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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Natasha

Number of Babies Named Natasha

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Natasha

Name Quotes #48 – Tasha, Tiberius, Mi Mi

Time for more name-related quotes!

From a recent E! Online interview with Jordan Peele [vid], who spoke about choosing a baby name:

We definitely want pick a name that has a certain positivity that will counter this barbaric, negative time that we’re in right now.

From the 2008 New York Times obituary of illustrator/author Tasha Tudor:

Starling Burgess, who later legally changed both her names to Tasha Tudor, was born in Boston to well-connected but not wealthy parents. Her mother, Rosamond Tudor, was a portrait painter, and her father, William Starling Burgess, was a yacht and airplane designer who collaborated with Buckminster Fuller. […] She was originally nicknamed Natasha by her father, after Tolstoy’s heroine in “War and Peace.” This was shortened to Tasha. After her parents divorced when she was 9, Ms. Tudor adopted her mother’s last name.

(Her four kids were named Seth, Bethany, Thomas, and Efner (female). One of Tudor’s books was called Edgar Allan Crow (1953).)

On the new scientific name of Australia’s “Blue Bastard” fish:

Queensland Museum scientist Jeff Johnson, who identified the species from photos taken last year by a Weipa fisherman, has formally christened it Plectorhinchus caeruleonothus – a direct Latin translation of the colloquial name anglers bestowed on a fish famously difficult to land.

Caeruleo is blue and nothus is bastard. That was the origin of the name applied by fishermen for many years and I thought, why should I argue with that? It seemed like a perfect name [to] me,” Johnson told Guardian Australia.

“I wondered what the reviewers of the paper would say about it but they both agreed it was quintessentially Australian and we should go ahead.”

From the book My Life as a List: 207 Things about My (Bronx) Childhood (1999) by Linda Rosenkrantz (of Nameberry!):

Before I was born, my mother had decided to name me either Laurel or Lydia, names that appealed to her artistic temperament. But then somehow, while under the scrim of anesthesia, she was convinced by my father’s sisters to make me a lackluster Ruth, in honor of their recently deceased mother, Rose. And so my birth certificate read Ruth Leila, a name I was never, ever called by my mother, either of my father’s sisters or anyone else.

(Here’s more in Linda’s post The Story of How I Got Hooked on Names.)

On the names of the Mordvins, an indigenous group in Russia:

While walking along some river bank, not far from the Volga line, we might encounter some pleasant people called Kvedor, Markva, Valdonya and Nekhot and not realise that in Russian they would be Fyodor, Marfa, Svetlana and Mefody aka Theodore, Martha, Svetlana and Methodius.

This sort of phenomenon happens because of the Finno-Ugric special phonetic and secret lore. Any sound which is not familiar to their native tongue will be changed and adapted to suit the native tastes.

From an article in the Tampa Bay Times about transgender name changes:

[E]arlier this year in Augusta, Ga., Superior Court Judge J. David Roper declined to change the name of a college student from Rebeccah Elizabeth to Rowan Elijah Feldhaus.

“I don’t know anybody named Elijah who’s female,” the judge said, according to a court transcript. “I’m not going to do that. I’ve never heard of that. And I know who Elijah was, one of the greatest men who ever lived.”

Months later, he ruled similarly in the case of a transgender man who wanted to legally become Andrew Baumert, the name by which he said everyone already knew him. The judge refused. “My policy has been that I will not change a name from an obviously female to an obviously male name, and vice versa,” he said.

NPR writer Lateefah Torrence on choosing a baby name:

Having grown up in a working-class world, Frank is sensitive to names that he finds “pretentious” while as the outsider black kid, I worry about names that sound “too white.” I must admit that I have mostly rolled my eyes at his unease with my never-ending list of suggestions from world mythology and literature. He suggests Molly; I counter with Aziza. He brings William to the table; I suggest Tiberius.

(Lateefah was also featured in last month’s quote post.)

From a 1958 article in The Atlantic on Burmese Names by Mi Mi Khaing:

One or more of a Burmese child’s names is almost certain to show the day on which he was born–a survival from our belief that human destiny is linked with the stars. Certain letters of the alphabet are ascribed to each day, so that a “Thursday’s child” would have one name beginning with our P, B, or M.

Burmese is a monosyllabic language, and each part of our names is an actual word that means something, or even several things, depending on how it is pronounced. Thus I am “Little Mother” (Mi Mi) “Branch of the Tree” (Khaing) (though “khaing” can also mean “firm”) […] [a] merchant I know was aptly named “Surmounting a Hundred Thousand,” while the Rector of Rangoon University, Dr. Htin Aung, is “Distinguished and Successful.”

Being so handsomely named is not embarrassing, however, because we become so used to our names, and those of our friends, that we only think of the person and remember their names by their sound.


The Baby Name Tash

baby name tashMany of the earliest English surnames referred to places: places of birth, places of residence, workplaces, and so forth. These location-based surnames ranged from very broad descriptions (e.g., a cardinal point) to very narrow ones (e.g., a tree, a field).

Tash is one of the latter. It was derived from the Middle English phrase atten asche, meaning “at the ash (tree).”

The Middle English word asche comes from the Old English word æsc, which mainly referred to the tree, but in certain contexts also meant “spear.” Ash wood was a particularly popular wood for spear-shafts, as it’s both strong and flexible.

(This strong-but-flexible quality also made ash an in-demand construction material during the early days of automobiles and airplanes. The very first airplane, the 1903 Wright Flyer, was made of ash and spruce.)

Here’s an early example of “atten Asche” being used as a surname: in 1326, a man named William atten Asche received one-and-a-half acres land in Walton (now part of Aylesbury) from a man named John atte Grene.

Surnames became hereditary in England during the centuries following the Norman Conquest. As the phrase “atten Asche” was passed down to successive generations, it evolved into diverse forms.

Modern surnames that can ultimately be traced back to “atten Asche” include not only Tash but also Ash, Ashe, Nash, Nashe, Nayshe, Naish, Tashe, Tasch, Tasche, Tesh, Tesche and Tosh.

Of these, Nash is the one that occurs most frequently in the United States. It’s followed by Ash and Ashe. Tash, in comparison, is much less common.

So has the surname Tash ever been used as a first name?

Yes, but rarely. The baby name Tash has only appeared on the national list a handful of times: exactly 3 times as a girl name and 3 times as a boy name. And only one of those appearances has happened since the turn of the century:

  • 2014: unlisted
  • 2013: unlisted
  • 2012: 5 baby boys named Tash
  • 2011: unlisted
  • 2010: unlisted
  • 2009: unlisted
  • 2008: unlisted
  • 2007: unlisted
  • 2006: unlisted
  • 2005: unlisted
  • 2004: unlisted
  • 2003: unlisted
  • 2002: unlisted
  • 2001: unlisted
  • 2000: unlisted

This means that the name Tash is usually given to fewer than 5 baby boys and fewer than 5 baby girls per year in the U.S.

The rarity of Tash as a standalone first name (as opposed to a nickname for Natasha, Latasha, etc.) possibly reflects its rarity as a surname. In other words, parents may be opting for Tash less often than Nash, Ash and Ashe simply because they aren’t aware that it exists.

This makes me think there’s some untapped potential here, as -ash names in general have become trendy within the last few years. Right now there are four -ash names in the boys’ top 1,000:

  • Cash, ranked 275th
  • Nash, ranked 364th
  • Kash, ranked 371st
  • Dash, ranked 951st

Other -ash names on the SSA’s list right now include Crash and Flash. As fringe as these may sound, they’re still more popular than Tash!

The name Tash is snappy, stylish, and totally unexpected. And it’s associated with nature — a big plus for many people.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Tash?

Sources:

Image: Adapted from Magnificent Ash tree Higher Wraxall by Nigel Mykura under CC BY 2.0.

For-Profit Baby Names

Money for Baby NamesCalifornia mom-to-be Natasha Hill, the woman who was supposed to be getting $5,000 for allowing strangers to name her unborn baby via Belly Ballot, isn’t really pregnant.

She isn’t even really named “Natasha Hill.”

Her name is Natasha Lloyd, and she’s an actress who was hired by the website’s founder to help drum up publicity.

Yep–the whole thing was a hoax. The folks at Today.com were the ones to figure it out.

When TODAY Moms first reported on the contest, some readers were incredulous; they couldn’t believe a real mom would do such a thing. Now it appears they were right.

Except…they weren’t. Several “real moms” (and dads) have done this very thing. For-profit baby naming schemes are ridiculous, sure, but that doesn’t mean they’re not legit.

Here are all the for-profit baby names (and attempted for-profit baby names) I can think of:

*I never blogged about these three, so here are the details:

  • In 2001, Jason Black and Frances Schroeder of New York tried to auction off the name of the their third child (first son) via Yahoo and eBay. They were aiming for a corporate sponsor, so the bidding started at $500,000. No one bid. They ended up naming the baby Zane Black.
  • In 2002, Bob and Tracy Armstrong from Florida tried to auction off the name of their baby (gender unknown) via eBay. After eBay pulled the auction for the third time, they decided not to try again.
  • In 2002, Heather and Steve Johnston of Washington state tried to auction off the name of their baby boy via eBay. The bidding started at $250,000. I found no follow-up stories, so I imagine the auction was either pulled or unsuccessful.

Video games on one end, $15,000 on the other…such wildly different values placed on baby names. Kinda fascinating, isn’t it?

Sources: $5,000 online baby-name contest revealed as hoax, Mom crowdsources baby name for $5,000

P.S. More hoaxes here.

Family in England with 14 Children

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Radford family, with 16 kids.

Here’s another brood from England that’s nearly as large — the Watson family of Guernsey, with 14 children:

  1. Natasha, 22
  2. Bradley, 21
  3. Shanice, 19
  4. Mariah, 16
  5. Georgia, 15
  6. Caitlin, 12
  7. Brittany, 11
  8. Febrianne, 10
  9. Charlie, 9
  10. Lilly-Arna, 8
  11. Nerilly-Jade, 7
  12. Armani, 5
  13. Tallulah, 4
  14. Indianna, 3

Which of the 14 names is your favorite?

Source: Single mother of 14 slams critics who brand her a scrounger

Soviet-Inspired Baby Names in India

Moscow isn’t just a city in Russia. It’s also a village in Kerala, India. Communist supporters changed the village name in the 1950s.

Many babies born in the state of Kerala — especially those born during the Cold War decades — were given Soviet-inspired names as well. Some examples:

Anastasya
Brezhnev
Gorbachev
Gagarin
Khrushchev
Lenin
Natasha
Pushkin
Stalin
Tereshkova

One man named Gagarin was born the same year as Yuri Gagarin’s famous flight. He said “his name inspired him to a keen interest in astronomy.”

Another, named Pushkin, works as a bank employee. He said his named embarrassed him as a child:

His friends had names like Sathish, Unni and Ramesh.

“It was only later that I realised the importance of having such a name,” he says.

“None of the 25,000 in my bank has a non-Indian name. I am well known because of this name.”

Names like these are rare nowadays, but “[m]any still name their sons after Lenin.”

Source: Raman, Sunil. “Stalin and Lenins reunite in India.” BBC News 1 Nov. 2005.

Why Aren’t Turkish Babies Named Natasha?

American writer Meg Nesterov is chronicling her experience of being pregnant in Turkey over at travel blog Gadling. Her latest post has to do with choosing a baby name:

“Whatever you do, if it’s a girl, don’t call her Natasha,” was the first bit of advice a Turkish friend gave me about having a baby in Istanbul. While a common and inoffensive name in the US and Russia, in Turkey and many other European countries, Natasha doesn’t have the best connotation. It tends to be slang for, well, a certain kind of professional woman from Eastern Europe, or just a gold-digger; not things with which you want your baby to be associated.

She also mentioned several English names that don’t sound quite right in Turkey, such as Erik (which means “plum” in Turkish) and Dana (which means “veal” or “calf”).

So go check out Meg’s “knocked up abroad” series. (And leave her a comment with your favorite Russian girl names while you’re there.)

Baby Name Needed – Names That Go with Saling

A reader named Kim wrote to me the other day with a surname question:

My husband and I are pregnant with our first child, my husband and his family are really proud of their last name. I was wondering what names go along with Saling (pronounced like sailing) that actually sound like names and not just boat terms.

This question reminds me of the post I wrote about the surname Gripe a few months ago.

They key with surnames like Saling and Gripe is to pick a first and middle names that don’t make them seem like anything other than surnames. That is, names that don’t pull them out of context. This entails avoiding:

  • Names, nicknames, and initials that are (or sound like) nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, or other parts of speech. Examples: Christian Saling, Sky Saling, Ernest Saling, Ben Saling, Izzy Saling, Will B. Saling, C. U. Saling.
  • Names and nicknames that have too many sounds in common with the surname. Alliteration can make a name sound cartoonish (e.g. Olive Oyl, Betty Boop). Examples: Stella Saling, Cecilia Saling, Irving Saling, Sal Saling.
  • Names that don’t work with the surname specifically. Examples: Clara Saling, Perry Saling (both are close to parasailing).

Here are some names that I think would work with Saling:

Boy names: Girl names:
Brian
David
Derek
Dominic
Eric
Ethan
Frederick
Gregory
Henry
Jacob
Jeffrey
Jonathan
Nathan
Ryan
Timothy
Zachary
Bethany
Brianna
Catherine
Diane
Hannah
Heidi
Jennifer
Megan
Monica
Naomi
Natasha
Norah
Phoebe
Rebecca
Veronica
Zoe

Which of the above do you like best? What other names would you suggest to Kim?