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The art and science of names
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I generated a script to parse the newcomers (names that showed up in 2019 that haven't shown up in the previous 140 years of SSA data), and it was interesting. Most of the large debuts are being explained by Laura's writing here on Namerology and by Nancy over at Nancy.cc (http://www.nancy.cc/2020/09/05/u-s-girl-names-2019-popular-rising-falling-debuts/ and http://www.nancy.cc/2020/09/06/us-boy-names-2019-popular-rising-falling-debuts/), but there are a couple of mysteries left, especially on the male side, where I'm curious if you all might know what the pop culture triggers are:
Jsan: 33 boys -->I think this might be referencing a musician J'SanJaiari: 29 boys --> the only lead I can find that Jai'Ari or Jai'Ary was the name that a murdered pregnant woman was planning to give to her unborn child, chosen with intent of honoring the father of the baby (whom she called J). He ended up being responsible for the murder, making it such a deeply tragic story that I have a hard time seeing it inspiring naming on a larger scale, even as the timing fits, and the name was mentioned in media reports as well as a gofundme.Ripp: 26 boys **as someone who has a son whom I call Rip occasionally, I'm deeply curious about where this one is coming from!Iskender: 17 boys (and Skender also debuts with 11 boys)Kamiri: 17 boysOthers on the list, where I think the pop culture trigger isn't necessarily as big:Marsai: 5 boys, 10 girls --> I think this is from actress Marsai Martin and I'm finding the cross-gender namesaking after a prominent woman to be a neat thing!Saiyr: 7 boys and 8 girls --> I think this might be referencing an artist in this group: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceraadibut I'm curious about whether the female namesake is enough to explain the similar debuts of Siar: 14 boys, Saire: 12 boys.Ahveya:14 girlsJhazelle: 14 girlsWysdom: 6 boys, 8 girlsZaxai: 14 boys --> a musicianGrayli: 13 girlsQira: 13 girls --> from Qi'ra from the Solo movieAarnika: 12 girlsZonaira: 12 girlsFinan: 12 boys --> from a character Finan in a TV show The Last Kingdom Meraki: 5 boys, 7 girlsNakhari: 6 boys, 6 girlsAxara and Azahra: 11 girls eachIcon and Kyroh: 11 boysMaisel, Miraal, Nalaia, Nurvi, Peach: 11 girls
Some quick Googling suggests:Kamiri Gaulden (b. 2017) is the child of rapper "YoungBoy Never Broke Again" - not sure why he's only charting now, though. If you've never heard of him, you're not alone - Google data shows that dad is almost only popular in Mississippi and his home state of Louisiana, and that the kid doesn't even chart outside the South.Grayli may just be an invented name in the popular **ayli mold. There is apparently a three-year-old influencer (ugh) named Graylee Mae whose name seems to be a reference to her ethnicity (black father, white mother, gray... lee), but I suspect that's a coincidence. I suspect Nalaia's rise is similar - let's hook an N in front of this suddenly massive liquid name!Iskender is just the Turkish form of Alexander - which is inexplicably trending in Virginia...?Maisel I must assume is a reference to The Marvelous Ms.Peach almost certainly is a reference to the damsel-in-distress from the Mario games. As for why she's only charting now given the character's been around for thirty years, there's an easy explanation: the video game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate came out in December of 2018, and she's one of the most popular and powerful characters in the game at the competitive/e-sport level.
Here are the previous Gr__l_ (no n) name debuts -- the phonetic name has been happening in the past decade along with a general profusion of Gray-/Bray-/Dray- and -lee building blocks.debuts2009.txt:Graylee,6,0,6,0debuts2017.txt:Greyleigh,6,0,6,0debuts2018.txt:Graylie,5,0,5,0 (didn't show up again this year)debuts2019.txt:Grayli,13,0,13,0debuts2019.txt:Grayleigh,7,0,7,0Nalaia is also a Nayleigh and Alaia smoosh. Bell-tones gotta bell-tone even as we start adding on more liquid trills and elaborations -- maybe we stop calling them raindrops and start calling them ripples? (It reminds me a little bit of when roosters start crowing and they just kind of give a Tarzan-like warble.)Iskender and Skender though definitely must have a particular trigger for why this fashionable -sounding Turkish trusty classic is exploding with such a bang, and I don't think it's that some kebabs are offered with iskender sauce. The regional nature makes me think maybe a sports thing, although the athletes I'm finding aren't in Virginia. https://www.fpuathletics.com/sports/swimming-and-diving/roster/iskender-baslakov/4089
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