How popular is the baby name Kimetha in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Kimetha and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Kimetha.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Kimetha

Number of Babies Named Kimetha

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Kimetha

The Brief Rise of Rhoda

patty mccormack, rhoda penmark, bad seed, 1956
Rhoda Penmark (Patty McCormack)
Here’s a girl name that might be a good fit for a Halloween baby…

The name is Rhoda, which comes from the ancient Greek word rhodon, meaning “rose.” Which is lovely…but, for many, the strongest association isn’t roses but Rhoda Penmark, the “murderous moppet so cold she could practice her piano lessons methodically while her latest victim was burning to death in the basement below.” Not so lovely.

The character of Rhoda was played by 11-year-old Patty McCormack in the movie The Bad Seed (1956), which was successful at the box office and earned McCormack an Oscar nomination. McCormack had originated the role* in the 1954 Broadway play, which was adapted from the 1954 book by Alabama author William March.

Evil children are now a horror trope, but back in the ’50s, Rhoda was breaking new ground. She “was a character with no precedent in film history” who had inherited her homicidal tendencies from her serial killer grandmother.

The movie gave the name Rhoda a lot of exposure, and as the result — despite the character’s sinister nature and obnoxiously perfect braids — the name saw a temporary rise in usage in 1957:

  • 1959: 259 baby girls named Rhoda [rank: 619th]
  • 1958: 265 baby girls named Rhoda [rank: 611th]
  • 1957: 356 baby girls named Rhoda [rank: 504th]
  • 1956: 241 baby girls named Rhoda [rank: 617th]
  • 1955: 238 baby girls named Rhoda [rank: 598th]

What are your thoughts on the name Rhoda?

*Another young actress who played Rhoda early on was Kimetha Laurie, who we talked about yesterday.

Source: The Bad Seed – TCM


The Coming of Kimetha

bad seed, book, rhoda, 1950sThe name Kimetha appeared for the first time in the U.S. baby name data in 1955:

  • 1960: 5 baby girls named Kimetha
  • 1959: 16 baby girls named Kimetha
  • 1958: 16 baby girls named Kimetha
  • 1957: 9 baby girls named Kimetha
  • 1956: 20 baby girls named Kimetha
  • 1955: 15 baby girls named Kimetha
  • 1954: unlisted
  • 1953: unlisted

The influence? Child actress Kimetha Laurie.

She had appeared on television and in theater productions throughout the 1950s, but her most high-profile role was as sociopathic Rhoda Penmark in the play The Bad Seed (based on the classic thriller of the same name written by William March and published in 1954).

But, wait a minute…how is that right? We’ve all seen images of the little girl from in The Bad Seed. She was played by actress Patty McCormack — wearing those long blonde braids — in both the successful Broadway play (Dec. 1954 to Sept. 1955) and the equally successful movie (released Sept. 1956).

Ah, but in between the play and the film a touring company took the show on the road for 31 weeks. The first performance was in Delaware on December 1, 1955. In this production, Rhoda the “murderous moppet” was played by Kimetha Laurie — wearing long brunette braids. She had won the part of Rhoda “over 90 other applicants.”

So how did Kimetha Laurie come to have that name? Kimetha was her birth name, coined by her mother, who took “Kim” from her husband’s name (Arthur Kimble Ouerbacker) and added a fanciful ending. She began acting as Kimetha Ouerbacker, but soon switched to the easier-to-pronounce stage name Kimetha Laurie. (Laurie was a family name; the influence wasn’t Piper Laurie.)

A handful of girls born in 1955 and over the next few years got her full stage name, “Kimetha Laurie,” as their first and middle name. One example is Kimetha Laurie Ramler (b. 1959).

Two other baby names that debuted in the data around this time, Kennetha and Kenetha, may have showed up thanks to the combined influences of Kimetha and then-trendy Kenneth.

Do you like the name Kimetha?

Sources:

  • Alonso, Harriet Hyman. Robert E. Sherwood: The Playwright in Peace and War. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2007.
  • “Did You Ever Dine With a Murderess?” Detroit Free Press 18 Jan. 1956: 22.
  • Kimetha Laurie – IBDb
  • Kimetha Laurie – IMDb
  • “Kimetha Laurie Won Out Over 90 Other Applicants for “The Bad Seed” Role.” Daily Boston Globe 11 Dec. 1955: A39A.
  • “Louisville Girl Has Starring Role With ‘Bad Seed’ Road Company.” Courier-Journal [Louisville, KY] 10 Nov. 1955: 10.
  • Monahan, Kaspar. “Chilling ‘Bad Seed’ Stars Nancy Kelly at Nixon Theater.” Pittsburgh Press 3 Jan. 1956: 12.
  • “Monster to Ingenue – Actress Gets Variety.” Cincinnati Enquirer 25 Nov. 1959: 11.

P.S. Like Tirrell, Kimetha also had a part on the soap opera Love of Life in the ’50s.

Phone Book Fishing in Mississippi, Part 4 – Clyne, Jimarie, Muskie, Zodus

You guessed it–another batch of names from Mississippi. These come from the towns of Beaumont, Big Creek, Collins, Ellisville and Heidelberg. (My favorites are in bold.)

Anfernee
Arzilla
Begonia
Berdia
Blessing
Bobbie Jo
Brunetta
Byrl
Ceiborn
Charma
Chassity
Chipperess
Cicero
Clyne
Colantha
Colevia
Czar
Dealzna
Deloyce
Denothria
Dixie Mae
D’Jean
Drema
Elkendrick
Eulanda
Everette
Ezeldia
Fredia
Gathel
Georginia
Gevenion
Glaydean
Gleen
Gustina
Guycell
Hancel
Inita
Jearleain
Jimarie
Jonnye Mae
Jovaughan
Kimetha
Kichun
Leidh
Levester
Lillie Mae
Litonda
Lutricia
Mae Nell
Maeora
Magielean
Magnolia
Marnita
Mashelia
Mellisa
Melwese
Merria
Minci
Montegus
Muskie
Napier
Nevaeh
Ontee
Orgie Mae
Ozett
Paskell
Philliemenia
Queen Esther
Quinette
Rauletha
Relanda
Roosevelt
Ruby Jewel
Ryreggis
Sandreka
Schnavain
Scottland
Shenetha
Tanilya
Tanyala
Teressie
Teretha
Tinika
Toxie
Tymunica
Vellina
Verlenda
Vicy
Waudell
Webber
Wenokel
Wilhelmina
Windol
Wydesra
Yatta
Zella
Zelline
Zerrick
Zodus
Zollie

Did you happen to notice Nevaeh? I don’t think I’ve ever seen Nevaeh in a phone book before. We’ll be seeing it all over the place soon enough, but this particular one seems a bit early. A pre-trend Nevaeh, perhaps? I’m itching to call and find out…