How popular is the baby name Zaynab 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 Zaynab.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Zaynab


Posts that Mention the Name Zaynab

Where did the baby name Samia come from?

Photograph of Egyptian bellydancer Samia Gamal dancing, from LIFE magazine (Mar. 24, 1952).
Samia, © 1952 LIFE

Here’s a debut name I almost missed because it’s so similar to names like Sammie and Samie. It’s Samia, which first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in the early 1950s:

  • 1955: unlisted
  • 1954: 7 baby girls named Samia
  • 1953: 14 baby girls named Samia
    • 6 in Texas specifically
  • 1952: 11 baby girls named Samia
  • 1951: 6 baby girls named Samia [debut]
  • 1950: unlisted
  • 1949: unlisted

What was the inspiration?

An Egyptian belly-dancer!

She was born Zaynab Ibrahim Mahfuz in 1924, but early in her dancing career she started using the stage name Samia Gamal.

She became a film star in Egypt, but the U.S. press didn’t start mentioning her until 1950, when King Farouk of Egypt (who had divorced his first wife Farida a few years earlier) made it known that Samia was his favorite dancer.

What really caught America’s attention, though, was Samia’s whirlwind romance with oil heir Sheppard King III of Houston, Texas. They’d met in mid-1951 in a Paris nightclub and became engaged the same night. Within a few months he had converted to Islam, taken the name “Abdullah,” and married Samia in Cairo.

Photograph of Egyptian bellydancer Samia Gamal dancing, from LIFE magazine (Oct. 22, 1951).
Samia, © 1951 LIFE

“Naturally, the press, especially some of the Houston papers, ate it up.”

Over the next few months, the couple didn’t have to do much to end up in the newspaper. When not jet-setting around the world, mostly to satisfy Gamal’s dancing commitments, the two could be found in Houston. For instance, a proposed visit to Arrowhead Park Speedway in July 1952 merited a couple of paragraphs in the Chronicle.

And, of course, the press was also there to cover the couple’s separation and divorce in 1953.

Given the story’s Texas connection, it’s not surprising that many of the babies named Samia in 1953 (and in 1952, according to records) were born in Texas specifically.

The Arabic name Samia (also spelled Samiya) is derived from the male name Sami, which means “elevated” or “sublime.”

What are your thoughts on the name Samia?

Sources:

  • “Egyptian National Dancer Gets American King” Life 22 Oct. 1951: 46.
  • “Egypt’s new charmer.” Life 4 Sept. 1950: 28.
  • Gonzales, J. R. “A Lady Named Samia.” Houston Chronicle 13 Feb. 2009.
  • “Mazda Motion: In U.S., Samia and flashlight reveal secrets of ancient art.” Life 24 Mar. 1952: 45-46.
  • Samia Gamal – Wikipedia
  • Samiya – Behind the Name

Popular Baby Names in British Columbia, 2019

According to British Columbia’s Vital Statistics Agency, the most popular baby names in the province in 2019 were Olivia and Oliver.

Here are British Columbia’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 263 baby girls
  2. Charlotte, 176
  3. Emma, 167
  4. Ava, 153
  5. Sophia, 149
  6. Amelia, 141
  7. Chloe, 137
  8. Mia, 136
  9. Isla, 128
  10. Evelyn and Ella, 122 each (tie)

Boy Names

  1. Oliver, 233 baby boys
  2. Liam, 217
  3. Lucas, 216
  4. Ethan, 207
  5. Noah, 200
  6. William, 191
  7. Benjamin, 181
  8. Theodore, 171
  9. Leo, 163
  10. Logan, 156

In 2018, the top two names were Olivia and Liam.

In the girls’ top 10, Mia, Evelyn and Ella replaced Emily and Abigail.

In the boys’ top 10, Theodore replaced James.

Finally, some of the names bestowed just five times each in British Columbia last year include…

  • Girl names: Anhad, Baani, Constance, Darya, Emberly, Gillian, Haisley, Ila, Jiayi, Kaelyn, Linden, Mina, Niya, Opal, Ravleen, Saanjh, Tayla, Veronika, Wendy, Zaynab
  • Boy names: Arie, Baker, Casper, Douglas, Elon, Garrett, Henri, Israel, Joaquin, Kye, Leonidas, Malek, Navraj, Orson, Reginald, Sajjan, Thatcher, Vladimir, Wilfred, Zoravar

Source: Baby’s Most Chosen Names in British Columbia, 2019

Popular Baby Names in British Columbia, 2017

According to British Columbia’s Vital Statistics Agency, the most popular baby names in the province in 2017 were Olivia and Benjamin.

Here are British Columbia’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names
1. Olivia, 260 baby girls
2. Emma, 231
3. Sophia, 183
4. Ava, 178 (tie)
5. Charlotte, 178 (tie)
6. Emily, 170
7. Chloe, 160
8. Hannah, 155
9. Amelia, 152
10. Abigail, 129

Boy Names
1. Benjamin, 221 baby boys
2. Liam, 220
3. Logan, 210
4. Lucas, 209
5. Ethan, 197 (tie)
6. James, 197 (tie)
7. Oliver, 186
8. Noah, 177
9. William, 176
10. Owen, 170

In the girls’ top 10, Hannah replaced Evelyn.

In the boys’ top 10, Logan replaced Jacob.

Names at the other end of the spectrum — used just five times each in 2017 — include…

  • Girl names: Ann, Beatrix, Cedar, Della, Elowen, Greta, Harlyn, Inaaya, Jenny, Karla, Leen, Marwa, Nicola, Ocean, Paris, Reyna, Sakura, Tina, Zaynab
  • Boy names: Ayan, Bishop, Clay, Darian, Emery, Flynn, Gurtaj, Houston, Ivar, Jerry, Kendrick, Loki, Mack, Niall, Princeton, Rayyan, Stellan, Tai, Zavier

The top names in 2016 were Olivia and Lucas.

Source: Baby’s Most Chosen Names in British Columbia, 2017