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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Shigeru

Number of Babies Named Shigeru

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Shigeru

“Minoru Tanaka” Is the Most Common Name in Japan

According to Japanese surname researcher Hiroshi Morioka, the most common full name in Japan is “Minoru Tanaka” (Minoru is the first name, Tanaka is the surname).

Japanese names are written in kanji, or Chinese characters. Morioka believes that many families like to chose first names with kanji that are complementary to the kanji in the surname, and that this is what makes certain combinations particularly popular.

In the name Minoru Tanaka, for instance, the kanji can be interpreted as “to ripen in the rice field.” “This reflects the close traditional relationship the Japanese have with rice and agriculture.”

The second most common full name, Shigeru Suzuki, “incorporates the Chinese characters for “tree” and “to grow thick,” another fitting name combination inspired by agriculture.”

The third and fourth most common full names are Minoru Suzuki and Kiyoshi Sato, but my source didn’t mention what the kanji in these names might mean.

Source: “Family name researcher” discovers the most common full name in Japan


Baby Named for Princess Zelda

zeldaA few months ago, Nintendo released Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, a remake of the original Ocarina of Time from 1998.

Who did they feature in the commercials for the new Ocarina? None other than Robin Williams, who named his daughter, Zelda, for Princess Zelda from the series. (Zelda Williams was in the commercial, too.)

Here are the commercials: Zelda Ad #1 and Zelda Ad #2.

Robin bought his first Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987 and became “completely immersed.” “When my wife was pregnant, my son Zachary mentioned that Zelda would be the perfect name for his new little sister.” Robin and his wife agreed, so when the baby girl was born on 31 July 1989, she was named Zelda Rae.

Here’s Robin and Zelda discussing her name [another vid].

Were other parents inspired to use the name Zelda as well around this time? Perhaps a few, though the numbers stay fairly flat:

  • 1985: 13 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1986: 16 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1987: 12 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1988: 17 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1989: 19 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1990: 18 baby girls named Zelda
  • 1991: 22 baby girls named Zelda

How was Princess Zelda named? Game creator Shigeru Miyamoto explains: “Zelda was the name of the wife of the famous novelist Francis Scott Fitzgerald. She was a famous and beautiful woman from all accounts, and I liked the sound of her name. So I took the liberty of using her name for the very first Zelda title.”

[On Late Night with Jimmy Fallon a fews ago, Robin stated that his son Cody is also named for a video game character, but didn’t mention which game/character. My guess would be Cody from Final Fight.]

Sources: In the Game: Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, Ocarina of Time 3D Commercial Stars Robin Williams, Robin Williams and Daughter Pitch Video Game She Was Named After

How to Pronounce Asian Names

Yesterday I discovered the “Asian Name Pronunciation Guide,” which was created by California State Polytechnic University (Pomona) to help its students “more accurately pronounce some common Asian first and last names.” What a cool thing for the school to make available.

There are pages for names in Cambodian, Cantonese, Filipino, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Thai and Vietnamese. Best of all, most pages include audio files of native speakers correctly pronouncing selected names.

Here are all the first names listed:

Cambodian First Names & Pronunciations

  • Bopha, bohpah
  • Chanda, chahndah
  • Chandarith, chahnrit
  • Chhoun, choo-en
  • Dara Khan, dahrah kahn
  • Khan, kahn
  • Kosal, kohsahl
  • Kunthea, kunt-hee-ah
  • Lai, lah-ee
  • Lun Ang, loom-ang
  • Maly, mahlee
  • Map, mahp
  • Moeuk, mew
  • Pean, pee-in
  • Phalla, pahlah
  • Phireak, pee-re
  • Poew, pohew
  • Rith, rit
  • Ry, ree
  • Sarit, sahrit
  • Srey, sray
  • Soas, soo-uh
  • Socheat, sohjee-et
  • Soeun, sew-in
  • Sok, sawk
  • Somally, sawmahlee
  • Sopea, sohpeeah
  • Sophal, sohpahl
  • Sophat, sohpaht
  • Sophea, sohpeeah
  • Sopheap, sohpee-up
  • Suon, soo-in
  • Theary, t-ih-ree
  • Thy, tee
  • Tren, trayng
  • Vanna, wahnah
  • Vannak, wahnak
  • Vantha, wahntah
  • Veng Kim, wayng kum
  • Vuthy, wootee

Cantonese (Chinese) First Names & Pronunciations

  • Chi-Kung, chee-kahng
  • Chi-Man, chee-mahn
  • Ka-Ling, gah-leeng
  • Kok-Wing, kaw-wing
  • Lai-Ying, ly-ying
  • Mei-Yee, may-yee
  • Pui-Pui, puhyee-pahyee
  • Sau-Ha, sow-han
  • Shuk-Yee, suh-yee
  • Sin-Feng, sin-fuhng
  • Siu-Kao, seeyoo-kayoo
  • Tak-Wah, duh-wah
  • Wai-Keung, wy-kuhung
  • Wai-Ling, wy-ling

Filipino First Names & Pronunciations

  • Adelaide, ahdelydah
  • Angelita, ahngheleetah
  • Annal, ahnah
  • Antonio, ahntoneeyo
  • Aunor, awnor
  • Carlo, karlo
  • Catalina, kahtahleena
  • Dakila, dahkeelah
  • Dalisay, dahleesy
  • Diego, deeyaygo
  • Floricel, florreesel
  • Gemma, jemah
  • Guillermo, geelyermo
  • Honesto, ohnesto
  • Irma, irmah
  • Isabel, eesahbel
  • Ligaya, leegahyah
  • Liwayway, leewaiwai
  • Luningning, looningning
  • Lourdes, lordess
  • Magdalena, mahgdahleena
  • Manuel, mahnoowel
  • Maria, mahreeyah
  • Maricar, mahrikahr
  • Miguel, meegel
  • Norma, normah

Indonesian First Names & Pronunciations

Female Names

  • Ade, ada
  • Devi, day (silent y)-vee
  • Dewi, day (silent y)-we
  • Erlin, arleen
  • Fanny, funny
  • Farida, fareeda
  • Glenna, glenna
  • Harjanti, harjantee
  • Hartanti, hartantee
  • Ida, eda
  • Inge, enge
  • Lanny, lunny
  • Leony, leony
  • Liana, leeana
  • Liani, leeanee
  • Ratna, rutna
  • Shinta, shinta
  • Siska, sisca
  • Sri, seri
  • Sucianty, soocianty
  • Susanti, soosantee
  • Utami, utami
  • Vera, vera
  • Verawati, verawatee
  • Veronika, veronica
  • Widya, wedya
  • Widyawati, wedyawati
  • Yanti, yunti
  • Yenny, yenny
  • Yulia, yoolia
  • Yuliana, yooleeana
  • Yuliani, yooleeanee

Male Names

  • Ade, ada
  • Adi, adee
  • Agus, agoos
  • Ari (Ary), ari
  • Bambang, bumbung
  • Benny, banny
  • Budi, boodee
  • Deddy, deddy
  • Djaja (Djaya, Jaya), jaya
  • Doddy, doddy
  • Hadi, hudee
  • Hadian, hudeean
  • Hamdani, hamdani
  • Handoko, handoko
  • Hartono, hartono
  • Hendra, hendra
  • Hendri, hendori
  • Hengki (Hengky), hanki
  • Herman, herman
  • Indra, endra
  • Irwan, erwan
  • Ivan, evan
  • Iwan, ewan
  • Johan, johan
  • Ridwan, ridwan
  • Sonny, sonny
  • Sudirman, soodirman
  • Sudomo, soodoomo
  • Sugiarto, soogiarto
  • Suharto, sooharto
  • Suhendra, soohendra
  • Sukarno, sookarno
  • Suparman, sooparman
  • Surya, soorya
  • Suryadi, sooryadee
  • Susanto, soosanto
  • Teguh, taguh
  • Yandi, yundee
  • Yohanes, yohanes

Japanese First Names & Pronunciations

Female Names

  • Akiko, a-ki-o
  • Etsuko, eh-tsu-ko
  • Hiroko, he-ro-ko
  • Hiromi, he-ro-me
  • Junko, june-ko
  • Kaoru, ka-o-ru
  • Kazuko, ka-zu-ko
  • Keiko, keh-ko
  • Kuniko, koo-ni-ko
  • Kyoko, kyoh-ko
  • Mariko, ma-ri-ko
  • Masako, ma-sa-ko
  • Michiko, me-chi-ko
  • Miho, me-ho
  • Miki, me-ki
  • Miyuki, me-you-ki
  • Naoko, na-o-ko
  • Noriko, no-lee-ko
  • Reiko, reh-ko
  • Sachiko, sa-chi-ko
  • Takako, ta-ka-ko
  • Tomoko, to-mo-ko
  • Yoko, yoh-ko
  • Yoshiko, yo-shi-ko
  • Yuki, you-ki
  • Yumi, you-me
  • Yumiko, you-me-ko

Male Names

  • Akio, a-ki-o
  • Akira, a-ki-ra
  • Hideo, hi-de-o
  • Hiroshi, hi-ro-sih
  • Ichiro, e-chi-roh
  • Junichi, june-e-chi
  • Kazuo, ka-zu-o
  • Kenji, ken-ji
  • Kiyoshi, ki-yo-shi
  • Koichi, ko-e-chi
  • Koji, ko-ji
  • Makoto, ma-ko-toh
  • Osamu, o-sa-mu
  • Shigeru, shi-ge-ru
  • Shinichi, shin-e-chi
  • Shiro, shi-ro
  • Susumu, su-su-mu
  • Tadashi, ta-da-shi
  • Takao, ta-ka-o
  • Takashi, ta-ka-shi
  • Takeo, ta-ke-o
  • Takeshi, ta-ke-shi
  • Toru, toh-ru
  • Tsutomu, tsu-to-mu
  • Yoshio, yo-shi-o
  • Yuji, you-ji
  • Yutaka, you-ta-ka

Korean First Names & Pronunciations

Female Names

  • Eun-A, euna
  • Eun-Hee, eunhee
  • Eun-Ju, eunju
  • Eun-Jung, eunjung
  • Eun-Kyoung, eunkyoung
  • Eun-Mi, eunmi
  • Eun-Su, eunsu
  • Eun-Sun, eunsun
  • Eun-Young, eunyoung
  • Hye-Su, hiesu
  • Hyun-Ja, hyunja
  • Hyun-Ju, hyunju
  • Hyun-Jung, hyunjung
  • Hyun-Young, hiuniung
  • Jin-Sook (Jing-Suk), jinsuk
  • Kun-Sun, keunsun
  • Kyoung-Mi, kyungmi
  • Min-Hee, minhee
  • Min-Hoe, minhoe
  • Min-Jung, minjung
  • Min-Young, miyoung
  • Mi-Kyoung, mikyoung
  • Mi-Sun, misun
  • Mi-Young, miyoung
  • Na-Young, nayoung
  • Sang-Hee, sang/hee
  • Sang-Mi, sangmi
  • So-Young, soyoung
  • Sun-Hee, sunhee
  • Su-Jung, sujung
  • Young-Hee (Yung-Hee), young-hee
  • Young-Ja, youngja
  • Young-Mi, youngmi
  • Yun-Hee, iunhee

Male Names

  • Chang-Ho, changho
  • Chang-Su, changsu
  • Chang-Uk, chang-uk
  • Dong-Min, dongmin
  • Dong-Uk, dong-uk
  • Du-Ho, doho
  • Hyun-Su, hyeonsu
  • In-Ho, inho
  • Jang-Ho, jangho
  • Ja-Hoon, jahoon
  • Jong-Cheol (Jong-Chul), jongchul
  • Jong-Pil, jongpil
  • Jong-Su, jongsu
  • Jung-Hee, jeonghi
  • Jung-Hun (Jung-Hoon), jeonghun
  • Jung-Yeol, jung yeol
  • Ki-Hoon (Ki-Hun), kihun
  • Kwang-Ho, kuangho
  • Man-Su, mansu
  • Min-Ho, minho
  • Min-Ki, minki
  • Min-Kyu, minkiu
  • Min-Su, minsu
  • Sang-Ho, sangho
  • Sang-Ki, sangki
  • Sang-Kyu, sangkiu
  • Sang-Min, sangmin
  • Suk-Chul, sukchul
  • Sung-Uk, sung-uk
  • Yong-Su, youngsu
  • Young-Ho, young-ho
  • Young-Il, young-il
  • Young-Min, youngmin
  • Young-Su, youngsu

Mandarin (Chinese) First Names & Pronunciations

  • Chien, chee-en
  • Chiu, cheeoo
  • Di, dee
  • Du-Wah, doo wah
  • Fah, fah
  • Fong, fong
  • Jinho, rinho
  • Jong, rong
  • Ki, kee
  • Kwai, kwai
  • Lai-Ching, ly ching
  • Len, len
  • Li-Li, lee lee
  • Liang, lee ang
  • Li-Kung, lee kung
  • Lin, lin
  • Ling, ling
  • Li-Sheng, lee sheng
  • Mei, may
  • Riu, ree oo
  • Soon, suhn
  • Sung, sung
  • Wah-Tai, wah tahee
  • Wang, wang
  • Yung-Ling, yung leeng
  • Zhuo-Shing, choh sheeng

Thai First Names & Pronunciations

Female Names

  • Amporn, um-porn
  • Areya, ar-ree-ya
  • Budsaba, bud-sa-ba
  • Chompoo, chom-poo
  • Chompunut, chom-ou-nut
  • Duangrat, duang-rat
  • Intira, in-ti-ra
  • Jutharat, ju-ta-rat
  • Korrakoj, kor-ra-kod
  • Krittiga, krit-ti-ga
  • Nattaporn, nat-ta-porn
  • Nuntida, nun-ti-da
  • Orapan, or-ra-pun
  • Ornanong, on-a-nong
  • Patsaporn, pud-sa-porn
  • Pim, pim
  • Porntip, porn-tip
  • Pradtana, prad-ta-na
  • Premwadee, prem-wa-dee
  • Preyanutch, pre-ya-nut
  • Promporn, prom-porn
  • Sangrawee, sang-ra-wee
  • Sinee, si-nee
  • Sirirat, si-ri-rat
  • Sunisa, su-ni-sa
  • Suttida, soot-ti-da
  • Suwattanee, su-wat-ta-nee
  • Tidarat, to-da-rat
  • Utumporn, au-tum-porn
  • Vipada, wi-pa-da
  • Yada, ya-da

Male Names

  • Adirake, a-di-rake
  • Akkarat, aek-ka-rat
  • Chaowalit, chaow-wa-lit
  • Chayond, cha-yond
  • Chuan, chuan
  • Jettrin, jet-trin
  • Kiettisuk, kiet-ti-suk
  • Kittikorn, kit-ti-korn
  • Krit, krit
  • Ned, nade
  • Niwat, ni-wat
  • Nontawat, non-ta-wat
  • Pairote, pai-rote
  • Paradorn, pa-ra-dorn
  • Petch, petch
  • Pongrit, pong-rit
  • Pracha, pra-cha
  • Prakorb, pra-korb
  • Pramod, pra-mote
  • Prasopchai, pra-soap-chai
  • Sakchai, suk-chai
  • Sarawut, sa-ra-wut
  • Songpole, song-pole
  • Sunya, sun-ya
  • Surat, su-rat
  • Suttipong, sut-ti-pong
  • Thongchai, tong-chai
  • Tuksin, tuk-sin
  • Udom, au-dom
  • Vit, wit
  • Winai, wi-nai
  • Worrawut, wore-ra-wut

Vietnamese First Names & Pronunciations

  • Chi, chee
  • Cuc, kuk
  • Diem, yeeyim
  • Duc, duk
  • Dung, yuhng
  • Duong, yoong
  • Hanh, hahn
  • Ho, hoh
  • Hoa, hwa
  • Hong, howng
  • Hung, huhng
  • Lan, lahn
  • Liem, leeyim
  • Lien, leeyin
  • Loc, lowk
  • Mai, mah-ee
  • Minh, min
  • Nam, nahm
  • Nga, nga
  • Nguyet, nwyit
  • Pham, fam
  • Phu, foo
  • Thi, tee
  • Thien, teeyen
  • Tho, toy or tahoo
  • Thuy, twee
  • Tuan, twahn or twuhn
  • Tuyet, tweeyit
  • Viet, wee-et
  • Xuan, swuhn