How popular is the baby name Khiry 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 Khiry.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Khiry


Posts that Mention the Name Khiry

Top boy-name debuts of all time in the U.S. baby name data (1-10)

blue bow

The final installment of the top baby name debuts for boys!

10 to 1:

Unnamed, #10

Jahiem, #9

  • Jahiem debuted with 155 baby boys in 2001.
    Inspired by rapper Jaheim.

Khiry, #8

  • Khiry debuted with 159 baby boys in 1989.
    Inspired by singer Khiry Abdulsamad, a member of The Boys.

Shyheim, #7

  • Shyheim debuted with 168 baby boys in 1994.
    Inspired by rapper Shyheim.

Cordero, #6

  • Cordero debuted with 173 baby boys in 1986.
    Inspired by Cordero Roberts, a character on the soap opera One Life to Live.

Yurem, #5

  • Yurem debuted with 206 baby boys in 2007.
    Inspired by Yurem Rojas, winner of the reality TV show Buscando a Timbiriche, La Nueva Banda.

Kunta, #4

  • Kunta debuted with 215 baby boys in 1977.
    Inspired by Kunta Kinte, a character on the TV miniseries Roots.

Levar, #3

  • Levar debuted with 523 baby boys in 1977.
    Inspired by LeVar Burton, an actor in the TV miniseries Roots.

Nakia, #2

  • Nakia debuted with 611 baby boys in 1974.
    Inspired by Nakia Parker, a character on the TV movie/show Nakia.

Christop, #1

  • Christop debuted with 1,082 baby boys in 1989.
    Not inspired by anything — just part of the great baby name glitch of 1989.

And there it is! The top boy name debuts ever, so far. Did any of the names this week surprise you?

More of the top 50 baby name debuts for boys: 50-41, 40-31, 30-21, 20-11, 10-1

[Latest update: 7/2021]

Top debut names in the U.S. baby name data, 1881 to today

flower bud

Though vast majority of the baby names on the Social Security Administration’s yearly baby name lists are repeats, every list does contain a handful of brand-new names.

Below are the highest-charting debut names for every single year on record, after the first.

Why bother with an analysis like this? Because debut names often have cool stories behind them, and high-hitting debuts are especially likely to have intriguing explanations tied to historical people/events. So this is more than a list of names — it’s also a list of stories.

Here’s the format: “Girl name(s), number of baby girls; Boy name(s), number of baby boys.” Keep in mind that the raw numbers aren’t too trustworthy for about the first six decades, though. (More on that in a minute.)

  • 1881: Adell & Celeste, 14; Brown & Newell, 14
  • 1882: Verda, 14; Cleve, 13
  • 1883: Laurel, 12; Brady, Festus, Jewell, Odell & Rosco, 8
  • 1884: Crystal & Rubie, 11; Benjamen, Jens, Oakley & Whitney, 9
  • 1885: Clotilde, 13; Arley & Terence, 9
  • 1886: Manuelita, 10; Terrence, 10
  • 1887: Verlie, 13; Myles, 11
  • 1888: Ebba, 18; Carlisle, Hughie & Orvel, 9
  • 1889: Garnett, 12; Doyle, 9
  • 1890: Verena, 11; Eduardo & Maggie, 10
  • 1891: Gayle, Idabelle & Zenia, 9; Sheridan, 14
  • 1892: Astrid, Dallas & Jennett, 9; Corbett, 23
  • 1893: Elmyra, 12; Estel, Mayo, Shelley & Thorwald, 8
  • 1894: Beatriz, Carola & Marrie, 9; Arvel, Erby & Floy, 8
  • 1895: Trilby, 12; Roosevelt, 12
  • 1896: Lotus, 11; Hazen, 11
  • 1897: Dewey, 13; Bryon, Frankie, Mario & Rhoda, 7
  • 1898: Manilla, 35; Hobson, 38
  • 1899: Ardis & Irva, 19; Haven, 9
  • 1900: Luciel, 14; Rosevelt, 20
  • 1901: Venita, 11; Eino, 9
  • 1902: Mercie, 10; Clarnce, 9
  • 1903: Estela, 11; Lenon & Porfirio, 7
  • 1904: Magdaline, 9; Adrain, Arbie, Betty, Desmond, Domenic, Duard, Raul & Severo, 8
  • 1905: Oliver, 9; Eliot & Tyree, 9
  • 1906: Nedra, 11; Domenico & Ryan, 10
  • 1907: Theta, 20; Taft, 16
  • 1908: Pasqualina, 10; Robley, 12
  • 1909: Wilmoth, 9; Randal & Vidal, 9
  • 1910: Ellouise, 12; Halley, 12
  • 1911: Thurley, 12; Colie, 16
  • 1912: Elynor, Glennis, Mariann, 12; Woodroe, 25
  • 1913: Wilba, 18; Vilas, 24
  • 1914: Floriene, 14; Torao, 17
  • 1915: Wanza, 33; Audra, 18
  • 1916: Tatsuko, 14; Verdun, 14
  • 1917: Nerine, 43; Delwyn, 14
  • 1918: Marne, 24; Foch, 58
  • 1919: Tokie, 12; Juaquin, 11
  • 1920: Dardanella, 23; Steele, 11
  • 1921: Marilynne, 13; Norberto, 14
  • 1922: Evelean, 14; Daren, 35
  • 1923: Nalda, 15; Clinard & Dorland, 9
  • 1924: Charis, 14; Melquiades, 13
  • 1925: Irmalee, 37; Wayburn, 11
  • 1926: Narice, 13; Bibb, 14
  • 1927: Sunya, 14; Bidwell, 14
  • 1928: Joreen, 22; Alfread & Brevard, 9
  • 1929: Jeannene, 25; Donnald, Edsol, Rhys & Wolfgang, 8
  • 1930: Laquita, 68; Shogo, 11
  • 1931: Joanie, 12; Rockne, 17
  • 1932: Carolann, Delano & Jenine, 11; Alvyn, Avelardo, Elena, Mannon & Wenford, 7
  • 1933: Gayleen, 23; Skippy, 10
  • 1934: Carollee & Janean, 12; Franchot, 9
  • 1935: Treasure, 16; Haile, 11
  • 1936: Shelva, 89; Renny & Shelva, 9

This is where the numbers start becoming more accurate. Why? Because “many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, so their names are not included in our data.” (SSA)

Now back to the list:

I’ve already written about some of the names above, and I plan to write about all the others as well…eventually. In the meanwhile, if you want to beat me to it and leave a comment about why Maverick hit in 1957, or why Moesha hit in 1996, feel free!

*If you ignore the baby name glitch of 1989, the top debut names of 1989 are actually Audreanna and Khiry.

Image by kazuend from Unsplash

How did (H)akeem Olajuwon influence baby names?

Hakeem Olajuwon
Hakeem Olajuwon

Akeem Olajuwon emigrated from Nigeria to play basketball at the University of Houston from 1980 to 1984. He then played professional basketball from 1984 to 2002 — half of that time as Akeem, the other half of that time as Hakeem. (He changed the spelling of his first name in 1991.)

How did Olajuwon’s successful career affect the popularity of the baby names Akeem, Hakeem and Olajuwon? Let’s check it out…

AkeemHakeemOlajuwon
200356865
200265839
20016311511
2000771328
19996113415
19989719416
199711622624
199614624126
1995*17424754
1994*22226458
199324216616
199232520018
199141924124
199057027222
198945927919
19882216517
19871785523
19862832952
19851603622
19842545019
19831923515*
19823222.
1981831.
*Debut

*These are the two years Olajuwon led the Houston Rockets to NBA championships.

So, why did Olajuwon change the spelling of his first name?

“It’s no big deal,” Olajuwon says. “I just want to go back to using the original spelling, the way it is meant to be spelled in Arabic.”

According to Olajuwon, “Hakeem,” in Arabic, means “a wise man; a doctor.”

But “Akeem,” which is the way it’s been spelled since he arrived in the United States in 1981, has no translation.

What does Olajuwon’s surname mean? According to NBA.com, Olajuwon means “always being on top.” In every Yoruba name that starts with Ola- that I’ve come across, though, Ola- means “wealth.” So I don’t know about that NBA definition. (I also don’t know what -juwon might mean.)

Finally, did you notice how the usage of Akeem and Hakeem jumped from 1988 to 1989, but the usage of Olajuwon stayed the same? The main inspiration here was Hakim of R&B group The Boys, which had a few hit singles out around this time. In fact, the names of all four of The Boys — Khiry, Hakim, Tajh & Bilal — got a boost in 1989.

Update, 9/5/2021: I think Jamie’s theory about the name Akeem getting a boost in 1989 from the 1988 movie Coming to America — in which comedian Eddie Murphy plays lead character Prince Akeem Joffer of the (fictional) African nation Zamunda — makes perfect sense! Off to add it to the timeline

Sources: