How popular is the baby name Rita 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 Rita.

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name Rita


Posts that Mention the Name Rita

Popular Baby Names in Croatia, 2020

According to Croatia’s Ministry of Justice and Administration, the most popular baby names in the country last year were (again) Mia and Luka.

Here are Croatia’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2020:

Girl Names

  1. Mia (531 baby girls)
  2. Lucija
  3. Sara
  4. Ema
  5. Nika
  6. Marta
  7. Rita
  8. Mila
  9. Petra
  10. Ana

Boy Names

  1. Luka (870 baby boys)
  2. David
  3. Jakov
  4. Ivan
  5. Petar
  6. Roko (the Croatian form of Rocco)
  7. Matej
  8. Noa
  9. Filip
  10. Mateo

In the girls’ top 10, Mila replaced Iva.

In the boys’ top 10, Noa and Filip replaced Karlo and Borna.

Finally, here are some insights about Croatian baby-naming trends from sociologist Ivan Balabanic:

Today, parents give their children names that are more pleasing to the ear and in accordance with their own taste, because new generations have moved away from the traditional obligation to give names of other family members to children […] Today’s names are also a reflection of greater freedoms, individualism and personalism because parents are no longer so attached to tradition and extended families.

He noted that modern Croatian parents are moving away from names that were popular during the Yugoslavian era (1945-1991) — names like Milan, Dražen, Mladen, Zdravko — and also away from the names of historical Croatian princes, such as Krešimir, Trpimir, Branimir and Domagoj.

Sources: Most popular baby names in Croatia last year revealed, What baby names are Croatians choosing now? A move from tradition

Baby Name Story: Justice

Reggae legend Bob Marley (born Robert Nesta Marley) died in mid-1981 of cancer.

Marley didn’t leave a will, so what followed was a ten-year battle over his estate, which was worth tens of millions of dollars. The estate’s court-appointed administrator was apparently “a conservative lawyer who had not liked Marley when he was alive and who […] seemed bent on taking as much as possible from those who had been closest to the deceased.”

On December 9, 1991, the Jamaican Supreme Court ruled in favor of Marley’s widow Alpharita Constantia “Rita” Marley, his 11* recognized children, and his record company.

As luck would have it, the very same day, Marley’s adult son Ziggy (born David Nesta Marley) welcomed a baby girl. Her name? Justice, “in honor of the court decision.”

*Only three of the children — Cedella, Ziggy, and Stephen — were both Bob’s and Rita’s biologically.

Sources:

Where did the baby name Saadia come from?

The character Saadia (played by Rita Gam) in the movie "Saadia" (1953).
Saadia (Rita Gam) from “Saadia

The exotic-looking name Saadia first popped up in the U.S. baby name data in 1954:

  • 1956: 10 baby girls named Saadia
  • 1955: 17 baby girls named Saadia
  • 1954: 19 baby girls named Saadia [debut]
  • 1953: unlisted
  • 1952: unlisted

The source?

The movie Saadia, released at the end of 1953. (It was based on the 1950 book Échec au destin by Francis D’Autheville.)

The film was set in the Moroccan desert, and the primary female character was a young woman named Saadia (pronounced sah-dee-ah), played by actress Rita Gam.

Though the character was female, the earliest known real-life Saadia was male: Sa’adia ben Joseph, 10th-century Jewish philosopher and rabbi.

The name “Saadia,” which, so far as is known, he was the first to bear, is apparently an artificial Hebrew equivalent of his Arabic name, “Sa’id.”

The name Sa’id means “happy” or “lucky” in Arabic.

But, getting back to the 1950s…a comedic movie called 3 Ring Circus — filmed while Saadia was playing in theaters, and released at the end of 1954 — also included a character named Saadia (this time played by Zsa Zsa Gabor). This second film may have influenced expectant parents as well.

What do you think of the name Saadia?

Sources:

Popular Baby Names in Croatia, 2019

According to Croatia’s Ministry of Public Administration, the most popular baby names in the country in 2019 were Mia and Luka.

Here are Croatia’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Mia, 563 baby girls
  2. Ema, 409
  3. Lucija, 375
  4. Sara, 374
  5. Nika, 344
  6. Marta, 337
  7. Petra, 322
  8. Ana, 321
  9. Rita, 318
  10. Iva, 292

Boy Names

  1. Luka, 894 baby boys
  2. David, 568
  3. Jakov, 500
  4. Ivan, 482
  5. Petar, 431
  6. Matej, 360
  7. Karlo, 359
  8. Mateo, 355
  9. Roko (the Croatian form of Rocco), 352
  10. Borna (derived from a Slavic element meaning “fight, battle”), 347

I’ve never posted the Croatian rankings before, but one of my sources mentioned that the top two names (Mia and Luka) were the same in 2018.

Sources: The most popular baby names in Croatia in 2019, Most popular baby names in Croatia in 2019 revealed, Borna – Behind the Name

The Debut of Dianalynn

diana lynn, actress, 1952
© 1952 Life

The baby name Dianalynn has been in the SSA data just twice, debuting in 1951, then popping up a second time in 1963.

The influence was surely American actress Diana Lynn (1926-1971), whose birth name was Dolores “Dolly” Loehr. But the reason the name debuted in that particular year — if there even is a reason — is hard to pin down.

In 1951 she co-starred with future president Ronald Reagan in the chimp movie Bedtime for Bonzo, which did well at the box office. But this was nothing new; she’d been appearing in well-received movies throughout the 1940s.

Also around 1951 she started appearing on TV, but, as LIFE mentioned in a mid-1952 article featuring Diana Lynn and five other leading ladies of television, “their faces are probably better known than their names. In the billings their names flash by so quickly that the audience is generally unable to identify them.” (The other five featured actresses were Stella Andrew, Rita Gam, Grace Kelly, Felicia Montealegre, and Neva Patterson.)

What are your thoughts on the name Dianalynn?

Sources: