How popular is the baby name Puma 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 Puma.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Puma

Posts that Mention the Name Puma

Name quotes #119: Ivan, Eva, Kelly

Czech hockey player Ivan Ivan
“Ivan Ivan Ivan” (typo)

Welcome to May! Here’s this month’s batch of name-related quotes.

From a 2022 article in Sporting News about young Czech hockey player Ivan Ivan:

Ivan Ivan, a Czechia forward who has the same first and last name, took the hockey world by storm last December when he was on the team’s roster at the canceled World Juniors. While a graphic from December stating that his name was Ivan Ivan Ivan caused a stir, it’s unfortunately just Ivan Ivan.

(“Ivan Ivan” is a reduplicated name.)

In a 2022 interview with The Telegraph, English lyricist Sir Tim Rice was asked to recall his ‘best day’:

When my first child, Eva, was born in 1975, although you don’t think of these things in a league table of great events. We named her after Eva Perón, but also because Eva is a good old English name.

(Rice, who became interested in the life of Eva Perón in the early 1970s, later collaborated with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber to create the Perón-inspired musical Evita, which opened in 1978.)

From the 2018 article “Oscar, Marcus, Casper, Cora: Companies are using human names to seem more friendly” in the Los Angeles Times:

Over the last few years, a crowd of new companies has emerged across tech, finance and health sporting a first-name brand. Oscar, Alfred, Lola — they have the look and feel of a friend, a colleague, maybe even your cat. And that’s the point: Make a connection with consumers that even Carnegie would appreciate.


The strategy seems to be working. Research shows that the more simple and human-sounding the name, the greater the company’s success.


The name game isn’t so much about the products or services being sold. It’s a subconscious approach to branding that borders on anthropomorphizing a company.

(I stumbled upon this one while doing research for a request post.)

From a January 2013 article about the divorce of Kelly Hildebrandt and Kelly Hildebrandt — one a male from Texas, the other a female from Florida:

The tale of the two Kellys began in February 2009, when Kelly Katrina Hildebrandt, of Coral Springs, found the Facebook profile of her future spouse. She saw that they had the exact same first and last name and sent him a friendly greeting to note their shared name.

They started having online exchanges and three weeks later, male Kelly, then 24, traveled from Texas to South Florida to meet female Kelly, then 20. They hit it off immediately and got engaged.

NBC 6 first reported about the Kellys in July 2009, and their story soon after went worldwide.

(My favorite line from the piece: “Male Kelly said he would be reluctant to marry anyone with the same name again.”)

From a GMA3 TikTok video featuring actress Rachel Zegler (born in 2001):

My [older] sister’s name is Jacqueline, and my parents originally wanted to name me Catherine, but they thought it would get a little bit confusing, cause they sound very similar. And my mom’s a big Friends fan, and thought that the name Rachel, for Jennifer Aniston’s character, sounded very beautiful on TV. And that is why I was named Rachel.

From a 2008 interview with Erykah Badu (whose daughter, Puma, was born in 2004):

The puma is one of the biggest and strongest cats in the feline family, but it has no roar. I thought that was very unique.

(Thanks to Badu, the name Erykah was the highest-debuting girl name of 1997.)

Want to see more quotes about names? Check out the name quotes category.

Where did the baby name Erykah come from in 1997?

Erykah Badu's debut album "Baduizm" (1997).
Erykah Badu album

The baby name Erykah saw its highest-ever usage in 1997 — the same year it first appeared in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1999: 130 baby girls named Erykah
  • 1998: 276 baby girls named Erykah [rank: 780th]
  • 1997: 279 baby girls named Erykah [rank: 757th] [debut]
  • 1996: unlisted
  • 1995: unlisted

It was the top debut name of the year. Not only that, but it also managed to rank inside the girls’ top 1,000 both that year and the next.

Here’s a visual:

Graph of the usage of the baby name Erykah in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Erykah

Similar names saw higher usage in 1997 as well. Eryka and Eryk got a boost, while Arykah, Derykah, Terykah, and Jerykah all debuted. (Those last two ended up being one-hit wonders.)

What was influencing all these names?

Neo-soul singer-songwriter Erykah Badu.

Her debut single “On & On” (1996) peaked at #12 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart in early 1997. It went on to win the Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance the following year.

Her debut studio album, Baduizm (1997), also won a Grammy.

Badu was born Erica Wright in Texas in 1971. She began going by the name “Erykah Badu” as a teenager.

She altered the spelling of her first name to incorporate the Egyptian term kah, which she defined as “inner self.” (In ancient Egypt, the ka, or “life force,” was one of the three elements of the soul.)

And her new surname? “Badu comes from a jazz riff that I sing: ba-du, ba-du…,” she told English television host Julian “Jools” Holland in June of 1997.

What are your thoughts on the name Erykah? How about Erica? (What’s your preferred spelling of the name?)


P.S. Erykah’s three children — one son and two daughters — are named Seven Sirius (b. 1997), Puma Sabti (b. 2004), and Mars Merkaba (b. 2009).