Presidential Granddaughter Paulina Inspires Uptick

Pauling Longworth, 1929, with mother Alice
Alice and Paulina in 1929
Alice Roosevelt was the eldest child of Theodore Roosevelt. She became extremely popular, both nationally and internationally, during his presidency.

In 1906 she married Nicholas Longworth, a U.S. Representative from Ohio. (He would later become Speaker of the House.) Their only child, Paulina, was born in 1925.

Paulina instantly became “the most famous baby in America,” and, as a result, there was a temporary increase in the national usage of the baby name Paulina:

  • 1927: 47 baby girls named Paulina
  • 1926: 48 baby girls named Paulina
  • 1925: 78 baby girls named Paulina
  • 1924: 40 baby girls named Paulina
  • 1923: 38 baby girls named Paulina

According to the SSA data, usage nearly doubled. According to the SSDI data, though, the spike wasn’t quite so dramatic:

  • 1927: 55 Paulinas born (SSDI)
  • 1926: 63 Paulinas
  • 1925: 85 Paulinas
  • 1924: 63 Paulinas
  • 1923: 59 Paulinas

Many years later it was revealed that Idaho senator William Borah was the baby’s biological father, and that Alice had even considered giving the baby the not-so-subtle name Deborah (“de Borah”).

Sources: Celebrity Baby Feeding Frenzy, 1920s-Style, Alice Roosevelt Longworth – Wikipedia

P.S. The baby name Lance also got a boost thanks to the child of an American socialite.

2 thoughts on “Presidential Granddaughter Paulina Inspires Uptick

  1. I’ve always liked the name Polly and have thought that Paulina would work well as a longer given name for Polly.

    As for Paulina Longworth, according to a wikipedia article her name was pronounced “Pole-eena”. She reportedly had a rather miserable life and suffered from depression among other emotional concerns. (Another “poor little rich girl,” it seems.)

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