What turned Silk into a baby name in 1993?

Silk's album "Lose Control" (1992)
Silk album

The word Silk has appeared just once so far in the U.S. baby name data, in 1993:

  • 1995: unlisted
  • 1994: unlisted
  • 1993: 8 baby girls named Silk [debut]
  • 1992: unlisted
  • 1991: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Music. Specifically, the Atlanta-based group Silk (one of the many “sexually suggestive R&B vocal groups that followed Jodeci“).

Silk’s biggest hit, the slow jam “Freak Me,” was the #1 song on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart for two weeks in May of 1993. Two other Silk songs, “Girl U For Me” and “Happy Days,” also reached the Hot 100 that year, peaking at 26th and 86th respectively.

Silk was the first band signed to Keith Sweat’s record label Keia, which was founded in late 1992. The label was presumably named after Sweat’s daughter, Keia, who was born the same year. (The baby name Keia saw peak usage in 1993, but this probably has more to do with a TV commercial featuring a girl named Kia than with Keith Sweat’s daughter, or label.)

The word “silk” can be traced back to the ancient Greek word serikos, which referred to the Seres people of Asia. The Seres supplied the ancient Greeks with silks via the Silk Road.

What are your thoughts on Silk as a name?

Sources: Silk Biography – AllMusic, Silk – Billboard, Silk – Etymonline, SSA

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