How popular is the baby name Ana in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Ana.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Ana


Posts that Mention the Name Ana

How did Mexican comic books influence U.S. baby names?

Partial cover of the comic book "Lágrimas, risas y amor" #78, featuring the story "María Isabel" (1964).
One of the “María Isabel” covers

In the 1960s, comic books were on their way out in the United States. But they were still going strong in Latin America.

In fact, one of Latin America’s best-selling comic books, Lágrimas, risas y amor (transl. Tears, Laughter and Love), was introduced in Mexico in late 1962.

Lágrimas, risas y amor was created by Yolanda Vargas Dulché. It featured romantic stories, each of which had its own unique set of characters. And, believe it or not, some of these stories ended up influencing U.S. baby names, particularly in states with large Spanish-speaking populations (like California and Texas). Here are some examples:

Yesenia

“Yesenia” (1965-1966) told the love story of Yesenia, a gypsy, and Osvaldo, a Mexican soldier. In 1966, we see the name Yesenia appear for the first time in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1968: 13 baby girls named Yesenia
  • 1967: 12 baby girls named Yesenia
  • 1966: 17 baby girls named Yesenia [debut]
  • 1965: unlisted
  • 1964: unlisted

Geisha

I don’t know anything about the plot of “Geisha” (1967), but the baby name Geisha first appeared in the U.S. data the same year:

  • 1969: unlisted
  • 1968: unlisted
  • 1967: 8 baby girls named Geisha [debut]
  • 1966: unlisted
  • 1965: unlisted
Partial cover of the comic book "Lágrimas, risas y amor" #279, featuring the story "Geisha" (1967).
One of the “Geisha” covers

Analuisa

“El atardecer de Ana Luisa” (transl. “Ana Luisa’s Middle Years”) (1971) told the story of Ana Luisa, who lost her boyfriend to another woman when she was young, but got him back years later. There’s a gap between the publication and the debut of the compound name Analuisa, but I still think it’s likely that the two events are connected.

  • 1975: unlisted
  • 1974: unlisted
  • 1973: 5 baby girls named Analuisa [debut]
  • 1972: unlisted
  • 1971: unlisted

…And it doesn’t end there! Many Lágrimas, risas y amor stories were later adapted for TV and film, giving them extra (and much bigger) rounds of exposure. Some examples:

Rosaisela

The comic “María Isabel” (1964) featured a character named Rosa Isela. It became a telenovela in 1966, and a year later the compound name Rosaisela first emerged in the data:

  • 1969: unlisted
  • 1968: 5 baby girls named Rosaisela
  • 1967: 9 baby girls named Rosaisela [debut]
  • 1966: unlisted
  • 1965: unlisted

Yesenia (again)

“Yesenia” became a telenovela in 1970 and a movie in 1971. The one-two punch of both of these pieces of media, both made in Mexico, resulted in an huge increase in the usage of Yesenia in the United States:

  • 1973: 343 baby girls named Yesenia [rank: 503rd]
  • 1972: 471 baby girls named Yesenia [rank: 414th]
  • 1971: 526 baby girls named Yesenia [rank: 410th]
  • 1970: 30 baby girls named Yesenia
  • 1969: 9 baby girls named Yesenia

Oyuki

The comic “El pecado de Oyuki” (transl. “The Sin of Oyuki”) (1975-1977) became a telenovela in 1987. It first aired in the U.S. on Univision, and the same year the name Oyuki debuted in the U.S. data:

  • 1989: 8 baby girls named Oyuki
  • 1988: 20 baby girls named Oyuki
  • 1987: 6 baby girls named Oyuki [debut]
  • 1986: unlisted
  • 1985: unlisted

Yesenia (yet again)

“Yesenia” was made into yet another telenovela in 1987, and this resulted in the name’s highest-ever usage in the U.S. the same year:

  • 1989: 1,303 baby girls named Yesenia [rank: 204th]
  • 1988: 1,208 baby girls named Yesenia [rank: 215th]
  • 1987: 2,003 baby girls named Yesenia [rank: 137th]
  • 1986: 845 baby girls named Yesenia [rank: 293rd]
  • 1985: 522 baby girls named Yesenia [rank: 422nd]

Alondra

The comic “Casandra” (which came out during the ’80s) was adapted as Alondra for TV in 1995. It was renamed in honor of Yolanda Vargas Dulché’s granddaughter, orchestra conductor Alondra de la Parra. The same year, the popularity of the name Alondra (the Spanish word for “lark”) rose considerably:

  • 1997: 1,837 baby girls named Alondra [rank: 167th]
  • 1996: 2,020 baby girls named Alondra [rank: 157th]
  • 1995: 1,205 baby girls named Alondra [rank: 238th]
  • 1994: 149 baby girls named Alondra
  • 1993: 193 baby girls named Alondra [rank: 972nd]

Rosaisela (again)

“María Isabel” was made into yet another telenovela in 1997. A year later, the name saw its highest-ever U.S. usage:

  • 2000: 20 baby girls named Rosaisela
  • 1999: 33 baby girls named Rosaisela
  • 1998: 51 baby girls named Rosaisela [peak]
  • 1997: 10 baby girls named Rosaisela
  • 1996: 10 baby girls named Rosaisela

…Do you know anyone who was named with one of these comics or telenovelas in mind? Which name did they get?

Sources:

  • Foster, David William. (Ed.) Handbook of Latin American Literature. New York: Routledge, 2015.
  • Hinds, Harold E. and Charles M. Tatum. Not Just for Children: The Mexican Comic Book in the Late 1960s and 1970s. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992.
  • Lágrimas, risas y amor – Wikipedia

Images adapted from Lagrimas, Risas y Amor #78 and Lagrimas, Risas y Amor #279 from the Grand Comics Database under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Where did the baby name Tristana come from?

The character Tristana from the Spanish film "Tristana" (1970).
Tristana from “Tristana

The name Tristana has popped up in the U.S. baby name data a total of four times. The first three appearances were in the early 1970s:

  • 1974: unlisted
  • 1973: 5 baby girls named Tristana
  • 1972: 7 baby girls named Tristana
  • 1971: 8 baby girls named Tristana [debut]
  • 1970: unlisted
  • 1969: unlisted

What put Tristana on the map?

The 1970 Spanish-language film Tristana, directed by Luis Buñuel. It was set in the early 1900s, and the title character — whose name was based on the phrase “triste Ana” (“sad Ana”) — was played by French actress Catherine Deneuve.

Here’s a summary of the film:

After the death of her mother, Tristana goes to live with her guardian Don Lope, who seduces her. She runs away from Lope with a young artist named Horacio. Unable to commit to Horacio and in need of health care due to her growing cancer, Tristana returns to Don Lope.

The film was released in the U.S. in September of 1970. It ended up receiving an Oscar nomination for “Best Foreign Language Film.”

It was based on the 1892 novel Tristana by Spanish novelist Benito Pérez Galdós.

Sources: Tristana (1970) – IMDb, The 43rd Academy Awards, Tristana (1970) – Rotten Tomatoes

P.S. Tristana reminds me of Tristaca, another name that debuted in the ’70s…

Popular Baby Names in Croatia, 2020

According to Croatia’s Ministry of Justice and Administration, the most popular baby names in the country last year were (again) Mia and Luka.

Here are Croatia’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2020:

Girl Names

  1. Mia (531 baby girls)
  2. Lucija
  3. Sara
  4. Ema
  5. Nika
  6. Marta
  7. Rita
  8. Mila
  9. Petra
  10. Ana

Boy Names

  1. Luka (870 baby boys)
  2. David
  3. Jakov
  4. Ivan
  5. Petar
  6. Roko (the Croatian form of Rocco)
  7. Matej
  8. Noa
  9. Filip
  10. Mateo

In the girls’ top 10, Mila replaced Iva.

In the boys’ top 10, Noa and Filip replaced Karlo and Borna.

Finally, here are some insights about Croatian baby-naming trends from sociologist Ivan Balabanic:

Today, parents give their children names that are more pleasing to the ear and in accordance with their own taste, because new generations have moved away from the traditional obligation to give names of other family members to children […] Today’s names are also a reflection of greater freedoms, individualism and personalism because parents are no longer so attached to tradition and extended families.

He noted that modern Croatian parents are moving away from names that were popular during the Yugoslavian era (1945-1991) — names like Milan, Dražen, Mladen, Zdravko — and also away from the names of historical Croatian princes, such as Krešimir, Trpimir, Branimir and Domagoj.

Sources: Most popular baby names in Croatia last year revealed, What baby names are Croatians choosing now? A move from tradition

Popular Baby Names in Brazil, 2019

According to Transparência do Registro Civil (part of ARPEN Brasil), the most popular baby names in the country in 2019 were Enzo Gabriel and Maria Eduarda.

Here are Brazil’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Maria Eduarda, 12,063 baby girls
  2. Maria Clara, 10,751
  3. Maria Cecilia, 9,570
  4. Maria Julia, 9,448
  5. Maria Luiza, 9,132
  6. Ana Clara, 8,452
  7. Maria Alice, 8,388
  8. Ana Julia, 8,232
  9. Helena, 7,765
  10. Alice, 6,660

Boy Names

  1. Enzo Gabriel, 16,672 baby boys
  2. João Miguel, 15,082
  3. Pedro Henrique, 11,103
  4. Miguel, 9,436
  5. Arthur, 8,525
  6. João Pedro, 8,372
  7. Heitor, 6,829
  8. João Lucas, 6,557
  9. Davi Lucas, 6,543
  10. Davi Lucca, 6,010

These rankings are based on provisional data covering 2019 up to December 19th. (By that date, 4,472,331 babies had been born in Brazil, which is currently the 6th-most-populated country in the world.)

I’ve never posted the Brazilian rankings before, but other sources says that the top two names (Maria Eduarda and Enzo Gabriel) were the same in 2018.

Sources: Enzo Gabriel, João Miguel e Maria Eduarda são os nomes mais registrados no Brasil em 2019, See the most registered name in Brazil, List of countries and dependencies by population – Wikipedia

Popular Baby Names in Croatia, 2019

According to Croatia’s Ministry of Public Administration, the most popular baby names in the country in 2019 were Mia and Luka.

Here are Croatia’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Mia, 563 baby girls
  2. Ema, 409
  3. Lucija, 375
  4. Sara, 374
  5. Nika, 344
  6. Marta, 337
  7. Petra, 322
  8. Ana, 321
  9. Rita, 318
  10. Iva, 292

Boy Names

  1. Luka, 894 baby boys
  2. David, 568
  3. Jakov, 500
  4. Ivan, 482
  5. Petar, 431
  6. Matej, 360
  7. Karlo, 359
  8. Mateo, 355
  9. Roko (the Croatian form of Rocco), 352
  10. Borna (derived from a Slavic element meaning “fight, battle”), 347

I’ve never posted the Croatian rankings before, but one of my sources mentioned that the top two names (Mia and Luka) were the same in 2018.

Sources: The most popular baby names in Croatia in 2019, Most popular baby names in Croatia in 2019 revealed, Borna – Behind the Name