How popular is the baby name Joretta in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Joretta.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Joretta

Posts that Mention the Name Joretta

Where did the baby name Atari come from?


Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Asteroids…if you grew up in the 1980s, you know all about Atari.

But you might not realize that, at the height of the video game console’s popularity, dozens of U.S. babies were actually named Atari:

Boys named AtariGirls named Atari

The console name comes from the Japanese word atari, which is used in the board came Go in the same way “check” and “checkmate” are used in chess–as a warning to one’s opponent that he/she is in imminent danger of capture.

The baby name Atari dropped off the SSA’s baby name list after 1983, but has recently returned, thanks to football player Atari Bigby (b. 1981), who made his NFL debut in late 2005. Interestingly, he claims he wasn’t named for the video game console…

Where did the baby name Joretta come from in 1930?

joretta, literary character

In the early 1930s, a number of Edna Robb Webster’s novels — Occasional Wife, Lipstick Girl, Love, Preferred, Five O’Clock Girl, and others — were published serially in newspapers.

One story, Joretta, appeared in late 1930 and early 1931. It featured the character Joretta “Jetty” Dowling, “the only daughter of one of the biggest merchants in the west. Wise with the wisdom of the modern girl to whom life is an open book, indulged with luxury, yet capable, poised and sensible.”

The name Joretta, which had never been on the SSA’s baby name list before, debuted on the list in 1930:

  • 1934: 37 baby girls named Joretta
  • 1933: 56 baby girls named Joretta [rank: 910th]
  • 1932: 82 baby girls named Joretta [rank: 746th]
  • 1931: 194 baby girls named Joretta [rank: 463rd]
  • 1930: 33 baby girls named Joretta [debut]
  • 1929: unlisted
  • 1928: unlisted

Joretta was published as a stand-alone book in 1932, and no doubt this helped keep the name Joretta in the top 1,000 for an extra year or two.

The name remained in the data for decades, finally dropping out in the early 1970s.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Joretta?

Source: Webster, Edna Robb. “Joretta, A Love Story.” Greensburg Daily Tribune 21 Nov. 1930: 12.

Where did the baby name Verilea come from in 1936?

The uncommon name Verilea was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. baby name data way back in the 1930s:

  • 1938: unlisted
  • 1937: unlisted
  • 1936: 7 baby girls named Verilea [debut]
  • 1935: unlisted
  • 1934: unlisted

In fact, Verilea is tied with Arolyn as the top one-hit wonder girl name of 1936.

I have yet to figure out the source of Arolyn (which looks to me like a cut-off Carolyn), but I do know the source of Verilea.

As with several other rare names from the first half of the 1900s (like Thurley, Thayle, Ortrude, Ardeth, Aletta, Joretta, Elanda, Perilla, and Lorry) the influence was a fictional story printed in the newspapers.

The tale that featured “Verilea” was Unknown Sweetheart by Anne Gardner. It was serialized during the spring of 1936 and the main character was a young woman named Verilea Davis, who began on “a dirty, grinding old bus on the hill-roads of Kentucky” and ended up in “a modernistic New York penthouse high above smart Manhattan.”

Her name may have been inspired by the vocabulary word verily, which means “truly, certainly.”

Do you like the baby name Verilea? Would you use it?

Source: “I Don’t Even Know His Name, But…I Love Him!” Des Moines Tribune 22 Oct. 1935: 9.