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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Marissa


Posts that Mention the Name Marissa

How did “Family Affair” influence baby names?

Actress Anissa Jones in the TV series "Family Affair" (1966-1971).
Actress Anissa Jones in “Family Affair

In the TV sitcom Family Affair, which premiered in 1966, a Manhattan bachelor suddenly becomes a father of three when he takes in his late brother’s orphaned children: 15-year-old Cissy and 6-year-old twins Buffy (girl) and Jody (boy).

All of the children’s names — Cissy, Buffy, and Jody — plus variants like Buffie and Jodie — saw higher usage while the show was on the air.

But the name I want to highlight is Anissa — the first name of child actress Anissa Jones, who played pig-tailed Buffy. The name debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1966, skyrocketed into the top 1,000 the next year, and entered the top 500 the year after that:

  • 1972: 459 baby girls were named Anissa [rank: 421st]
  • 1971: 724 baby girls were named Anissa [rank: 348th]
  • 1970: 603 baby girls were named Anissa [rank: 388th]
  • 1969: 607 baby girls were named Anissa [rank: 377th]
  • 1968: 503 baby girls were named Anissa [rank: 417th]
  • 1967: 219 baby girls were named Anissa [rank: 646th]
  • 1966: 23 baby girls were named Anissa [debut]
  • 1965: unlisted
  • 1964: unlisted

Anissa Jones was born Mary Anissa Jones in Indiana in 1958. She was of Lebanese descent, and her middle name was apparently derived from the Arabic male name Anis, meaning “friend.” She pronounced the name ah-NEE-sah.

The name saw peak popularity in 1971 — the year Family Affair went off the air. (It also saw an uptick in usage in 1976, the year Anissa Jones died at the age of 18 from a drug overdose.)

A secondary peak in popularity happened in 1993-1994 thanks to the TV movie For the Love of My Child: The Anissa Ayala Story, which aired in mid-1993 and was based on the true story of Anissa Ayala, a teenage leukemia patient in need of a bone marrow donor. Her parents had another baby (Marissa) in the hopes that the second child would be a compatible donor (she was).

What are your thoughts on the name Anissa?

Sources:

  • Family Affair – Wikipedia
  • Garver, Kathy. Surviving Cissy: My Family Affair of Life in Hollywood. Lanham, MD: Taylor Trade Publishing, 2015.

Popular Baby Names in Monroe, MI, in 2020

A few days ago, a writer with the Monroe News (of Monroe County, Michigan) tallied up all the baby names mentioned in the paper’s 2020 birth announcements. The most frequently occurring names for girls were Abigail and Ava (tie), and for boys was Asher.

Like I mentioned yesterday, I don’t tend to post rankings from non-governmental sources. But, again, this set had a relatively high number of names (451) compared to the size of the county (about 150,000 residents), so here’s the full list…

Girl Names

4 baby girls named:

  • Abigail
  • Ava

3 baby girls named:

  • Athena
  • Charlotte
  • Emma
  • Madison
  • Paisley
  • Quinn

2 baby girls named:

  • Allie
  • Allison
  • Amelia
  • Eleanor
  • Elena
  • Elizabeth
  • Elliana
  • Evelynn
  • Everly
  • Hadleigh
  • Harper
  • Hazel
  • Isla
  • Layla
  • Mia
  • Nova
  • Ruby
  • Sadie
  • Sophia
  • Sophie
  • Violet

1 baby girl named:

Ada, Addaleigh, Addilynn-Rose, Adorabella, Alice, Alicia, Alita, Aliva, Alora, Alyssa, A’Meila, Amirah, Amiyah, Anastasia, Aranea, Arya, Ashlynn, Aubree, Aubrey, Aurora, Avery, Bailey, Bexley, Blakely, Brielle, Brooke, Brooklyn, Brylee, Brynn, Caia, Caiya, Camilleia, Caralena, Caroline, Cattleya, Charlynn, Claire, Cora, Dahlia, Da’yana, Delaney, Eliannah, Eliza, Ellanorah, Ellie, Ellison, Ember, Emersyn, Emmarie, Emory, Evangeline, Evie, Evodia, Faith, Genevieve, Georgia, Giovanni, Gracelyn, Gracie, Gwendolyn, Haisley, Harleigh, Harlow, Harmony, HaVen, Hayzlee, Illia, Inija, Isabel, Ivy, Iylah, Jade, Janie, Jessika, Jolee, Jolene, Joni, Jordynn, Josephine, Journae, Julianna, Kaisley, Kansas, Kendelyn, Kennedy, Kensly, Klara, Kolumbiia, Laney, Leia, Lexi, Lexie, Lila, Lillian, Lily, Lively, Logan, Luciana, Lucille, Lucina, Luna, Maeve, Mahogany, Marianna, Marilyn, Marissa, Maryszka, McKenna, Mercy, Mila, Moselle, Mya, Naomi, Nora, Novalee, Omora, Ophelia, Ora, Penelope, Prudence, Raelyn, Reese, Renlee, Rhythm, Riann, Ripley, River, Roise, Rosalie, Rosemary, Ryalin, Ryleigh, Scarlett, Sedona, Shawna, Shelby, Sinya, Skyla, Skylynn, Stella, Stellana, Skyla, Tiffany, Vayda, Victoria, Ziggy, Zoe, Zoey, Zuri

Notably: “The No. 1 girl name in 2019, Olivia, wasn’t reported to The News last year.”

Boy Names

5 baby boys named:

  • Asher

4 baby boys named:

  • Wesley

3 baby boys named:

  • Andrew
  • Brooks
  • Hudson
  • John
  • Liam
  • Oliver
  • Preston
  • Roman
  • William

2 baby boys named:

  • Arthur
  • Benjamin
  • Bentley
  • Brody
  • Bryson
  • Carson
  • Connor
  • Dallas
  • Declan
  • Donald
  • Easton
  • Emmett
  • Finn
  • Henry
  • Jameson
  • Jaxon
  • Joseph
  • Kai
  • Lucas
  • Nicholas
  • Parker
  • Raiden
  • Samuel
  • Travis
  • Trevor
  • Waylon
  • Wyatt

1 baby boy named:

Adrian, Amon, Anderson, Anthony, Archer, Armani, Ashton, Atlas, Axel, Beau, Blake, Bode, Bodie, Bowie, Boyd, Bradley, Brady, Braxton, Braziel, Bryant, Carl, Carnell, Carter, Cassius, Cayden, Charles, Charlie, Christopher, Clayton, Cohen, Cole, Colson, Colt, Colten, Conner, Craig, Cruz, Dakota, Darius, David, Dean, Denver, Dominick, Dylan, Edwin, Elijah, Eliott, Emanuel, Emmerich, Enzo, Erik, Eudon, Finney, Forrest, Fulton, Gabriel, Gage, Giovani, Giovanni, Greyson, Griffyn, Henrik, Howard, Hunter, Jace, Jackson, Jaden, James, Jared, Javiah, Jaxson, Jayceon, Jayden, Jensen, Jonah, Jordan, Josiyah, Julian, Kaine, Kairo, Kane, Kayden, Kaynen, Khalil, Kirk, Koda, Kolton, Kyair, Kyren, Laurence, Lawrence, Leon, Leopold, Levi, Lincoln, Logan, Luca, Lyric, Mack, Magnus, Malachi, Marshaine, Mason, Maverick, Maveryck, Maximus, Michael, Miles, Murphy, Nickolas, Owen, Patrick, Promise, Reece, Remy, Renlee, Rhett, Richard, Rockwood, Rowan, Rubin, Russell, Ryan, Ryder, Ryker, Sebastian, Senan, Silas, Skyler, Spencer, Tate, Thatcher, Theodore, Thomas, Trenton, Valentino, Vincent, Vincenzo, Wylder, Xander, Xavier, Zachary, Zaidyn, Zeppelin

Source: Monroe County’s baby names for 2020

Arrr! Baby Names for Talk Like a Pirate Day

Pirate Flag

Avast! Did you know that today is Talk Like a Pirate Day?

“Arrr” itself doesn’t make a great name — even for pirates — but here’s the next best thing: over 120 names that feature the “ar”-sound.

Araminta
Arcadia
Arden
Aretha
Aria
Arianna
Arlene
Arlette
Artemis
Barbara
Barbie
Carla
Carlene
Carley
Carmel
Carmella
Carmen
Charlene
Charlotte
Charmaine
Darcy
Daria
Darla
Darlene
Gardenia
Harbor
Harlow
Harmony
Hildegarde
Karla
Katarina
Larisa
Mara
Marcella
Marcia
Margaret
Margot, Margaux
Maria
Mariah
Mariana
Marie
Marina
Mariska
Marissa
Marjorie
Marla
Marlena
Marlene
Marley
Marnie
Marta
Martha
Marva
Martina
Narcissa
Parthenia
Pilar
Rosario
Scarlett
Skylar
Starla
Arcadio
Archer
Archibald
Archie
Ari
Arlo
Arnold
Arsenio
Arthur
Balthazar
Barnaby
Barton
Bernard (…Bernarr?)
Carl
Carlisle
Carlton
Carson
Carter
Carver
Charles
Clark
Dario
Darius
Darwin
Edgar
Edward
Finbar
Garfield
Gerard
Gunnar
Hardy
Harley
Harper
Harvey
Howard
Karl
Lars
Larson
Lazarus
Leonard
Marcel
Marcellus
Mario
Marius
Marc, Mark
Marcus, Markus
Marlow
Marshall
Martin
Marvin
Nazario
Oscar
Parker
Richard
Stewart, Stuart
Ward
Warner
Warren
Warrick
Willard
Yardley

Which of the “ar”-names above do you like best? Did I miss any good ones?

Additions, 9/20:

Name Quotes #42: Tucker, Tess, Shea

tucker, life, 1952

From the cover description of the June 2, 1952, issue of LIFE:

The birthday guest all done up for a party on this week’s cover is Second-Grader Tucker Burns, 7, of New York City.

(A female Tucker born in the mid-1940s? Interesting…)

From “10 facts about Tess of the d’Urbervilles” (pdf) at The Times:

Tess didn’t start out as Tess. Hardy often changed names when he was writing, and he tried out Love, Cis and Sue, using Woodrow as a surname, narrowing the name down to Rose-Mary Troublefield or Tess Woodrow before finally settling on Tess Durbeyfield.

From “Naming a Baby (or 2) When You’re Over 40” by Joslyn McIntyre at Nameberry.com:

But I’m now far too practical for whimsical names. I want to spare my kids the time wasted spelling their name slowly over the phone and correcting its pronunciation millions of times. So out the window went some of the iconoclastic names I loved, but which seemed difficult, along with two names I adored but couldn’t figure out how to spell in a way that would make their pronunciation obvious: CARE-iss and k’r-IN.

From “Why everyone started naming their kids Madison instead of Jennifer” by Meeri Kim in the Washington Post:

While some believed a central institution or figure had to be behind a skyrocketing trend — say, Kim Kardashian or Vogue magazine — researchers have discovered through a new Web-based experiment that doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, the study suggests that populations can come to a consensus about what’s cool and what’s not in a rapid, yet utterly spontaneous way.

From “Name change proves a mysterious and outdated process” by Molly Snyder at OnMilwaukee.com:

The process to change your name is surprisingly lengthy, pricey and arguably outdated. People fill out forms, pay a $168 filing fee (there is also a fee to obtain a new birth certificate once the name is legally granted), get assigned to a judge, schedule a hearing date with the court and take out a statement in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel or the Daily Reporter three weeks in a row declaring intent of name change.

News websites are not approved for legal name change declaration, but this does not mean they couldn’t be someday, according to Milwaukee County Clerk of Circuit Court John Barrett.

“The process is very old and it hasn’t been changed in a long time, but that’s not to say it couldn’t be,” says Barrett. “The Wisconsin legislature decides that. Someone would have to have an interest in that change and take the time to make the argument that we’re in a changing world and publications shouldn’t be limited to print.”

From “The latest trend in startup names? Regular old human names” (Dec. 2014) by Erin Griffith in Fortune:

If you work in startups, there’s a good chance you know Oscar. And Alfred. Benny, too. And don’t forget Lulu and Clara. These aren’t the prominent Silicon Valley people that techies know by first name (although those exist—think Marissa, Satya, Larry and Sergey, Zuck). Rather, Oscar, Alfred, Benny, Lulu and Clara are companies. The latest trend in startup names is regular old human names.

From “A teacher mispronouncing a student’s name can have a lasting impact” by Corey Mitchell at PBS.org:

For students, especially the children of immigrants or those who are English-language learners, a teacher who knows their name and can pronounce it correctly signals respect and marks a critical step in helping them adjust to school.

But for many ELLs, a mispronounced name is often the first of many slights they experience in classrooms; they’re already unlikely to see educators who are like them, teachers who speak their language, or a curriculum that reflects their culture.

“If they’re encountering teachers who are not taking the time to learn their name or don’t validate who they are, it starts to create this wall,” said Rita (‘ree-the’) Kohli, an assistant professor in the graduate school of education at the University of California, Riverside.

It can also hinder academic progress.

From the NPS biography of John Quincy Adams (1767-1848):

Born on July 11, 1767 in Braintree, Massachusetts, he was the son of two fervent revolutionary patriots, John and Abigail Adams, whose ancestors had lived in New England for five generations. Abigail gave birth to her son two days before her prominent grandfather, Colonel John Quincy, died so the boy was named John Quincy Adams in his honor.

(Quincy, Massachusetts, was also named after Colonel John Quincy.)

And finally, from “How Many Mets Fans Name Their Babies ‘Shea’?” by Andrew Beaton in the Wall Street Journal:

You’re not a real Mets fan unless you name your kid Shea.

Baby Name Wagered on Football Game

On Thanksgiving last year, the Washington Redskins played the Dallas Cowboys.

Before the game, Emmanuel Vega (a Redskins fan) and Marissa Pena (a Cowboys fan) made a bet. Marissa was pregnant with the Tuscon couple’s first child, so if the Cowboys won, she would get to choose the baby’s name. If the Redskins won, Emmanuel would choose the name.

Each of them was granted one veto; Vega nixed “Emmitt Vega,” and Pena said no to “Darrell Green Vega.” They each chose again; Vega went with “Robert Griffin Vega,” and Pena chose “Austin Miles Vega,” after her favorite active player.

(Robert Lee Griffin III, known as RG3, is a Redskins quarterback; Miles Jonathon Austin III is a Cowboys wide receiver.)

“I was second-guessing the whole time, like, What am I thinking?” Vega recalled. “If she’s gonna name him after a Cowboys player, there’s no doubt he would be a Cowboys fan. My son, as a Cowboys fan? I might have to disown him.”

But Vega’s Redskins ended up defeating Pena’s Cowboys, 38 to 31. So when the couple’s baby boy arrives in mid-April, they plan to name him Robert Griffin Vega. And nickname him RGV.

Source: Man wins bet, will name son after RGIII