The Reesa Society

Origin of the Name | Origin of the Name, Part 2 | Legends: Risë Stevens | Reesa Society Members | Member Comments | Typing 'e' with an umlaut

The Reesa SocietyFor women named Risa, in all its spellings:
Reesa, Resa, Rissa, Reisa, Riesa, Raesa, Reasa, Riza, Risë, Reza, Reiza, Rhesa, Rhysa...




Origin of the name Reesa: Where'd You Come From?

by Reesa Marchetti
(cont. from Origin of the Name Reesa, Part 1)

Where does Risa live? While most come from various parts of the United States, some have responded from Canada and from other continents as far away as Australia.

And although one Risa, who is of Japanese heritage, said typical Japanese girls’ names end with "ko," there is at least one other Japanese Risa: a lingerie model named Risa Honda.

Risa Masuda said as a child, she hated her name because it didn't end with a "ko" sound.

"Then, I came to the U.S. ten years ago," she says, "and I kinda started to like it."

Riesa Zanuddin of Melbourne, Australia, said she was named after a "what, not a who."

In her case, the name was derived from her Zodiac sign. When she was born, her father had expected a boy, and had not prepared any girl's names. So he turned Aries around to Riesa.

"Well, at first I didn't even like my name," she said. "I did not think that it has any special meaning, but then since you mention it, Risa is the one who laughs. I told everyone about it and they all said, `No wonder you laugh a lot.' "

Growing up may be one of the cruelest stages in life, with children taunting their playmates for the same little oddities that are later seen through adult eyes as charming.

As kids, many Risas hated the name because they were teased about it, but all said they appreciate it now that they have matured. Others proclaimed they liked their name from the start.

"I've always loved my name because it was so unique," Risa of Nails by Risa in Southern California said. "I've actually had one customer who legally changed her name to Risa after meeting me."

Jokes about Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, as well as confusion about the pronunciation ("Do you mean Lisa?") are a shared experience among Risas.

Risa Belinda recalled the embarrassment she felt when a college professor mispronounced the name and asked if "Rise-a" was present.

Reesa Kay Hughes loathed her name so much she changed it to Teresa in high school.

"A few years after high school I started to appreciate my name, changed it back," she said, "and now I love it."

As a youngster, Reesa Sorin of New South Wales, Australia (originally from Winnipeg, Canada) used to "plague" her mother to change her name to Mary. She says her Hebrew name is Rifka.

Of the middle names that accompany Risa, many of the respondents listed Kay, Lee, or Ann.

Yakima, Wash., resident Reesa Zuber has found that Risa is a common name where she lives.

"There are lots of Risas in this area. It is a popular Spanish name," she said. "There is even another Reesa a few years younger than my daughter who is now 19."

Reesa Zuber agrees, saying that all the Risas she knows are of Mexican ancestry and are Catholic.

"Many Hebrew names were absorbed into the romance languages of Spanish, French, and Italian," she says.

Members of the Reesa Society are a diverse group ranging in age from teen-aged to 50 and over. Their occupations include accountant, nail artist, high school student, homemaker, college professor, graduate student in criminal justice, real estate agent, TV producer, journalist, Web developer, musician, technical writer, lawyer, college student, astrologer, photo editor, Internet service provider, and educator-librarian.

But Risa Rio of Oregon may be the most unique of the entire group — she is a pit bull named after Rio Risa, the River of Laughter.

Many Risas feel that having a unique name has inspired their creativity. All bemoan the fact that they can never find a personalized key chain with their name on it.

But if the name’s popularity continues to increase, maybe someday Risa will be up there on the rack, right next to Mary and Sue.