Where did the baby name Phajja come from in 1998?

Phajja album "Seize the Moment" (1997)
Phajja album

The unusual name Phajja has appeared in the U.S. baby name data just once so far:

  • 2000: unlisted
  • 1999: unlisted
  • 1998: 7 baby girls named Phajja [debut]
  • 1997: unlisted
  • 1996: unlisted

Where did it come from?

The R&B group Phajja (pronounced fah-jah).

The female trio — Kena, Nakia, and Karen — released their debut album, Seize the Moment, in 1997. The album produced two singles, including their most successful song, “So Long (Well, Well, Well),” which peaked at #87 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart and #30 on the Hot R&B Singles chart.

The group’s name, according to the press, was based on an Arabic word meaning “new beginning.” My guess is that this Arabic word was fajr, which means “dawn.” (The “dawn prayer” recited by Muslims is the salat al-fajr.)

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