Mystery baby name: Prisma

Graph of the usage of the baby name Prisma in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Prisma

Here’s a baby name I haven’t been able to figure out: Prisma. It debuted in the data in 1984 with an impressive 18 baby girls, then saw even higher usage after that for several years:

  • 1988: 13 baby girls named Prisma – 7 in CA
  • 1987: 27 baby girls named Prisma – 13 in CA, 9 in TX
  • 1986: 20 baby girls named Prisma – 11 in TX, 6 in CA
  • 1985: 26 baby girls named Prisma – 13 in CA
  • 1984: 18 baby girls named Prisma – 8 in CA, 7 in TX
  • 1983: unlisted
  • 1982: unlisted

Most of these babies were born in California and Texas. In fact, a records search for Prismas born in the mid-1980s revealed that nearly every single one had a Spanish surname. So it’s safe to say that we’re looking for a Spanish-language influence for Prisma.

My only guess so far is an obscure Mexican singer-songwriter named Prisma (real name: Silvia Tapia Alcázar) who was active in the mid-1980s. One of her songs, “Fuego y Ternura” (Fire and Tenderness), became the title track of the successful album Fuego y Ternura (1985) by Mexican pop singer Lucerito.

But do you guys have any other guesses?

And if any mid-’80s Prismas happen to stop by: Do you know the story behind your name?

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