How popular is the baby name Raya 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 Raya.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Raya


Posts that Mention the Name Raya

Name Quotes 84: Al, Gene, Sonatine

Welcome to the monthly quote post! There are a lot of celebrities in this one, so let’s start with…

Actor Emilio Estevez — who pronounces his surname ESS-teh-vez, instead of the Spanish way, ess-TEH-vezdiscussing his name [vid] on Talk Soup with Nessa in 2019:

So I was born on 203rd Street in South Bronx. And, at the time, my father had this very Hispanic-sounding last name. […] A lot people, a lot of these agents, and folks said, if you wanna work in this business, you gotta have a more Anglo-sounding name. Of course times have changed, but there was that moment where he was finally on Broadway — 1965, ’66 — and his father came from Dayton (he was from Spain, of course) and looked up on the marquee, and saw the three names that were starring in the play, and one of them was “Martin Sheen” and not his real name, Ramón Estévez. And my grandfather just looked up, and he just shook his head, and he was so disappointed. And my father saw that. And so when I began to get into this business, we had that conversation. And he said, don’t make the same mistake I did.

…A few sentences later, Estevez added:

I can’t tell you how many people have stopped me on the street and said, you know, just seeing your name on a poster, just seeing your name on screen, meant so much to me, you have no idea.

(Martin Sheen’s stage name was created from the names of CBS casting director Robert Dale Martin and televangelist archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.)

Singer Billy Idol, born William Broad, discussing his stage name [vid] with Karyn Hay on the New Zealand TV show Radio with Pictures in 1984:

Q: Why did you choose the name Billy Idol, especially in a time when [there’s] Johnny Rotten, Ret Scabies, you know?

A: Exactly, I mean that’s the point. That’s exactly the point. […] I thought, first of all, of course, of I-D-L-E, you know, idle. Cause this chemistry teacher when I was at school — I got 8 out of 100 for chemistry, I hated chemistry — so he wrote, “William is idle,” right? And I thought that was great to get 8 out of 10 [sic] for chemistry, cause I hated the hell out of it. So I thought that was respectable, so I thought it was worthwhile being called I-D-O-L, idol. Also, it’s good fun making fun of show business. I’m not into show business, I’m into rock ‘n’ roll.

Composer Bear McCreary’s baby name announcement from mid-2014:

Raya and I are proud to announce our greatest collaboration is finally here. 

Sonatine Yarbrough McCreary was born 6/2/14 and is filling our lives with joy, music… and poop.

(The musical term sonatina means “small sonata” in Italian. A sonata refers to a piece that is played — as opposed to a cantata, a piece that is sung.)

From an article about Amy Schumer legally changing her son’s name:

The I Feel Pretty star revealed her decision to change her 11-month-old son’s name on the newest episode of her podcast 3 Girls, 1 Keith on Tuesday. Schumer and her husband Chris Fischer named their first child Gene Attell Fischer, born May 5, with his middle name serving as a tribute to their good friend comic Dave Attell.

“Do you guys know that Gene, our baby’s name, is officially changed? It’s now Gene David Fischer. It was Gene Attell Fischer, but we realized that we, by accident, named our son ‘genital,'” Schumer told cohosts Rachel Feinstein, Bridget Everett, and Keith Robinson.

…More to the point, from Amy’s Instagram:

Oh, like you never named your kid Genital fissure!!!!!!!

Three quotes from a fantastic article in the NYT about Weird Al Yankovic (discovered via Nancy Friedman).

…On his Alfred-ness:

Although Alfred’s grades were perfect, and he could solve any math problem you threw at him, his social life was agonizing. Imagine every nerd cliche: He was scrawny, pale, unathletic, nearsighted, awkward with girls — and his name was Alfred. And that’s all before you even factor in the accordion.

…On how his surname turned him into an accordion player:

[The accordion] came from a door-to-door salesman. The man was offering the gift of music, and he gave the Yankovics a simple choice: accordion or guitar. This was 1966, the golden age of rock, the year of the Beatles’ “Revolver” and the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” and Bob Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde.” A guitar was like a magic amulet spraying sexual psychedelic magic all over the world. So Yankovic’s mother chose the accordion. This was at least partly because of coincidence: Frankie Yankovic, a world-famous polka player, happened to share the family’s last name. No relation. Just a wonderful coincidence that would help to define Alfred’s entire life.

…On his Alfred-ness again:

The nickname “Weird Al” started as an insult. It happened during his first year of college. This was a fresh start for Alfred — a chance to reinvent himself for a whole new set of people. He had no reputation to live down, no epic humiliations. And so he decided to implement a rebrand: He introduced himself to everyone not as Alfred but as “Al.” Alfred sounded like the kind of kid who might invent his own math problems for fun. Al sounded like the opposite of that: a guy who would hang out with the dudes, eating pizza, casually noodling on an electric guitar, tossing off jokes so unexpectedly hilarious they would send streams of light beer rocketing out of everyone’s noses.

The problem was that, even at college, even under the alias of Al, Yankovic was still himself. He was still, fundamentally, an Alfred.

Comedian Kevin Hart on choosing baby names:

I wish I could say that I am the main guru, [but] I am awful when it comes to the names. That is not my expertise. […] I say the same thing every time. It’s either Kevin or Kevina. I got two names. That’s it. So if you never go with either one of those then I’m no good to you.

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

Popular Baby Names in Bulgaria, 2018

According to preliminary data from Bulgaria’s National Statistical Institute, the most popular baby names in the country in 2018 were Viktoria and Georgi.

Here are Bulgaria’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2018:

Girl Names
1. Viktoria, 674 baby girls
2. Maria, 591
3. Nikol, 586
4. Sofia, 463
5. Raya, 432
6. Aleksandra, 413
7. Daria, 351
8. Gabriela, 346
9. Simona, 343
10. Yoana, 339

Boy Names
1. Georgi, 976 baby boys
2. Aleksandar, 930
3. Martin, 748
4. Boris, 628
5. Nikola, 598
6. Dimitar, 579
7. Daniel, 563
8. Kaloyan, 548
9. Ivan, 547
10. Teodor, 523

The girls’ top ten includes the same ten names as the year before, but in a different order.

In the boys’ top ten, Teodor replaces Viktor.

In 2017, the most popular names in Bulgaria were Viktoria and Aleksandar.

Source: Names in Bulgaria in 2018 – National Statistical Institute, Republic of Bulgaria

Popular Baby Names in Newfoundland and Labrador, 2016

According to preliminary data released on January 6th by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the most popular baby names in 2016 were Emma and Jackson (and variants).

Here are the province’s projected top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Emma
2. Avary/Avery
3. Charlotte
4. Olivia
5. Addison/Addyson
6. Scarlett
7. Abbigail/Abigail/Abigale
8. Anna
9. Cali/Callie/Kali/Kallee/Kallie
10. Emilee/Emily

Boy Names
1. Jackson/Jaxen/Jaxon/Jaxson/Jaxxen/Jaxxon
2. Liam
3. Benjamin
4. Jack
5. James
6. Mason
7. Grayson/Greyson
8. Jacob
9. Noah
10. Isaac/Isac/Issac

The #1 names are the same as in 2015. (I forgot to post the 2015 rankings last year, but here are the 2014 rankings.)

In the girls’ top 10, the Addison-group, Scarlett, the Abigail-group, the Callie-group, and the Emily-group replace the Sophia-group, the Lily-group, the Mia-group, the Ava-group, and the Chloe-group.

In the boys’ top 10, Mason, the Greyson-group, and the Isaac-group replace Parker, the Nathan-group, and Carter.

Most of the pronunciation groupings on N.L.’s full top 100 made sense, but here are two I wasn’t so sure about:

  • In 21st place on the girls’ list was “Lea/Leah/Leia/Leiyah/Lia/Leya,” which mixes LEE‑uh and LAY‑uh names.
  • In 63rd place on the girls’ list was “Raya/Rayah/Rhea,” which mixes RAY‑uh and REE‑uh names.

Sources: Top 100 Baby Names – Open Data Newfoundland and Labrador, Jaxxen among most popular N.L. baby names in 2016

Popular Baby Names in Bulgaria, 2016

According to preliminary data released yesterday by Bulgaria’s National Statistical Institute, the most popular baby names in the country in 2016 were Viktoria and Aleksandar.

Here are Bulgaria’s projected top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Viktoria
2. Maria
3. Nikol
4. Raya
5. Sofia
6. Aleksandra
7. Gabriela
8. Daria
9. Yoana
10. Simona

Boy Names
1. Aleksandar
2. Georgi
3. Martin
4. Dimitar
5. Ivan
6. Nikola
7. Viktor
8. Daniel
9. Kaloyan
10. Nikolay

On the boys’ list, Aleksandar replaces Georgi as the #1 name.

The name Kaloyan can be traced back to Tsar Ivan II, who ruled Bulgaria from 1197 to 1207. His nickname, “Kaloyan,” was based on the Greek phrase kalos Ioannes, meaning “handsome John.” In fact, an increasing number of baby boys are being named after the “khans and the kings of the First and Second Bulgarian Kingdom, for example Asparuh, Tervel, Simeon, Samuil, Kaloyan.”

Trendy girl name Krisia isn’t in the top 10, but it was given to 169 baby girls in 2016 (and 222 in 2015) thanks to the influence of Bulgarian child singer Krisia Todorova.

And what are the most common first names in Bulgaria overall?

Female Names, overall
1. Maria
2. Ivanka
3. Elena
4. Yordanka
5. Penka
6. Daniela
7. Rositsa
8. Desislava
9. Petya
10. Gergana

Male Names, overall
1. Georgi
2. Ivan
3. Dimitar
4. Nikolay
5. Petar
6. Hristo
7. Aleksandar
8. Stefan
9. Yordan
10. Vasil

Interesting entries in the overall top 20 include the female name Rumyana and the male names Stoyan, Atanas (from Athanasius), and Plamen.

Sources: Alexander and Victoria most preferred baby names in Bulgaria in 2016, Republic of Bulgaria National Statistical Institute, Kaloyan – Behind the Name

Popular Baby Names in Bulgaria, 2013

Bulgaria’s top baby names of 2013 were released last month.

According to preliminary data from the National Statistical Institute (NSI), the most popular baby names last year were Viktoria and Georgi.

Here are Bulgaria’s top 19 girl names and top 19 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Viktoria (2.9% of baby girls)
2. Nikol (2.7%)
3. Maria (2.4%)
4. Alexandra (1.7%)
5. Gabriela (1.5%)
6. Raya (1.2%)
7. Yoana (1.2%)
8. Simona
9. Elena
10. Dariya
11. Teodora
12. Siyana
13. Mihaela
14. Gergana
15. Magdalena
16. Bozhidara
17. Monika
18. Ivayla
19. Karina
1. Georgi (3.55% of baby boys)
2. Alexandar (3.1%)
3. Martin (2.9%)
4. Ivan (2.4%)
5. Dimitar (2.1%)
6. Nikola (2.1%)
7. Nikolay (2.0%)
8. Viktor
9. Kristiyan
10. Kaloyan
11. Boris
12. Teordor
13. Bozhidar
14. Petar
15. Stefan
16. Alex
17. Ivaylo
18. Mihail
19. Angel

Source: Most popular baby names in Bulgaria – Georgi, Viktoria