What brought the baby name Avianne back in 2017?

Avianne pendant with diamonds
Avianne pendant

After popping up in the U.S. baby name data for a couple of years in the late ’90s, the name Avianne returned to the data in 2017:

  • 2019: 15 baby girls named Avianne
  • 2018: 11 baby girls named Avianne
  • 2017: 6 baby girls named Avianne
  • 2016: unlisted
  • 2015: unlisted

What brought it back?

(And also gave rise to the variant forms Avianni, Aviani, and Aviannie?)

New York City-based jewelry company Avianne (pronounced ah-vee-AH-nee), which is known for creating flashy, custom jewelry for various celebrities — particularly rappers.

Avianne — just like rival jewelry company Eliantte — has been name-checked in hundreds of rap songs. The songs that saw the most chart success (before/during 2017) were…

  • “Wicked” (2016) by Future
    • Lyric: “I purchase Avianne and now she lit, huh”
    • Peak: #97 on the U.S. Hot 100
  • “Drowning” (2017) by A Boogie wit da Hoodie, feat. Kodak Black
    • Lyric: “Just bought a brand new chain from Avianne”
    • Peak: #38
  • “What Would Meek Do?” (2018) by Pusha T, feat. Kanye West
    • Lyric: “This Avianne collarbone is see-through”
    • Peak: #75

Other rappers that have mentioned Avianne in one or more songs include Young Thug, Lil Uzi Vert, Travis Scott, 21 Savage, Fetty Wap, Migos, Yo Gotti, DaBaby, Young Scooter, Roddy Ricch, Cam’Ron, Don Q, Tyga, Smokepurpp, Playboi Carti, Lil Baby, Flatbush Zombies, Kodie Shane, and Coi Leray.

So how did the brand come to be called “Avianne”?

In 1985, brothers Izzy and Joe Aranbayev emigrated with their parents and extended family from Uzbekistan to Brooklyn. Their father, Boris, started working in a jewelry store. By the mid-1990s, Boris had established a jewelry manufacturing company. A few years later, in 1999, Izzy and several cousins launched a retail jewelry business.

They decided against using their Russian last names and opted for something that sounded more luxurious — think Italian luxury brands like Versace, Gucci, and Armani.

Today, Izzy mainly works behind the scenes, and Joe works on the sales floor. As the face of Avianne & Co, Joe often goes by “Joe Avianne.”

What are your thoughts on the baby name Avianne?

Sources:

Image: © Avianne & Co.

Where did the baby name Eliantte come from in 2019?

Eliantte chains with diamonds
Eliantte chains

The name Eliantte debuted in the U.S baby name data in 2019, dropped out the data the next year, then returned in 2021:

  • 2021: 13 baby boys named Eliantte
  • 2020: unlisted
  • 2019: 6 baby boys named Eliantte [debut]
  • 2018: unlisted
  • 2017: unlisted

Where did it come from?

New York City-based jewelry company Eliantte (pronounced el-ee-AHN-tay), known for creating extravagant, bespoke pieces for hip hop artists.

The brand has gotten shout-outs in hundreds of rap songs since early 2015. The songs that saw the most chart success (before/during 2019) were…

  • “Famous” (2017) by 21 Savage
    • Lyric: “Went and seen Eliantte, and he froze us”
    • Peak: #94 on the U.S. Hot 100
  • “Yosemite” (2018) by Travis Scott, feat. Gunna and Nav
    • Lyric: “Thirty pointers and up, Eliantte, drippin’, my whole team wet”
    • Peak: #25
  • “Never Recover” (2018) by Lil Baby, Gunna and Drake
    • Lyric: “Hit Eliantte and left with a puddle”
    • Peak: #15
  • “Startender” (2018) by A Boogie wit da Hoodie, feat. Offset and Tyga
    • Lyric: “Eliantte chains, now it’s time to run it up”
    • Peak: #59
  • “Daddy” (2019) by Blueface, feat. Rich the Kid
    • Lyric: “Eliantte bust down on the chain”
    • Peak: #78

Other rappers that have name-checked Eliantte in one or more songs include Future, Young Thug, Young Scooter, Fetty Wap, Young Dolph, Rick Ross, Roddy Ricch, Soulja Boy, Playboi Carti, City Girls, Lil Uzi Vert, and Don Toliver.

So how did the brand come to be called “Eliantte”?

Eliantte & Co was founded in 2018 by a man who goes by the name “Elliot Eliantte” (or simply “Eliantte”). He was previously known as “Elliot Avianne,” because he’d worked for the NYC-based jeweler Avianne & Co. for about a decade before starting his own business.

The nickname Eliantte emerged sometime in the mid-2010s, when Elliot was in the studio with rapper Young Scooter:

I got the name Eliantte from Young Scooter. He was trying to say my name in a song but it wasn’t really rhyming. So he said ‘eliantay.’

I actually stopped him after. I’m like, “Yo, that’s not my name. Say Elliot.”

And he’s like, “Bro, it’s not working.” He’s like, “We’re gonna go with ‘eliantay’.”

And then from there, you know, everybody was calling me ‘eliantay’.

I’m sure being mentioned in lyrics helped me out in my career, but also my craftsmanship, my detail, the designs I do, I set a lot of trends, so all that comes into play.

I’m not sure how he settled on the spelling “Eliantte.” I also couldn’t find any clues about Elliot’s actual surname. But I did learn that any mention of “Elliot” in a rap song is also typically a reference to Elliot Eliantte.

The name’s return to the data in 2021 may be due (at least in part) to the extra attention Elliot Eliantte got for selling Lil Uzi Vert the $24 million pink diamond that the rapper wore — implanted in his forehead — for roughly the first half of the year.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Eliantte?

Sources:

Image: © Eliantte & Co.

Where did the baby name Troas come from in 1969?

Beauty queen Troas Hayes in 1968
Troas Hayes (in 1968)

The intriguing name Troas was a one-hit wonder in the baby name data, appearing in 1969 only:

  • 1971: unlisted
  • 1970: unlisted
  • 1969: 5 baby girls named Troas [debut]
  • 1968: unlisted
  • 1967: unlisted

The source?

Troas Hayes, a young woman from California. She won the Miss California contest in June of 1968 and went on to represent the state at the Miss USA contest in Miami Beach in May of 1969. She didn’t win, but did come in 4th runner-up.

Where did her unique name come from?

Contemporary sources stated that her father’s name was Walter Hayes, but research reveals that he was actually her step-father. Her biological father was named Virgil Troas Hoffmeister. (He died when Troas was a baby.) I don’t know the story behind Virgil’s name, but both of his given names have classical roots — Virgil being an ancient Roman poet, and Troas being an ancient region in what is now Turkey.

What are your thoughts on Troas as a girl name?

P.S. The 1969 Miss USA contestant from Alabama also had an interesting name: Hitsy Parnell. “Hitsy” was a nickname; her real first name was Wilhelmina.

Sources:

Image: © 1968 Sacramento Bee (from the Center for Sacramento History)

Where did the baby name Taina come from in 1955?

Finnish actress Taina Elg
Taina Elg

Today we have the tale of two Tainas — one pronounced TIE-nah, the other pronounced tah-EE-nah.

The first version of the name Taina debuted in the U.S. baby name data in the mid-1950s:

  • 1957: 12 baby girls named Taina
  • 1956: 8 baby girls named Taina
  • 1955: 21 baby girls named Taina [debut]
  • 1954: unlisted
  • 1953: unlisted

The inspiration here was Finnish dancer/actress Taina (pronounced TIE-nah) Elg, who was being introduced to American audiences in 1955 in the film The Prodigal, a biblical epic starring Lana Turner.

A bizarre advertising campaign from the same year asked readers to rename Taina:

Taina advertisement
Taina Elg re-naming contest

Hurry and enter! Just suggest your choice of a name for Taina Elg — the star with the most unusual name in Hollywood. She’s an acclaimed ballerina, and an actress with M-G-M! She’s 5’5?, with dark blonde hair and sparkling gray-green eyes. Taina (rhymes with Dinah) loves to cook, delights in outdoor sports. […] With that in mind, what do you think her name should be? Look through your telephone book and make up original name combinations. The first name that pops into your mind right now — might very well be the winner! Just find a name you think fits this lovely young star.

Her name, which is a Finnish diminutive of the name Tatiana, was never changed (of course). Elg went on to win two Golden Globes later that decade — one in 1957, the other in 1958 — and also have success on stage and in television. In fact, usage of the name spiked in 1980, the year Taina Elg could be seen on two different U.S. soap operas: Guiding Light (1980) and One Life to Live (1980-2).

Now fast forward to 2001, when the name Taina was suddenly boosted into the top 1,000 for the first and only time:

  • 2003: 130 baby girls named Taina
  • 2002: 168 baby girls named Taina
  • 2001: 248 baby girls named Taina [ranked 913th]
  • 2000: 73 baby girls named Taina
  • 1999: 61 baby girls named Taina

The inspiration in this case? The short-lived Nickelodeon series Taina that aired from early 2001 to mid-2002. The main character, Taina (pronounce tah-EE-nah) Morales, was “a sassy 15-year-old Latina” in NYC played by actress Christina Vidal.

…So Taina is a name with one spelling, but two distinct pronunciations. Which pronunciation do you prefer?

Sources:

 

Where did the baby name Andamo come from in 1960?

The character Andamo from the TV series "Mr. Lucky" (1959-1960).
Andamo from “Mr. Lucky

The one-hit wonder baby name Andamo popped up for the first and only time in the data in 1960:

  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: unlisted
  • 1960: 15 baby boys named Andamo [debut]
  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: unlisted

It wasn’t just a mere one-hit wonder, though — it was the top one-hit wonder of the year. In fact, it was one of the top one-hit wonders of all time — tied for 3rd with Alfy and Eriksson, if we ignore the 1989 glitch names.

So, getting back to Andamo…where did it come from?

The single-season TV show Mr. Lucky (1959-1960), which was very loosely based on the 1943 film of the same name starring Cary Grant.

In the show, main character Lucky was the owner/operator of a gambling ship, and Andamo (pronounced ahn-DAH-moh), played by actor Ross Martin, was Lucky’s Latin-American right-hand-man. If the two main characters had proper first names, those names were never revealed over the course of the 34-episode series.

The show was cancelled, despite decent ratings, when a sponsor couldn’t be secured for the second season.

P.S. Lucky’s primary girlfriend, Maggie, was played by Pippa Scott.