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Category: ethnic baby names



posted by: Nephele View all posts by this author

By Nephele

Now that the Social Security Administration has released its annual baby names listings beyond the top 1,000 (including all names that had at least five occurrences in any given year), names researchers can better track the influence of popular culture on our names.

For example, a girl’s name appearing in 2009 for the first time on the SSA lists is “Greidys” – with an astonishing count of 186 baby girls having been given that name in 2009.  Its variants “Greydis” and “Greidy” also appear for the first time on the 2009 list, again in the astonishing numbers of 100 and 25 occurrences respectively.

Another girl’s name appearing in 2009 for the first time on the SSA lists is “Chastelyn” with 150 occurrences.  Its variants “Shastelyn” and “Chastelin” also appear for the first time in 2009, with 34 and 33 occurrences respectively.

While we may expect new names to appear on the SSA lists each year, these new names generally don’t have more than a dozen occurrences, if even that.  Why are the names “Greidys” and “Chastelyn” (with their variants) suddenly so prominent in their first appearance on the SSA list?

Our Latin friends can answer that question easily enough.  These names shot to popularity with those who watch the Spanish television network Univision’s reality TV show called Nuestra Belleza Latina * (which translates into “Our Latin Beauty”).  The winning contestant in the show’s third season (2009) was a Latin beauty from Cuba, named Greidys Gil.  Another popular contestant was Chastelyn Rodriguez from Puerto Rico.  And thus were two new names embraced by American moms (or dads!) in search of baby names.

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Model Names


With the fall fashion shows in full swing — showing clothes for next spring, now that the sizzle of summer 2010 has barely cooled — our thoughts turn to models.

We could care less about their figures or their style; what we’re interested in, of course, is their names.  While nameberry includes lists of Supermodel Names (where you’ll find lots more choices) and Supermodel Baby Names, we thought we’d look at the current crop of model monikers.

The list is heavy on Eastern European names, given that many of the girls hail from there.  But there are some good ‘ol American names here as well.

Names of the hottest 25 models right now, according to the rankings at, are:

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Last week we perused the character names in classic French New Wave films and today, as promised, we do the same for the Italian cinema produced (mostly) in Rome’s Cinecittà, from the gritty neorealist works of Vittorio De Sica and Roberto Rossellini to the fantasies of Fellini, the surreal films of Antonioni, et alia.

Italian names, almost universally, end in vowels, so here’s an opportunity to explore a fresh source of feminissima girls’ names ending in ‘a,’ ranging from the simple Lia to the elaborate Elisabetta, and boys’ names with the popular ‘o’ ending—some of which will be more familiar than others.

This time—as prompted by one of you berries– I’m including the  names of the films the characters appear in.  The movie titles are in Italian or English (sometimes both), depending on how they are best known in the US.

  • Adelinade Sica, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
  • Adreina –Antonioni, The Cry/Il grido
  • AmaliaRossellini, Dov’é la libertà?
  • Annarella – de Sica, Bread, Love and Dreams
  • BrunaBertolucci, La commare secca; Pasolini, La Mamma Roma
  • Cabiria—Fellini, Nights of Cabiria
  • CleliaBertolucci, Before the Revolution; Antonioni, The Girlfriends/Le amiche; Rossellini, Vanina Vanini
  • Clementinade Sica, The Voyage/ Il Viaggio
  • DoroteaFellini, And the Ship Sails On
  • ElisabettaFellini, Juliet of the Spirits
  • ElviaAntonioni, The Cry/ Il grido
  • FilumenaDe Sica, Marriage, Italian Style
  • GiudittaZeffirelli, Sparrow
  • GiulianaAntonioni, Red Desert
  • LaurettaRossellini, Open City

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The World Cup means many things to many people–mostly rooting for their country’s team–but to name nerds it also means a chance to sample a smorgasbord of international names. They’re all here–Slavic names, Norse names, Hispanic names, African, Asian and Anglo names…

Here’s a selection of some that we found particularly intriguing and possibly exportable, together with the team they play for  (understanding that it doesn’t necessarily represent their own ethnnicity).  In some soccer cultures–especially Portugal and Brazil–there’s a tradition of using only one name (one Brazilian superstar moniker I’m NOT including is Kaka, even if the accent is on the second syllable), and some of the choices below are the nicknames the players are known by.

ABOU Diaby (France)

ACHILLE Emana (Cameroon)

ALOU Diarra (France)

ARJEN Robben (Netherlands)

AURELIEN Chedjou (Cameroon)

BECARY Sagna (France)

BOJAN Jokec (Slovenia)

BROU Angoua (Ivory Coast)

BROWN Ideye (Nigeria)

CACAU (Germany)

CLEMENTE Rodriguez (Argentina)

CRISTIANO Ronaldo (Portugal)

DANILO Turcios (Honduras)

DANKO Lazovic (Serbia)

DECO (Portugal)

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Nameberry guest blogger Andrea, whom many of you may know for her intelligent and thoughtful advice on our message boards, and who most recently blogged for us on royal baby names, now focuses her attention closer to home, with this report on naming trends in the midwest.

On a recent Saturday somewhere in North Dakota, an athletic field was filled with fledgling 4-year-old soccer players, learning how to kick the ball and congratulate teammates when they did (or didn’t) make a goal. Behind them were their proud parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and volunteer coaches, all hollering at once:

Maddox, where’s your soccer ball?” “Yay, Logan. Yay, Logan!” “Hustle, Camden, hustle!” “Chloe, take a time out.” “Go, Ethan!”  After awhile the hard “C’s” and “an” ending names started to blend together. I could imagine next year’s preschool or kindergarten teacher mixing some of them up the way their soccer coach occasionally did.

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