Thursday, September 16, 2021

Parenting Blog ‘Mom Junction’ Lists ’85 Popular Ghetto Baby Names’ For Your Child

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An article posted on April 28, 2016 at the parenting blog Mom Junction

*Nestled among various “baby naming” articles like “100 Latest Baby Girl Names” and “50 Best Twin Baby Girl Names” on the parenting blog Mom Junction was this one, titled “85 Popular Ghetto Baby Names For Girls And Boys.”

And here’s screenshot proof in case they decide to delete this like it never happened.

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The writer of the list, “ARSHI,” explains in the opening paragraph, “There was a time when ghetto names were associated only with the uneducated, and the destitute. But today, ghetto names have carved their niche and are rather popular among parents who want their children to have unique names. And, here is our compilation of some ghetto names.”

The writer went on to explain, “A ghetto name is a standard name with a tweaked spelling. It can be Stefany for Stephanie or Antwon for Antoine. Ghetto names are usually given by parents who do not know the traditional spelling of a particular name or choose to disregard it.”

Below is just some of the “ghetto names” that were listed, in separate categories for boys and girls:


1. Zendaya:

The meaning of this ghetto name is ‘to give thanks’ in the Shona language. Zendi would make the best nickname for Zendaya.

Fact- Shona is an African language spoken by 80% of the people of Zimbabwe.

2. Makemba:

The name Makemba comes from Central Africa and means ‘Congolese goddess.’ A mighty name it is.

3. Tinashe:

This one’s our favorite. Tinashe means ‘God’ is with us in the Shona language. Don’t you think it’s a cute name? The most obvious pick as a nickname is Tina.

4. Sharkiesha:

Sharkiesha is a twist on the familiar name Keisha. It’s considered one of the most common ghetto names. We even think it’s one of the most usable ghetto names.

5. Akilah:

Akilah is a variation of the Arabic name, Aaliyah. It means ‘intelligent and logical.’ In the year 2006, Keke Palmer and Angela Basset starred in a movie “Akeelah and the Bee”, which was probably inspired by this name.

6. Kalisha:

Here’s another good, ghetto name for your daughter. Kayli would make a good nickname for Kalisha.


1. Deshawn:

The ‘De in Deshawn indicates ‘son’ of and Shawn is a variation of Sean, which means ‘God is gracious.’ The name rose to prominence as one of the most famous ghetto names in the 1980’s.

2. Tyrone:

Tyrone is an Irish name and means ‘land of Own.’ It’s also the name of the famous actor, comedian and pundit Stephen Colbert’s middle name. So you have a great namesake too!

3. Jerome:

Jerome is a Greek name and means ‘sacred name.’ The name is inspired by a saint named Jerome. He was the one who translated the Old Testament from Hebrew into Latin.

4. Javon:

Javon is a variation of the Hebrew name Javan, who is said to be the guardian angel of Greece. The biblical Javan was the son of Japheth and is a favorite in contemporary America.

5. Kabaka:

Originating in Uganda, Kabaka is a short and straightforward name, meaning ‘king.’ The name sounds formal, upstanding and a bit pompous. We think it would work best for people looking for a name with a regal ring.

6. Tyrese:

The name Tyrese is a mix of Tyree and Terence. The name is considered one of the most attractive and usable ghetto names. Hundreds of Americans have also adopted this name.

7. Idris:

The name Idris has plenty of takers in Africa and America. It’s a Senegalese name and means ‘immortal.’ Even its nickname Iddie is on the rise.

Also in the article’s introduction was this bit of “historical” background:

When Were Ghetto Names First Used?

When the Americans brought Africans to their country to become slaves, they did not just strip them off their clothes, but also their names, taking their dreams, hopes and identities. They deemed their names too exotic and too difficult to pronounce. The American gave their slaves Biblical names like Eve, Ruth, James, Joseph, Mary, Luke, etc. Some were also given short and persuasive names like Bill and Tom. But after the Civil War, the slaves were determined to reinvent their identity. They started this by making their names unique. Names like Luce were turned into Lucinda. And typical western names like Mary and John began to fall out of favor with the whites and the blacks started adopting them. So the Africans, who were no longer connected to their African roots, began asserting their identity by creating new names for their children. These names came to be called ghetto names.



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