How popular is the baby name Nubia 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 Nubia.

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Popularity of the baby name Nubia

Posts that mention the name Nubia

African nations as baby names


During the ’60s and ’70s, a slew of Africa-inspired baby names debuted in the U.S. baby name data. These included traditional African names (e.g., Abayomi, Ayanna), names taken from African and African-American public figures (e.g., Lumumba, Levar), and — the focus of today’s post — African place names, particularly country names.

Here are all the African country/region/kingdom names I’ve spotted in the SSA data so far. (I didn’t omit Chad, even though it coincides with the English name Chad.)

NameDebut yearPeak usage
Chad191413,400 baby boys in 1972
Tunisia1943 (due to WWII)39 baby girls in 1974
Rwanda19515 baby girls in both 1951 & 1973
Kenya1952894 baby girls in 1973
Sahara1964248 baby girls in both 2006 & 2007
Rhodesia196612 baby girls in 1977
Mali196765 baby girls in 2008
Tanzania196838 baby girls in 1992
Africa196976 baby girls in 1972
Biafra1969 (due to Biafra being in the news; the Biafran War lasted from 1967 to 1970)5 baby girls in 1969; one-hit wonder
Ghana19697 baby girls in 1969
Tanganyika196916 baby girls in 1972
Nubia196983 baby girls in 1969
Ashanti19702,945 baby girls in 2002 (due to the singer)
Uganda197312 baby girls in 1973
Algeria19746 baby girls in both 1993 & 1995
Libya19748 baby girls in 2011
Zaire1974316 baby boys in 2017
Egypt1975266 baby girls in 2017
Nigeria197558 baby girls in 2000
Niger19769 baby girls in both 1976 & 1977
Somalia197743 baby girls in 1993
Zimbabwe1981 (maybe inspired by the Bob Marley song “Zimbabwe“?)5 baby boys in 1981; one-hit wonder
Sudan19825 baby boys in both 1982 & 1995
Eritrea1991 (due to Eritrea being in the news; the Eritrean War of Independence ended in 1991)5 baby girls in 1991; one-hit wonder
Asmara1993 (due to Asmara being in the news; it became the capital of independent Eritrea in 1993)13 baby girls in 2013
Morocco200519 baby boys in 2017

Only five of the above did not either debut or see peak usage during the 1960s/1970s.

Source: SSA

Image: Adapted from Africa (satellite image) (NASA)

Where did the baby name Jomanda come from in 1991?

Jomanda's album "Someone to Love Me" (1990)
Jomanda album

The name Jomanda appeared in the U.S. baby name data for a string of four years during the early 1990s:

  • 1995: unlisted
  • 1994: 6 baby girls named Jomanda
  • 1993: 10 baby girls named Jomanda
  • 1992: 5 baby girls named Jomanda
  • 1991: 6 baby girls named Jomanda [debut]
  • 1990: unlisted

The similar name Jamanda was in the data even longer, from 1989 to 1994.

The origin of both names? A female R&B vocal trio called Jomanda.

They scored their first hit in 1989 with “Make My Body Rock (Feel It),” which climbed to #6 on Billboard‘s Dance Club Songs chart.

Later on, they reached #1 on that chart twice: first with “Got a Love For You” in mid-1991, then with “Don’t You Want Me” in early 1993.

“Got a Love For You” even managed to reach #40 on the Hot 100 during the summer of 1991, officially making it a Top 40 song. Here’s the video:

I don’t know the origin of the name “Jomanda,” but one of the group members was named Joanne — that could have been an influence. (The other two were named Cheri and Renee.)

Do you like the name Jomanda? Would you use it?

Sources: Jomanda – Wikipedia, Jomanda – Billboard

P.S. The baby name Nubia saw peak usage in 1993 — the year Jomanda’s second album, Nubia Soul, was released.