How popular is the baby name Jacqueline 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 Jacqueline.
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Welcome to May! Here’s this month’s batch of name-related quotes.
From a 2022 article in Sporting News about young Czech hockey player Ivan Ivan:
Ivan Ivan, a Czechia forward who has the same first and last name, took the hockey world by storm last December when he was on the team’s roster at the canceled World Juniors. While a graphic from December stating that his name was Ivan Ivan Ivan caused a stir, it’s unfortunately just Ivan Ivan.
[W]hile a less common name may be disadvantageous in the short-term (increasing the risk of rejection and lowering your likeability) it could have advantages over the longer-term by engendering in you a greater sense of your personal uniqueness. Consider another new study by Cai and his team at Beijing’s Institute of Psychology — even after controlling for family and socioeconomic background, they found that having a rarer name was associated with increased odds of having a more unusual career, such as film director or judge.
Having an unusual name might even shape us to be more creative and open-minded, according to research by Zhu at Arizona State University and his colleagues. Zhu’s team cross-checked the names of the chief executives at over a thousand firms and found that the rarer their names, the more distinctive the business strategies they tended to pursue, especially if they were also more confident by nature.
Over the last few years, a crowd of new companies has emerged across tech, finance and health sporting a first-name brand. Oscar, Alfred, Lola — they have the look and feel of a friend, a colleague, maybe even your cat. And that’s the point: Make a connection with consumers that even Carnegie would appreciate.
The strategy seems to be working. Research shows that the more simple and human-sounding the name, the greater the company’s success.
The name game isn’t so much about the products or services being sold. It’s a subconscious approach to branding that borders on anthropomorphizing a company.
(I stumbled upon this one while doing research for a request post.)
The tale of the two Kellys began in February 2009, when Kelly Katrina Hildebrandt, of Coral Springs, found the Facebook profile of her future spouse. She saw that they had the exact same first and last name and sent him a friendly greeting to note their shared name.
They started having online exchanges and three weeks later, male Kelly, then 24, traveled from Texas to South Florida to meet female Kelly, then 20. They hit it off immediately and got engaged.
NBC 6 first reported about the Kellys in July 2009, and their story soon after went worldwide.
(My favorite line from the piece: “Male Kelly said he would be reluctant to marry anyone with the same name again.”)
From a GMA3TikTok video featuring actress Rachel Zegler (born in 2001):
My [older] sister’s name is Jacqueline, and my parents originally wanted to name me Catherine, but they thought it would get a little bit confusing, cause they sound very similar. And my mom’s a big Friends fan, and thought that the name Rachel, for Jennifer Aniston’s character, sounded very beautiful on TV. And that is why I was named Rachel.
From a 2008 interview with Erykah Badu (whose daughter, Puma, was born in 2004):
The puma is one of the biggest and strongest cats in the feline family, but it has no roar. I thought that was very unique.
(Thanks to Badu, the name Erykah was the highest-debuting girl name of 1997.)
Want to see more quotes about names? Check out the name quotes category.
I want to draw your attention to two of these contestants, Safira Afzaal and Yarden Levinson, because the rare names Safira and Yarden both debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1984 specifically:
Girls named Safira
Girls named Yarden
(Safira may be based on the Arabic name Safeerah, meaning “messenger”; Yarden, the Hebrew name of the Jordan River, is derived from a Hebrew word meaning “descend” or “flow down.”)
Here are Safira and Yarden introducing themselves at the start of the program…
Over the course of the two-hour program, the field of contestants was reduced three times: from 21 to 10 (by a panel of judges), from 10 to 3 (again by the judges), and finally from 3 to 1 (by popular vote).
Both Safira and Yarden survived the first cut. The second portion of the show featured the ten remaining women modeling in swimsuits, modeling in evening gowns, and, rather unusually, doing aerobic exercise. (How ’80s is that?)
Here’s Safira doing aerobics:
And here’s Yarden:
Before the three finalists were announced, David Hasselhoff explained that each of the three would be assigned a specific “1-900” phone number.
To cast a vote for your favorite girl, you simply dial her phone number. It’s that easy. Your vote will automatically be registered in the phone company’s computer in Kansas City, Missouri, and there’ll be a telephone charge of 50 cents. The total number of calls received at the end of the ten-minute period by the phone company’s computer in Kansas City will be transmitted to us, five thousand miles away, in Hawaii, and we will know our winner.
The three finalists? Debi, Jaqueline, and Yarden. (Not Safira, sadly.)
Here’s Yarden, right after being named a finalist:
During the next ten minutes, viewers saw (among other things) clips of the finalists talking about themselves. Yarden mentioned that, in Israel, every girl goes into the military and “learns how to fight,” and that she “served in a rescue unit in the Air Force.” She also said:
I come to the competition and they look at me and they say, ‘You’re Israeli? You’re blonde, I mean, how can that be?’
Alas, Yarden finished in third place with just 17.48% of the vote.
The winner was Debi Brett, the Brit, with 53.46% of the vote. (She received over $100,000 in cash and prizes, including a 30-day round-the-world trip, a full-length mink coat, a grand piano, a diamond ring, a Dodge 600 convertible, and a Ricoh 35mm camera.)
So, neither Safira nor Yarden won the pageant. But their names live on the U.S. baby name data, which is arguably far cooler. :)
I’m not sure what became of Yarden after the pageant, but I can tell you a bit about Safira (whose last name is actually spelled Afzal). She was born in Pakistan, raised in England, and went on to earn a law degree and become a barrister.
(Other post-pageant careers: Debi became photographer; Antonia became a model/TV personality; Deborah won Miss Universe 1985 and became an actress/TV personality; “Jaqueline” (actually spelled Jacqueline) became a model/TV personality; and “Julie” (Julia) became an actress — in fact, she played the female lead in the second Rambo movie.)
So what are your thoughts on the names Safira and Yarden? Which one would you be more likely to use for a baby girl?