How popular is the baby name Pilar 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 Pilar.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Pilar


Posts that Mention the Name Pilar

Where did the baby name Aissa come from in 1961?

Celebrity daughter Aissa on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine (March 1961).
Aissa on Cosmo cover (Mar. 1961)

The relatively rare name Aissa started appearing in the U.S. data in the early 1960s:

  • 1963: unlisted
  • 1962: 5 baby girls named Aissa
  • 1961: 6 baby girls named Aissa [debut]
  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: unlisted

The reason?

Looks to be John Wayne’s daughter Aissa (pronounced ie-EES-ah), who was born in 1956 had a short acting career in the early 1960s. Her first and most notable role was that of Lisa Angelina Dickinson in the movie The Alamo (1960).

Photographs of Aissa also occasionally appeared in the newspapers. Perhaps the most prominent photo of her was the one on cover of Cosmopolitan magazine in March of 1961. It was their “diamond jubilee issue” (marking their 75th year in print) and, according to the caption, Aissa was “wearing $850,000 in Cartier diamonds.”

Aissa’s mother was John Wayne’s third wife, Pilar, and her two full siblings were named John Ethan and Marisa.

I know the story behind John Ethan’s middle name — it came from the character John Wayne played in The Searchers (the movie that launched Pippa) — but I don’t know the story behind “Aissa.” Perhaps the Waynes found it in the 1951 movie Outcast of the Islands, which featured an exotic character named Aissa (played by French actress Kerima)…?

In terms of etymology, “Aissa” comes from the French name Aïssa, which is based on the Arabic name Isa, a form of Jesus.

The name saw peak usage in the U.S. in the early 1990s:

  • 1994: 10 baby girls named Aissa
  • 1993: 20 baby girls named Aissa
  • 1992: 58 baby girls named Aissa [peak]
  • 1991: 20 baby girls named Aissa
  • 1990: 11 baby girls named Aissa

Aissa Wayne’s name was in the news a lot during 1992 due to legal troubles. In April, she testified in court against her ex-husband (a physician who had hired two assailants to attack her in 1988 amid their child custody battle). The ex-husband was convicted in May and sentenced in July. In December, Aissa won full custody of their 5-year-old daughter, Anastasia Pilar.

What are your thoughts on the name Aissa/Aïssa?

Sources:

P.S. Here are several more “delayed” celebrity baby name debuts, i.e., celebrity baby-inspired names that didn’t appear on the charts at the time of birth.

P.P.S. John Wayne’s second wife was named Esperanza, nicknamed Chata. His first was named Josephine.

Pi-names for Pi Day (3/14)

Pi Day pie

In mathematics, pi — the ratio of the diameter of a circle to its circumference — is a constant roughly equal to 3.14159. That means today, 3/14, is pi day!

What baby names start with Pi-? There are a bunch, but only a handful start with that same “pie” sound:

Other Pi- names that start with a different sound include:

Pia/Pio
Piedad
Pier
Pierce
Piero/Piera
Pierre
Pierrick
Pieter
Pietro/Pietra
Pihu
Pina/Pino
Pinchas
Pink/Pinkie
Piotr
Pip
Pippin
Pippa
Pilar
Piritta
Pixie
Piyush

What’s your favorite Pi- name?

Arrr! Baby names for “Talk Like a Pirate” Day

Pirate Flag

Avast! Did you know that today is Talk Like a Pirate Day?

“Arrr” itself doesn’t make a great name — even for pirates — but here’s the next best thing: over 120 names that feature the “ar”-sound.

Araminta
Arcadia
Arden
Aretha
Aria
Arianna
Arlene
Arlette
Artemis
Barbara
Barbie
Carla
Carlene
Carley
Carmel
Carmella
Carmen
Charlene
Charlotte
Charmaine
Darcy
Daria
Darla
Darlene
Gardenia
Harbor
Harlow
Harmony
Hildegarde
Karla
Katarina
Larisa
Mara
Marcella
Marcia
Margaret
Margot, Margaux
Maria
Mariah
Mariana
Marie
Marina
Mariska
Marissa
Marjorie
Marla
Marlena
Marlene
Marley
Marnie
Marta
Martha
Marva
Martina
Narcissa
Parthenia
Pilar
Rosario
Scarlett
Skylar
Starla
Arcadio
Archer
Archibald
Archie
Ari
Arlo
Arnold
Arsenio
Arthur
Balthazar
Barnaby
Barton
Bernard (…Bernarr?)
Carl
Carlisle
Carlton
Carson
Carter
Carver
Charles
Clark
Dario
Darius
Darwin
Edgar
Edward
Finbar
Garfield
Gerard
Gunnar
Hardy
Harley
Harper
Harvey
Howard
Karl
Lars
Larson
Lazarus
Leonard
Marcel
Marcellus
Mario
Marius
Marc, Mark
Marcus, Markus
Marlow
Marshall
Martin
Marvin
Nazario
Oscar
Parker
Richard
Stewart, Stuart
Ward
Warner
Warren
Warrick
Willard
Yardley

Which of the “ar”-names above do you like best? Did I miss any good ones?

Additions, 9/20:

Unusual baby names from Marian titles

We all know of baby names that come from Marian titles — names like Fátima, Lourdes, Dolores, Guadalupe, Carmel, Pilar, Milagros, Mercedes, Luz, Consolata, Consuelo, Corazón, Loreto, Remedios, and so on.

Well, I discovered three more the other day that were brand new to me.

The first was Chiquinquirá, which I learned about through a Gawker post (of all places). The name belongs to TV personality María Chiquinquirá Delgado Díaz of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Her name was inspired by La Virgen de Chiquinquirá, patroness of Colombia, of the Peruvian city of Caraz, and of the Venezuelan state of Zulia (which is where Maracaibo is located).

This discovery inspired me to seek out other rare Marian title-names (rare for the U.S., anyway). I ended up finding two more: Suyapa and Lasalette.

Suyapa comes from La Virgen de Suyapa, patroness of Honduras. (Suyapa is a suburb of Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras.) I found a few dozen instances of this name both on the SSA’s baby name lists and in the SSDI.

Lasalette comes from Our Lady of La Salette, a Marian apparition that occurred in France in the mid-1800s. I knew of the apparition, but I’d never realized La Salette was used as a name until I checked the SSDI and found three Lasalettes.

You learn something new every day, I guess. :)