How popular is the baby name Chaka 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 Chaka.

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name Chaka


Posts that Mention the Name Chaka

What gave the baby name Shalamar a boost?

shalamar, music

Last week we talked about the name Shalimar, so this week let’s look at the similar name Shalamar, which saw its highest usage in 1980:

  • 1982: 15 baby girls and 12 baby boys named Shalamar
  • 1981: 17 baby girls and 10 baby boys named Shalamar
  • 1980: 26 baby girls and 20 baby boys named Shalamar [debut for boys]
  • 1979: unlisted
  • 1978: unlisted
  • 1977: 5 baby girls named Shalamar
  • 1976: unlisted

American vocal/dance trio Shalamar — which included future solo star Jody Watley — started regularly churning out hits in 1979.

Over the next few years the group earned two Grammy nominations, but didn’t win the award either time (they lost once to Rufus & Chaka Khan).

Also, interestingly, Shalamar had a name before it had any members. It was put together by Dick Griffey, the booking agent for TV’s Soul Train.

Which spelling do you prefer, Shalimar or Shalamar?

Source: Shalamar – AllMusic

Where did the baby name Chakakhan come from?

Album "Rufus featuring Chaka Khan" (1975)
“Rufus featuring Chaka Khan” (1975)

When Grammy-winning singer Chaka Khan was born in Chicago in 1953, her name was Yvette Marie Stevens.

During her teens, Yvette “met a Yoruba priest who gave her a new name…based on her orishas, or guiding spirits.” Her new names, in order, were Chaka, Adunne, Aduffe, Yemoja, Hodarhi, and Karifi.

A few years later, she married for the first time and took her husband’s surname, Khan.

Hence, the stage name Chaka Khan.


Chaka joined the funk band Rufus in 1972.

In 1975, they released their fourth studio album, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, which included the popular single “Sweet Thing.”

That year and the next, the compound name Chakakhan appeared in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1977: unlisted
  • 1976: 16 baby girls named Chakakhan
  • 1975: 21 baby girls named Chakakhan [debut]
  • 1974: unlisted
  • 1973: unlisted

Very likely these parents wrote the name with the space and the capital “K,” but it’s not rendered that way in the data because the SSA strips out things like spaces and internal capitalization.

The baby name Chaka also became more popular, but only for baby girls (many of whom were probably given Khan as a middle name):

Girls named ChakaBoys named Chaka
19778716
1976147 (rank: 899th)20
197512018
197415 [debut]18
1973.18

It has since dropped off the list entirely for both genders.

Chaka Khan eventually left Rufus and began a solo career, and in 2011 she was given the 2,440th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Source: Ollison, Rashod D. “Through the Fire.” Sun [Baltimore] 28 Oct. 2003: 1E.

Baby names that reached the U.S. top 1,000 just once

Many baby names have only managed to rank among the most popular in the U.S. a single time.

Here are all of the top 1,000’s single-appearance names so far (1880-2005), grouped by decade. If I’ve written an explanatory post about the name, I’ve added a link to the post.

(Please note that the rankings from earliest decades are based on data that isn’t very reliable. So, most of those names didn’t make the top 1,000 for any particular reason — they’re mostly just statistical anomalies.)

1880s

Girl Names, 1880-89 Boy Names, 1880-89
Adina, Almyra, Chanie, Chrissie, Clemie, Cordella, Dayse, Delina, Delle, Elmire, Elzada, Estie, Fronnie, Lovisa, Lucina, Manerva, Manervia, Minervia, Neppie, Nolie, Orilla, Rillie, Sybilla, Tella, Thursa, Achsah, Ala, Alabama, Amey, Chestina, Chloie, Crissie, Daisye, Dema, Dollye, Eithel, Mila, Senora, Siddie, Sylvania, Tiney, Zilpah, Affie, Arah, Artelia, Birdella, Cathern, Cilla, Elizbeth, Fannye, Francina, Genevra, Iza, Jerusha, Loda, Lucetta, Lucindy, Luda, Mahalie, Modena, Nanna, Nelie, Olena, Sinda, Vicy, Almina, Argie, Beatrix, Cappie, Caro, Cloe, Deetta, Dorathea, Ermine, Felicie, Icey, Junia, Lovey, Marianita, Mattye, Pearla, Simona, Alzina, Annice, Georganna, Leala, Lurana, Milly, Nealy, Olivine, Oney, Savilla, Sussie, Theodocia, Violetta, Aurilla, Dosia, Emmy, Essa, Ica, Ilma, Lolla, Medora, Octa, Alwilda, Angele, Betha, Clytie, Ermina, Hilah, Louisiana, Metha, Oline, Pricilla, Alwine, Anice, Clemma, Eppie, Gustie, Octavie, Orelia Francies, Margretta, Orra, Pairlee, Pallie, Chessie, Erla, Herma, Lulah, Noemie Agustus, Baldwin, Candido, Ceylon, Clemente, Firman, Friend, Hays, Hence, Hunt, Isam, Jabez, Obed, Rafe, Redden, Salomon, Sannie, Tilden, Ambers, Cas, Casimiro, Dixon, Elonzo, Emry, Erving, Esequiel, Manly, Marius, Marrion, Mercer, Obe, Philo, Primus, Prosper, Pryor, Roll, Wiliam, Wing, York, Alanzo, Alby, Alcee, Auguste, Caswell, Clabe, Ell, Greene, Hansford, Lone, Marsh, Pearley, Wenzel, Blanchard, Bose, Charle, Emett, Grove, Hanson, Jep, Jeptha, Linzy, Lute, Milas, Thurlow, Blain, Bowman, Bunk, Donaciano, Ebenezer, Ignatz, Odin, Oley, Osborn, Shep, Vollie, Drury, Elon, Fielding, Fleet, Fount, Lark, Lim, Nim, North, Orvis, Reason, Virge, Worley, Zenas, Acey, Algernon, Amasa, Amil, Calhoun, Colbert, Elby, Fuller, Ham, Lilburn, Lovett, Pratt, Ruffin, Bliss, Dorr, Ethelbert, Gilford, Gilman, Graves, Hillery, Shepherd, Benjman, Celestino, Hart, Hilmer, Le, Liston, Lott, Nils, Vere, Abie, Alver, Anatole, Boone, Branch, Bush, Claiborne, Edw, Fed, Governor, Hjalmar, Levin, Redmond

1890s

Girl Names, 1890-99 Boy Names, 1890-99
Ethie, Fleeta, Jessye, Jetta, Sibbie, Idabelle, Lulla, Olar, Sylva, Versa, Allena, Cannie, Cliffie, Clotilda, Elmyra, Josefita, Lurena, Elfreda, Adel, Alleen, Trilby, Zela, Zeta, Manilla, Vara, Irva Almus, Conard, Guilford, Neely, Polk, Rance, Red, Algot, Alphons, Barnard, Burk, Berkley, Iverson, Job, Powell, Vick, Burleigh, Con, Ebert, Murdock, Nolen, Willaim, Aubra, Avon, Bolden, Link, Thorwald, Alston, Audy, Donat, Emmons, Erby, Esley, Hebert, Hezzie, Hughey, Oddie, Vinton, Zed, Alwin, Evander, Gaither, Grafton, Guthrie, Ovila, Acy, Aloys, Arthor, Boysie, Cam, Hale, Lisle, Offie, Silver, Virgel, Willy, Dabney, Adams, Arba, Collie, Ewart, Gladstone, Schley, Shafter, Baker, Bynum, Colvin, Elizah, Griffith

1900s

Girl Names, 1900-09 Boy Names, 1900-09
Luvinia, Dagny, Ethyle, Augustina, Girtha, Edris, Vernia, Beadie, Ilda, Neola, Orma, Vela, Clydie, Rosabelle, Theta, Arnetta, Clementina, Launa, Azalee, Macel Goebel, Tallie, Ancil, Buren, Erland, Esco, Mathews, Pate, Doll, Ivor, Victoriano, Beckham, Lenon, Ozzie, Teddie, Arbie, Council, Duard, Harm, Severo, Tobie, Fredie, Graydon, Jiles, Benard, Harrold, Delmus, Delphin, Gilmer, Ogden, Oland, Samie, Esker, Levie, Robley, Othel

1910s

Girl Names, 1910-19 Boy Names, 1910-19
Arietta, Loree, Blanchie, Felice, Maebell, Orene, Cleone, Lahoma, Rosaria, Idamae, Lavelle, Michelina, Victory, Haruko Amerigo, Gennaro, Hymen, Melbourne, Geno, Gilmore, Saverio, Arvo, Berlin, Gerhardt, Hughes, Tatsuo, Orvin, Foch, Laddie, Metro, Therman

1920s

Girl Names, 1920-29 Boy Names, 1920-29
Arlyne, Venice, Vernelle, Enriqueta, Lorrayne, Ailene, Illa, Kazuko, Felicitas, Joline, Sydell Harden, Shoji, Fidencio

1930s

Girl Names, 1930-39 Boy Names, 1930-39
Charlsie, Belia, Thomasina, Monna, Nira, Marcelina, Darlyne, Shirleyann, Vernetta, Larae, Jonell, Noreta, Noretta, Shelvie, Helaine, Dotty, Karel Derl, Darl, Orlin, Marland, Darwyn, Delwin, Harlon, Ronal

1940s

Girl Names, 1940-49 Boy Names, 1940-49
Phyliss, Jerrilyn, Carlyn, Rozanne, Michaele, Lyndia, Regena, Shirleen Wendel, Wilkie, Eusebio, Lucky, Cornel

1950s

Girl Names, 1950-59 Boy Names, 1950-59
Rhona, Sharleen, Debera, Ellyn, Jacqulyn, Pandora, Doretta, Denese, Valinda, Debroah, Jeryl, Melodee, Sheilah, Sheryll, Gaylene, Kathey, Nilda, Lanita, Perri, Tambra, Tari Danniel, Deryl, Erasmo, Mikeal, Kennard, Rahn, Ricci, Kem

1960s

Girl Names, 1960-69 Boy Names, 1960-69
Jeanmarie, Daneen, Denine, Djuana, Djuna, Caprice, Denita, Inger, Sonji, Sunday, Tatia, Wende, Melissia, Cinnamon Dwyane, Tal, Destry, Anthoney, Jemal

1970s

Girl Names, 1970-79 Boy Names, 1970-79
Dyan, Tisa, Treena, Camisha, Keena, Brande, Tamisha, Pepper, Chaka, Shandra, Torie, Corie, Kamilah, Shawnna, Shawnte, Ariane, Kindra, Somer, Sharee Abelardo, Diallo, Jabbar, Mauro, Toma, Kareen, Dimitrios, Hakim, Jerimy, Torry, Amin, Demetric, Kinte, Kunta, Shalon, Hasan

1980s

Girl Names, 1980-89 Boy Names, 1980-89
Renada, Tai, Evita, Joi, Latoyia, Martine, Nereida, Tashina, Cristen, Jenilee, Tenika, Dwan, Grisel, Shenna, Teela, Shira, Violeta, Britta, Cherrelle, Kyrie, Sable, Shardae, Sharde, Sharday, Shatara, Diandra, Grecia, Jalissa, Taja, Alexandr, Audriana, Audrianna, Brittnay, Christin, Elizabet, Katherin, Stephani Horacio, Adalberto, Marchello, Hung, Huy, Trumaine, Tavaris, Cordaro, Joseluis, Brantley, Geraldo, Christop, Alexande

1990s

Girl Names, 1990-99 Boy Names, 1990-99
Alannah, Kanesha, Ieshia, Miesha, Miriah, Shaquana, Tiesha, Brianda, Shaniece, Shawnee, Coraima, Crysta, Deyanira, Jasmyne, Kalene, Kaylene, Shannen, Adilene, Clarisa, Meranda, Nohely, Iridian, Keanna, Daijah, Jaycie, Yamilex, Baylie, Julisa, Micayla, Yulisa, Yulissa, Shae, Kyara, Tatyanna Mykel, Dijon, Keifer, Colter, Davonta, Devaughn, Khari, Shyheim, Tyrin, Damarcus, Dustyn, Rashaan, Keion, Raquan, Coleton, Jajuan, Keandre, Kenan, Christion, Jacquez, Jelani, Miguelangel, Tavian, Tyrik, Arman, Tyreese, Tyreke

2000s (so far)

Girl Names, 2000-05 Boy Names, 2000-05
Dariana, Maiya, Neha, Yamilet, Beyonce, Dafne, Keila, Mikaila, Nallely, Nayely, Taina, Kiya, Rianna, Arly, Karyme, Gwyneth, Heidy, Treasure, Anneliese, Arleth, Jolette, Mikalah, Montserrat Dayne, Daunte, Jaheem, Jaquez, Lisandro, Luc, Osbaldo, Yousef, Ajay, Jahir, Mordechai, Andon, Jayvon, Koda, Trenten, Adin, Damari, Makhi

P.S. Here’s a list of the names that reached the top 1,000 just twice.