Jasmine is a transcription of the Arabic Yasmīn (يسمين), ultimately derived from the Old Persian “yasamen” meaning “Jasmine” (as in the flowering plant of the olive genus). Jasmine originally referred to a perfume produced from the flower – a climbing flower native to the warm temperate regions of the Old World around the Mediterranean (i.e., Afro-Eurasia). Jasmine – especially in the form of Yasmīn – has long been a popular female name in the Arab and Persian worlds. In the United States, the English equivalent Jasmine has been in use since the turn of the 20th century when naming girls after flowering plants and trees became a fashionable trend (like Lily, Rose, Iris, Violet). However, Jasmine’s increasing popularity in the last couple of decades owes much to the Disney character Princess Jasmine from the movie “Aladdin” (1992). The jasmine flower symbolizes sweetness, elegance and grace, and is known for its intoxicating fragrance. Today the name Jasmine is a Top 50 favorite in England and Australia. It’s on the Top 100 lists in the United States, Canada, Scotland and Sweden.
Jasmine debuted on America’s Top 1000 list of baby girl names in 1973 (although it was in circulation prior, just at low levels of usage). The name took off pretty fast and inside of 15 years landed a spot on the Top 100 list. That’s what we call rapid success! She didn’t stop there, though; Jasmine maintained positioning on the Top 30 list for 17 consecutive years throughout the 1990s and early part of the 2000s. Her highest achievement came between 1993 and 1994 when Jasmine was the 23rd most common name across the country. Not surprisingly, this triumph came right after the release of Disney’s “Aladdin” (1992). Jasmine appears to be headed off America’s Top 100 list (currently ranked #85), but given all the spelling variations in circulation today, she’s still doing quite a bit better than first meets the eye. Jasmine is a lovely name, just like her namesake flower!