How popular is the baby name Jayz 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 Jayz.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Jayz


Posts that Mention the Name Jayz

Where did the baby name Kanye come from?

Kanye West
Kanye West

The name Kanye debuted in the SSA’s baby name data in 2002. It saw peak usage just two years later, in 2004:

  • 2007: 53 boys named Kanye
  • 2006: 101 boys named Kanye
  • 2005: 202 boys (and 5 girls) named Kanye [rank: 893rd]
  • 2004: 509 boys (and 19 girls) named Kanye [rank: 486th]
  • 2003: 87 boys named Kanye
  • 2002: 5 boys named Kanye
  • 2001: unlisted

Also in 2004, the similar names Kanyae, Jakanye and Dekanye debuted, and the name Kanya popped up for the first time as a boy name.

The influence, of course, was rapper/producer Kanye (pronounced kahn-yay) West.

His successful debut album, The College Dropout (2004), is what boosted the name to peak usage. Even before that, though, he was becoming famous as an in-house producer for Roc-A-Fella Records. He worked on Jay-Z’s 2001 album The Blueprint, for instance.

How did he come to have the name “Kanye”? Here’s what his late mother Donda West wrote in her 2007 book Raising Kanye:

Only one thing was missing — the perfect name for the perfect baby. With all of the excitement around the pregnancy, we’d never picked out names. So my mother and I began thumbing through this book of African names I’d bought. I was very Afrocentric and so was Ray. We wanted our child to have a name that represented his culture and stood for something. We wanted him to have a strong name.

Mother and I found the name “Kanye” in this book. It was an Ethiopian name that meant “the only one.” I knew he would be our only child, set apart, and special.

My mother found his middle name in the Os. She chose “Omari,” which means “wise man.” Kanye Omari West. Mother pointed out that his initials would be K.O. She liked that it stood for knockout. We asked Ray about the names and he was cool with both Kanye for the first name and Omari as the middle name. So we made it official.

(I haven’t been able to confirm this particular origin/meaning of Kanye — or even figure out which name-book Donda was using — but I can tell you that there’s a village in Botswana called Kanye, which is interesting.)

What are your thoughts on the name Kanye? Would you considering using it?

Sources:

  • Kanye West – Wikipedia
  • West, Donda, Karen Hunter, Kanye West. Raising Kanye: Life Lessons from the Mother of a Hip-Hop Superstar. New York: Pocket Books, 2007.

P.S. Yeezy has never been in the data, but Ye has.

Boy name debuts of 2018

The top boy-name debuts in the U.S. baby name data last year were:

  1. Jahseh, 65 baby boys
  2. Thielen, 21
  3. Daer, 17
  4. Amell, 12
  5. Daesyn, 12
  6. Ulugbek, 12
  7. Vayu, 12
  8. Lavie, 11
  9. Liano, 11
  10. Oaklynn, 11
  11. Rhaegar, 11
  12. Sirroyal, 11
  13. Truu, 11
  14. Usmon, 11
  15. Weller, 11

Some of the other debuts include: Baz, Xylo, Euro, Sensei, Sicario, Gaurik, Ludo, Soldier, Tritt, Jasahd, Muir, Ozymandias, Thanatos, Ao, Callisto, Charm, Freyr, Garrix, Gursehaj, Jalex, Kenmari, Khal, Koe, Kyloren, Ludovico, Oso, Rovanio, Selleck, Solstice, Swae, Tayceon, Acai, Beacon, Glauk, Glavine, Horizon, Jorniel, Kawaii, Kentucky, Kreek, Perfect, Precise, Prevail, Rehoboth, Sircarter, Solar, Universe, Wentz, Westbrook, Yanciel, Zaytoven

Sircarter was influenced by Sir Carter, the son of Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Do you have explanations for any of the other debuts?

P.S. Wondering what a “debut” name is? Debut names were too rare to appear in the SSA data in any previous year (1880-2017). In order to debut, they need to be given to at least 5 babies of one gender or the other within a single year.

Pop culture baby name game, 2017

pop culture baby name game 2017

It’s time for the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game!

This year we’re kicking things off January 8th, the birthday of Elvis Presley! (He was born in 1935 and would have been 83 today.)

So how do you play the game? Just brainstorm for baby names that could have gotten a boost in usage in 2017 thanks to the influence popular culture: movies, music, television, social media, video games, sports, politics, products, trends, and so forth.

Here are the names we’ve come up with so far:

  • Amilyn – movie Star Wars: The Last Jedi (stolen from Abby)
  • Antiope – movie Wonder Woman
  • Asahd – son of DJ Khaled (suggested by alex)
  • Asperitas – a new type of cloud (suggested by elbowin)
  • Bea – rumored Beyoncé baby name
  • Bear – son of Liam Payne
  • Bilquis – TV show American Gods
  • Callum – move Assassin’s Creed
  • Cardi – rapper Cardi B
  • Carter – son of Beyoncé and Jay-Z (suggested by elbowin)
  • Chance – Chance The Rapper
  • Creeley – TV show Damnation
  • Darci Lynne – winner of America’s Got Talent
  • Eclipse – August solar eclipse
  • Eissa – son of Janet Jackson
  • Eleven – TV show Stranger Things
  • Fatima – 100th anniversary of Marian apparitions
  • Fenty – Rihanna’s company Fenty Beauty
  • Gal – actress Gal Godot
  • Gravity – daughter of fashion models Lucky Blue Smith (male) and Stormi Bree (female)
  • Grover – fictional baby born on TV show Girls
  • Halley – fictional baby born on TV show Big Bang Theory
  • Harvey – hurricane
  • Hela – movie Thor: Ragnarok
  • Irma – hurricane
  • Issa Rae – actress Issa Rae
  • Jacinda – New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern
  • Jumanji – movie Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
  • Jyn – movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Kelsea – singer Kelsea Ballerini
  • Kendrick – rapper Kendrick Lamar
  • Kensli – daughter of Chance the Rapper (suggested by alex)
  • Kenzo – son of Kevin Hart
  • Laureline – movie Valerian
  • Libratus – artificial intelligence (suggested by elbowin)
  • Mahershala – actor Mahershala Ali
  • Maren – singer Maren Morris
  • Mika – news presenter Mika Brzezinski (suggested by alex)
  • Ovince – MMA competitor Ovince Saint Preux
  • Poppy – singer Poppy; movie Trolls
  • Ragnarok – movie Thor: Ragnarok
  • Revel – son of actors Matthew and Renee Morrison
  • Rumi – daughter of Beyoncé and Jay-Z
  • Saffie – victim of Manchester bombing (suggested by elbowin)
  • Sally – former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates
  • Saoirse – actress Saoirse Ronan
  • Shadow – TV show American Gods
  • Shawn – rumored Beyoncé baby name
  • Shayla – beauty influencer Shayla Mitchell
  • Sir – son of Beyoncé and Jay-Z
  • Sonequa – actress Sonequa Martin-Green
  • Sovereign – daughter of Cam Newton
  • Strummer – son of Julia Stiles
  • Sturgill – musician Sturgill Simpson
  • Sza – singer SZA
  • Tenney – doll/character Tenney Grant (full name: “Tennyson Evangeline”)
  • Totality – August solar eclipse
  • Valerian – movie Valerian
  • Valkyrie – movie Thor: Ragnarok
  • Yulin – San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz (suggested by elbowin)
  • Zaya – movie Gods of Egypt (stolen from Maybe it is Daijirō)
  • Zelle – payment app

Have any additions to make? Comment below! Just don’t forget to mention the pop culture influence.

The SSA will release the next batch of baby name data in May, so I will post the results to the game a few days after that 2017 data becomes available.

If you don’t want to miss the results post, please subscribe to NBN by entering your email address into the “Get New Posts via Email” form in the sidebar.

P.S. Have some ideas for 2018? Comment with those too — I’ll add them to next year’s game. One addition I just made: Grayson, for the winter storm. (Here’s a Massachusetts baby named Grayson, and a Maine baby possibly named Grayson.)

Name quotes #54: Roella, Rumi, Tsh

splash, movie, quote, quotation, madison, 1980s

From the 1984 movie Splash, the character Allen (Tom Hanks) talking with his then-nameless lady friend (Daryl Hannah) as they walk around NYC:

Woman: “What are English names?”

Allen: “Well, there’s millions of them, I guess. Jennifer, Joanie, Hilary. (Careful, hey, those are hot!) See names, names… Linda, Kim– (Where are we? Madison.) Uh, Elizabeth, Samantha–“

Woman: “Madison…I like Madison!”

Allen: “Madison’s not a name… Well, all right, ok, Madison it is. Good thing we weren’t at 149th Street.”

Jay-Z on the names of his twins, Rumi and Sir, from a recent Rap Radar interview (via People):

“Rumi is our favorite poet, so it was for our daughter,” he shared. “Sir was like, man, come out the gate. He carries himself like that. He just came out, like, Sir.”

From a 2016 interview with Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander in the Tampa Bay Times:

In the early ’90s, he and wife, Pam, who grew up in Pinellas County, settled down in the Sunshine State, drawn by family ties and the promise of a nice, safe community in which to raise their son, Robin Taylor, now 23, and daughter, Robin-Sailor, 15. (Zander’s go-to line about his kids’ quirky names: “My wife just calls us Robin, and we all come running.”)

From a 2009 review of the book Looking In, about photographer Robert Frank:

On November 7 1955, part-way through a two-year, Guggenheim-funded voyage around America, the photographer Robert Frank was arrested by Arkansas state police who suspected he was a communist. Their reasons: he was a shabbily dressed foreigner, he was Jewish, he had letters of reference from people with Russian-sounding names, he had photographed the Ford plant, possessed foreign whisky and his children had foreign names (Pablo and Andrea).

From an article called This Is The Biggest Influence On Baby Names:

[Neil] Burdess says most parents’ baby-name decisions are shaped by affluent, highly educated families who live near them, rather than prominent figures in pop culture.

[…]

He cites research conducted in California in the 1960s, which found that names adopted by high-income, highly educated parents are soon embraced by those lower down the socioeconomic ladder.

From a 2015 obituary of movie star Rex Reason:

Contrary to what one might think, Rex Reason was his birth name, not one dreamed up by a Hollywood executive. Universal Pictures, in fact, had billed him as “Bart Roberts” in a couple of films before he insisted on being credited with his real name.

From a 1998 obituary of surfer Rell Sunn:

There seemed to be a bit of destiny attached. Her middle name, Ka-polioka’ehukai, means Heart of the Sea.

“Most Hawaiian grandparents name you before you’re born,” she says. “They have a dream or something that tells them what the name will be.” Hawaiians also have a knack for giving people rhythmic, dead-on nicknames, and for young Rell they had a beauty: Rella Propella.

“My godmother called me that because I was always moving so fast,” says Rell. “To this day, people think my real name is Rella. Actually I was born Roella, a combination of my parents’ names: Roen and Elbert. But I hated it, and no one used it, so I changed it to Rell.”

From a blog post by Jason Fisher on naming practices in Nigeria:

When [Kelechi Eke] was born, his mother experienced dangerous complications, which his parents acknowledged in his naming. In Igbo, Kelechi means “thank God”, and Eke means “creation”. The usual Igbo name for God, Chineke, means literally, “God of Creation”, and you can see both elements (chi + eke) in his two names. When K.C.’s own son was born, it was in the wake of difficulties in bringing his wife to the United States; consequently, they chose the name Oluchi, meaning “God’s work”, suggesting their gratitude that the immigration problems were resolved before his mother went into labor.

From the about page of writer Tsh Oxenreider:

My name is Tsh Oxenreider, and no, my name is not a typo (one of the first things people ask). It’s pronounced “Tish.” No reason, really, except that my parents were experimental with their names choices in the 70s. Until my younger brother was born in the 80s, whom they named Josh, quite possibly one of the most common names for people his age. Who knows what they were thinking, really.

Baby name predictions for 2017?

beyonce, album

The year is more than half over. Based on what we’ve seen in pop culture so far, which baby names do you expect to make significant gains on the charts in 2017?

Here are some possibilities…

  • Rumi and Sir (and maybe even “Sir Carter”) – the names of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s twins, born in mid-June. The names weren’t officially announced until mid-July via Instagram.
  • Bea and Shawn – the rumored names of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s twins. These were widely circulated before the real names were revealed.
  • Antiope and Gal – both associated with the movie Wonder Woman, released in June. The main character is played by Gal Gadot, and Antiope (WW’s aunt) is played by Robin Wright.
  • Callum – from the video game-based movie Assassin’s Creed, released in late 2016.
  • Jyn – from the movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, released in late 2016 (hat tip: Screen Crush).
  • Zelle – from Zelle, the peer-to-peer payment app backed by dozens of U.S. banks that was announced/released in June.

Do you agree with these? Disagree? Which names would you add to this list?

P.S. Here’s a prediction post from earlier in 2017.