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Rani (RAH-nee) is a Hindu girl's name, Arabic, Sanskrit and Nepali for "queen." As a word, it is the feminine form of Raja or Rana, which applies to male rulers. It is still used as a given name today in India. Some sites will tell you Rani means "she sings," but in Hebrew it is a nickname for the masculine name Ran, meaning "he sings," which is where the common misunderstanding comes from.

Rani has dozens great namesakes. Because Rani is also a title it's a bit hard to siphon out the namesakes where Rani is a given name. Rani Vijaya Devi is one example. She was a princess in India, but articles do not specifically point out her birth name.

Rani Rashmoni founded the Dakshrineswar Kali Temple and played a part in blocking British trade on the Ganges river. Rani Karnaa, born in 1939, was a dancer who was so respected that she recieved the Padma Shri award. There was also a famous Pakistani actress called Rani, and Indian actresses Rani Agrawal, Rani Chandra, Rani Chatterjee and Rani Mukerji.

The god Krishna's consort, queen Radha is sometimes referred to as Radha Rani or Radharani, and therefore the name can be given in her honor.

In the U.S. Rani is rare, given to only 25 girls in 2016, but it has been used since 1946, and 44 times in a year was the most it was ever used.


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2015 Stats
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1. Emma
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3. Sara/Sarah/Sahra
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5. Linnea/Linea
6. Thea/Tea
7. Maya/Maia/Maja
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9. Ingrid/Ingri
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Here's one of my personal favorites, although I'm surprised I still like it after seeing Forrest Gump so often (thanks, Dad). In fact, the name peaked in popularity for the second time the year the movie was released, jumping to number #217 in 1994. Now he's on the move yet again, rising to 132 boys given the name in 2015 from a low dip to 47 in 2006. To be clear, Forest is the word spelling and Forrest the name spelling, and Forrest remains a much more popular choice with 387 boys given the name in 2015, ranking at #659. Forrest also had a dip in 2006 with only 147 births, disappearing from the charts between 2003 and 2013, and it also peaked in 1994 with 1,343 boys born, rising to #217. Historically both spelling options have been very popular.

Forest doesn't have an obvious nickname, but it's one of those names you enjoy saying without having to shorten it. Forest is Old French, meaning "woods." A famous namesake is St. John Forest of the 16th century…