How popular is the baby name Enya in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Use the popularity graph and data table below to find out! Plus, see all the blog posts that mention the name Enya.

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Popularity of the baby name Enya

Posts that mention the name Enya

Where did the baby name Enya come from in 1989?

Enya's album "Watermark" (1988).
Enya album

The name Enya first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1989:

  • 1991: 6 baby girls named Enya
  • 1990: unlisted
  • 1989: 5 baby girls named Enya [debut]
  • 1988: unlisted
  • 1987: unlisted

It was inspired by Irish vocalist Enya, whose second album, Watermark (1988), became an unexpected international hit thanks to its memorable lead single, “Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)” [vid]. The song ended up being nominated for two Grammy awards: Best New Age Performance and Best Music Video.

(New Age music began coming out in the 1960s, but the genre didn’t go mainstream until the 1980s. The first “New Age” Grammy was awarded in early 1987.)

Enya was born Eithne Ni Bhraonain in an Irish Gaelic-speaking area of County Donegal in 1961. The Irish name Eithne is thought to be based on an Old Irish word meaning “kernel, grain.” The singer began to go by “Enya,” an Anglicized spelling of her first name, in the early ’80s.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Enya?


P.S. Yanni is another New Age baby name…

How do you pronounce Gotye?

Gotye in the music video for "Somebody That I Used To Know" (2011)

Belgian-Australian musician Gotye (pronounced go-tee-yay) has been making headlines lately thanks to the single “Somebody That I Used To Know,” which became a Billboard #1 hit just a few days ago.

So…what’s up with that name?

The name Gotye is an anglicized form of the French name Gaultier (also spelled Gauthier and Gautier).

Gotye was born Wouter De Backer in Belgium. He started going by Walter, the English version of Wouter, when his family moved to Australia. And his mother’s pet name for him, Gaultier, is yet another version the name.

He decided to use Gaultier as his stage name, but instead of using a French spelling, he chose to render it Gotye. (This is similar to the way Irish singers/sisters Enya and Moya Brennan anglicized their names from Eithne and Máire.)

Source: Gotye – Wikipedia
Image: Screenshot of Gotye from the music video for “Somebody That I Used To Know”

Baby name story: Orinoco

Enya in the "Orinoco Flow" (1988) music video
Enya in the “Orinoco Flow” music video

One of this year’s Olympic competitors is a New Zealand swimmer of Samoan heritage named Orinoco Faamausili-Banse-Prince (b. 1990).

How did he get that eye-catching name?

His first name comes courtesy of a song his father rather liked, Enya’s Orinoco Flow.

Faamausili is a chiefly title bestowed on the family a couple of generations back and Banse (pronounced ban-say) is inherited from his German grandfather.

It ends with an appropriate flourish, Prince the only safe ground for tongue-tied commentators who mangle his moniker.

The title of Enya‘s 1988 song “Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)” references both London’s Orinoco Studios, where the song was recorded, and the Orinoco River of South America (primarily Venezuela). The river name is derived from Guarauno words meaning “a place to paddle” (i.e., a place that is navigable).

Unsurprisingly, Orinoco Faamausili-Banse-Prince prefers to be called “Ori.”

The other three New Zealand men he’ll be swimming with in the 4 × 100 metre freestyle relay have the much more common first names Mark, Cameron, and William.

Sources: Orinoco name no pain for young NZ swimmer, Making waves in Beijing, Orinoco Flow – Wikipedia, Orinoco River – Britannica, Swimming at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Men’s 4 × 100 metre freestyle relay

Where did the baby name Yanni come from in 1992?

Yanni's album "Dare to Dream (1992).
Yanni album

The name Yanni first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1992:

  • 1994: 25 baby boys and 6 baby girls named Yanni
  • 1993: 15 baby boys and 9 baby girls named Yanni
  • 1992: 6 baby boys named Yanni [debut]
  • 1991: unlisted
  • 1990: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Greek keyboardist/composer Yanni (pronounced YAH-nee), whose Grammy-nominated eighth album, Dare to Dream (1992), was one of his most successful.

Dare to Dream included the song “Aria,” which was originally written for the now-classic British Airways “Face” commercial [vid] of 1989. (The mega-popular Yanni Live at the Acropolis didn’t come out until 1994.)

Yanni was born Yiannis Chryssomallis in Kalamata, Greece, in 1953. The Greek name Yiannis is the equivalent of the English name John; both names can be traced back to the Hebrew name Yochanan, which means “Yahweh is gracious.”

What are your thoughts on the baby name Yanni?

Sources: Behind the Name, Yanni – Wikipedia

P.S. Enya is another New Age baby name…