Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Aretha

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • Greek
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • N/A
Simple meaning:
Virtue, excellence in every way

Characteristics of Aretha

  • Authoritative
  • Powerful
  • Tough
  • Tenacious
  • Wealthy
  • Problem-solver
  • Achiever

Etymology & Historical Origin - Aretha

Aretha comes from the Greek Areté (ἀρετή) which is often loosely translated to “virtue”, but the concept is slightly more complex than that. It has more to do with excellence in every possible way, or living up to one’s maximum potential. The “title” of Areté was given to both men and women interchangeably in Homeric Greek times (circa 8th century B.C.); the term was used to denote a sense of value, achievement, bravery and effectiveness. In other words, the term would describe a person who uses his/her knowledge, abilities and talents to their maximum effect in order to achieve maximum results – true and pure excellence. The concept of “arête” shares the same root as the term “aristocracy” from the Greek “aristos” meaning "best, superior" – a class of educated people who have developed highly theoretical concepts of justice, balance and self-control. In Homer’s “Odyssey” (written about 2,800 years ago), Arete is the name of the wife of King Alcinous of Scheria, the last place Odysseus stops during his 10 year odyssey before returning to Ithaca. Homer describes her as being honored by her husband “as no other woman on earth is honored…and by the people, who look upon her as upon a goddess…” (Odyssey VII). Suffice it to say, Areté is a notion having to do with excellence in every way (mind, body and spirit). Concepts don’t get much loftier than this. The more modern female given name of Aretha is most associated with the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin (1942-present).

Popularity of the Name Aretha

Aretha first appeared on America’s Top 1000 list in 1962 which marks the beginning of Aretha Franklin’s massive success as an R&B, soul, jazz and gospel singer. In 1968 the name got as high as #399 out of 1000 on the charts, a year Aretha Franklin claimed two of her first Grammy’s and appeared on the cover of Time magazine. Clearly it was this phenomenally talented woman who perpetuated the usage of her highly unusual name. Aretha would eventually fall off the female naming charts in 1975 – perhaps it was just a tad too exotic of a name to last, or perhaps the name became too associated with Franklin given her super-stardom. Whatever the reason, Aretha is a name pretty much out of circulation today. It’s basically reserved for the hardest core and most soulful of music fans. Name etymologies don’t get much better than this! And Aretha Franklin sure lived up to her “arête”!
Popularity of the Girl Name Aretha
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Aretha

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Aretha

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Aretha

    Aretha We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Aretha.

  • Popular Songs on Aretha

    Popular Songs on Aretha

    A message from Aretha - a song by Trey Songz

    Obsessed with Aretha - a song by Graham Parker

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Aretha

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Aretha

    Aretha - We cannot find any children’s books featuring a character named Aretha.

  • Famous People Named Aretha

    Famous People Named Aretha

    Famous People Named Aretha - Aretha Franklin (the Queen of Soul)

  • Children of Famous People Named Aretha

    Children of Famous People Named Aretha

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Aretha - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Aretha.

  • Historic Figures

    Aretha - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Aretha Louise Franklin (25 Mar 1942 - Present) - Aretha Franklin is an extremely gifted African-American singer popularly dubbed “The Queen of Soul”. As with so many of her ilk, she got her start singing gospel in church and made her breakthrough in the late sixties with such monumental hits as “Think” and “Respect”. Aretha is one of the best-selling female vocalists of all time, and has won numerous awards, including 17 Grammys, and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She also did a hilarious turn as a singing waitress in the Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi comedy hit movie, “The Blues Brothers”, in 1980. In 2005, Aretha was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, but perhaps her crowning accomplishment to date is her singing “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” at President Barack Obama’s 2009 inaugural ceremony.

Personality of the Girl Name Aretha

The number Eight personality has everything to do with power, wealth and abundance. Somehow, this personality has been blessed on the material plane, but their authoritative and problem-solving traits provide evidence that their good fortunes are not just the luck of the lottery. They are well earned. This is the personality of CEOs and high-ranking military personnel. Eights are intensely active, hard-driving individuals. Success is only meaningful to them after a job well-done.  They are remarkable in their ability to see the larger picture right down to the smallest details, and organize a strategy around success. They then have the ability to direct a group around them toward any goal, and realize individual potential to get the most out of their team.

Variations of the Baby Name - Aretha

  • No Variations Found.
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