How popular is the baby name Sonji 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 Sonji.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Sonji


Posts that Mention the Name Sonji

Babies Named after Oprah’s Boyfriend?

StedmanAccording to Wikipedia, Stedman Graham is an “educator, author, businessman and speaker.” But without Wikipedia’s help, how would you describe Stedman? That’s right: “Oprah’s boyfriend.”

Oprah began dating Stedman in mid-1986, a few months before The Oprah Winfrey Show premiered. We’ve already seen how the baby name Oprah debuted on the national list that year, but did you know that the talk show gave the baby name Stedman a boost as well?

  • 1991: 28 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1990: 38 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1989: 82 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1988: 29 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1987: 20 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1986: unlisted

Not only did Stedman reappear on the national baby name list in 1987 after a 48-year absence, but the variant names Steadman, Stedmen, Stedmon and Stedmond all followed suit in 1988.

Stedman on Oprah, 1989
Stedman on Oprah, 1989
And what accounts for the Stedman spike of 1989?

In February of that year, Stedman appeared as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show for the first time. The episode was about “men who marry or date famous women, and how they cope with it.” The other guests were actress Susan Lucci and her husband Helmut, and singer Barbara Mandrell and her husband Ken. (Here’s the episode, if you want to watch.)

While usage of the name Stedman has tapered off since 1989, the relationship between Oprah and Stedman is still going strong nearly 3 decades later. They attended the Oscars together last month, in fact.

Stedman is one several “significant other” baby names I’ve spotted on the SSA’s baby name list so far. Others include Josanne, Movita and Tarita (all associated with Marlon Brando), Syreeta and Londie (both associated with Stevie Wonder), Loray and Altovise (both associated with Sammy Davis, Jr.), Kayatana (girlfriend of Flip Wilson), Marva (first wife of Joe Louis) and Sonji (first wife of Muhammad Ali). Stedman is unique, though, in that it’s a male name that was popularized by a famous female — not a common scenario, it seems.

Sources: Stedman Graham – Wikipedia, Oprah’s Beau Drops In Her Main Squeeze Meets Star’s Tv ‘Family’

Highest Hitting One-Hits – Cinnamon, Destry, Kunta, Yulissa

Here are the one-hit wonder baby names that ranked the highest overall — 700th or above — the single year they made the U.S. top 1,000:

Name Ranked… Likely Explanation
Christop 241st in 1989 Typo*
Yulissa 424th in 1997 The 1996 telenovela Te Sigo Amando featured a character named Yulissa played by Claudia Ramírez.
Nira 463rd in 1933 The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) was authorized by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933.
Elizabet 524th in 1989 Typo*
Manilla 536th in 1898 The first military action of Spanish-American War was the 1898 battle for Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
Jemal 549th in 1969 The Outcasts (1968-1969), the first TV Western with an African-American co-star, featured a character named Jemal.
Alexande 554th in 1989 Typo*
Kunta 572nd in 1977 The 1977 miniseries Roots (based on the Alex Haley novel) featured a character named Kunta Kinte.
Shafter 604th in 1898 Maj. Gen. William Rufus Shafter’s forces took Santiago (and hence helped end the Spanish-American War) in 1898.
Destry 636th in 1964 The short-lived 1964 show Destry was a spin-off of the 1939 film “Destry Rides Again.”
Sonji 638th in 1966 In 1966, Muhammad Ali and his first wife, Sonji Roi, divorced.
Sheilah 665th in 1955 Sheilah Graham Westbrook (1904-1988) was a gossip columnist during Hollywood’s “Golden Age.”
Clarisa 665th in 1994 The popular Nickelodeon sitcom Clarissa Explains it All (1991-1994) won an Emmy in 1994.
Tatia 670th in 1966 A notable 1965 episode of the TV show I Spy (1965-1968) featured a character named Tatia Loring.
Alexandr 676th in 1989 Typo*
Cinnamon 700th in 1969 The first 3 seasons of the Mission: Impossible TV series (1966-1973) featured a character named Cinnamon Carter. (That’s what put Cinnamon on the map.) Early in 1969, “Cinnamon” by Derek (a.k.a. Johnny Cymbal) was an actual one-hit wonder that peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. Later the same year, “Cinnamon Girl” by Neil Young was released.
Beyonce 700th in 2001 Destiny’s Child (featuring Beyoncé Knowles) won two Grammy Awards in 2001.

I didn’t include one-hits from 1880-1889 (Manerva, Zilpah, Worley, Ambers, Orilla, Simona) or the names that debuted on the 2006 list (Rihanna, Addisyn, Krish, Yandel).

*Here’s more about those typos from 1989.

One-Hit Wonder Baby Names from the 1960s

The names below are “one-hit wonder” names that ranked among the 1,000 most popular U.S. baby names only once–sometime during the 1960s.

Girl Names

  • Caprice – ranked 942nd in 1966 (influence: Chevrolet Caprice)
  • Cinnamon – ranked 700th in 1969 (influence: TV show Mission: Impossible)
  • Daneen – ranked 906th in 1964 (influence: mystery!)
  • Denine – ranked 905th in 1964 (influence: mystery!)
  • Denita – ranked 956th in 1966
  • Djuana – ranked 754th in 1964 (influence: mystery!)
  • Djuna – ranked 738th in 1964 (influence: mystery!)
  • Inger – ranked 947th in 1966
  • Jeanmarie – ranked 969th in 1963
  • Melissia – ranked 944th in 1968
  • Sonji – ranked 638th in 1966 (influence: Sonji Roi, first wife of Muhammad Ali)
  • Sunday – ranked 985th in 1966
  • Tatia – ranked 670th in 1966
  • Wende – ranked 859th in 1967

Boy Names

  • Anthoney – ranked 938th in 1968
  • Destry – ranked 636th in 1964 (influence: TV show Destry)
  • Dwyane – ranked 996th in 1962
  • Jemal – ranked 549th in 1969 (influence: TV show The Outcasts)
  • Tal – ranked 820th in 1963

Want more one-hit wonders? Here are…