennessee baby named Messiah who was renamed Martin by a judge last month? He was re-renamed Messiah a week ago by a second judge who said the first judge’s ruling violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Clearly it was wrong of the first judge to rename the boy on religious grounds. But Holly Baxter, writing for The Guardian, admitted that she liked the change, regardless of the reasoning. She called it a “fortunate escape.”
I may not agree with Judge Ballew’s assertion that a baby called Messiah would insult Jesus Christ, but I do know one thing: even if the baby grows up to be an atheist in the school of Richard Dawkins, he’ll be thanking his lucky stars that an offended Christian renamed him Martin.
She also offered an interesting suggestion:
While legislation will do little to stem the tide of Messiahs – who’s to stop the family in question from officially registering Martin and then referring to him as Messiah for the rest of his life, after all? – a serious discussion about what’s in a name during antenatal classes could make childhood easier for everyone.
Do you think a “serious discussion” about baby names in prenatal classes would be a good idea? Why or why not?
Source: A boy called Messiah: how a name can change your child’s life