Its source is rhetor, a Latin name meaning "Speaker."
The name Reta ranked 1205th in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of the 1990 US Census.
Though this name has fluctuated in use, it has been quietly present throughout the last century.
This is a feminine form of Rhett, a surname of uncertain heritage introduced as a personal name by Margaret Mitchell when she created the romantic anti-hero of her 1936 novel Gone With the Wind, the dashing blockade runner Rhett Butler.
The name's popularity received a further boost when Rhett was portrayed by screen idol Clark Gable in the spectacularly successful 1939 film. A feminine form of the name was sure to follow.