Mystery Monday: Skeeter & Skeet

This dual-mystery might be unsolvable, but I’ll throw it out there anyway:

  • 1952: unlisted
  • 1951: unlisted
  • 1950: 7 baby boys named Skeeter [debut] + 7 baby boys named Skeet [debut]
  • 1949: unlisted
  • 1948: unlisted

Both Skeeter and Skeet appeared for the first time in the U.S. baby name data in 1950, then dropped off the list the next year. (Skeeter returned in the late ’50s, Skeet in the late ’60s.)

The nickname “Skeeter” should have been familiar to people at the time, as it was the nickname of several fictional characters and several high-profile people (athletes, musicians) circa 1950. But none of them were doing anything particularly special during or just before 1950, so I can’t figure out what boosted both names into the data that year.

My best guess right now is that Skeet and Skeeter were inspired by a radio character I have yet to discover…?

If you know a 1950 Skeeter/Skeet, and you know the story behind his name, please leave a comment and point us in the right direction!


2 thoughts on “Mystery Monday: Skeeter & Skeet

  1. This is a bit of a long shot, but “Skeeter boats” are a type of sport fishing boat that was created in 1948 in Louisiana by Holmes Thurman. He designed the boat specifically for his own needs when fishing locally and very quickly became popular among others who fished in the cypress-filled lakes of LA & eastern Texas. The name ‘Skeeter” was apparently chosen for the boats due to the shape of the front being like a mosquito.

    How much influence this could possibly have had on baby names would depend heavily on where the Skeeters & Skeets of 1950 were born.

    There is info about Holmes Thurman & his boat design in a 1970 Field & Stream article as well as at skeeterboats.com .

  2. Thanks Ellyn! That’s a fascinating theory. I’ve found records for a few of these 1950 Skeets and Skeeters, and several were indeed born in Texas…but I’m also seeing a few from California.

    This one is tricky because there seem to be a lot of *possible* sources…but nothing really stands out as a *likely* source. Hm.

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