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Monday, January 15, 2018

Distinctive Names That Are Used By Some African Americans & By Some Mormons

Eited by Azizi Powell

Revised January 18, 2018

This pancocojams post presents some examples of distinctive Mormon names that are the same as or very similar to some contemporary (1960s to date) distinctive African American names.

A quote about a famous African American with that name is given after some of these selected names. I've also added other brief notes about some of these selected names.

This post is part of pancocojams' ongoing series on distinctive names and nicknames.

The content of this post is presented for etymological and cultural purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.

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DISCLAIMER
This post indicates that African Americans and Mormons are two populations in the United States that sometimes give their children distinctive personal names. And some of the distinctive names that these two populations give their children are the same or are quite similar.

However, this post doesn't mean to imply that most African American names are distinctive. On the contrary, documentation has shown that most African American given names at birth are the same as the names given to the general population in the United States*, although the popularity of those standard names appears to vary by race in any given year. It's likely that most Mormon children also have personal names that are "standard" in the United States, although the popularity of those names among Mormons may be different than their popularity among Americans in general.

*For example, click http://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/about/press/pr2017/pr098-17.page http://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/about/press/pr2017/pr098-17.page for a list of girls' names and boys' names by race for babies born in 2016 in New York City.

**
I don't consider myself to be an expert on African American naming practices. However, I am African American and I have been informally studying African American naming practices and I have been collecting examples of distinctive African American names for more than twenty years.

In contrast, my only knowledge of Mormon names and Mormon naming practices is what I've read online.

This isn't meant to be a comprehensive list of the distinctive given names that African American and Mormon share.

There are other, largely no longer given "older names" in those Mormon lists that some African Americans had prior to the 1960s. However, I've not added names from that category onto this "shared names" list that is found below.

This list also doesn't include examples of what I consider to be "different", "trendy" names from these online sources that are now popular in the general American population including African Americans. "Brookelyn", a variant spelling of "Brooklyn" is an example of that category of different names.

I'm aware that other people might arrive at a different list of "shared" African American & Mormon names than the one that I've given below.

Additions and corrections to this shared list of names are welcome.

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PANCOCOJAMS EDITOR'S NOTE
This list of names consists of selected names from a website entitled "1,500,000 baby names MALE Mormon baby names" and its companion webpage "1,500,000 baby names FEMALE Mormon baby names" (hyperlinks given below).

For the purpose of this post, I've selected those Mormon names that I (as an African American and as a collector of contemporary African American names) have directly known, read of, or heard. These contemporary distinctive names that I've showcased below are either exactly the same as those that have been given to or are still given to African Americans, or they are reworkings (different spellings, and other variant forms) of these names. Rightly or wrongly, most of these names are often referred to as "Black names".

As to how Mormons may have become familiar with these names, firstly, some Mormons are Black and therefore may know these names. Secondly, my position is that Mormons who give their children distinctive names are alert to possible names from the mass media (particularly television, movies, and the internet) and/or from their direct interaction with African Americans and other people who aren't Mormons.

From my reading about Mormon naming practices, it appears to me that African Americans and Mormons use some of the same or similar strategies to create distinctive names. For example, some names are created by combining two already existing names, non-standard spelling is frequently used to create uniqueness, a prefix and/or suffix is (are) used to create unique names, some names include an apostrophe, and some names are hyphenated. Furthermore, some distinctive African American names and Mormon names use nouns as names (such as virtue words, time of birth words, names of seasons, and status nouns).

That said, these two populations appear to use different sets of "nouns as names" - which leads me to this larger point: Many Mormon names are different from African American names because the "pool of names" that is used (and available to be used) by Mormons is considerably different from African Americans' pool of names. For example, a number of contemporary (1960 on) distinctive names that some African Americans use are Arabic names or are variant forms of Arabic names. Also, from the 1960s on some African Americans have given our children names, clips, of names, or names re-purposed from nouns from certain traditional African languages (particularly Swahili, Akan, and Zulu). Three examples of names from these three traditional African languages are the Swahili word "nia" (pronounced KNEE-ah) used as a female name, the Akan male day name "Kwame" (pronounced KWAH-me"), the Yoruba name element/nickname "tunde" pronounced TOON-day) used as a male name, and the Zulu male name "Shaka" (pronounced SHAH-ka) and also given as "Chaka" among African Americans.

In contrast, according to http://www.momjunction.com/articles/mormon-baby-names-for-girls-and-boys_00424377/#gref 50 Latest Mormon Baby Names For Boys And Girls With Meanings
"Mormons, the members of the church residing in Utah, US, have a mantra, “in the world, but not of the world”, which they apply to everything, including the way they name their children. They pick standard names but tweak the spelling a bit to make it exclusive to them. However, not every Mormon parent likes invented or combination names for their children. Some choose Biblical names or names derived from the stories or chapters of the Book of Mormon, a religious text of the Latter Day Saints."...
-snip-
That same website author wrote about "the passion for ‘y’ in girl names among the Mormons" and gave some examples of female "y" names including "Jossilyn", "Madelyn", and "Payslee".

Another website on Mormon names https://nameberry.com/blog/mormon-baby-names-traditions-and-trends Mormon Baby Names: Traditions and trends (Posted January 11th, 2015) indicates that "Even among Utah baby names, though, there are trends. Boys’ names lean heavily towards two syllable names ending with –er, –en and –ton. While mainstream names like Jayden remain popular, it’s really better to pick something a little more unusual. Truxton perhaps? Decken, Nyler, Kyson, Teyton, Zyker, and Trusen have all been chosen for babies recently.

Girls’ names almost always have a letter y in them somewhere. Mormons love the letter y. Which explains the popularity of names that end with –ley (or more commonly –lee or –leigh), and names that end with –lyn: Kyzlee, Oaklyn, Tynslee, McCartlyn, Avonlie, Chandley, Skylynne. and Chasidee."...
-snip-
One of my conclusion from these excerpts is that Mormon "sound preferences" are different from African American sound preferences. I believe that a few examples of African American sound preferences are "sha/cha" prefixes and/or suffixes (as in the name "Shante"), the "aun"/"on" and "La" prefix as in the name "LaShaun" ("Lashon", "Lashawn"), and the "isha" suffix as in the name "Keisha"). Note: These names are mostly given to females, but, with the exception of "Keisha" might also be given to males. Also, these names all have numerous forms created by respellings, adding apostrophes, capitalizing the first letter of the second syllable, or adding a prefix or a suffix.

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SELECTED DISTINCTIVE MORMON NAMES AND DISTINCTIVE AFRICAN AMERICAN NAMES [SHARED MALE NAMES]
Pancocojams Editor's Note: I've included comments about some of these names after the name itself.

EXCERPT #1:
List of Mormon names from http://www.just-think-it.com/sbn/mormon-m.htm "1,500,000 baby names MALE Mormon baby names"

A, B
C, D
Cordell
D'Monte
Daquan
-snip-
Among African Americans, this name is usually pronounced "DAY-quan".
-snip-
Darnell
Delmar
Deontre'
-snip-
Among African Americans, this name is spelled "Deondre" without the apostrophe at the end. It is also spelled "DeAndre" and "Deaundray" among other spellings.

Deron
-snip-
Among African Americans, this name has various other spellings, including capitalizing the "r". Often a suffix is added such as "Deronte (usually pronounced "day-RON-tay)
-snip-
DeShawn
-snip-
This contemporary male name is very popular among certain populations of African Americans. It is usually pronounced "Day-shawn". Instead of Deshawn, the prefix could be "Da" (pronounced "day") and, like other De/day names, its nickname is often "Day Day"). The "shawn" element is spelled "shon", "shaun", or "sean". This name could also have an added suffix (such as "te"/"tay" or "dre"/"dray".

One female form of this name among African Americans is "Deshawna".
-snip-
Devon
-snip-
Among African Americans, in the name "Devon" usually has a suffix (same as DeShawn), but I believe that the "De" in Devonte (for example) is usually pronounced "dah") and not "day". An African American spelling of this name is "DeVante". A famous example: "DeVante Swing" - member of the American R&B quartet with brothers DeVante Swing, Mr. Dalvin, K-Ci, and JoJo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jodeci
-snip-
DeWayne
-snip-
This name is also spelled "Dwayne" among African Americans. A famous example of an African American with this name is Dwyane Tyrone Wade Jr., born January 17, 1982) is an American professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwyane_Wade

E, F
G, H
I, J
Jacari
-snip-
Among African Americans, I believe that this male name is usually spelled "Jaquari" (pronunciation: jah-KAH-ree or jah-CAR-ree). An "African American" variant form of this male name is "Jaquarius".
Jaden
Jadon
K, L
Kenrick
LaMar
Larnell
-snip-
This name serves as an example of the frequent use of the "ell" suffix in Mormon male (and female) names and in African American male (and female) names.
-snip-
LaVar
LeVar
-snip-
Levardis Robert Martyn "LeVar" Burton Jr. (born February 16, 1957) is an American actor, presenter, director and author. He is best known for his roles as the host of the long-running PBS children's series Reading Rainbow, Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation and the young Kunta Kinte in the 1977 award-winning ABC television miniseries Roots". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LeVar_Burton
-snip-

M, N
Mondell
Among African Americans, this name is usually given as "Montell".
"Montell Du'Sean Barnett (born December 3, 1968), known professionally as Montell Jordan, is an American singer, songwriter and record producer, best known for his 1995 single "This Is How We Do It"." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montell_Jordan
-snip-
Notice the middle name Du'Sean which is a rare example of a distinctive African American apostrophe name that includes the widely used "Sean" ("Shawn", "Shon", "Shaun") name.
-snip-
Montel Brian Anthony Williams (born July 3, 1956) is an American television personality, radio talk show host, and actor. He is best known as host of the long-running The Montel Williams Show"...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montel_Williams.

O, P
Odell
Q, R
S, T
Shay
-snip-
Among African American, this is usually a female nickname, often doubled ("Shay Shay")
Shon
-snip-
Among African Americans, "Shon" may be most often spelled "Shaun" or (when spelled various ways) is an element that is part of longer male or female names.
-snip-
Tevyn
-snip-
This name serves as an example of the Mormon custom of substituting a "y" for the letter "i" in names. Among African Americans, "Tevyn" is usually spelled "Tevin".
"Tevin Jermod Campbell (born November 12, 1976) is an American singer, songwriter and actor." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tevin_Campbell
-snip-
Tevin Ford Coleman (born April 16, 1993) is an American football running back for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tevin_Coleman
-snip-
Trace-Denzel
-snip-
I added the name "Trace-Denzel" to give an example of a Mormon hyphenated name.
-snip-
"Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. (born December 28, 1954)[1] is an American actor, director, and producer. He has received three Golden Globe awards, a Tony Award,[2] and two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for the historical war drama film Glory (1989) and Best Actor for his role as a corrupt cop in the crime thriller Training Day (2001)" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denzel_Washington
-snip-
Travon
-snip-
"Trayvon" is another spelling of this name among African Americans. A famous example of this name is Trayvon Martin (February 5, 1995 – February 26, 2012), a 17-year-old African American from Miami Gardens, Florida, who was fatally shot in Sanford, Florida by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trayvon_Martin
-snip-
U, V
W, X
Y, Z

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SELECTED DISTINCTIVE MORMON NAMES AND DISTINCTIVE CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN AMERICAN NAMES [SHARED FEMALE NAMES]
Excerpt #2: From http://www.just-think-it.com/sbn/mormon-f.htm http://www.just-think-it.com/sbn/mormon-f.htm "1,500,000 baby names FEMALE Mormon baby names"

A, B
Alena
Aleta
Alina
Alinda
Almira
Anniyah
Ardell
Ardella
Arletta
Arminta
Askia
-snip-
"Askia" is a male African name for a famous historical figure https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Askia_Mohammad_I. I've no direct experience with it being used as a female or male name, but a Google search resulted in the male name Askia Booker (a Black male basketball player) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Askia_Booker
-snip-
Azi
-snip-
This is one of the nicknames that people have used for my (female) Kiswahili originated name "Azizi". I've been told that the Arabic form of this name "Aziza" is the most often used female form of the male name "Aziz".

C, D
Chandra
Chanice
-snip-
Among African Americans, the name "Chanice" may be spelled "Shanice", and is an example of the frequent us of "Sha" and "Cha" prefixes in African American names. Those prefixes are also found, but not as frequently, in Mormon names.
-snip-
Shanice Lorraine Wilson[1] (born May 14, 1973), better known simply as Shanice, is an American singer–songwriter, actress and dancer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanice
-snip-
The suffix "ice" (pronounced "ees") is found many more African American names than Mormon names. The African American names with the suffix "ice" are usually female, but one common example is the male name "Maurice".
-snip-
Channa
Channelle
Chantell
Charis
-snip-
Among African Americans, this name is given as "Karis".
-snip-
Cherysa
-snip-
The name "Cherise" that is relatively common among African Americans. This name is similar to the name "Cherysa" that is found in this Mormon name list. The substitution of a "y" for an "i" appears to be a commonly spelling practice among some Mormons according to several online articles including https://nameberry.com/blog/mormon-baby-names-traditions-and-trends "Mormon Baby Names: Traditions and trends" quote: "Girls’ names almost always have a letter y in them somewhere. Mormons love the letter y. Which explains the popularity of names that end with –ley (or more commonly –lee or –leigh), and names that end with –lyn"...
-snip-
Chiara
-snip-
"Ciara" is another spelling of this name. "Ciara Princess Harris (born October 25, 1985),[1] known mononymously as Ciara ... is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, model and actress. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciara
-snip-

Chenille
Claudean
-snip-
"Claudine is a 1974 American comedy-drama, romantic film, produced by Third World Films and distributed by 20th Century Fox... it is noted for being one of the few mainstream films featuring an African-American cast released during that time which was not a blaxploitation film." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudine_(film)
-snip-
DaNeen
-snip-
Among African Americans, this name is also spelled "Deneen" and pronounced dah-NEEN.
-snip-
Danetta
Danica
-snip-
The "ica" suffix is often given as "ika" in contemporary "African American" names.
-snip-
Dannika
Dawnica
-snip-
Judging from the lists of Mormon names that I've read, "Dawn" is a popular name element among some Mormon, similar to the popularity of the name element "Shawn" (and its variant spellings "Shon", "Shaun" and "Sean" among some African Americans.
-snip-
Deja
-snip-
Deja was the name of the fictional character that Tyra Banks played in the 1995 movie Higher Learning. According to http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/0/Deja : "Deja entered the list in 1980-1989 and reached its peak position of #182 in the U.S. in the year 1996, and is presently at #1947. (2016 BIRTH STATISTICS)"
-snip-
Deneen
-snip-
I know an African American woman name "Deneen" who was born in the 1970s.
Deneil
Denica
DeShaune
-snip-
This name is very similar to the multiple African American names (both male and female) which include the element "Shaun" or another spelling of that name. Female names with this element may end with "a" (i.e. DeShauna". The "de" prefix in those names is usually pronounced "day".
-snip-
Desta
-snip-
The name "Desta" is found on online list of Ethiopian female names, with the meaning "happiness". http://www.top-100-baby-names-search.com/ethiopian-baby-names.html. I know one African American woman with this name.
-snip-
Destany
-snip-
The female name "Destiny" is relatively common among African Americans.
-snip-
DeVonte
-snip-
Among African Americans, this name is usually given to males. (Read the name list for males that is found above.)
-snip-
Dorenda
Donetta
E, F
Felisa
-snip-
Among African Americans, this name is usually spelled "Felicia". This name has been popularized by the saying "Bye Felicia".

An uncommon African American spelling of this name is Phylicia Rashād ...(June 19, 1948) is an American actress, singer and stage director. She is known for her role as Clair Huxtable on the long-running NBC sitcom The Cosby Show (1984–92), which earned her Emmy Award nominations in 1985 and 1986." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phylicia_Rashad
-snip-
Florice
Heaven-Lee
Heavenly-Melanie
-snip-
The name "Heaven" and "Heavenly" are found among African Americans. I added these example of Mormon names to document the use of hyphenated names are among Mormons. I'm not aware if these names are hyphenated among African Americans.
-snip-
G, H
I, J
Imari
-snip-
The name "Imari" is similar in spelling and pronunciation to the name "Amari". African Americans have used the name Amari as male and female name. "Amari" is said to be of Swahili origin, but it could have been coined by African Americans from the male name "Amiri" (meaning "prince").

"Amari Cooper (born June 17, 1994) is an American football wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League. He played college football at the University of Alabama where he was the Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation's top receiver and a unanimous All-American in 2014. Widely considered the top wide receiver prospect of the 2015 NFL Draft, he was selected with the fourth overall pick by the Raiders." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amari_Cooper.
-snip-
Isha
"Isha" is a female name and also a very widely used contemporary (African American) suffix. "Aisha" (usually pronounced "I-EE-sha" (and sometimes spelled "Iesha") is the most frequently found "isha" name among African Americans.

Here's some information about the Arabic word "isha":
"The Isha prayer (Arabic: صلاة العشاء‎ ṣalāt al-ʿišāʾ... "night prayer") is the night-time daily prayer recited by practising Muslims. It is the fifth of the five daily prayers– (salat) [Islamic evening begins at maghrib]."... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isha_prayer
-snip-
Among African Americans, the name "Isha" may be considered a clip of the now relatively widely known Arabic name "Aisha" ("Ayisha", "Ayesha, "Iesha" etc.). "Iesha" is the title of a 1990 hit R&B record about a girl with that name. The song was recorded by the African American young boys group "Another Bad Creation (ABC)".
-snip-
Janielle
Among African Americans, this name is also spelled "Janelle" and may be best known because of the singer Janelle Monae.

"Janelle Monáe Robinson...born December 1, 1985)[10] is an American recording artist, record producer, actress and model"... K, Lhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janelle_Mon%C3%A1e
-snip-
Javan
-snip-
Among African Americans, the name "Javan" is usually given as "Javon". "Javon" is usually considered a male name.
-snip-
Jayla
"Jayla" is a frequently found contemporary name among African Americans.
Jelisa
Jelissa
Jenica
Jennica
Jinaya
-snip-
Among African Americans, the female name "Jinaya" is usually spelled "Jeniya". This contemporary name is widely found among African Americans.
-snip-
Jontay
-snip-
Among African Americans "Jontay" ("Jonte") is a male or female name. This name may have been coined by African Americans by rhyming the male name "Donte".
-snip-
K, L
Kieri
Kieron
Kiersha
Kirsha
Kishia
-snip-
The three names "Kiersha", "Kirsha", and "Kishia" are similar in spelling to the very frequently used contemporary African American name "Keisha" (found with multiple spellings). I believe that this name became so popular among African Americans as a result of this actress: "Keshia Knight Pulliam (born April 9, 1979)[2] is an American actress. She is known for her childhood role as Rudy Huxtable, the youngest child of Cliff and Clair Huxtable at just the age of 5 to 13, on the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show (1984–92)...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keshia_Knight_Pulliam.
-snip-
Lachelle
LaTisha
-snip-
In my experience, the name "LaTisha" is usually pronounced lah-TIS-sha (with "tis" rhyming with the English word "wish".)
Read the note about the name "Tisha" below.
-snip-
LaShawna
Lavonda
-snip-
There are other "La" names in this list of Mormon female names. While I recognize other names on this list as ones that African Americans have, those names that I recognize appear to me to predate the late 1960s (names such as LaRinda, Lorinda, (among African Americans "Larenda"), "LaRue", "LaQuita", Latrina, and "Lavada" (pronounced lah-VEY-dah), LaVonne (LaVaughn) are names of females who I've known who are in their fifties and sixties. A famous example of the name "LaVaughn" among African Americans is "Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964) is an American lawyer and writer who was First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. She is married to the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, and is the first African-American First Lady. Raised on the South Side of Chicago".https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelle_Obama.
-snip-
M, N
M'Kayla
Macayla
McKayla
-snip-
The female name "Makayla" (pronounced mah-KAY-lah) is frequently found among African Americans.
-snip-
Malia
Malia (pronunciation mah-LEE-ah) is the oldest daughter of President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. Her younger sister is named Natasha (Sasha). http://csipresident.wikia.com/wiki/Malia_Obama.
-snip-
Niecee
Among African American "Neecy" is a nickname for the name "Denise".
-snip-
O, P
Q, R
Rhiana
Among Americans and others, this name is most widely associated with the singer "Rihanna".
"Robyn Rihanna Fenty ... February 20, 1988) is a Barbadian singer, songwriter, and actress." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rihanna
-snip-
S, T
Risha
-snip-
This is a rare example of an "isha" (pronounced "eesha") suffix Arabic name that is found among African Americans.
-snip-
Shahara
-snip-
This name is usually given as "Sahara" among African Americans.
Shamaine
Shamaya
Shanel
-snip-
This name is usually given as "Chanel" among African Americans.
-snip-
Shanisha
Shantay
-snip-
"Shontae" ("Shonte", "Shauntay" etc) are very frequently found contemporary African American female names.
Shantel
Shantell
Shantelle
Shawntae
Shayla-rynne
Among African Americans, the name "Shayla" is found without the other hyphenated name.
-snip-
Taleah
Taleesha
Talesha
-snip-
"Talesha" is an example of "eesha" suffix names that are relatively common among post 1960s African American female names.
-snip-
Tamecia
-snip-
Among African Americans, "Tamecia" is given as "Tamika".
"Tamika" is pronounced tah-ME-kah. I agree with the following commenter that African Americans in the early 1960s coined the "Tamika" was coined by African from the Japanese as a form of the name "Tamiko":
"It is unlikely that Tamika has anything to do with "tamu"*. It is more likely just an African-American variation of Tamiko. If you check the SSA data you will see that in 1968, the first year both Tamiko and Tamika are among the top 1000, there were more Tamikos born than Tamikas. The name was probably introduced to the United States by the 1963 film _A Girl Named Tamiko_. This film, though about a Japanese woman falling in love with a White American man, was in many ways an anti-racism story. This appealed to African-Americans back in the 1960s, and some of them who saw the movie named daughters Tamiko because of it. The very title of the film of course would encourage this. In American accents, though, Tamiko easily can be mistaken for "Tamika", and since -a is a much more common ending for feminine names in English than -o is, African-American parents who heard the name outside of its film context assumed that "Tamika" was how it should be spelled.
― clevelandkentevans 7/5/2005"
*"Tamu" (mentioned in that comment) was a Swahili female name that was popularized in the early 1970s http://myauctionfinds.com/2012/11/02/readers-ask-about-tamu-and-terri-lee-dolls/.

I believe that the name "Tamu" didn't "take" among African Americans because we don't like the beginning or ending sound of the letter "u".
-snip-
Tanisha
-snip-
The name "Tanisha" (usually pronounced tah-NIS-sha) has several known origins. One origin that's sometimes cited among African Americans is that "Tanisha" means "girl born on Monday" in Hausa. However, that etymology isn't correct. In the Hausa language, "Litinin" is the Hausa word for the English word "Monday". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onNnOZL-gqY Days of the Week in Hausa by Learn Hausa with Nadiya Garba, Published on Sep 12, 2016
-snip-
The name "Tanisha" may have been created by combining the beginning of the name "Tanya" with the familiar suffix "isha". Or, I believe less likely, the name "Tanisha" is a variant form of the name of the North Africa nation of "Tunisia".

Although it probably isn't related to how African American coined the name "Tanisha", I recently learned that the Yoruba (Nigeria) element "Tani" means "Who is like?". Two examples of Yoruba names with the element "Tani" are "Tanitoluwa" (Who is like unto God?) and "Tanitoluwami" (Who is like my God?)
https://maternitynest.com/yoruba-names-girls/
-snip-
Tenika
-snip-
"Teneka" ("Tenieka") is a form of the relatively widely found post 1960s African American name "Tamika".
-snip-
Tiana
The name "Tiana" (pronounced tee-AH-nah) is best known because it is the name of the first Black princess in the Disney franchise.
"Tiana is a fictional main character who appears in Walt Disney Pictures' 49th animated feature film The Princess and the Frog (2009). Created by directors Ron Clements and John Musker and animated by Mark Henn, Tiana is voiced by Anika Noni Rose as an adult, while Elizabeth M. Dampier voices the character as a child. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiana_(Disney)
-snip-
Tisha
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The name Tisha is best known because of African American actress Tisha Campbell-Martin https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tisha_Campbell-Martin is probably best known as the lead actress in the television sicom Martin. Tisha Campbell-Martin pronounces her name "TEE-sha".

The female name "Teesha" is probably related to this name.
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Toshia
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This name is given as "Tasha", "Tosha" among African Americans.
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U, V
Venetia
Venita
Vonda
W, X
Y, Z
Zion
Among African Americans, the name "Zion" is given relatively frequently to females or males. I have of often seen the name "Zion" paired with the name "Zaire" (zi-AIR) as a twin name, in keeping with the African American custom of giving twins names that begin with the same letter of the alphabet.

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4 comments:

  1. For the purpose of sharing more information about Mormon naming traditions, here's another excerpt from the 2015 "Mormon Baby Names: Traditions and trends" article that I previously quoted in this pancocojams post:
    https://nameberry.com/blog/mormon-baby-names-traditions-and-trends:
    "The biggest and most obvious question when you hear names like this is why? Why on earth would somebody name a baby Serandipidee? Tradition is the most obvious answer. These oddly-named babies are the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of DaLynns, Cloydeans and LaVerls. As I said before, we Mormons are used to being a little bit different, and it’s been this way for a long time."

    -snip-
    Here are two comments from that article's discussion thread:
    CaitlinBrittin Says:
    January 12th, 2015 at 11:00 am
    "I live in Utah and this is 100% true! I know girls with names included in this article and from the video posted by @janeseemore above. Other names I know personally are Adelvade, Maury-Elle, Janessa, NiKia, IndyAnna, Presslie, Brinleigh, Camarella, Rockelle, Kyndell, and Duvet (yes, like the blanket).
    One family I know has Shanille, Shaysi, Jazzlynn, Kinzli, and they’re currently expecting another girl, cant wait to see what hilarious name they come up with for her!

    I think growing up hearing all these crazy names with unique spellings is why I tend to like ‘boring’ names like Margaret !"

    -snip-

    Comment:
    Janeathab Says:
    January 19th, 2015 at 1:57 pm
    "I remember moving to Utah when I was a teenager and finding a lot of unusual (to me) names–lots of La this or that and lots of Vs in names. And lots of names combined from mother’s and father’s names. And a knew a family who had twins–Kimberli and Bimberli. But to think Mormons are the only groups to have unusual names today simply isn’t true, although I’d admit there are a bunch of them. And there are lots of fads in names–always have been. All the plant names like Hazel and Mrytle in the early 20th century, for example. But I often wonder how those kids are going to feel when they are grown up.”…

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    Replies
    1. Here are some of my thoughts in response to that excerpt and those comments:

      As I noted in this pancocojams post about distinctive names that are found among African Americans and Mormons, both of these populations "like" "La" prefix name, but the names or name elements that follow the "La" prefix are often quite different. For example, it appears (from my reading of that nameberry.com article which is quoted above and some other articles on Mormon names) that "LaVerl" appears to be a familiar male name for Mormons, I haven't found that name among African Americans.

      **
      Apart from the "Kimberli and Bimberli" example that is given above, I wonder if rhyming twin names is a custom among some Mormons. Giving rhyming names has been and still is one of the ways that twins names are selecting among some African Americans. One African American example from at least the 1950s that I also heard in the 1980s was the female names "Brenda & Linda".

      Another long standing African American twin custom is giving twins names that start with the same letter*. A late 20th century - for instance "Zaire and Zion" (for boys or girls). I think that these names date from the late 20th century.

      *Of course, giving children (and not just twins) first names that start with the same letter is commonly found in a lot of African American families.

      **
      In my online reading about distinctive Mormon names, I found a lot of names that ended with "el" or "ell". Those suffixes are also found in a lot of names given to African Americans. However, as is the case with the Mormon names beginning in "La", many of the "el"/"ell" ending names aren't the same in each of these populations.

      For instance, here are a few examples of "el"/"ell" ending names from 1,500,000 baby names MALE Mormon baby names http://www.just-think-it.com/sbn/mormon-m.htm that I don't believe are given to African Americans:
      "Abrel", "Bartell" "Bethuel", "Cardell", "Landel", "Mennell", Mondell, "Narvel", "Parlell", "R'Dell", "Radell", and "Vardel."

      **
      I consider some of the articles about distinctive Mormon names to be rather judgmental in their description of these names. These names were referred to as "crazy", "odd", "unusual", "bizarre", and "strange".

      But, in contrast to negative descriptions of African American distinctive names, I didn't read one article that referred to distinctive Mormon names as "ghetto".

      Delete
  2. Names that begin with "La" (pronounced "Lah") aren't the only distinctive (i.e. non-standard) Mormon given names and African American given names. However, it's documented that names with that prefix have been given to Mormons and to African Americans for generations- although they usually aren't the same names in each of those populations.

    I've wondered why certain prefixes and certain suffixes appear to be preferred in different populations. And I thought of that question when I happened upon this passage from a seemingly unrelated online article:

    http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Jubal.html#.WmJ78ainHcs The name Jubal in the Bible
    "There's only one man named Jabal in the Bible and he was one of three sons of Lamech the First (Genesis 4:21). His only full brother was called Jabal and their mother was Adah. With his other wife, Zillah, Lamech had a third son named Tubal-cain, and a daughter called Naamah."

    After reading that passage, it occurred to me that one of reasons why some Mormons (and some African Americans?) may "like" the prefix "La" is because there are Biblical names with that prefix. So I went searching for Biblical names with the begin with "La" and found this list:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_biblical_names_starting_with_L
    "Laadah
    Laadan
    Laban
    Labana
    Lachish
    Lael
    Lahad
    Lahairoi
    Lahmi
    Laish
    Lakum, fortification[1]
    Lamech
    Laodicea
    Lapidoth
    Lasea
    Lasha, fissure[2][3]
    Lazarus"
    -snip-
    The only name that is somewhat familiar to me (and I think most 20th and 21st century Americans is "Lazarus". But there's not a lot of boys with that name.

    But I still think there's some merit to my theory that Mormons and African Americans (sometimes different and sometimes similar) sound preferences and naming customs have something to do not just with specific Biblical names but how those names' prefixes cause certain sounds to be preferred over others.

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  3. Also note the ending "ah" sound for the female names "Adah", "Zillah"*, and "Naamah". I'm assuming that these are Hebrew names.
    Arabic female names usually also end in "a" (pronounced "ah") (example "Aaliya", "Ameena", Aisha")

    One characteristic of many, but not all, female names [but not nicknames] in the United States is that those names end in "a" (pronounced "ah"). Of course, some "American" male names also end in "a". Did this custom have its source in Arabic and Hebrew and not just from the Latin language?

    *Also, just as a point of information, the name "Zilla" (which is one of the female names that was included in that Biblical passage, is also included in the list of Mormon names that I quoted in this post.

    Some African Americans also were given the name "Zilla".

    Here's information about a famous African American with the name "Zilla":
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zilla_Mays
    "Zilla Florine Mays (September 1, 1931 – September 19, 1995),[1] later Zilla Mays Hinton, was an American R&B and gospel singer who became a popular radio DJ and community leader in Atlanta. She was the first African-American female radio announcer in Georgia, and only the third in the United States."....
    -snip-
    And notice the hyphenated name "Tubal-cain" in that Biblical verse that I quoted above.

    ReplyDelete