How popular is the baby name Kanye 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 Kanye.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Kanye


Posts that Mention the Name Kanye

What brought the baby name Avianne back in 2017?

Avianne pendant with diamonds
Avianne pendant

After popping up in the U.S. baby name data for a couple of years in the late ’90s, the name Avianne returned to the data in 2017:

  • 2019: 15 baby girls named Avianne
  • 2018: 11 baby girls named Avianne
  • 2017: 6 baby girls named Avianne
  • 2016: unlisted
  • 2015: unlisted

What brought it back?

(And also gave rise to the variant forms Avianni, Aviani, and Aviannie?)

New York City-based jewelry company Avianne (pronounced ah-vee-AH-nee), which is known for creating flashy, custom jewelry for various celebrities — particularly rappers.

Avianne — just like rival jewelry company Eliantte — has been name-checked in hundreds of rap songs. The songs that saw the most chart success (before/during 2017) were…

  • “Wicked” (2016) by Future
    • Lyric: “I purchase Avianne and now she lit, huh”
    • Peak: #97 on the U.S. Hot 100
  • “Drowning” (2017) by A Boogie wit da Hoodie, feat. Kodak Black
    • Lyric: “Just bought a brand new chain from Avianne”
    • Peak: #38
  • “What Would Meek Do?” (2018) by Pusha T, feat. Kanye West
    • Lyric: “This Avianne collarbone is see-through”
    • Peak: #75

Other rappers that have mentioned Avianne in one or more songs include Young Thug, Lil Uzi Vert, Travis Scott, 21 Savage, Fetty Wap, Migos, Yo Gotti, DaBaby, Young Scooter, Roddy Ricch, Cam’Ron, Don Q, Tyga, Smokepurpp, Playboi Carti, Lil Baby, Flatbush Zombies, Kodie Shane, and Coi Leray.

So how did the brand come to be called “Avianne”?

In 1985, brothers Izzy and Joe Aranbayev emigrated with their parents and extended family from Uzbekistan to Brooklyn. Their father, Boris, started working in a jewelry store. By the mid-1990s, Boris had established a jewelry manufacturing company. A few years later, in 1999, Izzy and several cousins launched a retail jewelry business.

They decided against using their Russian last names and opted for something that sounded more luxurious — think Italian luxury brands like Versace, Gucci, and Armani.

Today, Izzy mainly works behind the scenes, and Joe works on the sales floor. As the face of Avianne & Co, Joe often goes by “Joe Avianne.”

What are your thoughts on the baby name Avianne?

Sources:

Image: © Avianne & Co.

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.

Pop Culture Baby Name Game, 2019

pop culture baby name game, 2019

Time for the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game!

But first: Happy birthday, Elvis Presley! (He would have been 85 today.)

So now, think back to 2019. Think of all the pop culture that caught your attention. Think of movies, music, TV shows, social media, sports, video games, news, politics, products, and so forth.

Which of these things had an influence on U.S. baby names last year, do you think? Which baby names will see higher usage (or appear for the very first time) in the 2019 data thanks to 2019 pop culture?

Here are some names to start with:

  • Adeya – from celebrity baby Adeya (born in March to Kehlani)
  • Alita – from the movie Alita: Battle Angel
  • Archie – from royal baby Archie (born in May to Harry & Meghan)
  • Billie – from singer Billie Eilish
  • Brixton – from the movie Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
  • Deckard – from the movie Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
  • Dorian – from hurricane Dorian
  • Eilish – also from singer Billie Eilish
  • Gloria – from the St. Louis Blues anthem “Gloria
  • Greedy – from NFL player Andraez Montrell “Greedy” Williams
  • Greta – from environmental activist Greta Thunberg
  • Lizzo – from rapper/singer Lizzo (originally a Melissa)
  • Luce – from the movie Luce
  • Maleficent – from the movie Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
  • Nipsey – from the late rapper Nipsey Hussle
  • Post – from rapper Post Malone
  • Psalm – from celebrity baby Psalm (born in May to Kim & Kanye)
  • Saybie – from newsworthy baby Saybie
  • Shaed – from the band Shaed (“Trampoline”)
  • Sulwe – from the book Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o
  • Wick – from the movie John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

A few names from the 2018 game (Kamala? Kelleth? Sanni? Marsai?) might still be applicable as well.

What other names should we add to the list? Let me know by commenting below. Please don’t forget to mention the pop culture influence!

I’ll be posting the game results in May of 2020, a few days after the SSA releases the 2019 baby name data. If you don’t want to miss the results post, just subscribe to NBN!

Pop Culture Baby Name Game, 2018

pop culture baby name game 2018

It’s Elvis Presley’s birthday* — that means it’s time to kick off the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game!

So how do you play the game? Simply brainstorm for baby names that could have gotten a boost in usage in 2018 thanks to the influence popular culture: movies, music, television, social media, video games, sports, politics, products, trends, etc.

Here are some names we can start with:

  • Araminta – movie, Crazy Rich Asians character
  • Astrid – movie, Crazy Rich Asians character
  • Avicii – music/news, the late Swedish DJ Avicii
  • Banks – celebrity baby (Hilary Duff)
  • Billion – celebrity baby (Rick Ross)
  • Braven – movie, Braven
  • Canon – celebrity baby (Stephen Curry)
  • Cardi – music, rapper Cardi B
  • Carson – sports, Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz (particularly in PA)
  • Carvena – TV, The Four: Battle for Stardom contestant
  • Chadwick – movie, Black Panther actor
  • Chevel – TV, The Voice contestant
  • Chicago – celebrity baby (Kim Kardashian & Kanye West)
  • Coco – movie, Coco
  • Cress – TV, Black Lightning actor
  • Crew – celebrity baby (Chip & Joanna Gaines)
  • Cullinan – car, Rolls-Royce Cullinan
  • Doria – news, royal wedding (Doria Ragland)
  • Dua – music, singer Dua Lipa
  • Elanese – TV, The Four: Battle for Stardom contestant
  • Ella Mai – music, singer Ella Mai
  • Garrix – music, DJ Martin Garrix
  • Gio – celebrity baby (Adam Levine & Behati Prinsloo)
  • Grayson – news, winter storm Grayson
  • Havana – music, song “Havana”
  • Hayes – celebrity babies (both Jessica Alba and Meghan King Edmonds)
  • Joji – music, singer Joji
  • Jumanji – movie, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
  • Kaavia – celebrity baby (Dwyane Wade & Gabrielle Union)
  • Kane – music, singer Kane Brown**
  • Karamo – TV, Queer Eye expert
  • Keala – music/movie, singer/actress Keala Settle (“This Is Me”)
  • Kiki – music/dance, “In My Feelings” challenge
  • Mahomes – sports, Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes
  • Majeste – TV, The Four: Battle for Stardom contestant
  • Maquia – movie, Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms
  • Meghan – news, royal wedding (Meghan Markle)
  • Mera – movie, Aquaman character
  • Miles – celebrity baby (John Legend & Chrissy Teigen)
  • Nafessa – TV, Black Lightning actress
  • Nakia – movie, Black Panther character
  • Osaka – sports, U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka – suggested by elbowin
  • Qira (Qi’ra) – movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story character
  • Rami – movie, Bohemian Rhapsody actor
  • Ramirez – video game, Fortnite character (female)
  • Reileen – TV, Altered Carbon character
  • Sharaya – TV, The Four: Battle for Stardom contestant
  • Shuri – movie, Black Panther character
  • Storm – movie, A Wrinkle in Time actress
  • Stormi – celebrity baby (Kylie Jenner)
  • Swae – music, rapper Swae Lee
  • Takeshi – TV, Altered Carbon character
  • T’challa – movie, Black Panther character
  • True – celebrity baby (Khloe Kardashian)
  • Tully – movie, Tully
  • Velar – car, Range Rover Velar
  • Venom – movie, Venom
  • Villanelle – TV, Killing Eve character
  • Wade – movies, both Ready Player One and Deadpool 2 characters
  • Xolo – Web TV, Cobra Kai actor
  • Yanny – news, the Yanny/Laurel audio clip – suggested by elbowin
  • Zhavia – TV, The Four: Battle for Stardom contestant
  • Zaytoven – music, producer Zaytoven
  • Zaxai – TV, The Voice contestant
  • Zazie – movie, Deadpool 2 actress

What other names should be on this list? Let me know by commenting below. And don’t forget to mention the pop culture influence!

I’ll post the game results in May of 2019, a few days after the SSA releases the 2018 baby name data.

If you don’t want to miss the results post, just subscribe to NBN so that you’ll be notified once it’s out.

*Elvis would have been 84 today.
**The first baby born in Richland County, OH, in 2019 was named after Kane Brown.

NBA-Inspired Baby Names

Late last year, SB Nation (the SB stands for “Sports Blogs”) ran an article on NBA-inspired baby names. I won’t summarize the whole thing here, but I will repost their graphic:

NBA baby names

And, in case it isn’t obvious..

  • Shaquille refers to Shaquille O’Neal
  • Kobe refers to Kobe Bryant
  • Kanye refers to Kanye West (he’s not in the NBA, but he did name his kid North West)
  • Carmelo refers to Carmelo Anthony
    • “The name saw a huge bump in popularity in 2011, which happens to be when Melo was traded to the Knicks. I do not think that’s a coincidence.” It’s not: the state that saw the biggest increase in the number of babies named Carmelo from 2010 to 2011 was New York, with a jump of 42 babies. Next-highest were CT and CA, both with just 15.
  • Amare refers to Amar’e Stoudemire
  • Kyrie refers to Kyrie Irving

Click below if you want to see more (including a long discussion of the name Jordan).

Source: A comprehensive guide to NBA baby names