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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Nikita

Number of Babies Named Nikita

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Nikita

Soviet Leader Influenced U.S. Baby Names in 1959

Nikita Khrushchev, 1959Nikita Khrushchev was the leader of the Soviet Union for over a decade during the early Cold War (from 1953 to 1964).

Between the time the U.S.S.R. launched Sputnik in 1957 and sent Yuri Gagarin on the first manned space flight in 1961, Khrushchev became first Soviet head of state to visit the U.S.

Upon the invitation of president Dwight Eisenhower, Khrushchev and his family flew to Washington, D.C., on September 15, 1959. They visited New York, California, Iowa, and Pennsylvania before flying back to Moscow on the 27th.

Though Khrushchev famously never made it to Disneyland, he did manage to make an impression upon expectant parents:

Year U.S. girls named Nikita U.S. boys named Nikita
1961 39 21
1960 56 25
1959 44 19 [debut]
1958 16 unlisted
1957 13 unlisted

The baby name Nikita had appeared on the U.S. charts as a girl name before, but in 1959 it showed up for the very first time as a boy name.*

These days the usage of Nikita is about equal for males and females — 93 baby girls and 92 baby boys got the name in 2015. But there was a spike in female usage in 1985, thanks to the song “Nikita” by Elton John. (American radio listeners similarly interpreted Luka as a girl name a couple of years later.)

The name Nikita can be traced back to the Ancient Greek word for “victor,” niketes, which is based on the more familiar word nike, meaning “victory.”

And eight years after the name Nikita debuted, another Russian arrival, Svetlana Stalina, showed up and added yet another Soviet-inspired baby name to the mix…

Sources: Nikita Khrushchev – Wikipedia, Timeline: Nikita Khrushchev’s Trip Itinerary
Image: © TIME

*To debut on the SSA’s baby name list, a name has to be given to least 5 babies of one gender or the other within a single calendar year.


Popular Baby Names in Estonia, 2014

According to data from Estonia’s Ministry of the Interior the most popular baby names in the country in 2014 were Sofia and Rasmus.

Here are Estonia’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2014:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Sofia, 102 baby girls
2. Eliise, 74
3. Maria, 73
4. Mia, 71
5. Lisandra, 60
6. Mirtel, 59
7. Sandra, 58
8. Emma, 55 (tie)
9. Laura, 55 (tie)
10. Darja, 50
1. Rasmus, 91 baby boys
2. Artjom, 89
3. Robin, 83
4. Martin, 80
5. Oliver, 74
6. Romet, 71
7. Sebastian, 70
8. Robert, 68
9. Artur, 64
10. Maksim, 63

In the boys’ top 10, Robert, Artur and Maksim replace Markus, Nikita and Sander.

In the girls’ top 10, Eliise, Sandra, Emma and Darja replace Anna, Milana, Viktoria and Liisa.

Eliise has “undergone a great rise,” according to my source, thanks to the song “Für Elise” — not the one by Beethoven, but the one by Estonian band Traffic. Here’s the video:

Here are the 2013 rankings for Estonia.

Source: Most popular baby names of 2014

The Ultimate ’80s Name-Song Tournament: Final Round

80s name-song tournament, final round

We’re down to the final 2 songs!

You can vote in the ultimate round of the Ultimate ’80s Name-Song Tournament from now until Saturday, but you can only pick one song this time, so choose wisely!

I’ll announce the winner on Monday, April 6th.

Early ’80s Finalist: “Come on Eileen” (1982) by Dexys Midnight Runners

  • “Come on Eileen” reached #1 on The Billboard Hot 100 in April, 1982.
  • In this tournament, “Come on Eileen” beat “Gloria,” “Jack and Diane,” “Rosanna” and “Valerie” in Round 1a and semi-finalists “Bette Davis Eyes,” “Billie Jean” and “Oh Sherrie” in Round 2.

Late ’80s Finalist: “Rock Me Amadeus” (1986) by Falco

  • “Rock Me Amadeus” reached #1 on The Billboard Hot 100 in March, 1986.
  • In this tournament, “Rock Me Amadeus” beat “Sara,” “Oh Sheila,” “Nikita” and “Suzanne” in Round 1b and semi-finalists “You Can Call Me Al,” “Luka” and “Veronica” in Round 2.

Which of these songs should be crowned the Ultimate '80s Name-Song?

  • "Come on Eileen" (1982) by Dexys Midnight Runners (60%, 12 Votes)
  • "Rock Me Amadeus" (1986) by Falco (40%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 20

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The Ultimate ’80s Name-Song Tournament: Round 1b

80s name-song tournament, round 1b

Round 1a is over, so now it’s time for Round 1b! Which of the songs below are awesome enough to advance in the Ultimate ’80s Name-Song Tournament?

This round ends on Saturday, so you have exactly 5 days to submit your answers.

The four winning songs from this week and last week will compete against each other in round 2, which starts next Monday.

Let the battles begin!

The battles are over! Check below for the winners.

Battle 5

WINNER: “Rock Me Amadeus” (1986) by Falco

The contestants:

  • Sara” (1985) by Starship
    • Sara, Sara, storms are brewin’ in your eyes
  • Oh Sheila” (1985) by Ready for the World
    • Oh oh Sheila, let me love you till the morning comes
  • Nikita” (1986) by Elton John
    • Hey Nikita is it cold, in your little corner of the world
  • Rock Me Amadeus” (1986) by Falco
    • Come and rock me Amadeus
  • Suzanne” (1986) by Journey
    • Remember Suzanne, those summer nights with me

(Links open music videos in a new window.)

Which song(s) do you like best? Choose up to 2:

  • "Rock Me Amadeus" (1986) by Falco (48%, 10 Votes)
  • "Sara" (1985) by Starship (29%, 6 Votes)
  • "Nikita" (1986) by Elton John (29%, 6 Votes)
  • "Oh Sheila" (1985) by Ready for the World (19%, 4 Votes)
  • "Suzanne" (1986) by Journey (19%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 21

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Battle 6

WINNER: “You Can Call Me Al” (1986) by Paul Simon

The contestants:

  • Venus” (1986) by Bananarama
    • I’m your Venus, I’m your fire, at your desire
  • Jimmy Jimmy” (1986) by Madonna
    • Where you goin’ boy, I see your legs twitchin’, Jimmy Jimmy, oh Jimmy Jimmy
  • Who’s Johnny” (1986) by El DeBarge
    • Who’s Johnny, she said, and smiled in her special way
  • For Rosanna” (1986) by Chris de Burgh
    • This is for Rosanna, sweet girl of mine, a song for the baby who changed my life
  • You Can Call Me Al” (1986) by Paul Simon
    • I can call you Betty, and Betty when you call me, you can call me Al

(Links open music videos in a new window.)

Which song(s) do you like best? Choose up to 2:

  • "You Can Call Me Al" (1986) by Paul Simon (55%, 12 Votes)
  • "Venus" (1986) by Bananarama (50%, 11 Votes)
  • "For Rosanna" (1986) by Chris de Burgh (18%, 4 Votes)
  • "Jimmy Jimmy" (1986) by Madonna (14%, 3 Votes)
  • "Who's Johnny" (1986) by El DeBarge (9%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 22

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Battle 7

WINNER: “Luka” (1987) by Suzanne Vega

The contestants:

  • Amanda” (1986) by Boston
    • I’m gonna take you by surprise and make you realize, Amanda
  • Carrie” (1987) by Europe
    • Carrie, Carrie, things they change my friend
  • Luka” (1987) by Suzanne Vega
    • My name is Luka, I live on the second floor
  • Sheila Take a Bow” (1987) by The Smiths
    • Sheila take a, Sheila take a bow, boot the grime of this world in the crotch, dear
  • Dirty Diana” (1988) by Michael Jackson
    • Dirty Diana, let me be!

(Links open music videos in a new window.)

Which song(s) do you like best? Choose up to 2:

  • "Luka" (1987) by Suzanne Vega (57%, 12 Votes)
  • "Amanda" (1986) by Boston (29%, 6 Votes)
  • "Dirty Diana" (1988) by Michael Jackson (29%, 6 Votes)
  • "Carrie" (1987) by Europe (14%, 3 Votes)
  • "Sheila Take a Bow" (1987) by The Smiths (10%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 21

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Battle 8

WINNER: “Veronica” (1989) by Elvis Costello

The contestants:

  • Lucretia, My Reflection” (1988) by The Sisters of Mercy
    • Lucretia, my reflection, dance the ghost with me
  • Roni” (1988) by Bobby Brown
    • The truth about Roni, she’s a sweet little girl
  • The Ballad of Jayne” (1989) by L.A. Guns
    • What a shame, what happened to Jayne
  • Veronica” (1989) by Elvis Costello
    • These days I’m afraid she’s not even sure if her name is Veronica
  • Angelia” (1989) by Richard Marx
    • Angelia, where you running to now

(Links open music videos in a new window.)

Which song(s) do you like best? Choose up to 2:

  • "Veronica" (1989) by Elvis Costello (67%, 12 Votes)
  • "Lucretia, My Reflection" (1988) by The Sisters of Mercy (28%, 5 Votes)
  • "Angelia" (1989) by Richard Marx (22%, 4 Votes)
  • "Roni" (1988) by Bobby Brown (6%, 1 Votes)
  • "The Ballad of Jayne" (1989) by L.A. Guns (6%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 18

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If you’re having fun voting in this tournament, please spread the word by sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Thanks!

Popular Baby Names in Estonia, 2013

Estonia’s top baby names of 2013 were published in the newspaper Postimees at the end of 2012.

The paper didn’t explicitly mention the source of the information (the Ministry of the Interior?) but reported that the country’s most popular names from January to November, 2013, were Maria and Rasmus.

Here are Estonia’s projected top 15 girl names and top 15 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Maria**
2. Sofia
3. Laura
4. Anna**
5. Mia/Miia
6. Milana
7. Lisandra
8. Mirtel
9. Viktoria
10. Liisa
11. Arina
12. Darja
13. Aleksandra
14. Sandra
15. Adeele/Adele
1. Rasmus
2. Artjom**
3. Martin
4. Robin
5. Oliver
6. Markus
7. Nikita**
8. Romet
9. Sebastian
10. Sander
11. Kristofer
12. Robert
13. Oskar
14. Maksim
15. Daniel

**These names are particularly popular among Russian-speakers in Estonia.

Names that increased in popularity last year include Rasmus, Gregor and Mia.

Kevin, Kristjan and Kristina, on the other hand, decreased in popularity “significantly.”

Mirtel, 8th on the girls’ list, was rare until Estonian actress Mirtel Pohla came along.

The name Lenna was similarly uncommon until Estonian singer Lenna Kuurmaa hit the scene, and now Lenna is “quite popular,” though not in the top 15.

Robin, 4th on the boys’ list, is a curious one. It’s not an Estonian name, but simply the English male name Robin. And yet it’s trending in Estonia right now. (The last time Robin was trendy in the U.S. was a half century ago, and most of those baby Robins were female.) Could the inspiration be “Blurred Lines” singer Robin Thicke? I know it’s a long shot, but that’s all I can think of.

Postimees also published the following list of Estonia’s most popular baby names from 1992 to 2004. (They did say the Ministry of the Interior was the source for this one.)

Top Girl Names, 1992–2004 Top Boy Names, 1992–2004
1. Anna
2. Laura
3. Kristina
4. Maria
5. Diana
6. Sandra
7. Anastassia
8. Jekaterina
9. Karina
10. Alina
11. Kristiina
12. Aleksandra
13. Viktoria
14. Darja
15. Liis
16. Anastasia
17. Kätlin
18. Julia
19. Valeria
1. Martin
2. Sander
3. Aleksandr
4. Kristjan
5. Kevin
6. Nikita
7. Markus
8. Artur
9. Maksim
10. Karl
11. Dmitri
12. Daniil
13. Siim
14. Rasmus
15. Aleksei
16. Andrei
17. Artjom
18. Mihkel
19. Ilja

I’m guessing 2004 was picked as an endpoint because Estonia enacted a name law in early 2005 that regulates baby name orthography (to start weeding out foreign letters such as x, y and c). The full list has 677 names; at the bottom are names like Sirje, Raina, Raneli and Patricia.

Sources: And This Year’s Most Popular Baby Names Are…, These are the days of Rasmus, Artjom, Maria and Sofia