Nevaeh, a name out of heaven: Christian rocker starts a trend

June 13, 2006

Spell heaven backward and what do you get? The 70th most popular name for American baby girls.

Nevaeh, usually pronounced nuh-VAY-uh, cracked the top 100 names for newborn baby girls for the first time in 2005, with 4,457 infants being given the name, according to the New York Times.

The name is the fastest rising in popularity since the Social Security Administration began keeping such records more than a century ago. In 1999, only eight newborn girls were named Nevaeh.

The Times reports that the name is popular among African Americans and evangelical Christians. Nevaeh was more popular last year than names like Amanda, Sara and Vanessa.

The major reason for the surge in Nevaeh is MTV. Christian rocker Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D. mentioned his new baby daughter Nevaeh on the network in 2000. That year, there were 86 Nevaehs. The next year the number shot up to 1,191.

What about Heaven as a name? It ranked 245th in 2005. –Religion News Service