Where did the baby name Desira come from in 1942?

The comic strip characters Flash Gordon and Queen Desira (early 1940s).
Flash Gordon & Queen Desira

The name Desiree, which became trendy in the mid-1950s, wasn’t doing anything special in the early 1940s when the name Desira first appeared in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1944: unlisted
  • 1943: unlisted
  • 1942: 5 baby girls named Desira [debut]
  • 1941: unlisted
  • 1940: unlisted

So where did Desira come from?

Looks like the source is the comic strip Flash Gordon, which introduced a character named Queen Desira in January of 1942. Desira was the red-headed ruler of the jungle kingdom Tropica (on the rogue planet Mongo) and she was regularly featured in the strip until 1944.

Wonder Woman also introduced a character named Queen Desira in 1942 — a rather fishy coincidence — but I doubt this Desira had much/any influence on the charts, as Wonder Woman wasn’t in newspapers until 1944. (Her first standalone comic book came in mid-1942, a bit after Sheena’s comic book).

Do you like the name Desira?


2 thoughts on “Where did the baby name Desira come from in 1942?

  1. How is it pronounced? I keep saying Deh-seer-uh. It may be a bit difficult now a days because it looks a bit like desire. Who knows though, a movie star may love it and set a new trend.
    I love Desiree, if going for a name with desire in it’s meaning or Deidre (even if the meaning is sad) Deidre Hall was so beautiful to me as a kid.

  2. That would be my guess on pronunciation as well. Unfortunately I didn’t find an official pronunciation anywhere, so I don’t know for sure how the cartoonist (Alex Raymond) was pronouncing “Desira” in his head as he created the storyline.

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