How popular is the baby name Olajuwon 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 Olajuwon.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Olajuwon


Posts that Mention the Name Olajuwon

How did Kareem Abdul-Jabbar influence baby names?

sports, baby name, 1970s, kareem, unseld, basketball
Kareem & Wes Unseld

Basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played with the Milwaukee Bucks from 1969 to 1974 and with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1975 to 1989. And, like player Hakeem Olajuwon, he underwent a name change during his career.

Abdul-Jabbar was born Ferdinand Lewis “Lew” Alcindor, Jr., in New York City in 1947. Twenty years later he was a standout player on the UCLA varsity basketball team (1967-1969). During this time period, the name Alcindor started appearing in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1970: 9 baby boys named Alcindor
  • 1969: 7 baby boys named Alcindor
  • 1968: 7 baby boys named Alcindor [debut]
  • 1967: unlisted
  • 1966: unlisted

It stuck around for four consecutive years, and might have stuck around even longer had Lew not changed his name upon converting to Islam in 1971.

In an essay about his conversion, he mentioned that “Alcindor was a French planter in the West Indies who owned my ancestors. […] Keeping the name of my family’s slave master seemed somehow to dishonor them.” So he “became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (meaning “the noble one, servant of the Almighty”).”

His name change had an immediate effect upon U.S. boy names:

YearKareemAbdulJabbarKareen
1974324812748
1973243852930
19723789877*36**
19714449..
19701243..

*Overall debut
**Gender-specific debut

In 1972, the usage of all three names — Kareem, Abdul, and Jabbar — increased. In fact, Jabbar was the top debut name of the year in 1972. The name Jabarr also popped up that year. Jabar, the best-guess phonetic version, arrived a year early.

Kareen, which had been charting a girl name, debuted impressively as boy name in ’72. And, in a nice show of symmetry, boy name Kareem debuted as a girl name the same year.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played in the NBA for twenty years, but it wasn’t until decades later, in the 2010s, that the tribute name Abduljabbar finally emerged in the data.

Source: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Wikipedia

P.S. Ahmad Rashad, father of Condola, is another public figure who adopted an Muslim name in the early ’70s.

Numerology & Baby Names: Number 3

baby names that add up to 3, numerologically

Here are hundreds of baby names that have a numerological value of “3.”

I’ve sub-categorized them by overall totals, because I think that some of the intermediate numbers could have special significance to people as well.

Within each group, I’ve listed up to ten of the most popular “3” names per gender (according to the current U.S. rankings).

Beneath all the names are some ways you could interpret the numerological value of “3,” including descriptions from two different numerological systems.

3 via 12

The following baby names add up to 12, which reduces to three (1+2=3).

  • “12” girl names: Aja, Fae, Abi, Bee, Abha, Bia
  • “12” boy names: Cace, Gad, Jb

3 via 21

The following baby names add up to 21, which reduces to three (2+1=3).

  • “21” girl names: Kai, Asa, Gala, Jaeda, Jaia, Aara, Clea, Kia, Abiha, Abiah
  • “21” boy names: Kai, Kade, Asa, Alec, Ben, Beck, Cael, Cale, Hal, Ladd

3 via 30

The following baby names add up to 30, which reduces to three (3+0=3).

  • “30” girl names: Ella, Anna, Alice, Jane, Bianca, Abby, Noa, Bria, Celia, Liah
  • “30” boy names: Joe, Jean, Taha, Noa, Ken, Eesa, Rafe, Zac, Bodi, Tai

3 via 39

The following baby names add up to 39, which reduces to three (3+9=12; 1+2=3).

  • “39” girl names: Camila, Sara, Ayla, Mya, Amy, Gemma, Leila, Allie, Angel, Kira
  • “39” boy names: Angel, Declan, Sean, Kash, Drake, Jakob, Jon, Keagan, Lev, Edric

3 via 48

The following baby names add up to 48, which reduces to three (4+8=12; 1+2=3).

  • “48” girl names: Luna, Nora, Claire, Isabel, Teagan, Adriana, Daphne, Aviana, Sarai, Celine
  • “48” boy names: James, Ethan, Levi, Jonah, Graham, Theo, Malakai, Leland, Kamden, Jasiah

3 via 57

The following baby names add up to 57, which reduces to three (5+7=12; 1+2=3).

  • “57” girl names: Aaliyah, Rose, Mary, Adalyn, Hayden, Amiyah, Mariana, Willa, Kailani, Myra
  • “57” boy names: Owen, George, Hayden, Ellis, Major, Uriah, Colby, Chris, Layne, Franco

3 via 66

The following baby names add up to 66, which reduces to three (6+6=12; 1+2=3).

  • “66” girl names: Harper, Addison, Ruby, Emery, Ximena, Annabelle, Sloane, Brooke, Delaney, Jessica
  • “66” boy names: Charles, Xander, Beckett, Tobias, Manuel, Zayn, Romeo, Dalton, Royce, Esteban

3 via 75

The following baby names add up to 75, which reduces to three (7+5=12; 1+2=3).

  • “75” girl names: Madison, Quinn, Esther, Adelynn, Raelyn, Tatum, Annalise, Bethany, Kinslee, Simone
  • “75” boy names: Zayden, Marcus, Martin, Jeffrey, Quinn, Kendrick, Gunnar, Zachariah, Rowen, Luciano

3 via 84

The following baby names add up to 84, which reduces to three (8+4=12; 1+2=3).

  • “84” girl names: Ryleigh, Londyn, Jocelyn, Makenzie, Collins, Lennox, Zaniyah, Madalynn, Lillianna, Violeta
  • “84” boy names: Alexander, Austin, Leonardo, Nathaniel, Emmanuel, Barrett, Jaxton, Marshall, Lennox, Lawson

3 via 93

The following baby names add up to 93, which reduces to three (9+3=12; 1+2=3).

  • “93” girl names: Juniper, Elliott, Ashlynn, Sunny, Yamileth, Evalynn, Majesty, Cristina, Rhiannon, Brighton
  • “93” boy names: Bryson, Justin, Elliott, Cristian, Atticus, Tyson, Roberto, Arturo, Greysen, Brighton

3 via 102

The following baby names add up to 102, which reduces to three (1+0+2=12; 1+2=3).

  • “102” girl names: Charlotte, Juliette, Jazlynn, Whitley, Kaylynn, Kinzley, Katelynn, Gwyneth, Christiana, Gwenyth
  • “102” boy names: Harrison, Kingsley, Langston, Brixton, Humberto, Syrus, Huxton, Iverson, Yehoshua, Abdulaziz

3 via 111

The following baby names add up to 111, which reduces to three (1+1+1=3).

  • “111” girl names: Amethyst, Braylynn, Kynsley, Brystol, Bronwyn, Taylynn, Mattison, Rozalyn, Sarenity, Promyse
  • “111” boy names: Raymundo, Xzavion, Treston, Christos, Torsten, Panagiotis, Schuyler, Olajuwon, Tayshawn, Corinthian

3 via 120

The following baby names add up to 120, which reduces to three (1+2+0=3).

  • “120” girl names: Skylynn, Yaretzy, Lexington, Greylynn, Yuritza, Portlyn, Southern, Brittlyn, Ellowynn, Mattalynn
  • “120” boy names: Maximiliano, Ulysses, Lexington, Thompson, Leviticus, Arjunreddy, Philopater, Quintyn, Prentiss, Marquette

3 via 129

The following baby names add up to 129, which reduces to three (1+2+9=12; 1+2=3).

  • “129” girl names: Kourtney, Christalyn, Tzipporah, Oluwatomi, Riverrose, Stellamaris, Jazzalynn
  • “129” boy names: Augustus, Silvestre, Brookston, Constantin, Tobechukwu, Panayiotis, Toluwalase, Demetrious, Quinston, Kourtney

3 via 138

The following baby names add up to 138, which reduces to three (1+3+8=12; 1+2=3).

  • “138” girl names: Konstantina, Marylouise, Mojolaoluwa, Oluwaferanmi
  • “138” boy names: Thelonious, Toussaint, Marcoantonio, Zephyrus, Oluwaferanmi

3 via 147

The following baby names add up to 147, which reduces to three (1+4+7=12; 1+2=3).

  • “147” girl names: Autumnrose, Tirenioluwa
  • “147” boy names: Khristopher, Aristotelis

3 via 156

The boy name Ifeanyichukwu adds up to 156, which reduces to three (1+5+6=12; 1+2=3).

3 via 165

The unisex name Oluwatamilore adds up to 165, which reduces to three (1+6+5=12; 1+2=3).

What Does “3” Mean?

First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “3” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “3” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.

Numerological Attributes

“3” (the triad) according to the Pythagoreans:

  • “The triad has a special beauty and fairness beyond all numbers”
  • “Anything in Nature which has process has three boundaries (beginning, peak and end – that is, its limits and its middle), and two intervals (that is, increase and decrease), with the consequence that the nature of the dyad and ‘either’ manifests in the triad by means of its limits.”
  • “They call it ‘friendship’ and ‘peace,’ and further ‘harmony’ and ‘unanimity’: for these are all cohesive and unificatory of opposites and dissimilars. Hence they also call it ‘marriage.'”
  • “The triad is called ‘prudence’ and ‘wisdom’ – that is, when people act correctly as regards the present, look ahead to the future, and gain experience from what has already happened in the past: so wisdom surveys the three parts of time, and consequently knowledge falls under the triad.”
  • “We use the triad also for the manifestation of plurality, and say ‘thrice ten thousand’ when we mean ‘many times many,’ and ‘thrice blessed.'”

“3” according to Edgar Cayce:

  • “Three is the strength of one with the weakness of two” (reading 261-15).
  • ‘Three – again a combination of one and two; this making for strength, making for – in division – that ability of two against one, or one against two. In this strength is seen, as in the Godhead, and is as a greater strength in the whole of combinations” (reading 5751-1).
Personal/Cultural Significance

Does “3” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 21, 57, 66, 111) — have any special significance to you?

Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. Maybe you’re fascinated by the history of old Route 66, for example.

Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.

If you have any interesting insights about the number 3, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!

Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).

Baby Names Inspired by (H)akeem Olajuwon

Hakeem Olajuwon
Hakeem Olajuwon

Akeem Olajuwon emigrated from Nigeria to play basketball at the University of Houston from 1980 to 1984. He then played professional basketball from 1984 to 2002 — half of that time as Akeem, the other half of that time as Hakeem. (He changed the spelling of his first name in 1991.)

How did Olajuwon’s successful career affect the popularity of the baby names Akeem, Hakeem and Olajuwon? Let’s check it out…

YearAkeemHakeemOlajuwon
200356865
200265839
20016311511
2000771328
19996113415
19989719416
199711622624
199614624126
1995*17424754
1994*22226458
199324216616
199232520018
199141924124
199057027222
198945927919
19882216517
19871785523
19862832952
19851603622
19842545019
19831923515 [debut]
19823222
1981831

*These are the two years Olajuwon led the Houston Rockets to NBA championships.

So, why did Olajuwon change the spelling of his first name?

“It’s no big deal,” Olajuwon says. “I just want to go back to using the original spelling, the way it is meant to be spelled in Arabic.”

According to Olajuwon, “Hakeem,” in Arabic, means “a wise man; a doctor.”

But “Akeem,” which is the way it’s been spelled since he arrived in the United States in 1981, has no translation.

What does Olajuwon’s surname mean? According to NBA.com, Olajuwon means “always being on top.” In every Yoruba name that starts with Ola- that I’ve come across, though, Ola- means “wealth.” So I don’t know about that NBA definition. (I also don’t know what -juwon might mean.)

Finally, did you notice how the usage of Akeem and Hakeem jumped from 1988 to 1989, but the usage of Olajuwon stayed the same? The main inspiration here was Hakim of R&B group The Boys, which had a few hit singles out around this time. In fact, the names of all four of The Boys — Khiry, Hakim, Tajh & Bilal — got a boost in 1989.

Update, 9/5/2021: I think Jamie’s theory about the name Akeem getting a boost in 1989 from the 1988 movie Coming to America — in which comedian Eddie Murphy plays lead character Prince Akeem Joffer of the (fictional) African nation Zamunda — makes perfect sense! Off to add it to the timeline

Sources: