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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Sorsha

Number of Babies Named Sorsha

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Sorsha

Sorsha & Elora: Baby Names from “Willow”

The baby name Sorsha debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1989.

The movie Willow was released in May of 1988 — exactly 30 years ago this month. It didn’t do a thing for the baby name Willow, which hadn’t become trendy yet, but it did affect a couple of other character names: Sorsha and Elora.

Sorsha

The character Sorsha (played by Joanne Whalley) was the red-haired princess/soldier who was the daughter of the evil queen. She was also the love interest of Madmartigan (played by Val Kilmer). She started out as a bad guy, but changed sides mid-movie and was a good guy by the end.

The baby name Sorsha debuted in the U.S. data right on cue in 1989:

Year Usage of Sorsha Usage of Sorcha
1992 5 baby girls 5 baby girls
1991 5 baby girls 5 baby girls
1990 . 6 baby girls
1989 5 baby girls [debut] 5 baby girls [debut]
1988 . .
1987 . .

Curiously, parents opted for the spelling Sorcha as often as they opted for Sorsha. Why?

I couldn’t find any typos in contemporary sources — newspapers all used the more logical “Sorsha” — so my best guess is the baby name books.

Expectant parents wanting to know the definition of Sorsha would have instead encountered the Irish name Sorcha in those books. They would have learned the meaning (“bright”), but probably not the pronunciation, which is unfortunate because Sorcha isn’t pronounced SOR-sha. It’s more like SUR-kha. (Irish names that sound more like Sorsha include Saoirse, SEER-sha, or even the male name Seoirse, SHOR-sha.)

Elora

The character Elora Danan was the adorable read-haired baby at the center of the action. Her birthmark identified her as the one destined to depose Queen Bavmorda, so of course the queen wanted her found and destroyed. It was Willow’s job to deliver Elora Danan safely to those who would raise her.

The baby was given a good amount of screen time. Film critic Roger Ebert even complained about it: “One of the crucial problems…is that we see so much of this baby.”

As a result, the baby name Elora re-emerged in the data in 1988 and saw a distinct jump in usage in 1989/1990. The rise of Alora was even greater.

Year Usage of Elora Usage of Alora
1992 34 baby girls 72 baby girls
1991 63 baby girls 84 baby girls
1990 91 baby girls 108 baby girls
1989 87 baby girls 103 baby girls
1988 30 baby girls 11 baby girls
1987 . .

Many similar-sounding names (like Ellora) also got a boost, and several (like Alaura and Allora) appeared for the first time in the data in the late ’80s. And I spotted even more spelling variants when I did records searches.

Speaking of the records…they revealed (unsurprisingly?) that many of the babies with these various Elora-like first names also had Danan-like middles. “Danan” was the most common spelling, but another I saw repeatedly was “Dannon” — possibly influenced by the yogurt brand being advertised on TV during those years.

…What are your thoughts on the baby names Sorsha and Elora? Which one would you be more likely to use for a baby girl?

Sources: Willow (film) – Wikipedia, “Willow” Review by Roger Ebert


Baby Names from 80s Movies – Bastien, Ferris, Inigo, Westley

I recently realized that many of the bands I listen to were named in honor of various 80s movies.

Ludo, Atreyu, and McFly were named for characters in The Labyrinth (1986), The Neverending Story (1984), and Back to the Future (1985). Save Ferris and Rooney both refer to Ferris Beuller’s Day Off (1986). And, logically, Say Anything comes from Say Anything… (1989).

This made me wonder how many other bands were named for 80s flicks. Turns out, quite a few:

Artax
As You Wish
Auryn
Bavmorda
Biff Tannen
Bog of Eternal Stench
Childlike Empress
Cobra Kai
Daniel LaRusso
Dread Pirate Roberts
The Dykeenies
Emmett Brown
Falkor
Fezzik
Flux Capacitor
George McFly
Inigo Montoya
Jareth
Joe Lies
Lloyd Dobler
Madmartigan
Miracle Max
Morla
Mr. Miyagi
Rockbiter
Rodents of Unusual Size
The Fratellis
The Nothing
Truffle Shuffle
Wax On Wax Off

(The above names came from the movies I already mentioned, plus The Goonies (1985), The Karate Kid (1984), The Princess Bride (1987), and Willow (1988).)

If these decades-old films are now inspiring dozens of band names, do you think they could be (belatedly) inspiring baby names as well?

For example, a childhood friend of mine had a life-sized poster of Ralph Macchio hanging above her bed for years. If she had a son, would she name him Daniel?

Will any of the lads who once had a crush on brainy Diane Court decide to name their daughters Diane?

Did bookish Bastian help catapult the name Sebastian (now ranked 72nd in the U.S.) into the spotlight, one generation later?

And don’t forget Cameron, Ferris, Inigo, Lloyd, Marty, Sloane, Sorsha, Westley…and hundreds more from other movies, like Andie from Pretty in Pink (1986), Elliott from E.T. (1982), Josh from Big (1988), Lisa from Weird Science (1985), Maverick from Top Gun (1986)…

For those of you who grew up during the 1980s: Can you trace any of your favorite baby names back to a specific 80s movie?