Do You Like Ike? (How About Eisenhower?)

Taylor, Tyler, Madison, Jackson…sure, they’re presidential surnames, but if you met a kid with one of these names you wouldn’t assume that he/she was named after a former commander-in-chief.

Not so with Eisenhower.

The one and only time Eisenhower made the SSA’s baby name list was the year Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president (the first time):

  • 1954: unlisted
  • 1953: unlisted
  • 1952: 5 baby boys named Eisenhower
  • 1951: unlisted
  • 1950: unlisted

And the SSDI reveals that at least four more people have been named Eisenhower — two were born in the ’40s, one in ’53, and one in the ’70s.

The German occupational surname means “iron-hewer” or “iron-cutter.”

The name Dwight became more popular during the 1950s as well, seeing peak usage in 1953:

  • 1959: 1,595 baby boys named Dwight [rank: 186th]
  • 1958: 1,695 baby boys named Dwight [rank: 176th]
  • 1957: 2,024 baby boys named Dwight [rank: 159th]
  • 1956: 2,368 baby boys named Dwight [rank: 139th]
  • 1955: 2,150 baby boys named Dwight [rank: 142nd]
  • 1954: 2,036 baby boys named Dwight [rank: 145th]
  • 1953: 2,689 baby boys named Dwight [rank: 122nd]
  • 1952: 2,405 baby boys named Dwight [rank: 123rd]
  • 1951: 2,049 baby boys named Dwight [rank: 134th]
  • 1950: 1,813 baby boys named Dwight [rank: 146th]

And let’s not forget Eisenhower’s famous campaign slogan, “I Like Ike.” His nickname — typically short for Isaac, but in this case based on the first syllable of his surname — also got a boost:

  • 1959: 52 baby boys named Ike*
  • 1958: 56 baby boys named Ike
  • 1957: 76 baby boys named Ike
  • 1956: 68 baby boys named Ike
  • 1955: 77 baby boys named Ike
  • 1954: 76 baby boys named Ike
  • 1953: 110 baby boys named Ike
  • 1952: 90 baby boys named Ike
  • 1951: 61 baby boys named Ike
  • 1950: 55 baby boys named Ike

And people still like Ike — in 2010, 59 boys were named Ike (coming down from a spike in 2008, courtesy of Hurricane Ike.)

*Here’s one more baby Ike from 1959.

4 thoughts on “Do You Like Ike? (How About Eisenhower?)

  1. I wonder if Ike remains more popular in Missouri, where one of their long time Congressmen (unseated last year) was Isaac Newton “Ike” Skelton IV.

  2. Hmm re: Missouri (I’m there myself). I liked the name Ike, but more for a dog than for a person (I don’t mean that in a bad way–I put a lot of thought into my pets’ names!). But after the hurricane, being that I am from the TX coast, I just couldn’t. It would be like naming a girl Katrina, Betsy, Camille or a boy Hugo. I just couldn’t. It’s too attached to the storm (as opposed to, say, Andrew).

  3. I’m in MO, too, work in a school district in which I see hundreds of student names on a daily basis, and don’t know of a single ‘Ike’…

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