Mystery baby name: Toshiba

Graph of the usage of the baby name Toshiba in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Toshiba

I haven’t blogged about a mystery name in a while, so let’s try this one…

The baby name Toshiba debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1974 with 58 baby girls:

  • 1978: 40 baby girls named Toshiba
  • 1977: 38 baby girls named Toshiba
  • 1976: 26 baby girls named Toshiba
  • 1975: 35 baby girls named Toshiba
  • 1974: 58 baby girls named Toshiba [debut]
  • 1973: unlisted

In terms of the biggest girl-name debuts of all time, Toshiba landed just outside the top 50, tied with Siobhan for 53rd.

The variants Tashiba and Tosheba also debuted in 1974, while Tasheba debuted a year earlier.

Toshiba logo

Now, Toshiba is a brand name. We all know that.

But something tells me that the company/brand didn’t have anything to do with the baby name. The Japanese company Toshiba has been around for well over a century, it’s been exporting goods (transistors, TVs, ovens, etc.) to the U.S. since long before ’70s, and there wasn’t some big advertising push in 1973/1974.

The brand is so well-established, though, that my internet searches aren’t letting me see anything but the brand. So I can’t get past it to see what the real answer might be.

Was Toshiba a character in a ’70s TV show (like Ibe/Ebay)? Maybe a long-forgotten musician or actor?

Do you have any ideas?

11 thoughts on “Mystery baby name: Toshiba

  1. Shot in the dark, but Pam Greer played Sheba in ‘Sheba, Baby,’ which was released in March 1975. Tosha/Tasha/Tisha were also relatively popular in the ’70s. I wonder if Toshiba was derived from those two influences.

  2. Interesting idea!

    I don’t think a movie from 1975 could have caused a 1974 debut, but who knows — maybe there was some early hype around the movie…?

    Really smart of you to make the connection between Sheba and Toshiba! Didn’t even occur to me.

    Here are some Sheba-related numbers for that time period:


    • Sheba – 35 baby girls
    • Tasheba – 8 baby girls


    • Sheba – 34 baby girls
    • Tasheba – 9 baby girls
    • Tosheba – 6 baby girls


    • Sheba – 65 baby girls
    • Tasheba – 11 baby girls
    • Tosheba – 8 baby girls


    • Sheba – 33 baby girls
    • Tasheba – 16 baby girls
    • Tosheba – 5 baby girls
  3. The only things I could find that weren’t related to electronics were LPs produced by Toshiba EMI Ltd.

    The British EMI records apparently acquired Toshiba Music Indutries company in October 1973, the resulting merger becoming known as Toshiba EMI Ltd. Perhaps that greater infusion of money lead with it some kind of media exposure in the US?

  4. Thanks Guinevere.

    Business news typically doesn’t influence the baby name charts, but who knows, maybe this time it did…?

    One of the only theories we have so far!

  5. Hey you guys I just found this looking up the meaning off “my own name” I too keep pulling up electronics…help please any website ideas?

  6. Kind of out of left field, but perhaps the Toshiba EMI thing was of more interest in the US than normal business news because of Beatlemania…it was before my time but I know there were contentions with the US distributor right at the beginning of their international popularity.

    Picking a name off of your new beloved import LP?

  7. My name is Tosheba (I prefer Tosh). I was born in the late 70s and was told by my biological mother that she got the name from playing around with names she heard while watching Alex Haley’s Roots on television. I’m pretty sure she was just drunk jk.

  8. I was actually told by my father who served over in Okinowa Japan, that my name meant “perfectly made” or “made to perfection”….however, I can’t find any proof to back it up

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.