Which girl names increased the most in popularity from 2016 to 2017? And which ones decreased the most?
There are a few different ways to answer this question. The SSA, for instance, likes to look at ranking differences within the top 1,000. And I like to augment their list by looking at raw number differences across all the data.
Did Saudi Arabia really ban 51 baby names recently? I’m not sure.
Last week, the country’s Civil Affairs Department supposedly released a list of 51 unacceptable baby names — names that were either “not in line with social traditions,” “not appropriate in terms of religion,” or of Western origin.*
Over the weekend, though, a spokesperson from the Civil Affairs Department said that, while the department does regulate baby names, it didn’t release the list in question.
Here are the 51 (possibly) banned baby names:
Malak (“angel” in Arabic)
Abdul Nasser (“servant of the helper” in Arabic)
Emir (“prince” in Arabic)
Al-Mamlaka (“the kingdom” in Arabic)
Malika (“queen” in Arabic)
Mamlaka (“kingdom” in Arabic)
Basmalah (“in the name of God” in Arabic)
Rama (“pleasing” in Sanskrit; Hindu god)
Binyameen (Arabic form of Benjamin)
Abdul Rasool (“servant of the messenger” in Arabic)
Jibreel (Arabic form of Gabriel)
*The Gulf News believes some of the names were included for political reasons — Abdul Nasser because of Egypt’s second president Gamal Abdel Nasser, for instance, and Binyamin because of Israeli’s current prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The top 1,000 baby girl names of 2009 can be found at the SSA website. But what about all the other names that were doled out last year? Those names are also available via the SSA I recently discovered (thanks Kelly!).
Just a few hours ago I posted a list of boy names that didn’t make the top 1,000 last year, but were still given to 100+ babies. Here is the equivalent (and much longer) list of girl names, grouped by the number of babies that received each name:
*Nyasia could have made the top 1,000. In fact, it should have made the top 1,000. It was given to 263 babies, just like the names that ranked 996th-1,000th (Gretchen, Karli, Kloe, Lilyanna and Mireya). But it came in last alphabetically, so in the eyes of the SSA it’s name #1,001. Sad, sad…