Quick Facts on America
- American, Italian, Latin
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
Universal Power; Powerful Home
Characteristics of America
Etymology & Historical Origin - America
As a female given name America is quite obviously derived from a place name. It could refer to the continents of the Americas, but more likely it’s being bestowed in the honor of the United States of America specifically. America was named after the late 15th early 16th century Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci. As a talented cartographer (map maker), Vespucci was able to demonstrate that there existed a separate land mass or “super continent” that came to be referred to as the New World (later called America in honor of Amerigo’s first name). Amerigo dates back to the Middle Ages and was essentially the Italian form of the Germanic masculine name Emmerich. Germanic names infiltrated Italy due to the presence of Germanic tribes who came to conquer and occupy various regions of Southern Europe (it was the Germanic Visigoths who famously sacked Rome in 410 A.D.). Emmerich is a name of two Germanic elements. The last syllable comes from “rīc” meaning “power”, but the first syllable is debated. Some believe it comes from the Germanic “ermen” meaning “whole, universal, complete” or “heim” meaning “home”. Based off these two possible etymologies, America ultimately means either “Universal Power” or “Powerful Home”. Both meanings lend themselves nicely to the concept of America being a powerful nation from an international perspective (and we don’t mean this in an arrogant way). The etymologies just feel apropos and more than coincidental. The United States of America is quite clearly a powerful force on the global stage: militaristically, economically and culturally. But more than that, America has represented the ultimate “land of opportunity” for scores of settlers and immigrants for hundreds of years. Not surprisingly, the name America is primarily restricted to the continents of the Americas, but most especially in the United States of…that’s right…America.
Popularity of the Name America
You may be as surprised as we were to learn that America was a female name in use at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th. Although used only in the lightest of frequency back then, she at least scored a position on the charts. The name would drop off the charts in 1910 and not reemerge for another 88 years. America’s reappearance took place in 1998 but we’re not sure what prompted the return. We do know later in 2002 the American actress of Honduran descent, America Ferrera, established herself as up-and-coming talent thanks to her role in the successful indie film “Real Women Have Curves”. It seems Ferrera has had some positive impact on the usage of her uncommon first name. In more recent years, however, America has fallen substantially further down the charts so her heyday may be behind her (the name, not the actress). In fact, the actress was quoted in Time Magazine regarding how she got her name: “I'm named after my mother. In Latin America, April 14 is Day of the Americas, and my mother was born on April 14, so my grandpa named her America.” From this perspective, America might be a good choice for a U.S. baby born on the 4th of July. Really, it’s hard to find a name more patriotic than America (Liberty comes close). It is also a “place” name much in the same vein as Asia, India or Africa (not to mention London, Paris and Brooklyn). So what’s the controversy with America? Seems that a lot of people who claim to love America feel this is just going too far. Yet the name appears to be more common among immigrants coming to the country from South and Central America; they have a different perspective of and respect for America in general. For them, it’s more of a celebration, which we find lovely. Interestingly, the social and political activist of the 1960s, Abbie Hoffman, named his son america Hoffman. The lowercase “a” was intentional. Hoffman was making a statement demonstrating his patriotism but not “extreme” patriotism. If you’re of the mind-set that America is just too much, then consider using it as a middle name, creating the initials U.S.A. or using the short form Erica. This is not a name for everyone, but there is something special about it that’s hard to deny.
Popularity of the Girl Name America
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - America
Literary Characters of the Baby Name America
America (a novel by E. R. Frank) You try not to think. You try not to imagine, but then those cracks pop up, and these flashes squeeze right through. At first, some of it's not too bad, and you get stupid, maybe even wanting a little more, but then you pull yourself together, knowing what all is likely going to ooze out if you're not careful....
Fifteen-year-old America has been nowhere, has been nobody. Separated from his foster mother. A runaway. A patient. Without love. Without hope. And, eventually, without the will to live. Until Dr. B. steps in. To listen. To explore. And to find within America both the story and the boy who are lost.
Popular Songs on America
America - a song by Neil Diamond
America - a song by Wu-Tang Clan
America the Beautiful - a song sung by Various Artists
For America - a song by Jackson Browne
God Bless America - a song by Celine Dion
God Bless America Again - a song by Loretta Lynn
Goodnight America - a song by Mary Chapin Carpenter
Hello America - a song by Def Leppard
I Love America - a song by Alice Cooper
I Miss America - a song by Harry Chapin
Kids in America - a song by Kim Wilde
Little America - a song by R.E.M.
Song for America - a song by Kansas
Spirit of America - a song by the Beach Boys
Children's Books on the Baby Name America
A Is for America (Tanya Lee Stone) - Little ones will love learning American history in Tanya Lee Stone's latest alphabet book. Rhyming couplets that flow through the alphabet help kids celebrate everything from the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence to Thomas Jefferson and Harriet Tubman! Recommended for ages 3-5.
America : A Patriotic Primer (Lynne Cheney) - America: A Patriotic Primer is a succinct history of the United States, an ABC of the principles on which this country was founded, and a book for children and families to pore over, discuss, and cherish. “A is for America, / the land that we love. / B is for the Birthday / of this country of ours....” To choose the twenty-six people and ideas that comprise the book, Lynne Cheney has drawn on a lifetime of learning about the American past, and on the inspiration that comes from witnessing recent history firsthand. Illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser imbues Mrs. Cheney's words with childlike joy through her exuberant drawings. Together they have created a patriotic primer, a book that teaches history by celebrating the diversity, tenacity, and faith of the American people. Recommended for ages 5-8.
America Is... (Louise Borden) - What is America? It is fifty states from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific Ocean and beyond. It is a flag of stars and stripes. It is farmers, miners, factory workers, bakers, and bankers. It is Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon, swamps and desert. It is the stories of all of us, told together. Recommended for ages 6-9.
Famous People Named America
Famous People Named America - America Ferrera (actress)
Children of Famous People Named America
Famous People Who Named Their Child America - Abbie Hoffman (social and political activist named his son america Hoffman)
America - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures
America - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name America.
Personality of the Girl Name America
The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change. Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy. This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive.
Variations of the Baby Name - America