We only have a few more weeks to play with the current baby name data, so how about we use it to check out the name Nevaeh and its many variants?
Nevaeh was almost unheard of before the year 2000. The earliest Nevaeh I’ve found was born in 1904, and only a handful were born between then and the mid-1990s.
The name managed to see enough usage in 1997 to debut on the SSA’s national baby name list (which has a 5-baby cut-off). It wasn’t set to become the Next Big Thing, though, until MTV shined a spotlight on it.
In late 2000, rock band P.O.D. was featured on one of the first episodes of MTV Cribs. Vocalist Paul Joshua “Sonny” Sandoval decided to bring along his baby daughter Nevaeh [vid], saying:
This is Nevaeh right here, that’s heaven spelled backwards. She’s my first, she’s 6 months old.
Usage of the baby name exploded after that. And Nevaeh’s sudden trendiness gave rise to all sorts of variants.
The following graph shows how many baby girls in the U.S. have been given the name Navaeh or a variant since the late 1990s:
(Name-specific popularity graphs: Nevaeh, Neveah, Navaeh, Nevaeha, Naveah, Neviah, Niveah, Navaya, Nevayah, Nevah, Nevaya, Naviah, Naveyah, Neaveh, Navayah, Naveya, Navea, Navah, Nevae, Nevea, Naviyah, Neveyah, Navae, Neviyah, Naevia, Naviya, Neveaha, Nivaeh, Nivaya, Niviah, Nyveah, Nevaiah, Neveya, Niveyah, Niveya, Navaiah, Neavah, Nyvaeh, Nevaha, Navaeha, Nevaehia.)
And that’s not all. Hundreds of other babies were given names with that unorthodox “-aeh” ending:
If you remember my Jayden post, though, you know that upward trends can’t last forever.
In terms of raw usage, Nevaeh’s best year on record was 2007. In terms of ranking, it reached 25th in 2010 — a decade after that fateful MTV Cribs episode aired — but has since slipped.
So the Nevaeh trend seems to be losing steam.
And this makes me wonder…now that it’s no longer rising at a threatening pace, now that we’ve had a few years to get used to it, is the baby name Nevaeh less reviled today than it once was? (By people who were not part of the trend, I mean.)
If you were a Nevaeh-hater in the beginning, are you still as adamantly against the name today? Or do you find it more tolerable now?