How popular is the baby name Nwoye 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 Nwoye.

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Popularity of the baby name Nwoye

Posts that mention the name Nwoye

Where did the baby name Okoye come from in 1990?

Football player Christian Okoye
Christian Okoye

The name Okoye began popping up in the U.S. baby name data in the early 1990s:

  • 1992: 13 baby boys named Okoye
  • 1991: 16 baby boys named Okoye
  • 1990: 12 baby boys named Okoye [debut]
  • 1989: unlisted
  • 1988: unlisted

What was the influence?

Professional football player Christian Okoye (pronounced oh-KOH-yeh), the “Nigerian Nightmare,” who was a fullback for the Kansas City Chiefs for six seasons (1987-1992). He was a Pro Bowl pick following the ’89 and ’91 seasons.

Amazingly, Okoye did didn’t even start playing football until the age of 23. Born in Nigeria, he came to the U.S. in the early ’80s to compete in collegiate track and field. When Nigeria didn’t select him to be part of the country’s 1984 Olympic team, he decided to try a new sport. He joined his college’s football team in 1984 and, a mere three years later, was picked up by the Chiefs in round two of the NFL Draft.

Christian Okoye defined his surname in this video as “being born on a Sunday.” More specifically, it’s an Igbo name that refers to one of the four market days — Eke, Oye, Afor, and Nkwo — of the native Igbo week (called Izu). So, the name Okoye originally referred to a male baby born on the day Oye.

(The other day-names for males are Okeke, Okafor, and Okonkwo. Males can also be called Nweke, Nwoye, Nwafor, and Nwankwo. The female versions are Mgbeke, Mgboye, Mgbafor and Mgbankwo.)

Sources: Christian Okoye – Wikipedia, Chiefs Hall of Fame 2000s | Kansas City Chiefs –, Origin of the Four Market Days in Igboland – Society of Igbo Professionals