The surge of “Obabies”

One of today’s news over at Yahoo Philippines talks about “Obabies,” or babies named after US President-Elect Barack Obama, growing in number in their country’s maternity wards. I guess many Americans were so inspired by him and the results of the elections that moms who went into labor during that time named their babies after the man that swept the nation (and the world), or after his wife Michelle, and daughters Sasha and Malia.

So what does the name Barack Obama mean?

Researching over the Net. I stumbled upon an Obama-Biden site which had a blog entry about his name.

Obama’s full name, as if you haven’t known yet, is Barack Hussein Obama. “Barack” had multiple origins, including Kiswahili and Hebrew, but all have the same denominator: it means “blessing.” “Hussein,” an Arabic name which could somehow scare people because it reminds them of Iraq’s former dictator, has, oddly enough, a nice meaning: “beautiful” or “handsome.” The last name, “Obama,” may be derived from the Western Kenyan term “obam” which would imply something “bending” or “leaning.”

A handful of baby girls born during the US elections were also named after Obama’s wife and children. His wife and I share the same French name, which means “one who is like God.” As for the kids’ names, “Sasha” means “defending men” in Greek, while “Malia” means “queen” in Swahili, or it may mean “perhaps” or “probably” in Hawaiian. It is also a form of the name, “Mary.” Aren’t they beautiful names?

It’s not the first time babies have been named after presidents or some famous celebrity. Or characters from a movie. I guess what it all boils down to is choosing a name that suits your child. Hopefully these little “Obabies” grow up to be in the same mold as their namesake — persons of inspiration who are ready and willing to make a change in the world, and for the world.

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