New Baby Alert: Shakira Welcomes Son Named Milan
Shakira has done all the work for us, posting the meaning and pronounciation of the name Milan on her website along with the birth announcement. "The name Milan (pronounced MEE-lahn), means dear, loving and gracious in Slavic; in Ancient Roman, eager and laborious; and in Sanskrit, unification."
Milan is a very popular name internationally, ranked in the top 50 in Belgium, the Netherlands, Hungry and the Czech Republic. Americans, however, haven't shared the same passion for the name, at least not recently. It was fairly popular in the early to mid 20th century, peaking at No. 677 in the 1920s.
There are many notable people with the name, especially from the Czech Republic. Some of the most well known Milans are the Czech soccer player Milan Baroš and the Czech author Milan Kundera.
Starting just a few years ago, Milan began to grow in the U.S. as a girl's name and has very quickly ascended to No. 608. Musician Scott Stapp chose it for his daughter in 2007 and Mike Tyson chose it for his the year after. The surge in popularity of place names could be partly responsible for the sudden appearance as a girls name, with Milan being the English spelling of the Italian city Milano.
Shakira herself has spawned a trend with her own name. Although she was born in Columbia, her heritage is Lebanese and her name is Arabic. According to Laura Wattenberg's book The Baby Name Wizard, Shakira's publicist translates the name as "woman full of grace," but the more standard translation is "thanksful." Following the singer's initial success, Shakira surged to No. 737 in the 1990s, making a brief comback in 2006, but has since fallen off the name charts, even as her songs continue to dominate the music world.
What do you think of the name Milan? Do you think it also works as a girl's name? What about the name Shakira?