The baby name Sephora in New York

Sephora sign

The cosmetics store Sephora — founded as “Shop 8” in France in 1970 — changed its name to Sephora in 1993 “by blending the Biblical name of Zipporah (Moses’ exceptionally beautiful wife) with the ancient Greek term for “pretty,” sephos.”

Never mind that the ancient Greek word sephos doesn’t seem to exist, and forget that the Bible makes no mention of Zipporah’s physical appearance.

But do note that Sephora opened its first U.S. location in New York’s SoHo neighborhood in 1998, then opened close to 40 more stores “from Seattle to Atlanta” before opening a flagship store in Manhattan in October of 1999.

Because the baby name Sephora — which has been in the U.S. data since the mid-1970s — made its first appearance in a state-specific dataset in 1999. And the state it popped up in? New York:

  • 2001: 20 baby girls named Sephora
  • 2000: 11 baby girls named Sephora
  • 1999: 11 baby girls named Sephora
    • 5 (45%) born in New York
  • 1998: 7 baby girls named Sephora
  • 1997: 14 baby girls named Sephora

Close to half of the babies named Sephora in 1999 were born in New York, where Sephora seems to have had a particularly strong presence.

Coincidence? Let me know what you think below…


5 thoughts on “The baby name Sephora in New York

  1. This is really cool, not trying to sound crazy but I must be the 1st person in America to be named Sephora. I was born in 1981 and according to this site I must be. I have yet to meet another Sephora in person.

    The name Sephora is the French spelling of Zipporah whcih is in the Bible. Exodus chapter 2 verse 22 it your looking. Zipporah is actually herbrew which means beautiful bird and wise one.

    i love having such an original name. when I was young I hated it because it was too different and when your a kid you want to be “normal” but now I wear it like a badge of honor.

  2. Hi Sephora, thanks for the comment!

    The data indicates that the name started picking up steam in the ’90s, but not that no one ever got the name before that point. :)

    In fact, records show that dozens — maybe hundreds — of U.S. women were named Sephora long before the 1990s. (The earliest I’ve found so far in the U.S. was born circa 1809.)

  3. My name is a Sephora also. I was born in 1975. My mom loved the name because she was watching the 10 Commandments with Charlton Heston when she was pregnant and it is in the beginning credits. It does mean” little bird” in Hebrew. I think it is an awesome name for a baby I try to get all my friends to consider it whenever I can! Although my name is spelled with the O, we don’t use it. We pronounce my name like “Sefra”. Just thought I would share that with you all.

  4. Hey Sephora piper:

    My name is a Sephora also. I was born in 1974 in Brazil. My grandmother loved the name when she watched the 10 Commandments with Charlton Heston and suggested to my mom. Yes, it means ” little bird” in Hebrew.

    True, not the easiest name when you are a child but after i grew up i started loving it!

  5. Hi, it looks like I’m the oldest sephora in the world after Moses. I was born in 1964. Actually my name is spelled séfora because the original catholic bible spells séfora. Actually séfora means a female bird flying and it’s a popular name among the Jewish. Some bible spell zipora. No doubt that the brand took after the biblical name. I always loved my name. I há?ek come across 3 people called séfora so far. All of them younger than me. I love my name. Never passes without a comment . Before it was different, exotic, some people though it was ugly, but now it’s posh!! Chic!

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