How popular is the baby name Silvia 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 Silvia.
Here’s a baby name I haven’t been able to figure out: Prisma. It debuted in the data in 1984 with an impressive 18 baby girls, then saw even higher usage after that for several years:
- 1988: 13 baby girls named Prisma – 7 in CA
- 1987: 27 baby girls named Prisma – 13 in CA, 9 in TX
- 1986: 20 baby girls named Prisma – 11 in TX, 6 in CA
- 1985: 26 baby girls named Prisma – 13 in CA
- 1984: 18 baby girls named Prisma – 8 in CA, 7 in TX
- 1983: unlisted
- 1982: unlisted
Most of these babies were born in California and Texas. In fact, a records search for Prismas born in the mid-1980s revealed that nearly every single one had a Spanish surname. So it’s safe to say that we’re looking for a Spanish-language influence for Prisma.
My only guess so far is an obscure Mexican singer-songwriter named Prisma (real name: Silvia Tapia Alcázar) who was active in the mid-1980s. One of her songs, “Fuego y Ternura” (Fire and Tenderness), became the title track of the successful album Fuego y Ternura (1985) by Mexican pop singer Lucerito.
But do you guys have any other guesses?
And if any mid-’80s Prismas happen to stop by: Do you know the story behind your name?
Here’s a newspaper article from the 1930s that features a list of North Dakota towns with feminine names:
When a train conductor calls “Bessie” and “Josephine” in North Dakota he is not addressing passengers by their first names.
For these and other feminine names were given to towns and villages by rugged pioneers.
Prominent among the list is the cow town of Medora in Billings county, known as the ranching headquarters of Theodore Roosevelt.
Others are: Ines, Norma, Olga, Christine, Silvia, Hannah, Frances, Janet, Stella, Willa, Ella, Mary, Flora, Marion, Alice, Elizabeth, Sophia, Beulah, Kathryn, Jessie, Luverne, Juanita, Freda, Cherry and Mona.
(Only Ella is among the top 10 baby girl names in the state right now.)
Which of the above names do you like best?
Source: “Dakota Pioneers Gave Towns Feminine Names.” Miami Daily News-Record [Miami, OK] 2 Feb. 1936: 8.
A reader named Debra would like some help naming baby número três:
We are just not finding THE name. I’m American, husband is Portuguese and we live in the states. We have two boys; Diogo and Cruz. I am due any day with #3 a GIRL. We definitely want a Portuguese name.
Our criteria…the name needs to be relatively easy for Americans to pronounce. Don’t want a name in the top 100 in the states. I prefer names that aren’t automatically shortened to nn – Debra to Debbie, Kimberly to Kim. I don’t usually care for names that end with the “e” sound, ex. Zoe. The name should be beautiful and sophisticated, more than cute.
I really like Sofia and Isabel, but they are just too popular in the U.S. right now. Other names we like are Beatriz (too hard to properly pronounce in US?), and Mara.
Please help us. I’d love to have a name before she is born! I’m 38 weeks today!
I think Mara would be a great choice, based on the criteria. Here are some other names that might also work:
Sílvia (good alternative to Sofia?)
Do you like any of the above for the baby sister of Diogo and Cruz? What other (preferably Portuguese) names would you suggest to Debra?
Names I’ve heard in song in the last few weeks:
- Alejandro, Fernando and Roberto in “Alejandro” (audio) by Lady Gaga.
- Isaiah, Charlotte, Dawn and Myfanwy in “The Rake’s Song” (video) by The Decemberists.
- Lavinia in “Lavinia” (video) by The Veils.
- Silvia in “Silvia” (video) by Miike Snow.
“The Rake’s Song” is notable because all of those names actually refer to babies. Despite the babies, it’s a dark little song. I think the lyricist must have read a lot of Edward Gorey as a kid.
Have you discovered any songs that feature names recently?