What popularized the baby name Jerrica in the 1980s?

The character Jem from from the animated TV series "Jem" (1985-1988).
Jem from “Jem

Ready for a pair of truly outrageous baby names?

The animated TV series Jem, which began airing in late 1985, focused on an all-girl rock band called Jem and the Holograms.

Jem was the lead singer, and she had a big secret: she didn’t really exist! “Jem” was just the alter-ego of a woman named Jerrica Benton, who used a powerful holographic computer (called Synergy) and a pair of hi-tech earrings to have the “Jem” hologram projected over her.

The Name Jem

Before Jem, there had been girls named Gem and boys named Jem (short for Jeremy/Jeremiah/James). But only in 1986 do baby girls named Jem start popping up in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1989: 6 baby girls named Jem
  • 1988: 9 baby girls named Jem
  • 1987: 11 baby girls named Jem
  • 1986: 5 baby girls named Jem [debut]
  • 1985: unlisted
  • 1984: unlisted
The character Jerrica Benton from the animated TV series "Jem" (1985-1988).
Jerrica from “Jem

The Name Jerrica

The Jessica-like name Jerrica was in use well before the cartoon started airing, but without Jem it might never have cracked the top 1,000:

  • 1989: 402 baby girls named Jerrica [ranked 558th]
  • 1988: 437 baby girls named Jerrica [ranked 506th]
  • 1987: 318 baby girls named Jerrica [ranked 607th]
  • 1986: 199 baby girls named Jerrica [ranked 836th]
  • 1985: 64 baby girls named Jerrica
  • 1984: 45 baby girls named Jerrica

Jerrica managed to stay in the top 1,000 all the way through 1995. It’s still in the SSA data today, though the numbers aren’t too impressive anymore (i.e., only 27 baby girls were named Jerrica in 2009).

The names Jerica and Jerika also saw increased usage during this time, and variants of Jerrica that debuted in the data in the mid-to-late ’80s include Jarica, Gerica, Jherica, Gerrica, Jareka, Jericca, Jarika, Gerika, Jherrica, Jerryca and Jarrica.

Source: Jem (TV series) – Wikipedia

[Other cartoon-inspired baby names: Aeon, Cheetara, Pebbles, Caillou]

8 thoughts on “What popularized the baby name Jerrica in the 1980s?

  1. I grew up with and absolutely loved Jem! My favorite character and name, however, was Kimber, Jem’s red-headed bestie. I looked it up on the SS baby name page, and it also cracked the top 1,000 for three years running:
    1988– #788
    1989– #964
    1990– #985

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane! :)

  2. … and now I’ve spent way too much time on YouTube watching Jem and the Holograms music videos…!

  3. I adored Jem when I was little — I had a Jem doll with light-up earrings! ;-)

    Now, I only like Jem on a boy as a nickname for James.

    My younger brother had a classmate named Jerica [born 1983] — I always loved her name, but never realised the name was also used on the show! [I didn’t actually remember any of the other characters’ names.]

  4. My name is jerrica 1975 my father name was jerry my mother named after him and my uncle jeffery lynn jerrica lynn

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