Where did the baby name Jarma come from in 1955?

Actress Jarma Lewis (1931-1985)
Jarma Lewis

The rare name Jarma has appeared in the U.S. baby name data just twice so far:

  • 1957: unlisted
  • 1956: 5 baby girls named Jarma
  • 1955: 7 baby girls named Jarma [debut]
  • 1954: unlisted
  • 1953: unlisted

The influence? Movie and television actress Jarma Lewis, who was at the height of her relatively short career in the mid-’50s. One of her more memorable films was The Tender Trap (1955) starring Frank Sinatra.

She was born in Alabama in 1931, and her full name at birth was Jarma Toy Lewis. According to a 1955 newspaper article, she had “a first name of Czech origin and a middle name of Chinese derivation” despite being “of Irish-English descent.”

(I don’t think “Jarma” is a traditional Czech name, but it may have been based on a traditional Czech name such as Jaromír/Jaromíra or Jarmil/Jarmila.)

Do you like the name Jarma? Would you use it?


  • “Jarma Goes From Dentists Office To Hollywood Studio.” Arizona Republic 20 Mar. 1955: 55.
  • Jarma Lewis – IMDb

3 thoughts on “Where did the baby name Jarma come from in 1955?

  1. Don’t know if this name is used in Czech too, but jarma reminds me of Polish name Jarema, which is a sort of archaic or regionalised form of Jeremiasz, Polish form of Jeremy. Jarma sounds interesting, though not really my style, sounds pretty rough and not very feminine in my opinion.

  2. Do you know how she pronounced Jarma? If it were Czech the J would likely be pronounced as a Y and her name would sound like Yarma.

  3. @Ellyn – That’s a good point. My wild guess is that she actually pronounced it as a “J” because none of the sources I checked said anything to the contrary. (I think at least one would have mentioned it if the “J” was pronounced as a “Y.”)

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Your email address will not be published.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.