When I first spotted the one-hit wonder baby name Tsitsiki, I honestly thought it might have something to do with Greek yogurt.
Turns out the answer is not tzatziki, but more likely Chicago news anchor Tsi-Tsi-Ki Félix.
According to the U.S. baby name data, eight baby girls were named Tsitsiki in 2004. All eight of these baby girls were born in Illinois.
- 2006: unlisted
- 2005: unlisted
- 2004: 8 baby girls named Tsitsiki [debut]
- 2003: unlisted
- 2002: unlisted
The name had never been in the data before, and it hasn’t made an appearance since.
Where did it come from?
A Chicago newswoman named Tsi-Tsi-Ki Félix.
Tsi-Tsi-Ki Félix is originally from Michoacán, México. Her name is based on the Purépecha word tsitsiki, which means “flower.”
She joined Telemundo Chicago in 2001 as a reporter, was promoted to co-anchor of the 5 p.m. news in 2005, then became solo anchor of both the 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. news in 2009. I’m not sure what event boosted her profile in 2004, though…maybe a Telemundo advertising campaign?
Which leads me to a sub-theory: Mexican-American singer Lila Downs released her Latin Grammy-winning folk album Una Sangre/One Blood in April of 2004. The album included the Purépecha language song “Tirineni Tsitsiki,” which may have given Tsi-Tsi-Ki Félix a hand in popularizing the name Tsitsiki around that time.
What are your thoughts on the name Tsitsiki?
P.S. Lila Downs has a son named Benito Dxuladi — dxuladi (pronounced shoo-la-dee) being the Zapotec word for “chocolate.”