The vowely name Taio started popping up in the U.S. baby name data in the early 2010s:
2013: 8 baby boys named Taio
2012: 6 baby boys named Taio
2011: 8 baby boys named Taio [debut]
Where did it come from?
British singer/songwriter Taio Cruz.
Taio’s full name is Jacob Taio Cruz, though that’s not his original name. His name at birth was Adetayo Ayowale Onile-Ere. (His father is Nigerian and his mother is Brazilian.)
His second album, Rokstarr (2009), was particularly successful in the U.S. The single “Break Your Heart” (feat. Ludacris) reached #1 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart in March of 2010, and the single “Dynamite” reached #2 the following August.
Rapper Ludacris name-checked Taio in his verse for “Break Your Heart,” which Taio appreciated:
Luda’s verse helped Cruz clarify just how to pronounce his first name correctly. “He put my name in there, which is great — so people know to pronounce it now properly, hopefully,” Taio (pronounced “Tie-O”) said.
Apparently that wasn’t enough, though, because Taio felt the need to call his third album TY.O (2011) — a phonetic rendering of “Taio.”
But even this didn’t solve the problem. Here’s what he said during an interview in Australia in 2012:
“Everyone gets my name wrong which is quite funny cause it’s really two syllables long, it’s quite short,” he laughed, before demonstrating some of the more creative interpretations of his name.
“I think it’s because there’s so many vowels in my name.”
Do you like the name Taio? If you were going to use it for your own child, how would you spell it?
New York City, located in southeastern New York state, is the most populous city in the United States.
In 2021, New York City welcomed 99,262 babies — 48,648 girls and 50,614 boys.
What were the most popular names among these babies? Emma and Liam.
Here are New York City’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2021:
Emma, 434 baby girls
Liam, 703 baby boys
In the girls’ top 10, Luna and Sofia replaced Sarah and Chloe.
In the boys’ top 10, Benjamin replaced Alexander.
Names in the top 100 included: Grace, Lily, Violet, Aurora, Angel, Ruby, Rose, Harper, Axel, Melody, Summer, Serenity, Iris, Autumn, Jade, Chase, August, Angelina, Ivy, Eden, Goldy, Daisy, Journey, and Faith. (Genders weren’t specified, but most of these look like girl names to me.)
A few days ago, I stumbled upon a set of baby name data for Austin, Texas, for the year 2017. While it isn’t current, it does seem to be complete — so it includes hundreds of rare and single-use names (which are always fascinating!).
The data accounts for nearly 19,900 births (9,733 girls and 10,163 boys), and features nearly 6,100 names (3,431 given to girls, 2,656 given to boys).
According to this data, which comes from the City of Austin’s Open Data Portal, the top baby names in the capital of Texas five years ago were Emma and James.
Here are Austin’s top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2017:
Emma, 98 baby girls
Abigail, 59 (tie)
Charlotte, 59 (tie)
Camila, 56 (tie)
Elizabeth, 56 (tie)
Penelope, 51 (tie)
Sofia, 51 (tie)
Avery, 43 (tie)
Zoe, 43 (tie)
Layla, 40 (tie)
Madison, 40 (tie)
Claire, 36 (3-way tie)
Elena, 36 (3-way tie)
Luna, 36 (3-way tie)
Aria, 35 (tie)
Chloe, 35 (tie)
Ellie, 34 (tie)
Katherine, 34 (tie)
Hannah, 30 (4-way tie)
Hazel, 30 (4-way tie)
Mila, 30 (4-way tie)
Stella, 30 (4-way tie)
Cora, 28 (5-way tie)
Genesis, 28 (5-way tie)
Grace, 28 (5-way tie)
Natalie, 28 (5-way tie)
Ximena, 28 (5-way tie)
Clara, 27 (3-way tie)
Eliana, 27 (3-way tie)
Ruby, 27 (3-way tie)
Audrey, 26 (tie)
Sarah, 26 (tie)
Alexa, 25 (3-way tie)
Everly, 25 (3-way tie)
Lily, 25 (3-way tie)
James, 104 baby boys
Elijah, 66 (tie)
Mateo, 66 (tie)
Aiden, 59 (tie)
Luke, 59 (tie)
David, 58 (tie)
Samuel, 58 (tie)
Isaac, 55 (tie)
Julian, 55 (tie)
Charles, 53 (3-way tie)
Jack, 53 (3-way tie)
Matthew, 53 (3-way tie)
Jose, 52 (tie)
Joshua, 52 (tie)
Aaron, 49 (4-way tie)
Grayson, 49 (4-way tie)
Joseph, 49 (4-way tie)
Levi, 49 (4-way tie)
Josiah, 46 (3-way tie)
Logan, 46 (3-way tie)
Santiago, 46 (3-way tie)
Christopher, 43 (tie)
Thomas, 43 (tie)
Andrew, 42 (4-way tie)
Gabriel, 42 (4-way tie)
Luis, 42 (4-way tie)
Owen, 42 (4-way tie)
Adrian, 40 (3-way tie)
Axel, 40 (3-way tie)
Christian, 40 (3-way tie)
On the girls’ list, Allison caught my eye. It ranked 26th in Austin in 2017, but 61st nationally the same year. Interesting.
Further down on the boys’ list was Austin itself, in 95th place — vs. 75th nationally — with 21 baby boys. Much further down was Texas, with 2 baby boys.
And now it’s time for the unique names!
One-of-a-kind names were given to 24% of the baby girls and 17% of the baby boys born in Austin in 2017. Here’s a sampling of the names that were bestowed just once:
Some possible explanations/associations for a few of the above:
Cadeau is the French word for “present, gift.”
Ceiba is a type of tree.
Tsumugi Shirogane is a character from the 2017 video game Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony.
Ynafets is “Stefany” spelled backwards.
Bruges is the capital of West Flanders (a province of Belgium).
Mistral is a strong late-winter wind in southern France.
The Rigveda is a sacred Hindu text.
I’ve never posted rankings for Austin before, but I have posted rankings recently for two nearby Texas cities: Houston (which is more than twice the size of Austin, population-wise) and College Station (which is about an eighth of the size of Austin).
Last year, England and Wales welcomed close to 625,000 babies.
What were the most popular names among these babies? Olivia and Noah.
Here are England and Wales’ top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2021:
Olivia, 3,649 baby girls
Noah, 4,525 baby boys
Two of the names that saw marked increases in usage last year, Luca and Raya, were helped along by the animated films Luca (2021) and Raya and the Last Dragon (2021).
And the name Lilibet re-surfaced in the data (after a seven-year absence) with eight baby girls, no doubt thanks to the royal influence of Prince Harry’s daughter Lilibet, who was born in California in June of 2021.
Home to nearly 56.5 million people, England is divided into nine regions. The top baby names within each of these regions last year were…