When it comes to naming one’s baby, it’s interesting how a few parents can get obsessed with the names of the presidential candidates running the elections, especially when it is the president of the USA.
While parents were naming their babies after an incumbent American president in the past, a Yazidi mother who had given birth to a son just an hour before Donald Trump officially won the Presidential campaign went on to name her son Donald Trump. The Yazidi couple, who have been running from the ISIS, believes that Donald Trump would be their ray of hope.
On the other hand, a Kenyan couple had named their third son after Donald Trump, much before he won the election. Their third son was born in August and was named Donald Trump Otieno. Felix Otieno, the father, said that his decision was influenced by Trump’s ‘open mind’ and his candid speech. Otieno’s wife Akoth said that they loved Donald Trump for his frankness and his being firm on his policies despite criticism.
Otieno’s son was born on August 9, 2016, at Kisumu’s Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOORTH) when the presidential campaign was at the height of intensity.
However, not just Trump but also Hillary Clinton was an inspiration for names. In fact, the popularity of the name Hillary was on par with Franklin Roosevelt who won a landslide victory in 1932. During the same year, the popularity of the name Roosevelt had soared by 151%. Franklin Roosevelt’s first name was the 147th most popular name in the US in 1931. But with the rising popularity, the name Franklin jumped to 33rd place.
The popularity of the Clinton names, Bill and Chelsea, have been up by 113% and 18% respectively. Hillary Clinton’s granddaughter Charlotte has seen a surge in popularity by 17% since last year.
The Trump family, on the other hand, gave rise to a new generation of girl names, Melania and Ivanka, which have gone up in popularity by 36% and 4% respectively.
In the past, former president Barack Obama had inspired a unique naming trend in Kenya and around the world. One woman in Kenya had even named her child after the president’s plane, Airforce One Barack Obama. Obama’s father was a Kenyan, therefore, a lot of Kenyan population felt naturally connected with him. When Barack Obama paid a visit to his father’s village in 2006, two schools were named Senator Obama for love for him.
In the US as well, there was a surge in baby names after Barack Obama. Some even chose his name as the middle name for their babies. For instance, a baby in Florida was named Sanjae Obama Fisher. A boy from Arkansas was called Benjamin Barack Kimbrough.
However, from a study published recently in the journal Ethnic and Racial Studies, the collective pride that African Americans felt in the achievements of Barack Obama influenced largely how the African Americans were naming their babies, especially with many parents choosing more ethnic-sounding names post-2008 US presidential elections. (1)