Where did the baby name Miklo come from in 1994?

The character Miklo from the movie "Blood In, Blood Out" (1993).
Miklo from “Blood In, Blood Out

The curious name Miklo first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in the mid-1990s:

  • 1996: unlisted
  • 1995: 9 baby boys named Miklo
  • 1994: 10 baby boys named Miklo [debut]
  • 1993: unlisted
  • 1992: unlisted

What put it there?

I think the answer is Blood In Blood Out (1993), a movie set in the Mexican-American community of East Los Angeles in the ’70s and ’80s.

The film’s main characters are three young men: mixed-race Miklo (pronounced meek-lo), who has a Mexican mother and a white father, Miklo’s cousins Paco and Cruz, both of whom are fully Chicano.

Miklo’s upbringing…has socialized him into developing a proud Chicano identity. However, his fair complexion, blue eyes, and sandy blond hair frequently serve as a topic of ridicule among relatives and fellow Chicanos, thus painfully reminding Miklo of his undesired whiteness.

Blood In Blood Out didn’t do well at the box office, but has since “attained cult status…as a classic, epic Chicano gangster flick.”

Several sources suggest that miklo (or miclo) might be a Chicano slang term for a light-skinned Hispanic person. If this usage is legit, though, I don’t know whether it predates the film or is due to the film.

In any case, I don’t think Miklo has anything to do with the similar-looking name Miklós (pronounced meek-losh), the Hungarian form of Nicholas that has been popping up in the SSA data since the late ’50s.

What are your thoughts on the name Miklo?


Image: Screenshot of Blood In Blood Out

One thought on “Where did the baby name Miklo come from in 1994?

  1. Kind of cute — I like many names that end in O. Although having the word “meek” aurally in your name is not very tough-sounding for a guy who lives in a rough neighborhood. I never saw (or even heard of) the movie, so if they were all exclusively Spanish-speaking, I guess it wouldn’t matter.

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