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Free cupcakes for people with “Joy” names

Hostess cupcake

Do you know a U.S. resident — either yourself or someone else — who has the word “Joy” in any part of their name (first, middle, or last)?

If so, you have until July 2 to enter that person into the Hostess Joy Drops sweepstakes:

100 winners will be selected to receive a Hostess Joy Drops package. If your “Joy” lives in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah or Virginia, they may get their package via a special drone delivery. 

The package (valued at about $55) includes a box of CupCakes, a box of Twinkies, a bag of Donettes, and various other “summer fun essentials” such as sunglasses, a Frisbee, and a sheet of stickers.

Finally, just for fun, here’s a sampling of the dozens of “Joy” names in the SSA data: Joy, Joyce, LaJoy, LaJoyce, Joya, Joycie, Joyanne, Joyanna, Joyette, Joyetta, Joyelle, Joyella, Joylene, Joylynn, Joynell, Joynae, Joyous, and Joyful.

Image: Adapted from Hostess CupCake Whole by Evan-Amos under CC0 1.0 Universal.

What popularized the baby name Vonda in the mid-1960s?

Vonda Kay Van Dyke, Miss America 1965
Vonda Kay Van Dyke

According to the U.S. baby name data, Vonda saw a big spike in usage in mid-1960s:

  • 1967: 321 baby girls named Vonda [rank: 529th]
  • 1966: 664 baby girls named Vonda [rank: 349th]
  • 1965: 1,093 baby girls named Vonda [rank: 261st]
  • 1964: 602 baby girls named Vonda [rank: 399th]
  • 1963: 180 baby girls named Vonda [rank: 772nd]

Why?

Because of Vonda Kay Van Dyke, who was crowned Miss America 1965 at the conclusion of the televised pageant held in Atlantic City in September of 1964.

Van Dyke — who represented the state of Arizona — was the very first Miss America contestant to perform ventriloquism during the talent portion of the competition.

Van Dyke taught herself ventriloquism as a child and soon after found herself sharing billing with Wayne Newton. “Wayne and I did quite a few shows before he hit it big and moved on to Vegas,” she recalls.

Notably, Vonda Van Dyke is also the only Miss America to have been voted Miss Congeniality by the other delegates.

After her reign ended, Vonda enjoyed “an 18-year showbiz career, appearing with Jack Benny and Victor Borge.” She also married and had one child, a girl named Vandy.

Over the years, Vonda has met a several of her namesakes:

I ask them, “Where did you get your name?” One said, “Oh, it’s so embarrassing. I got it from a Miss America.” I stuck out my hand and said, “How do you do?”

What are your thoughts on the name Vonda?

Sources:

Image: Adapted from Miss America of 1965 Vonda Kay Van Dyke at a fabric store in Los Angeles, Calif. by Los Angeles Times under CC BY 4.0.

Popular baby names in England and Wales (UK), 2022

Flag of the United Kingdom
Flag of the United Kingdom

The 2022 rankings for England and Wales are finally here!

Two years ago, England and Wales welcomed over to 605,000 babies.

What were the most popular names among these babies? Olivia and Noah.

Here are England and Wales’ top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2022:

Girl names

  1. Olivia, 3,289 baby girls
  2. Amelia, 2,884
  3. Isla, 2,613
  4. Ava, 2,293
  5. Lily, 2,281
  6. Ivy, 2,195
  7. Freya, 2,162
  8. Florence, 1,971
  9. Isabella, 1,927
  10. Mia, 1,868
  11. Willow, 1,867
  12. Sienna, 1,859
  13. Poppy, 1,848
  14. Sophia, 1,813
  15. Elsie, 1,763
  16. Rosie, 1,686
  17. Grace, 1,675
  18. Millie, 1,670
  19. Emily, 1,609
  20. Sofia, 1,576
  21. Daisy, 1,563
  22. Evelyn, 1,560
  23. Evie, 1,534
  24. Phoebe, 1,531
  25. Ella, 1,522
  26. Charlotte, 1,496
  27. Harper, 1,449
  28. Maya, 1,406
  29. Matilda, 1,363
  30. Ruby, 1,271
  31. Aria, 1,229
  32. Penelope, 1,206
  33. Hallie, 1,202
  34. Luna, 1,174
  35. Bonnie, 1,148
  36. Ada, 1,138
  37. Emilia, 1,128
  38. Alice, 1,119
  39. Sophie, 1,115
  40. Esme, 1,101
  41. Isabelle, 1,089
  42. Maisie, 1,072
  43. Violet, 1,057
  44. Delilah, 1,054
  45. Mila, 1,042
  46. Eva, 1,029
  47. Arabella, 1,019
  48. Maeve, 990
  49. Aurora, 972
  50. Mabel, 964

Boy names

  1. Noah, 4,586 baby boys
  2. Muhammad, 4,177
  3. George, 3,699
  4. Oliver, 3,691
  5. Leo, 3,610
  6. Arthur, 3,603
  7. Oscar, 2,883
  8. Theodore, 2,835
  9. Theo, 2,808
  10. Freddie, 2,760
  11. Archie, 2,684
  12. Luca, 2,625
  13. Henry, 2,624
  14. Jack, 2,431
  15. Harry, 2,403
  16. Charlie, 2,391
  17. Alfie, 2,304
  18. Arlo, 2,176
  19. Thomas, 2,101
  20. Teddy, 2,030
  21. Finley, 2,025
  22. Jacob, 1,892
  23. Tommy, 1,824
  24. William, 1,806
  25. Lucas, 1,771
  26. Isaac, 1,733
  27. Mohammed, 1,694
  28. Alexander, 1,651
  29. Albie, 1,641
  30. Roman, 1,640
  31. Edward, 1,612
  32. Jude, 1,601
  33. Elijah, 1,549
  34. James, 1,534
  35. Joshua, 1,478
  36. Reuben, 1,475
  37. Max, 1,459
  38. Rory, 1,435
  39. Sebastian, 1,409
  40. Louie, 1,396
  41. Adam, 1,374
  42. Mason, 1,369
  43. Ethan, 1,268 (tie)
  44. Hudson, 1,268 (tie)
  45. Harrison, 1,236
  46. Ezra, 1,217
  47. Hugo, 1,193
  48. Louis, 1,184
  49. Reggie, 1,159
  50. Joseph, 1,158

According to the press release from the Office of National Statistics…

  • In the girls’ top 10, Isabella replaced Willow.
  • In the boys’ top 10, Theodore, Theo, and Freddie replaced Harry, Henry, and Archie.
  • In the girls’ top 100, Ophelia, Ottilie, Eloise, Nova, and Fatima replaced Holly, Heidi, Anna, Amber, and Beatrice.
  • In the boys’ top 100, Leon, Elias, Musa, Axel, and Ibrahim replaced Charles, Harvey, Ollie, and Nathan.

England and Wales are two separate countries within the United Kingdom. (The rest of the UK is made up of Scotland and Northern Ireland.) In terms of population, England has about 56.5 million residents, whereas Wales has around 3.1 million.

Here are the top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names in each of the two countries individually:

EnglandWales
Top girl names1. Olivia, 3,144 baby girls
2. Amelia, 2,755
3. Isla, 2,476
4. Ava, 2,179
5. Lily, 2,158
6. Ivy, 2,081
7. Freya, 2,051
8. Florence, 1,878
9. Isabella, 1,847
10. Sienna, 1,788
1. Olivia, 145 baby girls
2. Isla, 137
3. Amelia 129
4. Lily, 122
5. Elsie, 120
6. Ava, 114 (tie)
7. Ivy, 114 (tie)
8. Millie, 111
9. Freya, 110
10. Ella, 104
Top boy names1. Noah, 4,320 baby boys
2. Muhammad, 4,136
3. George, 3,548
4. Oliver, 3,502
5. Leo, 3,470
6. Arthur, 3,423
7. Oscar, 2,729
8. Theodore, 2,720
9. Freddie, 2,620
10. Theo, 2,611
1. Noah, 264 baby boys
2. Theo, 196
3. Oliver, 188
4. Arthur, 180
5. Luca, 166
6. Oscar, 154
7. George, 149
8. Archie, 144
9. Freddie, 140
10. Leo, 139

And now let’s check out a selection of names from the other end of the spectrum.

Each of the rare names below was given to just 3 babies in England and Wales (combined) in 2022:

Rare girl namesRare boy names
Accalia, Briseis, Casiana, Diellza, Ettalie, Farishta, Gwenna, Hestia, Irida, Iseult, Jun, Kanika, Larsa, Myfanwy, Nehizena, Ovelia, Prunella, Quinne, Renaelia, Siella, Tamima, Urte, Varnika, Wafaa, Xiana, Yuet, ZartashaAurion, Boyan, Cary, Daxson, Eifion, Flavian, Granth, Henrick, Ilai, Jasser, Klaidi, Llyr, Mordy, Naoise, Oax, Petrit, Quillon, Ransford, Sanchez, Torrin, Usaid, Volodymyr, Wolfy, Xand, Yudhveer, Zaamin

Renaelia’s usage was no doubt inspired by British influencer Imogen Horton, who welcomed a baby girl named Renaelia in September of 2022. Several weeks after the birth, Imogen posted a video in which she and her husband Spencer revealed the baby’s name and explained how it was coined.

Volodymyr’s usage may have been influenced by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Finally, here’s a link to England and Wales’ 2021 rankings, if you’d like to check them out.

Sources:

Image: Adapted from Flag of the United Kingdom (public domain)

Where did the baby name Moesha come from in 1996?

The character Moesha Mitchell (played by Brandy Norwood) from the TV series "Moesha" (1996-2001)
Moesha from “Moesha”

The name Moesha first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1996 with a whopping 426 baby girls:

  • 1998: 122 baby girls named Moesha
  • 1997: 211 baby girls named Moesha [rank: 945th]
  • 1996: 426 baby girls named Moesha [rank: 548th] – debut & peak usage
  • 1995: unlisted
  • 1994: unlisted

It was easily the highest-debuting name of the year. In fact, it currently ranks third on the list of highest-debuting girl names of all time!

The spelling Moeisha also debuted in 1996, as did the variant forms Moeshia and Oesha.

What made the name Moesha so trendy in the mid-1990s?

The TV sitcom Moesha (pronounced moh-EE-shah), which began airing in January of 1996.

The show’s protagonist was “hip, smart and opinionated” African-American teenager Moesha Mitchell.

At the start of the series, Moesha lived in a middle-class Los Angeles neighborhood with her dad, her little brother Myles, and her new stepmom — who also happened to be a teacher at her high school. Her friends included Kim and Hakeem, and she was secretly dating a boy named Ohagi. (Ohagi, pronounced oh-HAH-jee, was a one-hit wonder in the data in 1996.)

The name of the sitcom’s main character was chosen by Sara Finney, one of Moesha‘s three co-creators. Finney, who was inspired in part by name of her niece Tiesha, explained:

We wanted a name that reflected the fact [that] a lot of African-American girls born in the 1970s and 1980s have this ‘esha’ sound at the end of their names.

The actress who portrayed Moesha was none other than Brandy Norwood — better known as mononymous R&B singer Brandy. She also sang the show’s theme song, of course.

By the time the sitcom premiered, Brandy had already scored three top-ten hits: “I Wanna Be Down,” “Baby,” and “Brokenhearted” (a duet with Wanyá Morris of Boyz II Men). Her early success on the charts accounts for the uptick in usage of the baby name Brandy in 1995.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Moesha?

Sources:

Image: Screenshot of Moesha