How popular is the baby name Moonlight 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 Moonlight.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Moonlight


Posts that Mention the Name Moonlight

Popular & Unique Baby Names in Idaho, 2016

According to Idaho’s Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics, the most popular baby names in the state in 2016 were Emma and Oliver.

Here are Idaho’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Emma, 123 baby girls
2. Olivia, 100
3. Harper, 88
4. Abigail, 75 (tie)
5. Evelyn, 75 (tie)
6. Charlotte, 74
7. Ava, 69
8. Emily, 65
9. Elizabeth, 62
10. Amelia, 56

Boy Names
1. Oliver, 124 baby boys
2. Liam, 108
3. Mason, 99
4. William, 96
5. Lincoln, 90
6. James, 88
7. Wyatt, 85
8. Noah, 80
9. Henry, 77
10. Owen, 74

Back in 2012, the top two names were Sophia and Liam.

And here are some of the more unusual names bestowed in Idaho recently…

Unique female names:

  • Consider, Junedarling, Moonlight, Ozzry, Travisty (used in 2016)
  • Chorus, Grizzly, Jedi, Owyhee, Vintage (used in 2015)
  • Always, Blitzen, Kamikazi, Sunrise, Trophy (used in 2014)
  • Germayonni, Jubilation, Khaotica, Masters, Starrabella (used in 2013)

Unique male names:

  • Baelfire, Forge, Geladin, Lil Weezy, Steadfast (used in 2016)
  • Anaxagoras, Gloire A Dieu, Luckybird, Osprey, Rootsimani (used in 2015)
  • Avenger, Cardigan, Eclipse, Granite, Remnant (used in 2014)
  • Branch, Cowboy, Danger, Klydesdale, Ragnar (used in 2013)

Source: Annual Reports – Idaho Vital Statistics

The Odd Names of the Hakki Pikki

Members of the nomadic Hakki Pikki tribe of southern India are known for their unusual names.

According to Dr. K. M. Metry, chairman of the Department of Tribal Studies at Kannada University, the Hakki Pikki people “used to name their children after the river or the mountain that they worshipped. Following the political turmoil and change in regimes, they got dispersed in different regions of South India.”

Traveling, hunting, and begging are a part of the Hakki Pikki way of life, but as these things became criminalized during the 20th century, the Hakki Pikki themselves came to be seen as criminals. So they disguised their identity by giving their children nontraditional names, such as…

  • British, named “during the independence struggle”
  • Coffee
  • Court (male), “born at a camp set up by his nomadic family near a district court”
  • Cycle Rani
  • Deluxe Express
  • English
  • Glucose (female)
  • Government
  • Japan (male)
  • Pistol*
  • Post Office

These actually aren’t much different from the bizarre names of Meghalaya, which include Friday, Moonlight, and Zenith.

*Did you know that Pistol and other gun names (e.g., Caliber, Trigger, Shooter, Gunner) have been on the rise in the U.S. recently?

Sources: Meet Mr Court of the Hakki Pikki tribe, who’s nephew of late Japan, The Hakki Pikki Tales – The Alemaari Trails, The man who lived with the tribes

The Colorful Names of Meghalaya, India

meghalaya. india

The small, remote Indian state of Meghalaya has long been known for the colorful names of its residents.

The state typically makes international headlines during election years. Actual candidate names have included…

  • Adolf Lu Hitler Rangsa Marak
  • Billy Kid A. Sangma
  • Boldness Nongum
  • Bombersingh Hynniewta
  • Clever Marak
  • Darling Wavel Lamare
  • Fairly Bert Kharrngi
  • Field Marshal Mawphniang
  • Frankenstein W. Momin
  • Friday Lyngdoh
  • H. Britain War Dan
  • Highlander Kharmalki
  • Hilarious Dhkar
  • Hispreachering Son Shylla
  • Hopingstone Lyngdoh
  • J. Ulysses Nongrum (He has sisters named England, New Zealand, Finland and Switzerland.)
  • Jhim Carter Sangma
  • John Manner Marak
  • Kenedy Marak
  • Kennedy Cornelius Khyriem
  • Laborious Manik S. Syiem
  • Moonlight Pariat
  • Oral Syngkli
  • Process T. Sawkmie
  • Rain Augustine Lyngdoh
  • Rockfeller Momin
  • Romeo Phira Rani
  • Sevenson Dhar
  • Stafing Jove Langpen Pdahkasiej
  • Teilang Star Blah
  • Tony Curtis Lyngdoh
  • VeecareNicia Lamare
  • Zenith M. Sangma

Here’s what Adolf Lu Hitler Rangsa Marak (who was born in the late 1950s) had to say about his name:

“Maybe my parents liked the name and hence christened me Hitler,” he recently told the Hindustan Times newspaper.

“I am happy with my name, although I don’t have any dictatorial tendencies.”

Reporters have been writing about the names in Meghalaya for at least a decade, but the strange names have been around a lot longer than that. “My erstwhile escort explained that Khasi parents are fond of naming children after great personalities of the West,” said the author of a 1956 article about Meghalaya’s names. (The article also mentioned Khasi sisters named Million, Billion and Trillion.)

So, why are strange names the norm in Meghalaya? I’ve found various explanations.

One travel article suggests the roots are religious. The names are the “legacy of the missionaries’ work,” it says, though “children now are just as likely to be named after the latest gadget as a saint.” (About 70% of the state is Christian, which is notable, as India overall is only about 2% Christian.)

Another source blames Britain:

The region’s unusual names stem from the state’s close historical links with Britain, explains Agence France-Presse: in colonial times, missionaries and soldiers would visit the hilly state’s capital Shillong, known as the “Scotland of the East,” to escape the overbearing heat of much of the country, and its residents began naming their children with random English words as a nod to that influence.

“Often they don’t know the background of the names. They get attracted to these names for their quest of modernity,” Sanjeeb Kakoty, a history professor at the Indian Institute of Management in Shillong, told AFP.

Yet another source adds two more possibilities. First, that people try to “sound knowledgeable by naming their children after great leaders.” Second, that the names are “part of a culture where laughter is considered important.”

Meghalaya’s three major tribes, the Khasis, the Garos and Jaintias all have Laugh Clubs. Giving their children whacky [sic] names is part of the fun.

“We share the most brazen of jokes at these clubs,” says local historian Milton Sangma.

Which might explain why one of the candidates is Tony Curtis, better known as a Hollywood legend.

“We believe if we laugh heartily at least once or twice a day, we will live long.”

(Laughter clubs have only been around since the mid-1990s.)

Which of the names on the list above do you like best?

Sources:

Image: Seema Agarwal

Related post: Soviet-Inspired Baby Names in Kerala, India