A particularly intriguing search term popped up yesterday in my site’s analytics – “Rank of the Name Bellatrix in Nigeria.” Since I blog mostly about rare names, I expect most people will probably discover my site in the quest for an unusual moniker. Still, I was surprised to see this.
I’ve decided to try and respond to the prompt as if were asked this personally. On a side note, if any of you have similarly unusual name questions, I’d be delighted to answer! My email is listed on my contact page, along with a link to this site’s Facebook page if you’d prefer to message me that way. Or, simply leave a comment at the bottom of this post!
First, some information on the name:
- Origin: Latin
- Meaning: Female warrior
- Popularity in United States: 5 girls in 2015. Bellatrix was most popular in 2009 and 2012 – both years, given to 12 girls.
- Popularity in England/Wales: 4 girls in 2015 (#4736).
- Namesake: Bellatrix Lestrange
- Other uses: Star in constellation Orion (the Hunter).
- Themes: Harry Potter, astronomy, war, villains, magic, Bella names
- Nicknames: Bella, Belle, Trixie
My question – would you be able to overcome the associations with Bellatrix Lestrange and name your child Bellatrix?
As to the original question regarding the Nigerian rank of Bellatrix…the answer is “impossible to determine.” I searched, and found no definitive government list of popular Nigerian names like we have for the U.S. and U.K. I did find a Nigerian parenting blog with several posts about popular names (including this one about English-language girls’ names), but all it told me was what is perceptibly popular. Bellatrix wasn’t mentioned anywhere.
I then read a little on Nigerian naming practices, which are complicated and fascinating! Among some ethnic groups, factors such as birth order and twin-birth (or even both) can determine the child’s name. In the Igbo ethnicity, as this article claims, first-born daughters almost always have “Ada” somewhere in their name. Specific circumstances can lead to certain names. Something else to consider that the first article touches on is the use of aspiring/quality names like those of Goodluck Jonathan (former President) and his wife Patience.
Ultimately, Bellatrix might belong to a few Nigerian girls, but I doubt she’s very popular there or anywhere.