The name Trista ranked 746th in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of 2000-2003 Social Security Administration statistics and 1330th 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.
The source was the name of a tragic male lover of Celtic legend. A young knight sent to retrieve Isolde, his king's betrothed, from Ireland, he falls in love with her and she with him. Of course, it is impossible. He goes off to war, and on his death bed sends for her. She arrives too late, and dies of grief.
This ancient name might derive from a Pictish original, Drostan, but the form was no doubt influenced by the French term triste, meaning ''sad.''