Girl Baby Name

Kenya

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Quick Facts on Kenya

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • African-American, English, Russian
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 602
Pronunciation:
KEN-ya
Simple meaning:
Spotted mountain; Little innocent

Characteristics of Kenya

  • Cooperative
  • Considerate
  • Compassionate
  • Nurturing
  • Sensitive
  • Patient
  • Loving
  • Kind
  • Gracious
  • Balanced

Etymology & Historical Origin - Kenya

Kenya is a place name, derived from a country located on the eastern shores of the African continent bordered by the Indian Ocean, Somalia, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania. Kenya gets its name from one of the several Bantu languages spoken there; most specifically the indigenous Kikuyu tribe who referred to the region as “Kiri-nyaga” meaning “spotted mountain” (in reference to the now-extinct-yet-once-volcanic Mt. Kenya). The mountain appeared spotted from a distant perspective with the white snow against the black rocks (standing at over 17,000 ft., Mt. Kenya is the second tallest mountain in Africa after Kilimanjaro in Tanzania). Kenya was a name adopted by African-Americans starting in the late 1960s on the heels of the Civil Rights Movement and in celebration of their African heritage. In reality, however, the modern human as we know our species arose out of Africa so in essence all humans at one point originated out of Africa making Kenya a celebratory name for ALL humans of every color and creed, and not just those of African descent. Aside from Kenya’s clear connection with the country, Kenya is also a diminutive for the Russian masculine name Innokentiy (from the Latin Innocentius) meaning quite obviously “little innocent” (in the diminutive). It seems odd today, but Innocent was actually a popular Christian name in the Middle Ages, so much so it was borne by more than a dozen Popes and several early saints. Among modern English speakers, however, Kenya is being used in the sense of the geographical place name rather than as a Russian masculine diminutive. Kenya is most popular among African-Americans in the United States (Gladys Knight and Quincy Jones each have a daughter they named Kenya).

Popularity of the Name Kenya

Kenya’s first appearance on the U.S. female naming charts came in 1968 and shot up quite quickly in popularity. By 1973 Kenya was already the #275 most popular girl’s name in the country. Now this may not seem like a lot out of 1000 names, but on a relative basis that would definitely be considered meteoric climb. In fact it was during the mid 1970s when Kenya reached her highest peaks ever on the charts. After retreating back to lower levels of usage in the 1980s, Kenya returned again to respectable levels in the mid 1990s before once again dropping off the radar. Kenya is now near the bottom of the Top 1000 list of available girl’s name which means not many parents are considering her much anymore. As we’ve already mentioned Kenya is primarily used within the African-American community in the United States, so perhaps white people shy away from it as a place name of a “black” country (akin to an African-American naming their daughter Ireland, for instance). Yet we support the anthropological science that provides the very evidence supporting the fact that WE ALL originally hailed from Africa so from this perspective Kenya is a unifying name of beauty. Kenya is just a cool name and one that grows on you really fast. Now neglected and underused, we see Kenya as a hidden gem just waiting to be rediscovered and appreciated.
Popularity of the Girl Name Kenya
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Kenya

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Kenya

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Kenya

    Kenya We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Kenya.

  • Popular Songs on Kenya

    Popular Songs on Kenya

    Kenya - We cannot find any popular or well-known songs featuring the name Kenya.

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Kenya

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Kenya

    For You Are a Kenyan Child (Kelly Cunnane) - Imagine you live in a small Kenyan village, where the sun rises over tall trees filled with doves. You wake to the sound of a rooster's crow, instead of an alarm clock and the school bus. Your afternoon snack is a tasty bug plucked from the sky, instead of an apple. And rather than kicking a soccer ball across a field, you kick a homemade ball of rags down a dusty road. But despite this, things aren't that different for a Kenyan child than they would be for an American kid, are they? With so much going on around you, it's just as easy to forget what your mama asked you to do! Recommended for ages 3-7.

    Kenya ABCs: A Book About the People and Places of Kenya (Sarah Heiman) - Explore the people, wildlife, and culture of this beautiful African country. Recommended for ages 6-9.

    Kenya's Word (Linda Trice) - From School Library Journal: “When her homework assignment is to bring in the word that names your favorite kind of pet, Kenya isn’t listening, and she comes to class with her tarantula. When asked to be prepared to talk about favorite foods, the girl brings in a paper bag with ice cream that melts all over her desk. And when her teacher asks the students to bring in their favorite describing word, Kenya spends the weekend thinking about adjectives. She chooses Black…all the colors of the rainbow together, and the color of all of her favorite things. Unfortunately, the black is beautiful message seems a tad too obvious and forced. The average-quality paintings are warm and energetic, and avoid distracting detail. The style enhances the text for young readers trying to grasp the concepts of nouns and adjectives. Useful for reinforcing lessons on parts of speech and for eliciting discussions of ethnic respect. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai (Claire A. Nivola) - Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Green Belt Movement, grew up in the highlands of Kenya, where fig trees cloaked the hills, fish filled the streams, and the people tended their bountiful gardens. But over many years, as more and more land was cleared, Kenya was transformed. When Wangari returned home from college in America, she found the village gardens dry, the people malnourished, and the trees gone. How could she alone bring back the trees and restore the gardens and the people? Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature, says: “Wangari Maathai’s epic story has never been told better—everyone who reads this book will want to plant a tree!” With glowing watercolor illustrations and lyrical prose, Claire Nivola tells the remarkable story of one woman’s effort to change the fate of her land by teaching many to care for it. An author’s note provides further information about Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement. In keeping with the theme of the story, the book is printed on recycled paper. Recommended for ages 5-8.

  • Famous People Named Kenya

    Famous People Named Kenya

    Famous People Named Kenya - Kenya Moore (actress/reality TV personality)

  • Children of Famous People Named Kenya

    Children of Famous People Named Kenya

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Kenya - Quincy Jones (music producer); Nastassja Kinski (actress/model); Gladys Knight (singer/songwriter)

  • Historic Figures

    Kenya - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Kenya - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Kenya.

Personality of the Girl Name Kenya

The Number 2 personality in numerology is all about cooperation and balance. It's the number of diplomats and mediators. They are not leaders, but strive rather for harmony in partnerships. These are the peacemakers. Equality and fairness are important in their dealings, and they are willing to share power and responsibility to achieve a harmonious outcome. This personality is calm and patient, waiting for things to evolve instead of pushing aggressively for an outcome. They are good-natured and easy-going, and care deeply on an emotional and spiritual plane. Twos appreciate beauty and nature and are intent on making the world a better place.

Variations of the Baby Name - Kenya

  • No Variations Found.
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