How popular is the baby name Sioux 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 Sioux.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Sioux


Posts that Mention the Name Sioux

Baby name story: Cheyenne

Cheyenne helicopter

A few years ago, a San Francisco newspaper ran a profile of fallen soldier Sgt. Cheyenne Willey (1969-2005), who’d died in combat near Baghdad. The profile noted that Cheyenne had been “[n]amed for the helicopter that helped his father out of a scrape in Vietnam.”

That helicopter must have been the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne attack helicopter, which was used by the Army in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

(This story makes me wonder if the baby name Sioux, which started popping up in the U.S. data in the ’50s, wasn’t influenced by the Korean War’s “Angel of Mercy” Bell H-13 Sioux helicopter.)

Source: “Profiles of the Lost.” East Bay Times 14 Mar. 2010.

How did “Jeopardy!” influence baby names?

jeopardy, game show

Last week, Becca commented with some interesting Jeopardy! contestant names (e.g., Hobie, Dorcas) and mentioned J! Archive, which lists tens of thousands of Jeopardy! contestants going back to 1984, when the show premiered.

I skimmed through all the contestants from 1984 to 2015 (as we don’t have baby name data for 2016 yet) and spotted hundreds of unusual names. And it looks like at least two of them got a boost thanks to the show:

Alancia

The name Alancia was a one-hit wonder that popped up in the U.S. baby name data in 2000:

  • 2002: unlisted
  • 2001: unlisted
  • 2000: 9 baby girls named Alancia [debut]
  • 1999: unlisted
  • 1998: unlisted

One-time player Alancia Wynn, a family practice physician from Virginia, was on Jeopardy! in October of 1999.

Brannon

The name Brannon saw an increase in usage in 1998:

  • 2000: 116 baby boys named Brannon
  • 1999: 118 baby boys named Brannon
  • 1998: 158 baby boys named Brannon [peak]
  • 1997: 113 baby boys named Brannon
  • 1996: 114 baby boys named Brannon

One-time player Brannon Denning, a graduate student from Connecticut, was on Jeopardy! in September of 1998. (Looks like Brannon Denning is now a law professor at Samford University.)

Alaric & Ezgi …?

These two names may have gotten a slight boost as well, though it’s hard to tell.

  • Alaric, in 2005. One-time player Alaric Smith was on the show in October of 2005.
  • Ezgi, in 2015. One-time player Ezgi Ustundag was on the show in October of 2015.

Ezgi is a female name that means “melody” in Turkish.

Anjali (false positive)

“Kids Week” contestant Anjali Tripathi was on the show in September of 1999. The same year, the baby name Anjali more than doubled in usage:

  • 2001: 222 baby girls named Anjali
  • 2000: 230 baby girls named Anjali
  • 1999: 202 baby girls named Anjali
  • 1998: 93 baby girls named Anjali
  • 1997: 80 baby girls named Anjali

But this was a suspiciously steep rise. And it was accompanied by the debut of an alternate spelling (Anjalie). And usage didn’t drop back to normal levels the next year, as one would expect. These facts pointed me to something more high-profile than a Jeopardy! contestant.

Turns out the very successful Hindi coming-of-age romantic comedy Kuch Kuch Hota Hai had been released in 1998. The movie featured not one but two main characters named Anjali.

More names!

Here are the rest of the names that caught my eye, sorted by year:

  • 2015: Chandreyi, Dava-Leigh, Desta, Ezgi, Kynan, Mags, Praggya, Rook, Tiombi
  • 2014: Ben-Hur, Dinu, FeiFei, Gudrun, Ilissa, Kenesha, LaWanda, Leszek, Mariusz, Myfanwy, Osei, Shloka, Sirena
  • 2013: Arne, Berek, Diva, Kelton, Kinu, Nilai, Nishanth, Ramsin, Rhea, Salvo, Shuli, Sonrisa, Tahne, Twyla, Waymond, Xan, Yellowlees
  • 2012: Anshika, Benton, Bing, Deniz, Injee, Jessamine, Jia-Rui, Mithun, Pian, Shaanti,
    Vamsi, Vinayak
  • 2011: Bhibha, Boomie, Cosi, Gabor, Gitta, Idrees, Karawan, LuEllen, Milind, Raphie
  • 2010: Huat, Kemi, Marianthe, Raghuveer, Shaama, Surabhi
  • 2009: Ariella, Claxton, Cyn, Daphna, Drusha, Hayes, Henok, Jove, Lysette, Nirav, Ranjan, Seyi, Shyra, Tui (TOO-ee), Wright
  • 2008: Anurag, Babatope, Delano, Elza, Gilah, Kew, Murtaza, Naren, Srinivas, Vibin, Zia
  • 2007: Arlynda, Bethlehem, Clé, Haritha, Khoa, Kai-Ning, Kizzle, Lateefah, Lenzy, Marvene, Mehrun, Ssezi, Tigger, Toho, Tope
  • 2006: Dianisbeth, Iddoshe, Karmie, Lizard, Nemanja, Nissan, Oz, Ozgun, Papa, Pinki, Raena, Reda, Sioux, Tawney
  • 2005: Alaric, Corinth, Jayanth, Kem, Kingslea, LeeAundra, Ruchi, Ruvani, Vanamali
  • 2004: Denele, Kermin, M’Liss, Nithya
  • 2003: Alicen, Amasa, Eok, Freya, Nulty, Snowden, Vane
  • 2002: Anagha, Dileep, Gadi, Hikma, Jara, Kirik, Kunle, Manoj, Muzy (MYOO-zee), Omid, Quyen, Rafi, Seveen, Shasa, Tana, Umiko
  • 2001: Aki, Babu, Gosia, Marek, Mittie, Neha, Ulhas, Vinita
  • 2000: Akshai, Arrington, Celiane, Cinnamon, Iyesatu, Jeeks, Manx, Meri-Jane, Mitali, Sabin, Tarun
  • 1999: Ajuan, Alancia, Anjali, Chacko, Davine, Happy, Mihee, Seale, Wellington, Yancy, Yoni
  • 1998: Ardys, Brannon, Creswell, Kemp, Melizza, Sinan
  • 1998: Boze, Jolyn, Rokshana
  • 1997: Akiva, Atish, Breck, Brick, Davia, Girish, Mita, Murat, Pooja, Sahir, Tanis, Vartan, Zinie
  • 1996: Myretta, Rima, Ulf, Vandana
  • 1995: Albina
  • 1994: Graydon
  • 1993: Bronwyn, Ferris, Leif
  • 1991: India, Kareem
  • 1990: Ardwight, Avrom, Murdock, Peji
  • 1989: Darbi, Ouida
  • 1988: Blaze, Cigus, Doak, Scooter
  • 1987: JoFrannye
  • 1986: Chub, Zanete

Which of the above names do you like best?

P.S. Thanks again, Becca!

How did “High Hat” influence baby names?

Newspaper advertisement for the serialized story "High Hat" (1930)
High Hat” advertisement (1930)

Like Gone with the Wind and How Green Was My Valley, High Hat was a story that influenced U.S. baby names not once but twice: first in written form, then in movie form.

Originally called High Hat: A Radio Romance, the story was written by Alma Sioux Scarberry. (Her middle name was originally “Sue,” but she changed it when she learned she was part Native American — Cherokee specifically, not actually Sioux.) It was serialized in the newspapers in 1930 — from March to May, in most of them. It was published as a standalone book over the summer.

The main character, Elanda Lee, was a singer with “high hat” ambitions: she worked in radio, but wanted to become an opera star. Her love interest was popular radio star Suwanee Collier, who she initially dismissed because he was “only a ukulele player.” In the end, “[s]he stoops to conquer by becoming the most popular girl on the radio programs singing the praises of complexion soap.” (Here’s a longer synopsis of High Hat, if you’re interested.)

And in 1930, right on cue, the baby name Elanda debuted in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1932: unlisted
  • 1931: 6 baby girls named Elanda
  • 1930: 19 baby girls named Elanda [debut & peak usage]
  • 1929: unlisted
  • 1928: unlisted

A number of these Elandas also got the middle name Lee. (Here are examples from graveyards in Kansas, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Alabama.)

…But it doesn’t end there. Because in early 1937, the movie High Hat was released. (Here’s a complete copy of High Hat up at the Internet Archive, if you’d like to watch.) And it seems that, in the movie, Swanee — now being spelled like the Gershwin song — was the central character. He ultimately helped classically trained singer Elanda adapt to the trend of “swing” music.

The character Swanee Collier from the movie "High Hat" (1937).
Swanee from “High Hat

The same year, the baby name Swanee was a one-hit wonder in the data, showing up as a girl name. (This is one of several baby names that came from male character, yet popped up on the girls’ side of the list. Another example is Kookie.)

  • 1939: unlisted
  • 1938: unlisted
  • 1937: 5 baby girls named Swanee [debut]
  • 1936: unlisted
  • 1935: unlisted

Curiously, the baby name Elanda did not re-emerge in ’37. That said, the name “Landa” did pop up the next year…perhaps there’s a connection?

What are your thoughts on the names Elanda and Swanee?

Sources:

Phone Book Fishing on Kauai: Flordeliz, Kuuipo, Scottland, Zenichi

I’ve been on the Hawaiian island of Kauai for the past few days, and — in between checking out various canyons, waterfalls, and lava-rock pools — I scanned the Kauai phone book for cool first names.

Here are the most interesting I found:

Alouette
Ariston
Asipeli
Benhur
Bienvenido
Bonifacio
Buenaventura
Buenoflora
Butac
Castro
Charming
Clisson
Cobina
Corazon
Danalan
Danvic
Delpidio
Dominador
Edelwisa
Ederline
Eleuterio
Emiteria
Ercelly
Estanislao
Eufracio
Eugemar
Expedita
Fakhry
Filsann
Flavra
Florafina
Flordeliz
Framil
Franchot
Fredinita
Fredlynn
Fualupe
Germilin
Geronimo
Gingerlynn
Granatanne
Guadencio
Haunani
Hedelisa
Heifara
Hermogenes
Huilani
Hulukape
Ilaise
Irvharc
Iwalani
Jhoane
Judhvir
Kai-nani
Kalani
Kananaikahaku
Katalika
Keikilane
Keohokui
Kilaina
Kuuipo*
Kuulei
Laninbwij
Laukona
Leialoha
Leimomi
Leilani
Leodigario
Lichelle
Linekona
Lockwood
Lodring
Loisi
Mariamagdalena
Masanori
Mavourneen
Memory
Michael-Michael
Milimili
Mimsy
Mitsuji
Monalisa
Myloyce
Nandanie
Naokichi
Nargis
Nathrene
Necoal
Nolemana
Norvin
Olegario
Oric
Otusia
Petroline
Porfiria
Primrose
Puanani
Rikito
Rizal
Rudra
Rustico
Sadhunathan
Sailor
Saturnina
Scottland
Shigenori
Shyronjon
Sioux
Sojourner-Truth
Surachat
Texas
Thanawat
Tirunathan
Tootsie
Trinidad
Trink
Utahua
Villamor
Vitaliama
Vrushali
Waihang
Waldemar
Wannapha
Warlito
Watoru
Welerico
Wiphada
Woonteng
Zenichi

The names in boldface are my favorites.

*Kuuipo is based on a Hawaiian word meaning “my sweetheart.” I’ve been seeing a lot of it in jewelry stores, engraved on rings, bracelets and pendants.

One-Syllable Girl Names: Kate, Sage, Wren, Maeve

Looking for a girl name that’s short and to-the-point? Something that might work particularly well as a middle name?

Check out this list of several hundred one-syllable girl names. (And click on any name to see its popularity graph!)

Please note that I did include names in the gray area between one syllable and two syllables. The deciding factor on these particular names will be your own interpretation/accent, so be sure to test the names out loud before making any final decisions. (“Hayle,” for instance — would you say it like Hale, or like Hailey? Or “Rise” — is it rize, or ree-sah?)

Many of these names also happen to be unisex, so they appear on the One-Syllable Boy Names list as well.

What’s your favorite one-syllable girl name?

[Latest Update: June 2021]