He’s all the rage in Puerto Rico, and you might just hear him in your hometown, too.
Thanks to Emily for suggesting Yadiel as our Baby Name of the Day.
Here’s a fun fact: the Social Security Administration statistics only include the names of children born in the 50 states. Territories are calculated separately. Puerto Rico is its own category; the remaining territories (Guam, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, and US Virgin Islands) are another category. They have their own page on the Social Security Administration’s site.
The second list – Guam and company – aren’t startlingly different. If I’d told you it was the list for Nebraska, maybe, or Tennessee, you’d probably believe me.
But then there’s Puerto Rico, and their Top Ten are very different. Girls first:
And the boys:
But check out the rest of the island’s Top 100 and you’ll see that Yadiel is more than just a wildly popular name that isn’t heard outside of Puerto Rico. Instead, I suspect that -iel is, in Spanish, something akin to -aiden in English. Also appearing in Puerto Rico’s Top 100:
- Girls’ names like Yarielis, Karielys, Darielys, and Arielys;
- Here’s the eye-opener: boys names’ Jeriel, Abdiel, Yariel, Jadiel, Keniel, Dariel, Yeriel, Yandiel, Adriel, Yadriel, Joniel, Yaniel, Ezequiel, and Daniel.
They range from the evergreen (Daniel) to obscure Biblical picks (Abdiel) to nouveau coinages – actually, most of the list falls into the last category. I couldn’t find a pronunciation, but I’m assuming it sounds something like this: YAH dee el.
I can’t explain the -iel phenomenon, but I’m fairly confident that there’s a reason Yadiel is at the top of the pack. There’s a Puerto Rican recording artist called Yadiel, also sometimes spelled Jadiel. He’s been around since 2003 or so, and while he’s yet to hit it big outside his home country, I suspect he’s more than popular enough to influence trends.
Where did his mother find the name? She didn’t. The recording artist was born Ramón Adams.
Right now Yadiel and Jadiel are heavily in use in Puerto Rico, and showing some signs of catching on elsewhere in the Spanish-speaking world. They’re not ready to be imported into mainstream American names just yet. But they’re not that far off – think of Gabriel (#22 in 2009) and Ezekiel (#227). Should Señor Adams strike it big in the US, it is very possible that same parents who embraced Jayden and Braylen could appreciate the name’s creative style.
Until that day comes to pass, let’s file him under rarities.