How popular is the baby name Tarita 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 Tarita.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Tarita

Posts that Mention the Name Tarita

Babies Named after Oprah’s Boyfriend?

StedmanAccording to Wikipedia, Stedman Graham is an “educator, author, businessman and speaker.” But without Wikipedia’s help, how would you describe Stedman? That’s right: “Oprah’s boyfriend.”

Oprah began dating Stedman in mid-1986, a few months before The Oprah Winfrey Show premiered. We’ve already seen how the baby name Oprah debuted on the national list that year, but did you know that the talk show gave the baby name Stedman a boost as well?

  • 1991: 28 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1990: 38 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1989: 82 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1988: 29 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1987: 20 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1986: unlisted

Not only did Stedman reappear on the national baby name list in 1987 after a 48-year absence, but the variant names Steadman, Stedmen, Stedmon and Stedmond all followed suit in 1988.

Stedman on Oprah, 1989
Stedman on Oprah, 1989

And what accounts for the Stedman spike of 1989?

In February of that year, Stedman appeared as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show for the first time. The episode was about “men who marry or date famous women, and how they cope with it.” The other guests were actress Susan Lucci and her husband Helmut, and singer Barbara Mandrell and her husband Ken. (Here’s the episode, if you want to watch.)

While usage of the name Stedman has tapered off since 1989, the relationship between Oprah and Stedman is still going strong nearly 3 decades later. They attended the Oscars together last month, in fact.

Stedman is one several “significant other” baby names I’ve spotted on the SSA’s baby name list so far. Others include Josanne, Movita and Tarita (all associated with Marlon Brando), Syreeta and Londie (both associated with Stevie Wonder), Loray and Altovise (both associated with Sammy Davis, Jr.), one-hit wonder Kayatana (girlfriend of Flip Wilson), Marva (first wife of Joe Louis) and Sonji (first wife of Muhammad Ali). Stedman is unique, though, in that it’s a male name that was popularized by a famous female — not a common scenario, it seems.

Sources: Stedman Graham – Wikipedia, Oprah’s Beau Drops In Her Main Squeeze Meets Star’s Tv ‘Family’

Baby Name Story – Thursday October Christian

On April 5, 1789, the HMS Bounty began sailing back to England from Tahiti with its cargo of breadfruit plants. Three weeks and 1,300 miles later, mutiny broke out.

The mutineers, led by Fletcher Christian, took control of the ship. They sent commanding officer Lt. William Bligh and the rest of the crew out on a small boat.

The mutineers returned to Tahiti. Most stayed there. The rest sailed on to Pitcairn Island, bringing with them a group of kidnapped Tahitian women.

The first baby born to the mutineers and their Tahitian wives was Fletcher Christian’s son. He arrived in mid-October, 1790, on what was thought to be a Thursday, so he was named Thursday October Christian.

The choice of name is perhaps emblematic of a willingness to forgo the past by not using a name common in the Christian family whilst not choosing to adopt a name more redolent of a Polynesian present and future.

Subsequent babies born to the mutineers were given common English names. Thursday October’s younger siblings, for instance, were Charles and Mary.

In mid-1814, toward the end of the War of 1812, a pair of British warships happened to spot Pitcairn.

Thursday October Christian came aboard one of the ships and was sketched by Lt. John Shillibeer. The men on the warships had discovered that the Islanders’ calendar was set a day too fast, so Shillibeer tried to correct the discrepancy by captioning the sketch “Friday Fletcher October Christian.”

Thursday October Christian

If this adjustment was done to make the name of Pitcairn’s first-born conform to the Western or American date, the sketch should have been captioned “Wednesday October Christian.” The name change in Shillibeer’s account (which gained wide circulation) was to bedevil a host of subsequent writers.

Thursday October Christian (1790-1831) had seven children, the seventh of whom was named Thursday October Christian II.

Thursday October II (1820-1911) went on to have 17 children, but did not pass the name down again.


  • Bartky, Ian R. One Time Fits All: The Campaigns for Global Uniformity. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2007.
  • Lewis, Andrew. “Pitcairn’s Tortured Past: A Legal History.” Justice, Legality and the Rule of Law: Lessons from the Pitcairn Prosecutions. Ed. Dawn Oliver. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. 39-62.

P.S. The movie Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) starred Marlon Brando and Tarita.

Marlon Brando Baby Name #5 – Tarita

Tarita Teriipaia
© 1961 LIFE
In 1962, Brando swapped Movita for Tarita.

Brando divorced his second wife, Movita, to be with his Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) co-star, 20-year-old Bora Bora native Tarita Teri’ipia. Their common-law marriage lasted from 1962 to 1972.

Tarita Teriipia had been making headlines since early 1961. (A LIFE article published in March dubbed her the “Cinderella of the South Seas.”) So it’s not surprising that 1961 is the year we see the name Tarita debut on the SSA’s baby name list:

  • 1969: 9 baby girls named Tarita
  • 1968: 18 baby girls named Tarita
  • 1967: 22 baby girls named Tarita
  • 1966: 6 baby girls named Tarita
  • 1965: 17 baby girls named Tarita
  • 1964: 16 baby girls named Tarita
  • 1963: 31 baby girls named Tarita
  • 1962: 19 baby girls named Tarita
  • 1961: 29 baby girls named Tarita [debut]
  • 1960: unlisted

No doubt the initial usage was due to the movie (and the press surrounding the movie). But the continued usage was likely influenced by Tarita’s relationship with Brando, as she didn’t appear in any films after Mutiny on the Bounty.

At least 196 more babies were named Tarita in the ’70s and ’80s, but the name stopped appearing on the SSA’s list after 1989.

Source: “Cinderella of the South Seas.” LIFE Magazine 17 Mar. 1961: 65-68.

See more Oscar Week Baby Names.

Oscar Week Baby Names

The Oscars are next Sunday, so let’s celebrate with a week of Hollywood baby names!

I’ve prepared two fun series I’ll be posting this week. The first is Hollywood Baby Name Stories–stories that involve Hollywood people bestowing Hollywood-inspired baby names.

The second is Marlon Brando Baby Names–baby names that were given a boost by Marlon Brando specifically. (Yes, there are enough of these to fill up an entire week. Who knew?)


The Hollywood names: Kiefer, Victoria, Caroline, Harper, Courtney, Kady
The Brando names: Marlon, Brando, Josanne, Movita, Tarita, Sacheen