I went to school with a Shaniqua. She was the pastiest white girl I’ve ever met. She loved her bling and slightly off-brand fashion, but she was a very nice girl. The name makes me think of her.
Also, Bruce Springsteen uses the name in his 2007 song Girls In Their Summer Clothes, about an older guy pining after a diner waitress named Shaniqua, which is probably the only Grammy winning rock song to use the name.
I think Shaniqua is a perfectly fine name. And definitely doesn’t deserve all the criticism it seems to get bombarded at it.
I've always thought this was a pretty name.
There is nothing wrong with the name Shaniqua, anymore than there is anything wrong with the name Karen. Calling someone "a Shaniqua" is an anti-black racial slur, the same as calling someone "a Karen" is an anti-white racial slur. There is no difference, and yet people who are insecure and shallow continue to do either or both. Anyone who thinks it's harmless fun, or who somehow feels superior doing it is just ignorant and totally uncaring about the domino effect it has on other people. Believe it or not, there ARE little girls out there with both of these names, in addition to young women are trying to make their way in the world but whose paths have been made much more difficult because of shallow, selfish people. They are already stereotyped before they get going in life. If any of you have done this with your brainless memes, congratulations. You must feel really good about yourselves.
My name is Shiniqua and I understand the name is a lot different from most names and it’s not the nicest name you could pick out there and that’s me honestly saying that about my name personally but it’s just a name and honestly who cares? So idk why people are saying it’s such an ugly name, like we didn’t get picked to have this name and it’s just rude you would say that but it’s a name so why does it matter?
I'm not a fan of names that end in 'qua' so this is a huge NO for me. This name isn't even that popular anymore.
I like it. I like the sound, and the look of it. Also, I think that SOME of these comments that dislike Shaniqua are racist, but not all of them are. The sound of Shaniqua, for me, is best described by Nomi: "I like how this name begins with the soft "Shani" part and ends with the strong "Qua" part. Names like Brittany or Ashley are nice too, but I think Shaniqua has more spice", and I agree with him that it sounds a bit spicier than other nice names like Anna or Mary, Shaniqua is like a mini tongue-twister! Though Mike says that Shaniqua has no meaning, I like the other theory that says it means "God is gracious"; I like all religious names! The first thing that comes to my mind when Shaniqua pops up is a strong-willed African-american woman, though it isn't impossible for me to think of a White woman named Shaniqua. Also, Shaniqua and Quanisha is the perfect twin combination!
Not calling the name ghetto. I'm very much not racist. I just don't like the name and that's OK.
Okay, first of all, the name "Shaniqua" is very much a female African American name. I have always personally been intrigued by African American names here in America. Shaniqua is just one of those many names. I think they sound ridiculous but that's just my opinion. For instance, if a mother does not have a name picked out for her new baby girl in the hospital, I swear she will look around her hospital room and a spot a tube of toothpaste and all of a sudden she can come up with a name for her new baby girl. Aquafresh is the toothpaste she sees. So she thinks to herself, "I've got it! I will name my baby girl Aquafiniqua! It's a beautiful and refreshingly unique name!" So that's what I think about it, that black people have ridiculous names that sound weird and are weird. Goodbye Felicia or should I say "Feliqua". I bet you someone out there has that name too! As a side note, I used to know someone personally I used to work with. She was a very nice black woman but her name was Aquanet. Just like the hairspray... What is that? That's ridiculous and stupid I'm sorry but it's the facts! HELLO-WHOAAA!
If this name is “ghetto”, then I love ghetto names! :D

God bless you ❤️.
Ghetto! Lol, my name is Shaniqua Shawanna born 1974. So, if it was made up it's been used for awhile. I love my name...I AM A GIFT FROM GOD...
Yes this name sounds made up but stop saying it’s ghetto. I think it has a perfect mixture of lightness and strength, Shaniqua is a nice name. Although, if you name your child this they might be bullied, just saying.
I hear people saying it's Swahili and means this and that... anyone got sources for that, or is this just hearsay? Did this name ever exist in Africa or is it just a modern made up name?
This name is of African and Native American origin. Calling it "disgraceful" or ghetto is belittling TWO CULTURES. TWO ETHNICITIES. Do better.
First let me start by saying some of the comments I’m reading sound somewhat racist.
My name is Taniqua and my twin’s name is Shaniqua. Our names are both exotic African and Native American names.

In African lango it means God is Gracious, and in Native American it means Beautiful or beautiful spirit. We have both Native American and African lineage. The negative connotation that comes with having our names is just plain ignorance.

There is nothing ghetto or unattractive about our unique names.. they are beautiful and honestly we both are physically very beautiful as well.
No one should have to grow up being ashamed of their unique name just because it’s not “Sara” or “Karen”. Some of you are way too judgmental and borderline racist, learn to accept people’s differences.
Not the best choice.
I have this pink stuffed Webkinz poodle named Shaniqua...
Unattractive and made-up.
Okay name. Not bad, not good. Just okay.
I consulted a Swahili dictionary and found out that "shani" means "adventure".
Hi, I'm a guy from Germany who is not black. Here's my opinion:

I like how this name begins with the soft "Shani" part and ends with the strong "Qua" part. Names like Brittany or Ashley are nice too, but I think Shaniqua has more spice.

When I say the name Shaniqua, I picture a kind-hearted, strong-willed black lady who follows her passion and stands up for her loved ones if they're in danger.
Very ghetto sounding name. Also, anyone screaming "RACISM" at people who dislike this name needs to get a life.
Shaniqua sounds like a made up name. (No offense).
Many of the anonymous comments are vitriolic and demonstrate blatant racism and ethnocentrism, especially the comment about the name Quinn. To all those dismissing the name, consider why your reaction to it is so strong, without even taking the time to consider the HUMAN BEING who bears it. Most of you have commented that women/girls with this name will be treated unfairly for having it, with no conscious awareness that you yourselves are the ones dishing this horrible treatment out. Cognitive dissonance at its finest.

I don't see such hate spewed in the comments of truly ugly names like Gertrude or Beulah. Because they're anglo-saxon. People constantly say the name Shaniqua is "ghetto," either having never met a woman with that name, or consciously choosing to be reductive of any other woman they meet with the name based on negative personal experiences they've had with less people than they can count on one hand, who happen to share it. But, ladies and gentleman, you are each a data point of one. Your (obviously biased) experiences cannot be applied to the whole.

You may have guessed, my name is Shaniqua. Clearly I'm intelligent, articulate, and thoughtful. No one reading the first two paragraphs would think, "This must be a ghetto, trashy, worthless, stupid person." But, had they known my name before reading my comment, they might have. This is a conditioned racist response. And yes, African Americans can react in the same way a racist person of another ethnicity would, it's just considered self-hate, because this variant of the name was indeed popularized by the African American community. You may not like it, fellow black people, but you've been conditioned to do so.

Last point, to those arguing that naming a baby girl Shaniqua drastically reduces her chances for success in life, consider this: Because the negative associations with this name are so well known, women who bear it have the unique ability to use their names as a sort of "litmus test" for other people. When in general conversation with a stranger or new associate, I tend to withhold my name as long as possible to allow the other person to see the content of my character before giving them anything else to go on. If, after learning my name, they respond with shock or surprise, it tells me they associate the name Shaniqua, and by extension African American culture, with negative stereotypes. This gives me the opportunity to decide if it's worth my time and energy to enlighten them, because I do indeed embody the meaning of my name, and try to extend God's grace to all I meet. I wouldn't be able to do that if my name was Susan. Food for thought...

I love my name. And if anyone is considering giving this name to their daughter, do so with pride. She'll be in exceptional company.
Shaniqua isn't made up, it's a strong, traditional African name.
Hideous. Just plain hideous.
I would never name my child that but honestly, it’s sad how people would attempt to judge you by names.
I don't like this name personally. But seeing everyone spitting so much venom on this name, there's far more worse names in this world.
I loathe this name. It's such a HIDEOUS, stereotypical name. PLEASE do not name your daughter this!
Good Name 10/10.
As a female with the name Shaniqua. I find it sad that so many people are slandering the name. Personally I love my name. Yes I'm African American but the association with the name a lot of you are basically saying is untrue. I do not like long fake nails. I'm far from ghetto and or ratchet. I don't do the long weave & I'm not loud and or atrocious.. a lot of you need to open your eyes & expand your brains because you can't put a label on a person because of their name... have any of you ever heard "Don't judge a book by its cover"?
I'm a strong black educated woman & honestly I've never received any criticism because of my name. I'm a proud owner of the name Shaniqua. I believe it's a beautiful name and if given the chance to change it.. I wouldn't, in fact I would name my daughter Shaniqua
I am seeing all these comments about how the name Shaniqua is seen as trashy, ghetto unprofessional, weird... it's 2016 so hopefully we all know why the name Shaniqua is seen as all these things... it's because it was created by black people. If you really think about it, that's why we've been so conditioned to think that it's such a "wrong" name. The only reason why it's wrong is that it doesn't have European/Jewish origin. And to make matters worse, the name is an African American name (ohhh the horror!). Society has brainwashed us into thinking that things created by black people are to be looked down upon or not taken seriously unless it has to do with entertainment or manual labor. That's all society sees African Americans as good for. Intellect and creativity? Nah, that's not for black people, so if they try to be creative and it's not for the entertainment of society then we look down upon them. The only thing wrong with the name Shaniqua is that it doesn't sound European enough. In fact, what's really the difference between the names Shaniqua and Mary other than their origins? The fact that Mary should be more of an accepted name than Shaniqua just because it's Jewish/European is bull. In fact, seeing as how the name Mary literally translates into "bitter", I'd be more inclined to name my child Shaniqua. Open your eyes people.
I think the name has a bad rep. It's seen as very unprofessional and stereotypical.
Why do I get the feeling that every person that commented that the beautiful name Shaniqua was ugly or stereotypical, are exactly the type of people that stereotype people? The immense hatred some of these people displayed was idiotic, how can you hate a name so much? I can understand disliking a name, I personally dislike the name Frank, but would I use words like atrocious to describe it? No.
Plus, many of the people that called Shaniqua a ghetto name felt the need to qualify themselves that they were not racist. (anyone who has to add qualifications such as this are basically admitting to the opposite).
It really isn't a "hideously ugly name" at all. The origin of the name is Swahili and it makes sense that a mother would want their child to have a connection to their culture. Furthermore, if a child is "destined to cause the person bearing it to be stereotyped", maybe the problem isn't the name so much and it's more the ignorance of the people doing the stereotyping. Did you ever consider that?
It's a hideously ugly name, I wish people would stop giving innocent babies names like this that are destined to cause the person bearing it to be stereotyped.
My name is Shoniqua and it is derived from the African culture Swahili. I love my name and always have. I hated that song by Oran Juice Jones because it was related to her sensuality rather than her beauty. I am proud to bear this name and I am a pillar in my community. For everyone that's disgusted swallow your tongue, it's far more grotesque.
It's not our fault ghetto people (not just black; white people can be ghetto, too) use names like this. Stereotypes are annoying, but can you blame people for having negative associations with this name? I suppose it isn't all bad, and using it doesn't make you ghetto, but we all have opinions. My personal opinion is that it's an ugly name. Not because I associate it with ghetto people (the only people around here I've seen with this name have been ghetto), but it simply doesn't appeal to me. If your name is Shaniqua and you like it, great for you, but not everybody is going to feel the same way.
What I find appalling is that we in the American society so ignorantly and easily buy into stereotypes. How would you like it if people judged you by YOUR name? We didn't name ourselves. Only in the US is my name seen as repulsive. Everywhere else I have traveled, they think it's beautiful (and I have met people from about 50 different countries). I am also of Puerto Rican descent and am bilingual. When I apply for teaching positions (I am a certified high school teacher), I get passed up for the Hispanic candidates. I mean who wants Shaniqua teaching Spanish right?!?! It's completely irrelevant that I was hired to work by the Spanish government (interview via Skype in Spanish), by a private academy for foreigners in Mexico, was department chair of the foreign language department at my last school and teach upper level AP and IB Spanish classes. Lol. The only thing they see is "Shaniqua" on my resume. There's nothing wrong with our name. There is something wrong with all these ignorant people who buy into stereotypes just because they can't think for themselves.
My daughter's name is Shaniqua and I think it is a beautiful name. It is only what you make it out to be. She is a beautiful individual that is kind and generous. She loves the name although family calls her Shaq for short.
I find the ignorance over mine and so many other great women that share the same name comical. As I laugh at so much of what I've just read, I can't begin to thank the beautiful people; those with the hearts, spirit, and souls of what my name truly means.
I truly thank you all for your beautiful comments on and about my name.
I've always been the person that stood up for those that weren't quite as strong as me, but tonight YOU BEAUTIES HAVE ME SHINING and crying MORE tears of joy than EVER! And I'll always fight for the "Shaniqua's"
After my birth, my mother shared a hospital room with a woman that ended up giving birth early.
My mother originally intended on naming me Shanika. The woman suggested she put the "Qua" on the end and she did.
This is what I learned
Shan (ethnic group)
Ika (powerful)
Qua (work of art).
It may sound funny but it's something to me, till today that I have family members that say my name as Shanikaqua.
I am also named Shaniqua, I am of mixed race decent (White & Black). I'm only 19 years old and was born just as my name was being dirtied by every single person out there with a simple brain. Every day I suffer the same dirty looks and or "is that REALLY your name?!" replies. And for someone with a lot of problems already, this only digs a deeper pit.

To sit here and read some of the top comments made me feel both ashamed and sick. I call taxi companies and they think I'm joking. I try and apply for something as simple as a job and they think I'm pretending. I guarantee you a lot of job opportunities were probably passed on because of my name. Because it's been branded "disgusting" and "ghetto". I was raised in a predominantly white family. My mother is WHITE. I grew up in a really quiet British suburb, lots of parks and friendly families and a little shopping plaza with a clock tower. I did not grow up in the "ghetto" streets of England. I don't like that much hip hop, I prefer rock, classical music and soft melodic songs. I love reading, photography and writing. I am very well educated with a good job and live by myself now in London.

So please, before you spew your idiotic, vulgar comments about my name and my heritage I would urge you to educate yourselves on what a simple comment can do to someone else's self esteem and value / worth in this world.
Wow. As someone who is named Shaniquequa (yes, I know it's spelled differently but it's pronounced the same), I'm a little appalled by the comments but, I'm not surprised. I've heard this throughout my nearly 23 years of living.

I feel it's just a name. It doesn't represent a human being and it doesn't have to be so negative in reputation. But honestly, I feel a lot of African-Americans get a lot of crap for differing from typical names you hear everyday, and that's unfortunate.
As someone who is actually named Shaniqua, I feel compelled to comment. I am neither ashamed of nor embarrassed by my name. It's a good thing I'm an adult and can just shake my head at all the awful things people have written about this name, both here and on other sites. However, it must make young girls feel pretty lousy to see their name described as "trashy", "ghetto", "atrocious", "ugly", "foul", "a joke" and "disgustingly stereotypical".

For the record, I came of age in the '80s and was not subject to teasing about my name. Likely because this name did not become an "African-American name" until the late '80s and early '90s. And yet the name existed prior to that, which tells me that it is the assumption that it's a Black name that is stereotypical. I have serious doubts that it is an African name, and it is certainly not a made-up name. It can be difficult to trace the origins of names; however, food for thought: I was named after a Native American woman who was born on a reservation in the 1930s.


A proud and decidedly un-ghetto Shaniqua.
To anyone who believes that the name 'Shaniqua' does not have any meaning, I am surprised at your ignorance. Every name has a meaning. This particular name means 'God is Gracious' and comes from African/South African descent.
Before society took this name and attached it to over-eccentric, black women, this name was used for generations embodying the true beauty behind its origin. Any name can have a negative stereotype, and to think that someone's mind is so simple as to believe that because of one idea attached to the name, everyone thereafter with the same name is an exact duplicate.

I find 'Shaniqua' to be a beautiful name, it's too bad people are too negative and close minded to accept something that is a little bit unique.
It pisses me off to no end that "African-American" is an option for origins of names on this site and that everyone is ok with this. If there's any such thing as a stereotypically black name, then there's a such thing as stereotypical white names. I'm not going to list them because I'm not ignorant and I realize that people with different ethnicities can have the same name. If you go to and look up the name Shaniqua, and then scroll down to where it says pictures of Shaniqua, there are white people there. Living, breathing, 100% real white females. Therefore I don't think this name should be solely associated with black people. It's just a made up name that people thought sounded cool, similar to modern day names like Raelyn and Nevaeh. And before any of you get offended, I'm a black male and my name is Mark. I think I would know about having a name that doesn't "fit your ethnicity".
I am in agreement with Mark (icycoldhot) that the "African American" origin tag on this site is appalling. I would love to see it change to just "American" and you can throw all of the other names (Nevaeh, Raelyn, Kinsey, Brinley, etc.) that Americans of all ethnic groups make up. The "English (Modern)" tag doesn't make much sense for many of these names because etymologically they did not derive from England. They derived/were made up from people in The United States. Just because it's a preconceived "white" made up name doesn't make it English. This has bothered me for a long time on this site. Also, just because a majority of Americans speak English, it does not mean the names made up from the US are "English." If I click on "English" I want to see names with their origins in England, just as I click on "Welsh" to see names originating from Wales, and "French" to see names originating in France. I do feel like the African American tag is discriminatory, and I would really love to see it changed.
As Tigerlily has shown, this name has almost died out after being stereotyped as "black ghetto".

Most of the comments above know that it's a stereotype, yet some insist that the name is inherently "disgusting" for being associated with black people.
E.g. "this is a really butt-ugly name... Names with the "kwa" or "kwi" sound are extremely ugly, unless we're talking about highly un-ghetto-esque names like Quinn"

-Here anonymous user #5 only considers a name ugly if it's associated with black people, then lists black stereotypes. I don't even need to call it racist.
In the US social security website, there is a link to download the list of names "beyond the top 1000". These are lists of the number of babies born of a given name for each year since 1880 (at least in social security records). Only names that are used on 5 or more children for a gender is included. According to this list for 2012, Shaniqua was nowhere to be found. This means that in 2012, less than 5 girls were named Shaniqua.

As a matter of fact, Shaniqua has only been on the top 1000 for six years (1989-1994). It's peak was in 1991 where it was #313. This sudden rise of popularity in this unusual name was likely the 1990 hip hop song "Shaniqua" by Oran "Juice" Jones.

It's interesting that the ultimate stereotypical "ghetto-black" name is not even being used. The point of names like Shaniqua is that they are unique and stray from mainstream American-English culture. Since Shaniqua is so well-known, it loses it's purpose as a given name for future children in the African-American community. Invented names based on sound are still being used (see the "beyond the top 1000" list), but not Shaniqua.
Tiger Lilly's research is mostly right. But she's incorrect that the absence of the name from the list means that fewer than five babies receive the name each year. The list only includes the top 1000 names for each year. So any name not on the list for a year could nonetheless have been given to as many as about 200 babies. So Shaniqua may not be quite as rare as all that.

As for all the venom about this particular name, of course it's been demonstrated that certain types of names are associated with lower incomes and can even have a negative impact on one's ability to find a job, grossly unfair though that might be. Of course, being black in this country is also associated with those things, so being African American while possessing a name closely associated with being African American probably does not indicate, at least on average, that a kid is going to have an easy time in life.

But these things are very culturally specific. I think it's a perfectly nice-sounding name when considered outside of the cultural biases associated with it. Don't forget that the ancient Romans loved the name Drusilla, Clotilde is common in France, and Nastya is a common nickname in Russia. And even though none of those work well in the US of A, I don't think it's because the people who use them are intrinsically stupid or tasteless.
Reply to user:Anth2718 on 19 June 2015:

I actually have the Social Security files for names used less often than the current chart cutoffs (which are about 200 uses for boys and 250 uses for girls). The name Shaniqua is not found on this list in 2012, which lists all the names used indeed five times or more as user: Tiger_Lilly said, meaning it was used four times or fewer in 2012. So basically, it's out.

However, this website indeed shows only the top thousand names for each year. Personally I think it would be improved if they used these files as well, but to each his own.

Needless to say, I dislike this name also as an actual name. Up until I looked it up earlier tonight on here, I had no clue people actually gave their poor daughters this name.
"Shaniqua" was a 1990 hip hop song by Oran "Juice" Jones. The song is about a gorgeous seductive woman that Oran "Juice" falls in love with. The lyrics of the chorus include "Shaniqua, you got my whipped. C'mon, spank me with your love." This may be the first time the name Shaniqua was heard in mainstream media.
Ouch! This sure got a lot of negative feedback. Before I got curious and started looking up the name, I never would have known that people thought so ill of it, especially as I did not even remotely think it to sound 'trashy' and thought it was a beautiful name. The two sounds go smoothly together, and also contrast each other well between soft and punctuated, then end again on a soft note.

It's so sad that something that sounds so beautiful should come to have such a negative association that people so readily condemn it, or think it is ugly before they even consider it might have merits.

And most sources I have looked up agree that it means 'Gift from God'. Also, the 'kwa' sound is used in a lot of other languages, such as Chinese, and other Asian cultures or Spanish, and also has Latin roots.
This name is such a joke. I'm black and I think it's silly. I never liked Shaniqua or any ghetto names. I admit that I do know two Shaniquas, but even they don't like it.
Ghetto, stereotypical, and insulting to African Americans. Pick something else.
Absolutely awful. I loathe it. Even loathing is not enough to describe it.
Okay, Shaniqua isn't my favourite name, but I don't think it deserves so much criticism.
Unfortunately, there are A LOT of preconceived notions about this name, and I think hardly anyone would be spared from teasing.
It's a foul name. :S
This is a really ugly name. Come on, it's got that hideous ''kwa'' ending to it and everything. Names with the ''kwa'' or ''kwi'' sound are extremely ugly. This name isn't exactly a mature, dignified, sophisticated name, and it will lead to merciless discrimination and jokes.
It's really a disgustingly stereotypical name, and it doesn't even mean anything!
Shaniqua is an African name that means "gift from God."
I love the name Shaniqua. I think it sounds absolutely beautiful and I would have been proud to claim this name as my own. I would love to give this name to my daughter. To those of you who are named Shaniqua, you have an awesome name!
It sounds like a very drunk person trying to say 'sneaker'.
The first time I heard this name, I thought it was a joke. I couldn't understand how someone could seriously name their child this. Not only is it atrocious, but it's one of the most steryotypical names out there! I used to know a girl named Shaniqua, she was a very nice girl, but she had a terrible name.
Being an African American woman I wouldn't dare name my child this under any circumstance. I apologize to my fellow black women that bear this sorry excuse for a name and were dumb enough to burden their child with it.
The 1st thing I think of when I hear the name Shaniqua, is The Maury Povich show. And that is very bad.
Does this name even mean anything? I'm sorry, but it sounds bad.
It's such a stereotypical name.
Obviously, an African-American name.
Honestly, I would not name a goldfish this.
Shaniqua, born Linda Miles, is an American professional wrestler and wrestling manager.
I feel that this name is atrocious. Its sound is so calous. I urge anyone considering this name for their daughter to, please, choose a different name altogether. This name is awful, and I should be completely embarrassed if I bore it. There are no words to describe my views of this wretched, accursed "name", so I shall part with that being stated.

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