Where did the baby name Zyshonne come from in 1998?

Silkk album "The Shocker" (1996)
Silkk album

The curious name Zyshonne appeared for the first time in the U.S. baby name data in 1998:

  • 2000: 17 baby boys named Zyshonne
  • 1999: 30 baby boys named Zyshonne [peak usage]
  • 1998: 26 baby boys named Zyshonne [debut]
  • 1997: unlisted
  • 1996: unlisted

In fact, Zyshonne was the top debut name for boys that year, and several variants (Zyshawn, Zyshon, and Zyshaun) likewise debuted in the late ’90s.

Where did it come from?

A tenacious typo, apparently.

New Orleans-based rapper Silkk The Shocker was at the height of his success during the late 1990s, when seven songs featuring Silkk reached Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart. The most popular was “Let’s Ride” by Montell Jordan (feat. Master P and Silkk The Shocker), which ranked #2 for two weeks in April of 1998.

Initially, several media outlets reported that Silkk’s real name was Zyshonne Miller. He was called Zyshonne by Jet magazine in May of 1998, for instance, and by the Washington Post in September of 2000.

A little later, other media outlets began reporting that Miller’s first name was either Vyshonne or Vyshonn. (Jet switched to “Vyshonn” in early 2001.)

The V-versions of the name also debuted in the data, though they didn’t manage to catch on like Zyshonne had.

Boys named VyshonneBoys named Vyshonn

The media eventually stopped referring to Silkk as Zyshonne, but continued to refer to him as both Vyshonne and Vyshonn:

  • Vyshonne was used by Vibe in July of 2018, and is currently being used on the Spotify, AllMusic, and iHeartRadio websites.
  • Vyshonn was used by the New York Post in July of 2020, and is typically used in newspaper articles about Silkk’s legal troubles.
  • Both spellings have been used in articles at MTV.com and Billboard.com.

I still don’t know for sure which spelling is correct.

But I can tell you about Silkk The Shocker’s rap name.

In the early ’90s, when he was in the hip hop group TRU with his older brothers Percy (a.k.a. Master P) and Corey (C-Murder), he went by Silk because he “raps very smooth, just like silk.” A second k was thrown in to differentiate Silkk from the R&B group Silk, and “The Shocker” was added upon the release of Silkk’s first solo album, The Shocker (1996).


2 thoughts on “Where did the baby name Zyshonne come from in 1998?

  1. My 30 minutes of sitting on a train… I have no idea if Vyshonne is spelled with or without the -e, but I more or less unravelled the rest of the family tree :)

    Vyshonn(e) King Miller (b. 1975) has three older brothers:
    – Kevin Miller (killed during a robbery in 1990)
    – Percy Robert “Master P” Miller (b. 1970)
    – Corey “C-Murder” Miller (b. 1971, sentenced to life in prison in 2009 in connection with the murder of a 16-year-old)

    Silkk has been together with his wife Junalyn “Juju” Pattugalan since the mid 1990’s. They have four children:
    – daughter Jianni
    – son King “Lil’ King” Miller (b. 2002)
    – son Vyctorious “Vj” Miller (b. 2005 or 2006)
    – daughter Jadore (b. 2019)

    Interestingly, in 1996 Silkk’s brother Master P had a daughter named Cymphonique Miller (b. 1996) with Jaclyn Pattulagan. She is Silkk’s wife’s sister.

    Master P (Percy) has a ton of other children with his estranged wife Sonya C: daughters Intylyana “Inty” (b. 1993), Tytyana “Tyty” PerSonya (1996-2022), and Itali (b. 1999) , and sons Romeo (b. 1989), Vercy “Young-V” (b. 1991), Hercy “Hercules” Casyno (b. 2002), and Mercy (b. 2005). Veno Glenn Green (1991) is their adopted son.

    For good measure, Kevin’s son is also called Kevin (b. 1991 after his father was murdered), and C-Murder’s daughters with Dionne are named Courtney “Coco” Ruth (b. 1995), Alexis Chelsea “Chelsea”, and Chanelle.

  2. Emma, thank you very much for doing all this research!

    And for attempting to figure out how his name is spelled. Haha, we may never know. :)

    (I haven’t blogged about it yet, but Cymphonique’s name popped up in the SSA’s data a couple of times in the early 2010s, when she was starring in a sitcom on Nickelodeon.)

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