How popular is the baby name Zendaya 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 Zendaya.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Zendaya


Posts that Mention the Name Zendaya

Name Quotes 76: Haechan, Frieda, Taz

From a Fodor’s article about the German gummy factory Haribo Fabrikverkauf:

At first glance it may seem like the milchbären (milk bears) are simply traditional German gummy bears with a milky jacket slapped on the back. However, not only are the flavors slightly different — including lemon, orange, cherry, strawberry, apple, and raspberry — but these bears have actual names. This fruity, creamy crew includes Emma, Emil, Anton, Mia, Ben, and Frieda.

From a Life article (Jan. 18, 1943) about actor and comedian Zero Mostel:

Back in 1941 Zero was a struggling New York painter who specialized in portraits of strong-muscled workmen. He went by the name of Sam, which was his own (“Zero” is a press agent’s inspiration). […] On Feb. 16, 1942, the day that news of the fall of Singapore reached the U.S., “Zero” Mostel made his professional debut as a night-club funny man.

From the Seattle Times obituary of Hildegarde:

Hildegarde, the “incomparable” cabaret singer whose career spanned almost seven decades and who was credited with starting the single-name vogue among entertainers, has died. She was 99.

From a Tribune India article about cyclone names:

Mala, Helen, Nargis and Nilofer may sound like the names of yesteryear Bollywood actors, but they are, in fact, lethal cyclones that have brought violent winds, heavy rain and wreaked destruction.

As Cyclone Fani pounded the Odisha coast on Friday, the name, which was suggested by Bangladesh, also evoked curiosity.

Mritunjay Mohapatra, the additional director general of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), said Fani, pronounced as ‘Foni’, means a snake’s hood.

From a Teen Vogue interview with Zendaya, who explains how her name is pronounced:

Zendaya decided to break it down for viewers with a simple step-by-step guide: “Zen is the first syllable, then day, and then a.”

“I think a lot of people see my name and think it’s more fancy than it is,” she explained. “They think Zendaya like papaya. It’s just day.

From a WWI-era New York Herald article (May 7, 1918) called “Six Get Permission to Change Names”:

Frederick Michael Knopp, an orchestra leader, disliked his Teutonic sounding name and permission was granted him to change it to Blondell.

Another German name was eliminated by the grave of Justice Guy, who permitted Leon Mendelson, a dental student, to call himself Leon Delson.

Believing that Malcolm Sumner sounded better than Malcolm Sundheimer, the latter applied for and received permission to assume the more euphonious name.

From an AP News article about a baby deer named after a K-pop star:

Fans of the K-pop group NCT 127 donated money in January to name a baby pudu at the Los Angeles Zoo after one of its members, Haechan (HECH’-ehn). This week, the human Haechan got to meet his namesake, snapping selfies with the little deer at his enclosure.

From a BBC article about the danger of female-voiced AI assistants:

AI-powered voice assistants with female voices are perpetuating harmful gender biases, according to a UN study.

These female helpers are portrayed as “obliging and eager to please”, reinforcing the idea that women are “subservient”, it finds.

Particularly worrying, it says, is how they often give “deflecting, lacklustre or apologetic responses” to insults.

From a write-up of Demi Moore‘s 2017 Tonight Show appearance:

“[Demi Lovato is] from Texas and I’m from New Mexico, so our families say our names the same but we each individually pronounce it differently,” Moore said, noting she pronounces it “Deh-mee” while Lovato says “Dem-ee.”

So what are the origins of Moore’s name?

“In my case, my mother just found it on a cosmetic carton,” she told Fallon. “It means ‘half,’ and she didn’t know that, but she just liked it.”

From a Wired article called “Pixar Reinvents Big Hair for Brave“:

So in 2009 Chung’s team designed a new simulator named Taz, after the wild Looney Tunes character. It forms individual coils [of hair] around computer-generated cylinders of varying lengths and diameters. The resulting locks stretch out when Merida runs but snap back into place as soon as she stops.

From the 2013 book Pretty in Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896–2013 by Trina Robbins:

[A] male pseudonym seemed to be required for action strips, starting with Caroline Sexton who, in 1934, signed “C. M. Sexton” to Luke and Duke. From Cecilia Paddock Munson, who often signed her work either “Pad” or “Paddock Munson,” to Ramona “Pat” Patenaude, to Dale Messick and Tarpe Mills, the women of the 1940s seemed to believe at least in part upon having a male name.

From a Scottish dad who recently named his son Lucifer:

“I looked it up. Our first child born four years ago was going to be called Lucifer but she was a girl so we called her Lucy.

“I wasn’t too sure about Lucifer but eventually said, ‘I want this name’. It would have been even better if he was born on Halloween.”

(I’m actually more concerned about the similarity of the sibset Lucy/Lucifer than about the repercussions of Lucifer itself. Is that weird?)

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.

Biggest Changes in Girl Name Popularity, 2014

Which girl names increased and decreased the most in popularity from 2013 to 2014?

Below are two versions of each list. My version looks at raw number differences and takes all 19,067 girl names on the 2014 list into account. The SSA’s version looks at ranking differences and covers the top 1,000 girl names (roughly).

Biggest Increases

Raw Numbers (Nancy’s list) Rankings (SSA’s list)
  1. Olivia, +1,308 babies (18,366 to 19,674)
  2. Harper, +1,296 (8,268 to 9,564)
  3. Nora, +1,206 (3,502 to 4,708)
  4. Ariana, +1,065 (4,396 to 5,461)
  5. Evelyn, +1,045 (7,647 to 8,692)
  6. Everly, +1,042 (812 to 1,854)
  7. Daleyza, +976 (485 to 1,461)
  8. Skylar, +957 (3,775 to 4,732)
  9. Scarlett, +918 (5,047 to 5,965)
  10. Paisley, +878 (3,595 to 4,473)
  1. Aranza, +3,625 spots (4,232nd to 607th)
  2. Montserrat, +582 (1,153rd to 571st)
  3. Monserrat, +571 (1,162nd to 591st)
  4. Maisie, +462 (1,120th to 658th)
  5. Zendaya, +420 (1,312nd to 892nd)
  6. Karter, +415 (1,383rd to 968th)
  7. Ariadne, +411 (1,212th to 801st)
  8. Daleyza, +358 (585th to 227th)
  9. Thea, +358 (1,134th to 776th)
  10. Remington, +351 (1,036th to 685th)

Here’s what the SSA says about the rise of Aranza: “The Latin soap opera “Por siempre mi amor” was aired on Univision from 2013 to 2015. The show featured a young lead character named Aranza, and obviously had its effect on naming trends last year.” (Aransa was on the 2014 debut list.)

The SSA also noted that Montserrat was the name of “the lead character in a very popular Latin soap opera” — “Lo que la vida me robó,” which aired from 2013 to 2014.

Biggest Decreases

Raw Numbers (Nancy’s list) Rankings (SSA’s list)
  1. Sophia, -2,657 babies (21,147 to 18,490)
  2. Nicole, -827 (3,338 to 2,511)
  3. Samantha, -810 (6,490 to 5,680)
  4. Addison, -762 (7,712 to 6,950)
  5. Hannah, -748 (7,260 to 6,512)
  6. Makayla, -711 (3,270 to 2,559)
  7. Isabella, -623 (17,573 to 16,950)
  8. Alexia, -607 (1,820 to 1,213)
  9. Kaylee, -588 (5,101 to 4,513)
  10. Alexis, -568 (4,756 to 4,188)
  1. Miley, -405 spots (388th to 793rd)
  2. Karly, -330 (991st to 1321st)
  3. Britney, -315 (839th to 1,154th)
  4. Kaya, -244 (760th to 1,004th)
  5. Nahla, -241 (969th to 1,210th)
  6. Rihanna, -233 (956th to 1,189th)
  7. Kaylyn, -227 (982nd to 1,209th)
  8. Makena, -227 (993rd to 1,220th)
  9. Karissa, -224 (968th to 1,192nd)
  10. Sherlyn, -217 (672nd to 889th)

I see at least 3 pop star names (Miley, Rihanna, Britney) on the rankings side.

Finally, here are the big winners and losers from the last few years:

  • 2013: Sadie/Daleyza (biggest increases) and Isabella/Litzy (biggest decreases)
  • 2012: Harper/Arya (biggest increases) and Chloe/Dulce (biggest decreases)
  • 2011: Harper (biggest increase) and Isabella (biggest decrease)
  • 2010: Sophia (biggest increase) and Madison (biggest decrease)

Sources: Change in Popularity from 2013 to 2014, Noah and Emma Top Social Security’s List of Most Popular Baby Names for 2014

U.S. Baby Names 2014: Most Popular Names, Top Girl Name Debuts, Top Boy Name Debuts, Biggest Girl Name Changes, Biggest Boy Name Changes, Top First Letters, Top Lengths

Top Baby Girl Name Debuts of 2011

Khaleesi
Khaleesi

Here are the girl names that debuted the highest on the SSA’s 2011 baby name list:

  1. Magaby, 50 baby girls
  2. Gredmarie, 47
  3. Jocell, 31
  4. Cataleya, 28
  5. Khaleesi, 27
  6. Zendaya, 26
  7. Quorra, 25
  8. Jorley, 22
  9. Ayelene, 21
  10. Locklyn, 17
  11. Adrialys, 16
  12. Dim, 16
  13. Mahniya, 15
  14. Lumen, 14
  15. Brynlynn, 13
  16. Calii, 12
  17. Kiyan, 12
  18. Rhyder, 12
  19. Taisley, 12
  20. Yanilen, 12

Some likely explanations:

  • Magaby is from Magaby Garay, a young singer featured on Mexican reality/talent show Pequeños Gigantes.
  • Gredmarie is from Gredmarie Colon, a contestant on beauty pageant/reality show Nuestra Belleza Latina 2011.
  • Jocell is from Jocell Villa, also a contestant on Nuestra Belleza Latina 2011.
  • Cataleya is from Cataleya, a character played by Zoe Saldana in the movie Columbiana (2011). The character’s name is based on the word Cattleya, which refers to a genus of orchid.
  • Khaleesi is the Dothraki word for “queen” in the medieval fantasy TV series Game of Thrones. A khaleesi is the wife of a khal, or “king.” The khaleesi featured in the show is character Daenerys Targaryen, played by actress Emilia Clarke.
  • Zendaya is from Zendaya Coleman, a young singer/actress currently starring in the Disney sitcom Shake It Up.
  • Quorra is from Quorra, the character played by Olivia Wilde in the movie Tron: Legacy (2010).
  • Lumen is from Lumen Pierce, a character played by Julia Stiles during the fifth season of Dexter.
  • Yanilen is from Yanilen Diaz, a contestant on Mexican reality/talent show La Academia 2011.

Can you come up with explanations for any of the others? I’m especially curious about Dim — any ideas?

(Here are last year’s debut names.)

Image: Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones, by Keith Bernstein/HBO, via IMDB