How popular is the baby name Neha 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 Neha.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Neha


Posts that Mention the Name Neha

Name Quotes 77: Shyra, Jordan, Haroon

Time for this month’s batch of name-related quotes!

From the 2008 novel The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (which is narrated by character Katniss Everdeen):

The girl with the arrows, Glimmer I hear someone call her — ugh, the names the people in District 1 give their children are so ridiculous — anyway, Glimmer scales the tree until the branches begin to crack under her feet and then has the good sense to stop.

From Darius Rucker’s Instagram:

“My daughter Dani with the guy she was named after, Dan Marino.”

From an Economist article about baby names in France:

As Catholicism’s hold has eased, American pop culture has stepped in, filling classrooms with Kevins, Jordans and Dylans. Such names, says the study, have become a class marker. They are also popular in regions which support Marine Le Pen, the populist defender of French cultural tradition. Her campaign for the upcoming European elections is headed by a 23-year-old called Jordan.

In a country that bans ethnic or religious census data, names can also serve as a proxy. The number of baby boys named Mohamed has grown sixfold since 1960. The persistence of such names, say some on the nationalist fringe, reflects an integration problem. Ms. Le Pen has argued that naturalised French citizens should adopt a name more adapted to national culture. Hapsatou Sy, a French presenter, understandably quit a TV show after a commentator told her that her name was “an insult to France”, and that her mother should have named her Corinne.

From an article in The Herald (Scottish newspaper) about the changing tastes in baby names:

But now researchers have found that picking a distinctive monicker is becoming harder and harder with greater media access, improved global communications and rising immigration increasing people’s exposure to different names and also ensuring they become common more quickly.

[…]

“The speed with which modern name choices fall in and out of favour reflects their increased exposure and people’s ongoing desire for distinctiveness.”

From a Public Domain Review post about a 19th-century Siamese Prince called George Washington:

Prince George Washington was really Prince Wichaichan, the son of the Second King of Siam [Pinklao, younger brother of Mongkut]. […] Wichaichan’s unusual nickname was the result of his father’s commitment to “modernize” Siam by studying and deliberately emulating Western culture. […] Pinklao wished to communicate that he was a progressive person who was drawn to modern American culture, while never abandoning his fundamental commitment to Siam’s absolute monarchy.

(The post also noted that Anna Leonowens, in her memoir The English Governess at the Siamese Court — the inspiration behind The King and I, which made a star out of Yul Brynner — claimed the prince’s nickname was given to him by an American missionary.)

From a Swarajyamag.com article about Sanskrit names being given incorrect definitions online (found via Abby):

These websites not only misguide with wrong meanings but also feature “Sanskrit names” that are not from Sanskrit at all.

‘Haroon’ is one such name. Websites, including the popular Prokerala.com that ranks among the top 8,000 in the world, tells us it means ‘hope’ in Sanskrit. However, ‘Haroon’ is an Arabic name. Hugely popular among Muslims, it was also the name of one of the Khalifas (Caliphs).

[…]

Similarly, these websites also erroneously trace modern names such as Kian, Rehan and Miran to Sanskrit.

From the book Becoming Something: The Story of Canada Lee (2004) by Mona Z. Smith:

Canada Lee was born in New York City on March 3, 1907, and christened with the mellifluous if somewhat daunting name of Leonard Lionel Cornelius Canegata.

[…]

The first time the leather-lunged [fight announcer Joe] Humphries got ready to introduce Lee, he looked down at his notes and saw a peculiar name: “Canegata, Lee.” Flummoxed by those alien syllables, Humphries tossed away the card with a snort and introduced the young fighter as “Canada Lee.”

Everybody liked the transmogrification, including Lee, and it stuck.

From a Summit Daily article about the history of the town of Dillon, Colorado:

Dillon…was not named after a prospector named Tom Dillon who got lost in the woods, as has been a common oral tradition. Rather, the town was named after Sidney Dillon, a powerful railroad executive who became president of the Union Pacific railroad four months before the town was established. The entire point of naming the town Dillon was to somehow appeal to Sidney Dillon’s vanity and persuade him to build a railroad through the town.

But as it turned out, the railroad didn’t wind up going through Dillon or winding along the Snake River. Instead, it went through Tenmile Canyon and the town of Frisco — also named to flatter a railroad company, the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Co., in a bid to get them to build their next line through town.

From a Livemint.com post about the new generation of female names in Bollywood:

Kaira, Shyra, Akira, Kia, Tia, Sia. Shanaya. These are Bollywood’s cool new names, broadly classified into the “ya” or “ra” nomenclature. The Poojas, Nishas, Anjalis and Nehas of the 1990s are déclassé. These new names carry an unmistakable aspiration to be global.They are unrooted to place, community or any kind of identity except class. They are almost never longer than three syllables and easy to pronounce. They float on coolness and lightness. An ex-colleague memorably christened them “First-World Yoga Names—FWYN”.

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.

“Jeopardy!” Baby Names: Alancia and Brannon

jeopardy, game show

Last week, Becca commented with some interesting Jeopardy! contestant names (e.g., Hobie, Dorcas) and mentioned J! Archive, which lists tens of thousands of Jeopardy! contestants going back to 1984, when the show premiered.

I skimmed through all the contestants from 1984 to 2015 (as we don’t have baby name data for 2016 yet) and spotted hundreds of unusual names. And it looks like at least two of them got a boost thanks to the show:

Alancia

The name Alancia was a one-hit wonder that popped up in 2000:

  • 2001: unlisted
  • 2000: 9 baby girls named Alancia [debut]
  • 1999: unlisted

One-time player Alancia Wynn, a family practice physician from Virginia, was on Jeopardy! in October of 1999.

Brannon

The name Brannon saw an increase in usage in 1998:

  • 1999: 118 baby boys named Brannon
  • 1998: 158 baby boys named Brannon
  • 1997: 113 baby boys named Brannon

One-time player Brannon Denning, a graduate student from Connecticut, was on Jeopardy! in September of 1998. (Looks like Brannon Denning is now a law professor at Samford University.)

Alaric & Ezgi …?

These two names may have gotten a slight boost as well, though it’s hard to tell.

  • Alaric, in 2005. One-time player Alaric Smith was on the show in October of 2005.
  • Ezgi, in 2015. One-time player Ezgi Ustundag was on the show in October of 2015.

Ezgi is a female name that means “melody” in Turkish.

Anjali (false positive)

“Kids Week” contestant Anjali Tripathi was on the show in September of 1999. The same year, the baby name Anjali more than doubled in usage:

  • 2001: 222 baby girls named Anjali
  • 2000: 230 baby girls named Anjali
  • 1999: 202 baby girls named Anjali
  • 1998: 93 baby girls named Anjali
  • 1997: 80 baby girls named Anjali

But this was a suspiciously steep rise. And it was accompanied by the debut of an alternate spelling (Anjalie). And usage didn’t drop back to normal levels the next year, as one would expect. These facts pointed me to something more high-profile than a Jeopardy! contestant.

Turns out the very successful Hindi coming-of-age romantic comedy Kuch Kuch Hota Hai had been released in 1998. The movie featured not one but two main characters named Anjali.

More names!

Here are the rest of the names that caught my eye, sorted by year:

  • 2015: Chandreyi, Dava-Leigh, Desta, Ezgi, Kynan, Mags, Praggya, Rook, Tiombi
  • 2014: Ben-Hur, Dinu, FeiFei, Gudrun, Ilissa, Kenesha, LaWanda, Leszek, Mariusz, Myfanwy, Osei, Shloka, Sirena
  • 2013: Arne, Berek, Diva, Kelton, Kinu, Nilai, Nishanth, Ramsin, Rhea, Salvo, Shuli, Sonrisa, Tahne, Twyla, Waymond, Xan, Yellowlees
  • 2012: Anshika, Benton, Bing, Deniz, Injee, Jessamine, Jia-Rui, Mithun, Pian, Shaanti,
    Vamsi, Vinayak
  • 2011: Bhibha, Boomie, Cosi, Gabor, Gitta, Idrees, Karawan, LuEllen, Milind, Raphie
  • 2010: Huat, Kemi, Marianthe, Raghuveer, Shaama, Surabhi
  • 2009: Ariella, Claxton, Cyn, Daphna, Drusha, Hayes, Henok, Jove, Lysette, Nirav, Ranjan, Seyi, Shyra, Tui (TOO-ee), Wright
  • 2008: Anurag, Babatope, Delano, Elza, Gilah, Kew, Murtaza, Naren, Srinivas, Vibin, Zia
  • 2007: Arlynda, Bethlehem, Clé, Haritha, Khoa, Kai-Ning, Kizzle, Lateefah, Lenzy, Marvene, Mehrun, Ssezi, Tigger, Toho, Tope
  • 2006: Dianisbeth, Iddoshe, Karmie, Lizard, Nemanja, Nissan, Oz, Ozgun, Papa, Pinki, Raena, Reda, Sioux, Tawney
  • 2005: Alaric, Corinth, Jayanth, Kem, Kingslea, LeeAundra, Ruchi, Ruvani, Vanamali
  • 2004: Denele, Kermin, M’Liss, Nithya
  • 2003: Alicen, Amasa, Eok, Freya, Nulty, Snowden, Vane
  • 2002: Anagha, Dileep, Gadi, Hikma, Jara, Kirik, Kunle, Manoj, Muzy (MYOO-zee), Omid, Quyen, Rafi, Seveen, Shasa, Tana, Umiko
  • 2001: Aki, Babu, Gosia, Marek, Mittie, Neha, Ulhas, Vinita
  • 2000: Akshai, Arrington, Celiane, Cinnamon, Iyesatu, Jeeks, Manx, Meri-Jane, Mitali, Sabin, Tarun
  • 1999: Ajuan, Alancia, Anjali, Chacko, Davine, Happy, Mihee, Seale, Wellington, Yancy, Yoni
  • 1998: Ardys, Brannon, Creswell, Kemp, Melizza, Sinan
  • 1998: Boze, Jolyn, Rokshana
  • 1997: Akiva, Atish, Breck, Brick, Davia, Girish, Mita, Murat, Pooja, Sahir, Tanis, Vartan, Zinie
  • 1996: Myretta, Rima, Ulf, Vandana
  • 1995: Albina
  • 1994: Graydon
  • 1993: Bronwyn, Ferris, Leif
  • 1991: India, Kareem
  • 1990: Ardwight, Avrom, Murdock, Peji
  • 1989: Darbi, Ouida
  • 1988: Blaze, Cigus, Doak, Scooter
  • 1987: JoFrannye
  • 1986: Chub, Zanete

Which of the above names do you like best?

P.S. Thanks again, Becca!

Name Spotting in Toronto, Canada

Toward the end of July I spent a week in Toronto. I spotted a few interesting names while there.

In the Royal Ontario Museum I found these:

Hannah Jarvis painting Marie-Zoe Persillier painting

On the left are Hannah Jarvis and her daughters Maria Lavinia and Augusta Honoria. They were painted by American artist James Earl around 1791.

On the right is Marie-Zoé Persillier dite Lachapelle. She was likely painted by Canadian artist Jean-Baptiste Roy-Audy around 1845.

Both were in the Sigmund Samuel Gallery of Canada.

*

Also in the ROM I saw an installation of 32 drawings called “Beethoven 1-32” by German artist Jorinde Voigt.

the name Jorinde

I don’t know the etymology of her first name — perhaps it’s related to George? — but I do know that “Jorinde and Joringel” is a German fairy tale.

*

Lining the walls of local landmark Honest Ed’s were hundreds of old posters and photographs, including these two:

Urylee Leonardos photo Sonyke Cortidou photo

Urylee Leonardos (1910-1986) was a singer/actress on Broadway. I have no idea who Sonyke Cortidou was.

*

While walking Queen Street East just before the Beaches Jazz Festival StreetFest started, I found a billboard full of kids’ names.

kids names

Here are all the names I managed to get photos of:

Juliette, Chris, Jaya, Eric, Rain, Vishal, Dylan, Chantelle, Isabelle, Ashana, Julia, Arooba, Mien, Anamol, Iksa, Selena, Kyle, Sarah, Xuanji, Neha, Lasya, Elisha, Daneille, Danny, Ukasa, Huzaifa, Suchana, Manasa, Anuja, Mehul, Matteo, Wyatt, Ashanae, Emma, Tony, Helena, Lindsay, Chloe, Elizabeth, Erica, Matthew, Jarvis, Stephanie, Emi, Arujala, Lisa, Judy, Mateo, Zaccai, Bronwyny, Ervie, Mckayla, Taylor, Griffin, Callam, Mattas, Michelle, Dain, Aileen, Apurva, Aayush, Gloria, Josh, Deborah, Akshata

Which of the above do you like best?

Name Quotes for the Weekend #4

From a Grand Forks Herald article about local baby names:

Six-month-old Camber Shaw Foss, daughter of Jared and Christine Foss of Greenbush, Minn., is named for the brand of front spindle adjustment on the go-cart and the chassis on the car her father has been racing for years.

I couldn’t track down the brand, but I did find this: Camber angles.

From William D. Lindsey of the blog Bilgrimage:

There’s also the pattern–which makes family history easier at times, since it helps identify the hidden surnames of mothers–of giving the mother’s surname as a given name to a son, something my mother did in naming my middle brother Simpson. […] This pattern can result in unfortunate combinations, however, and for that reason ought sometimes to be considered carefully. In the Braselton side of my family, there’s a Head family that ties in by marriage in the 1700s back in Maryland, which united in marriage to a Bigger family, and chose to name a son Bigger Head–a choice I would not have made myself, I reckon.

From an article about bizarre baby names in West Auckland, New Zealand:

Plunket‘s most unusual West Auckland names include Problemo, Unique, Famous, Season, Stylez, Poison, Storm, Lovely, Hurricayn, Zepha and Potato.

Problemo and Potato! Both new to me.

From a Times of India article about baby names:

More and more young parents now want a name that is unique for their child. The common names like Gaurav, Amit, Rahul, Rohit, Mohit, Aditya, Aakanksha, Neha, Aditi, Preeti and Pooja have given way to trendy names like Alisah, Prioska, Aliyah, Natalia, Rachel, Nysa, Adam, Diva, Renae, Alina, Sarah and like.

UPDATE – Just tweeted by much-loved advice columnist Sugar:

It’s Raymond Carver’s birthday today. He’d be 74 if he were still alive. He was so important to me. My son, Carver, is named for him.

“Sugar” is the nom de plume of author Cheryl Strayed.

Here are quote lists #1, #2, and #3.

One-Hit Wonder Baby Names from the 2000s (so far)

Here are the one-hit wonder names of the first six years of this decade (2000 through 2005):

Girl Names

  • Anneliese – ranked 917th in 2005
  • Arleth – ranked 818th in 2005 (influence: Arleth Terán)
  • Arly – ranked 950th in 2003
  • Beyonce – ranked 700th in 2001 (influence: singer Beyoncé Knowles)
  • Dafne – ranked 967th in 2001
  • Dariana – ranked 836th in 2000
  • Gwyneth – ranked 958th in 2004 (influence: actress Gwyneth Paltrow)
  • Heidy – ranked 998th in 2004
  • Jolette – ranked 949th in 2005 (influence: Jolette Hernández)
  • Karyme – ranked 935th in 2003 (influence: Karyme Lozano)
  • Keila – ranked 989th in 2001
  • Kiya – ranked 961st in 2002
  • Maiya – ranked 994th in 2000
  • Mikaila – ranked 936th in 2001
  • Mikalah – ranked 805th in 2005
  • Montserrat – ranked 972nd in 2005
  • Nallely – ranked 773rd in 2001
  • Nayely – ranked 731st in 2001
  • Neha – ranked 969th in 2000
  • Rianna – ranked 860th in 2002 (influence: singer Rihanna)
  • Taina – ranked 912th in 2001
  • Treasure – ranked 892nd in 2004
  • Yamilet – ranked 841st in 2000

Boy Names

  • Adin – ranked 996th in 2005
  • Ajay – ranked 1000th in 2003
  • Andon – ranked 863rd in 2004
  • Damari – ranked 898th in 2005
  • Daunte – ranked 965th in 2001
  • Dayne – ranked 994th in 2000
  • Jaheem – ranked 889th in 2002
  • Jahir – ranked 811th in 2003
  • Jaquez – ranked 957th in 2002
  • Jayvon – ranked 970th in 2004
  • Koda – ranked 943rd in 2004
  • Lisandro – ranked 901st in 2002
  • Luc – ranked 930th in 2002
  • Makhi – ranked 920th in 2005
  • Mordechai – ranked 962nd in 2003
  • Osbaldo – ranked 976th in 2002
  • Trenten – ranked 973rd in 2004
  • Yousef – ranked 998th in 2002

Want more one-hit wonders? Here are…