Lion King Baby Names: Simba, Nala, Timon
Disney princesses often influence the baby name charts. But what about Disney animals? Let’s see what effect they have had.
The Lion King movie, released in 1994, and still running on Broadway, was a Hamlet-influenced, coming-of-age story that focused on a lion cub named Simba. So it’s no surprise that Simba was the first Lion King-inspired baby name to debut on the charts.
The name Simba, which comes from the Swahili word for ‘lion’, first appeared in the data in 1994:
1995: 9 baby boys named Simba
1994: 5 baby boys named Simba [debut]
Sarabi, the name of Simba’s mother, first appeared in 1995:
1997: 5 baby girls named Sarabi
1996: 9 baby girls named Sarabi
1995: 12 baby girls named Sarabi [debut]
Sarabi comes from the Swahili word for “mirage.”
Mufasa, the name of Simba’s father, also first appeared in 1995:
1995: 7 baby boys named Mufasa [debut]
It was a one-hit wonder on the charts.
1997: 55 baby girls named Nala
1996: 51 baby girls named Nala
1995: 85 baby girls named Nala
1994: 24 baby girls named Nala
1997: 17 baby boys named Timon
1996: 19 baby boys named Timon
1995: 19 baby boys named Timon1994: 9 baby boys named Timon
1993: 7 baby boys named Timon
Kiara wasn’t in the original Lion King movie, but she was the main character of the direct-to-video sequel The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride, released in October of 1998. She was Simba and Nala’s daughter. The name Kiara, already popular, saw a massive spike in usage in 1999:
2001: 2,289 baby girls named Kiara [rank: 144th]
1998: 1,733 baby girls named Kiara [rank: 172nd]
1997: 1,263 baby girls named Kiara [rank: 238th]
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on April 12th, 2017 at 9:24 am
The Lion King was – and still is – my favourite of all the Disney movies. It was a huge part of my childhood (I think I must have watched it every day) and I know it almost word-for-word. BUT I wouldn’t use any of the names for a real life person! They’re too out-there, too-Lion-King, especially those belonging to the main characters. Some, such as Kiara, Zira, and Vitani (all female, all from the second movie) you could perhaps get away with because they are either already established as names or are lesser-known characters.
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