How popular is the baby name Masani in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Use the popularity graph and data table below to find out! Plus, see all the blog posts that mention the name Masani.

The graph will take a few moments to load. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take 9 months!) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.

Popularity of the baby name Masani

Posts that mention the name Masani

Boy names that debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 2023

lotus bud

Which boy names emerged in the U.S. baby name data in 2023 for the first time ever?

A total of 583 boy names debuted in the data last year, and the most impressive debut was made by Kaiyr. Here are the top debuts overall:

  1. Kaiyr, 40 baby boys
  2. Neteyam, 38
  3. Tulsen, 21
  4. Aire, 20
  5. Shubhdeep, 19
  6. Rhyzen, 18
  7. Aysun, 17
  8. Zakyius, 16
  9. Kalias, 15
  10. Namor, 14
  11. Takrim, 14
  12. Yeider, 14

Aire comes from a celebrity baby name-change. (In February of 2022, Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott had a baby boy initially named Wolf. In January of 2023, Kylie announced via Instagram that the baby was now called Aire — pronounced just like the word air — and his name was legally changed several months later.)

Namor is a character from the 2022 movie Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. (He’s the cousin of Namora, whose name debuted last year as well.)

Here are some more debuts:

13 baby boysAhsaias, Azaias, Azire, Syxx
12 baby boysAmiree, Elhan, Emiri, Jacaerys, Mazieon
11 baby boysAzaylion, Chrome, Deivis, Iceland, Jahani, Jeyler, Kaizir, Kassaius, Khozen, Muhammadyasin, Rizen, Shedeur, Yeiler
10 baby boysEthic, Hassiah, Jazaire, Keyder, Masani, Shritik, Yoridan

College football player Shedeur Sanders drew people’s attention to the obscure biblical name Shedeur last year. I have to imagine a lot of the usage was in Colorado, as Shedeur is the quarterback of the Colorado Buffaloes. (His famous father, Deion Sanders, is the Buffaloes’ head coach.)

Finally, here’s a sampling of the rest of the debuts:

  • 9 baby boys: Aemond, Jesser, Kervenson, Rookie, Yefry
  • 8 baby boys: Anirved, Bakhari, Forge, Irham, Kazari, Khimir, Noen, Roic, Royalton, Thorfinn
  • 7 baby boys: Access, Daecari, Essiel, Izir, Jerze, Kaziel, Mezekiah, Nine, Omavi, Riggsley, Rza, Sullen, Varrick, Viserys, Yoakin
  • 6 baby boys: Ahzai, Aider, Bolt, Camoni, Deriam, Divino, Etson, Everyx, Jakoa, Kotah, Leonhart, Maazin, Murillo, Nkai, Olympus, Richarlison, Rifton, Safa, Valens
  • 5 baby boys: Alador, Atigun, Bayou, Bregman, Camino, Damazi, Dawensley, Endry, Ezdan, Franciel, Gudiel, Hazer, Islo, Jhonjairo, Kasden, Menua, Mictlan, Nyte, Oviyan, Pine, Remzi, Sviatoslav, Tecuani, Trophy, Widley, Yasani, Zusha

Thorfinn is a character in the Japanese anime Vinland Saga, and Varrick might come from a character in The Legend of Korra.

Rza comes from celebrity baby RZA, the son of Rihanna and ASAP Rocky. He was born in May of 2022, but his name — inspired by Wu-Tang rapper RZA, whose stage name is pronounced RIZ-uh — wasn’t revealed until May of 2023.

Viserys comes from a character in the TV series House of the Dragon.

Murillo and Richarlison are professional soccer players (both originally from Brazil).

Bregman is likely from baseball player Alex Bregman, who helped the Houston Astros win the World Series in late 2022. My guess is that the usage was mostly (perhaps entirely?) in Texas.

(A few extra facts: Atigun is a river in Alaska, Mictlan is the “land of the dead” in Aztec mythology, and Tecuani is a Nahuatl word often translated as “jaguar,” though it can refer to any non-human creature that bites.)

If you can explain any of the other debuts, please leave a comment!

Sources: SSA, Wikipedia, Online Nahuatl Dictionary

Image: Adapted from LotusBud0048a (public domain) by Frank “Fg2” Gualtieri

Name change: Nzingha

Nzingha Motisla Masani was given her African name at a naming ceremony in 1974. Many friends and family members disapproved of (or simply didn’t acknowledge) her name change, but some of the people she encountered strongly approved:

I got my name changed while I was working for a politician, and I went to a lot of community meetings. And I got up one night at this ninety-five percent Polish meeting. I told them proudly that, “Please do not call me by my old name, my birth name. I’m proud to tell everyone that my new name is Nzinga Motisla Masani.” […] And they gave me a standing ovation. Well a lot of the Polish people came up to me after the meeting and they had to immediately change their name when they got here in order to get a job, or in order to fit into society. They admired me for doing it and they said that some of what I said to them motivated them to tell their children the importance of their history and the importance of your name.

I don’t know what her birth name was, unfortunately.

Sources: Nzingha Masani and Noah Hairston – StoryCorps, StoryCorps Griot: Back to Her Roots

Where did the baby name Dasani come from in 1999?

Dasani water bottles

Bottled water became increasingly trendy in the U.S. during the final decades of the 20th century. It wasn’t until the mid-to-late ’90s, though, that major players in the beverage industry finally hopped on the bandwagon: Pepsi launched Aquafina in 1994, and Coca-Cola followed with Dasani in 1999.

While I’ve never seen “Aquafina” used as a human name, Dasani popped up in the U.S. baby name data right on cue in 1999. In fact, in was a rare dual-gender debut that year:

Girls named DasaniBoys named Dasani
*Debut, †Peak usage

The name, which saw peak usage in the early 2000s, also gave rise to a bunch of variants (Dasany, Dasanii, Desani) and soundalikes (Asani, Masani, Jasani, Tasani, Kasani, Sani).

What does the word Dasani mean? Here’s the official answer, straight from the 1999 version of the Dasani website (archived via the Wayback Machine):

People are having a lot of fun guessing the origin of the name DASANI. One Coca-Cola executive jokingly said it sounded like a “Roman god of water.” Actually, the name DASANI is an original creation. Consumer testing showed that the name is relaxing and suggests pureness and replenishment.

Similarly, an article from early 1999 explained that “the name Dasani isn’t derived from any existing word, English or foreign, but is meant to evoke the idea of freshness and purity.”

What are your thoughts on the baby name Dasani?


P.S. I have seen Aquafina used as a stage name: Awkwafina (born Nora Lum).

P.P.S. Other dual-gender debuts include Chaffee, Dondi, Illya, Rikishi, Shelva, and Sundown.

How did “Names From Africa” influence baby names in the 1970s?

The book "Names from Africa" (1972)
“Names from Africa”

A few months back, commenter Becca mentioned the book Names From Africa (1972) by Ogonna Chuks-orji. This was one of the first baby name books in the U.S. to focus on African names exclusively.

I haven’t yet read it in full, but Ebony ran an article in mid-1977 about African-American naming traditions (a few months after Roots first aired) and included a selection of names from the book.

I’ve included the names below, but first here’s a snippet of the article:

Then came the ’60s and ’70s and the rejection of assimilation efforts. Cultural nationalism and separatism replaced integration and Afro-Americans changed their names to reflect their new consciousness. The name of people of African descent as a whole was changed from Negro or colored to Black or Afro-American to reflect an aggressive pride in the African heritage, and an affirmation of the validity of self-defined identity. Africa became a source of names. Very Anglo-Saxon or exotic European names were changed to African names–usually Swahili names with meanings pertinent to the struggle. African leaders, past and present, like Shaka, Kwame Nkrumah and Sekou Toure, began to provide the heroic, strong, inspirational names. The eclectic choice of African names reflects the Pan-Africanist orientation of the Afro-American identity.

Here are all the girl names:

Female African Names, from Ebony Magazine, 1977

According to the SSA data, some of the these girl names saw higher usage as baby names thanks to the article:

The names Habibah, Ifetayo, Masani, and Ramla saw no significant movement in the data. The names Abayomi and Ode have only appeared in the data only as a boy names (…though Abayomi did see peak usage in ’77). The other names (Akwokwo, Bayo, Chucki, Dada, Folayan, Hembadoon, Ifama, Ige, Kambo, Mawusi, Oseye, Pasua, Quibilah, Serwa and Sigolwide) have never been in the data at all, as of this writing.

And here are all the boy names:

Male African Names, from Ebony Magazine, 1977

And here are the boy names that saw higher usage as baby names thanks to the article:

  • Abdalla – increased usage in ’77
  • Abubakar – debuted in 1977
  • Hasani – peak usage in ’77
  • Hashim – increased usage in ’77
  • Idi – one-hit wonder in 1977 (and the name of infamous Ugandan president Idi Amin)
  • Kamau – increased usage in ’77
  • Kefentse – one-hit wonder in 1977
  • Khalfani – increased usage in ’77
  • Kontar – one-hit wonder in 1977
  • Kwasi – peak usage in ’77
  • Lateef – peak usage in ’77
  • Makalani – one-hit wonder in 1977 (Makalani also happens to mean “heavenly eyes” or “eyes of heaven” in Hawaiian)
  • Mensah – debuted in 1977
  • Nuru – debuted in 1977

The names Ade, Ahmed, Azikiwe, Bobo, Habib, Jabulani, Lukman, Nizam, N’Namdi, N’Nanna, and Oba saw no significant movement in the data.

The other names (Bwerani, Chionesu, Chiumbo, Dingane, Dunsimi, Fudail, Gamba, Gogo, Gowon, Gwandoya, Kamuzu, Lumo, Machupa*, Mbwana, Mongo, Mosegi, Mwamba and Nangwaya) have never been in the data at all.

*I was very curious about the definition of Machupa, “likes to drink.” Turns out it’s not alcohol-related; another book on African names specifies that the root of Machupa is probably chupa, a Kiswahili word meaning “bottle.”


  • Stewart, Julia. African Names: Names from the African Continent for Children and Adults. New York: Citadel Press, 1993.
  • Walker, Sheila S. “What’s in a Name?Ebony Jun. 1977: 74+.