The Mysterious Baby Name Marquita

Adilene isn’t the only ’80s baby name that has me stumped. The baby name Marquita became popular suddenly in 1983, and I have absolutely no idea why.

In 1983, thousands of baby girls were suddenly given the name Marquita (or a variant thereof):

Name 1982 1983 1984 1985
Marquita (f)
Marquita (m) 20
Marquitta 27 138 128 75
Marquetta 62 80 91 72
Marqueta 7 28 26 12
Markeeta 11 28 29 18
Markeita 20 18 10
Marqutia 12
Markeda 10 10 16 14
Marquieta 9 7
Markitta 8 11 6
Marquida 8 8 6
Markida 6 6
Markeyta 5 9 7

Marquita was out of the top 1,000 again by the mid-1990s.

The spike seems to have been centered in the South. The states with the most babies named Marquita in 1983 were…

  1. Georgia – 218 babies named Marquita
  2. Texas – 195 babies named Marquita
  3. North Carolina – 176 babies named Marquita
  4. Mississippi – 170 babies named Marquita
  5. Louisiana – 168 babies named Marquita
  6. Florida – 162 babies named Marquita
  7. Illinois – 161 babies named Marquita
  8. Alabama – 145 babies named Marquita
  9. California – 123 babies named Marquita
  10. Virginia – 112 babies named Marquita

The spike wasn’t caused by Marquita Rivera. And I don’t think either Marquita Pool-Eckert (at that time Marquita Pool) or Marquita Lister were popular enough to have caused it.

Any ideas?

4 thoughts on “The Mysterious Baby Name Marquita

  1. Did Marquita Pool appear on-camera, or was she behind the scenes only? I ask because she won two producing Emmys in 1983, and one of them was for a segment about African-American issues. If she was on camera during a popular TV news program, it might have bumped awareness of the name up enough to make the lists.

    If she was just a name in the credits, I agree that’s likely not enough.


  2. I imagine she was behind the scenes only, though I’m not 100% sure.

    One thing that I didn’t mention was that the magazine Black Enterprise printed her name her several times in 1982 and 1983. This could be significant, as several baby names have seen increased usage thanks to being mentioned in Af-Am magazines (e.g. Jet, Ebony)…though I doubt Black Enterprise had the pull of Jet or Ebony at that time.

  3. @Marquita Henry – Thank you for the comment! Do you happen to remember the brand or toothpaste, or anything at all about the commercial? Any details would be greatly appreciated!

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