Meaning of Rita, the Pearl

The baby girl name Rita has its origins in the Old Greek language, and is used predominantly in the German, Italian and Spanish languages. In English, Rita means pearl, and in Spanish it means daisy. Rita is a contraction of the Italian Margherita and also a contraction of the English and Scottish Margaret.

Rita's Name Cloud
The name Rita’s name cloud

Popularity of the Name

The popularity of Rita peaked in 1930, when it ranked 42nd in the US. It has since declined substantially. Of the girl names directly linked to Rita, Margaret was the most used.

Rita was not in the top 100 baby girls’ names in the England in 2013.

Famous Females Called Rita

The name has famous namesakes, including Actresses Rita Moreno and Rita Hayworth, and Grammy Award-winner Rita Coolidge. There was also an Italian saint by the name of Rita in the 15th century.

In Great Britain, the famous Ritas who are particularly popular include Rita Ora the singer and TV celebrity and also Rita Sullivan a character from the TV soap Coronation Street.

Characteristics of People with the Name

The name Rita is sanskrit for “empty”, and it means true and rightous. Characteristics of a Rita are said to include intuitiveness and oneness. A 1970’s study showed that children with normal, common names fared better in school than children with unusual, less common names. Rita appears to be somewhere in the middle.

Useful Resources

Discover the meaning and popularity of other English girls’ names on our website.