Where did the baby name Joakim come from in 2006?

Basketball player Joakim Noah on the cover of Sports Illustrated (April 10, 2006)
Joakim Noah

The name Joakim — a version of the name Joachim — first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 2006:

  • 2008: unlisted
  • 2007: unlisted
  • 2006: 10 baby boys named Joakim [debut]
  • 2005: unlisted
  • 2004: unlisted

Where did it come from?

French-American college basketball player Joakim Noah. From 2004 to 2007, he played for the University of Florida, winning the NCAA championship twice in a row (2006 and 2007). In 2006 specifically, he was named the NCAA’s Final Four Most Outstanding Player.

He went on to have a successful 13-season professional career, playing the first nine of those seasons with the Chicago Bulls (2007-2016). His name returned to the SSA data during that time, and it saw peak usage around the time Joakim Noah himself was at his peak (he was an NBA All-Star in both 2013 and 2014, and named NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2014).

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

And how do you pronounce the name Joakim?

  • Joakim’s French father, Yannick Noah — who played professional tennis from 1977 to 1996 — says JOH-ah-keem. (Here’s a video.)
  • Joakim’s Swedish mother, Cécilia Rodhe — who was Miss Sweden 1978 — says YOH-ah-keem. (Here’s another video.)
  • American sports announcers tend to say joh-keem. (Yet another video.)

What are your thoughts on the name Joakim? Which spelling and/or pronunciation do you like best?

Sources: Joakim Noah – Wikipedia, SSA

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