What gave the baby name Patria a boost in 1917?

The character Patria Channing from the movie "Patria" (1917)
Patria Channing of “Patria

The rare name Patria saw an uptick in usage in 1917, according to the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1919: unlisted
  • 1918: 12 baby girls named Patria
  • 1917: 16 baby girls named Patria
  • 1916: unlisted
  • 1915: 6 baby girls named Patria

That 1917 usage remained the name’s peak usage until the 1960s.

What gave the name a boost that year?

The silent motion picture Patria — a 15-episode serial that was released in movie theaters in early 1917, from January to April. (April was the month the U.S. finally entered WWI, notably.)

The main character was munitions factory heiress Patria Channing (played by actress and dancer Irene Castle). With the assistance of a U.S. Secret Service agent, Patria fought against anti-American spies from Japan and Mexico who were attempting to both steal the Channing fortune and invade the United States.

Largely a propaganda film, Patria was financed by newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst and filmed in Ithaca, New York.

Later the same year, Patria was turned into a novel and serialized in the newspapers:

The name Patria (pronounced PAY-tree-ah) comes directly from the Latin word patria, an ellipsis of terra patria, meaning “fatherland.” (Patria and the English word patriot share the same root: The ancient Greek word pater, meaning “father.”)

What are your thoughts on the name Patria?

Sources: Patria – The Serial Squadron, Patria (serial) – Wikipedia, patria – Wiktionary, SSA


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