How popular is the baby name Joretta in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Joretta and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Joretta.
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Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Asteroids…if you grew up in the 1980s, you know all about Atari.
But you might not realize that, at the height of the video game console’s popularity, dozens of U.S. babies were actually named Atari:
1983: 5 baby boys named Atari
1982: 16 baby boys and 11 baby girls named Atari
1981: 13 baby boys and 7 baby girls named Atari
1980: 10 baby boys and 12 baby girls named Atari
1979: 10 baby boys named Atari [debut]
The console name comes from the Japanese word atari, which is used in the board came go in the same way “check” and “checkmate” are used in chess–as a warning to one’s opponent that he/she is in imminent danger of capture.
The baby name Atari dropped off the SSA’s baby name list after 1983, but has recently returned:
2011: 8 baby boys named Atari
2009: 8 baby boys and 6 baby girls named Atari
2008: 9 baby boys named Atari
2006: 5 baby girls named Atari
Pop culture names typically don’t disappear and then reappear decades later, but the explanation in this case is simple: sports. Football player Atari Bigby (b. 1981) — who claims he wasn’t named for the video game console — made his NFL debut in late 2005.
In the early 1930s, a number of Edna Robb Webster’s novels — Occasional Wife, Lipstick Girl, Love, Preferred, Five O’Clock Girl, and others — were published serially in newspapers.
One story, Joretta, appeared in late 1930 and early 1931. It featured the character Joretta “Jetty” Dowling, “the only daughter of one of the biggest merchants in the west. Wise with the wisdom of the modern girl to whom life is an open book, indulged with luxury, yet capable, poised and sensible.”
The name Joretta, which had never been on the SSA’s baby name list before, debuted on the list in 1930:
1935: 34 baby girls named Joretta
1934: 37 baby girls named Joretta
1933: 56 baby girls named Joretta [rank: 910th]
1932: 82 baby girls named Joretta [rank: 746th]
1931: 194 baby girls named Joretta [rank: 463rd]
1930: 33 baby girls named Joretta [debut]
Joretta was published as a standalone book in 1932, and no doubt this helped keep the name Joretta in the top 1,000 for an extra year or two.
The name remained in the data for decades, finally dropping out in the early 1970s.
What are your thoughts on the baby name Joretta?
Source: Webster, Edna Robb. “Joretta, A Love Story.” Greensburg Daily Tribune 21 Nov. 1930: 12.