The Baby Name Theonita

Theonita Cox and the baby name TheonitaThe name Theonita has appeared on the SSA’s baby name list only once:

  • 1958: unlisted
  • 1957: 17 baby girls named Theonita [debut]
  • 1956: unlisted

That’s pretty high for a one-hit wonder. What’s the explanation?

Looks like it’s debutante Theonita Cox, who graced the cover of Jet magazine in February of 1957. Beside her photo is the headline: “THEONITA COX: Pretty Chicago teen-ager was among 20 in society debut.”

A later issue of Jet reveals that Theonita’s father’s name was Theophilus.

Theonita Cox boosting the popularity of the baby name Theonita came nearly two decades after a more high-profile debutante, Brenda Frazier, did the same for the name Brenda.

Source: Major, Gerri. “Society World.” Jet 1 Feb. 1962: 39.
Image: Jet cover, 7 Feb. 1957


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