I’ve mostly dedicated this weekend to reading the Chronicles of Narnia and watching the new Star Trek movies all the way through, both for the first time. As if I’m not nerdy enough, I’m currently wearing a t-shirt that says “Expressions of Vader.” And yes, that means I was wearing Star Wars regalia when I saw the new Star Trek movie today. Please don’t accuse me of crossing the streams – at least I’m not this guy:
Or do accuse me of crossing the streams, since I’ve just dragged the Ghostbusters into the fray. XD Nevertheless, I enjoyed the movie.
I don’t watch nearly enough sci-fi, though as a self-proclaimed “namenerd” I appreciate how profoundly it can affect baby naming. Star Wars is a great example. That series made Leia a popular name, boosted Luke, and created the now mildly-popular name Anakin.
Admittedly, I’m a bigger fan of Star Wars than of Star Trek, and I haven’t really considered Trekkie baby naming until now. I already did know about the Jean-Lucs, and it’s not too much of a stretch to think that those 9 boys named Trek last year were probably named in honor of Star Trek. But today there was one name in particular that piqued my interest – Jaylah.
Jaylah is a very modern name that currently ranks #483 in the U.S., down from #234 in 2012. Jayla is the more common spelling, with a current rank of #238, but I’ve also seen rarer spellings like Jaila. Both Jayla and Jaylah are losing popularity, Jaylah more rapidly. Under normal circumstances, we could probably expect them to leave the top 1000 within the next few years and go down in history as “flash-in-the-pans.” They may still exit soon. But, maybe not now that there’s a namesake.
Jaylah is a new character introduced in Star Trek Beyond, which only opened this past week. After aliens attack the Enterprise in uncharted space, the crew mostly ends up imprisoned by their attackers on a nearby planet, with some of the officers racing to find them and each other. Scotty, completely alone upon landing, ends up cornered by the enemy. Jaylah appears at the crucial moment and slaughters the enemy, saving Scotty. It turns out she lives in a long-lost Federation starship, and wants his help fixing it (i.e., getting it airborne). I don’t want to spoil the movie, so I’ll just say this: she’s awesome.
Back to my point: the name Jaylah not only now has a namesake, but more importantly has nerd cred. Will the new Star Trek film grant this name a reprieve in her downward popularity spiral? If so, will other spellings like Jayla become more popular too? What do you think of the name Jaylah?
P.S.: How’d y’all like the movie?