What does Rita mean?
Rita /ri-ta/ [2 sylls.] as a girls' name is pronounced REE-tah. It is of Spanish and Greek origin, and the meaning of Rita is "pearl".
Short form of Margarita, from Margaret. Use in Hindi is from Sanskrit, meaning "right". First used as an independent name a few hundred years ago. The Italian Saint Rita (15th century) has roses for her emblem. Actresses Rita Hayworth, Rita Moreno; authors Rita Mae Brown, Rita Dove.
How popular is Rita?
Rita is a very popular first name for women (#104 out of 4276, Top 2%) and also a very popular last name for both adults and children (#20219 out of 150436, Top 13%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Shown below is the birth name popularity of Rita for girls. Rita reached its top rank of #48 in the U.S. during the years 1920-1929, but is not listed currently. (2014 Birth Statistics)
Shown below is a comparison of the usage of Rita and affiliated names. Margaret (#169 the previous year), Megan (#308), Greta (#594), Reta, Meta, Meg, Maisy and Margarita are the popular variation forms of Rita ranked in the Top 1000. Forms like Marit are uncommon. These girl names were at the height of their popularity during 1900-1909 (usage of 0.4329%) and are now much less popular (usage 0.2143%, ▼50.5%), with the forms Margarita, Rita, Meta, Reta and Greta falling out of style. Megan (#308) is the most fashionable girl name among these. (2014 Birth Statistics)
Rita▼ is alike in pronunciation to Retta▼, Rheta and Ruta. Other recommended similar baby names are Dita, Gita, Lita, Nita▼, Reda, Reida, Retha▼, Ria, Rica, Rika, Rima, Rina, Risa, Ritsa, Riva, Roda, Ruth▼, Tita, Vita and Zita. These names tend to be less frequently used than Rita.