Where did the baby name Rissa come from in 1947?

The character Rissa Fortune from the movie "Time Out of Mind" (1947).
Rissa from “Time Out of Mind

Rissa has always been a logical nickname for Clarissa and other -rissa names. But it first appeared as an independent name in the U.S. baby name data in 1947:

  • 1949: 5 baby girls named Rissa
  • 1948: unlisted
  • 1947: 5 baby girls named Rissa [debut]
  • 1946: unlisted
  • 1945: unlisted

This was the year the movie Time Out of Mind came out. One of the central characters was Clarissa “Rissa” Fortune, played by actress Ella Raines.

The protagonist was her brother, Chris, an aspiring composer/pianist who had to battle various things — his stern father, his spoiled wife, his own alcoholism — while trying to find his footing as an artist.

What are your thoughts on the name Rissa? Do you like it as a standalone name, or do you prefer it as a nickname for a -rissa name (like Clarissa, Nerissa, Marissa, or Larissa)?

P.S. I also mentioned Rissa in the Risë post.

Source: Time Out of Mind (1947) – TCM, SSA

2 thoughts on “Where did the baby name Rissa come from in 1947?

  1. I like the name as Rísa. the Irish fada gives it the ee sound

    I don’t know about anyone else, but the confusion of Lissa vs Lisa- now I’d pronounce it lissa and leesa but I’ve had more than enough gals snipe at me that Lissa is Lisa and vise versa. Same with clarissa vs clarisa – I get nervous now when I see the name spelled. Even asking them, ‘how do you pronounce your name?’ can get you snarked at lol
    For me, the fada solves that problem lol

  2. For what it’s worth, I pronounce them the same way — lissa and leesa. I’m sorry you’ve gotten snarky feedback about it…but I like that you’ve come up with a solution. :)

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