How popular is the baby name Coolidge in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Coolidge.
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Yesterday we talked about Calvin Coolidge, so today here’s a quick story involving his wife, Grace:
In October of 1926, several earthquakes struck Turkey and Armenia. (They were centered near the city of Kars.)
American medical personnel set up in Leninakan (now Gyumri) to help the survivors. In the week following the first quake, dozens of babies were born in the American tent hospital. The first of these babies was a girl that the American nurses “named Grace Coolidge Dubenikan, in honor of the first lady of the United States.”
John Calvin Coolidge was President of the United States from 1923 until 1929 — finishing Warren G. Harding’s term from 1923 to 1925, and then serving as the elected president from 1925 to 1929.
It’s not hard to guess that the baby name Calvin saw peak usage during this window (specifically, in 1924), but what about the name Coolidge?
“Coolidge” started appearing in the U.S. baby name rather early, actually:
1928: 12 baby boys named Coolidge
1927: 33 baby boys named Coolidge
1926: 40 baby boys named Coolidge
1925: 77 baby boys named Coolidge
1924: 82 baby boys named Coolidge [peak]
1923: 46 baby boys named Coolidge
1922: 5 baby boys named Coolidge
1921: 10 baby boys named Coolidge
1920: 8 baby boys named Coolidge [debut]
It could have been the attention Calvin Coolidge had gotten in his handling of the Boston Police Strike in September of 1919, while he was the governor of Massachusetts. (“There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time,” he stated in a telegram regarding the strike.)
Or, of course, it could have the fact that he was unexpectedly chosen as Warren Harding’s running mate in 1920.
Here’s the SSDI data, for a different perspective on the usage of Coolidge during the same time period:
What does the surname Coolidge mean? It was originally an occupational name for someone who worked for, or was otherwise associated with, a university college. (This included, for instance, the tenant farmers who worked on college farms.)
So today let’s check out another fun set of “top” names: the top rises. The names below are those that increased the most in usage, percentage-wise, from one year to the next according to the SSA data.
Here’s the format: girl names are on the left, boy names are on the right, and the percentages represent single-year jumps in usage. (For example, from 1880 to 1881, usage of the girl name Isa grew 240% and usage of the boy name Noble grew 333%.)
The SSA data isn’t perfect, but it does get a lot better in the late 1930s, because “many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, so their names are not included in our data” (SSA). Now, back to the list…
(Did you catch all the doubles? Tula, Delano, Tammy, Jermaine, and Davey/Davy.)
I’ve already written about some of the names above (click the links to see the posts) and I plan to write about many of the others. In the meanwhile, though, feel free to beat me to it! Leave a comment and let us know what popularized Dorla in 1929, or Lauren in 1945, or Dustin in 1968, or Kayleigh in 1985, or Talan in 2005…
Cal McLish, born in 1925, was a Major League Baseball pitcher. He played from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s for a total of 7 different teams.
His full name? Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish.
“There were seven of us in the family and my mother named all but me,” says Cal. “When I came along she let dad pick a name and he came up with Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma. It’s a dandy, ain’t it?
“I don’t know why he named me Calvin Coolidge. He never voted Republican in his life, in fact, he was a Democrat. Just like the name, I guess. And I suppose that’s why he slipped Julius Caesar in there, too.
“Tuskahoma is an Indian name, so that makes sense. I think it was a town in the Indian territory of Oklahoma. Both my mom and dad were born in Indian territory though they’re not full-blooded Indians.”
Source: Vaughan, Doug. “On the Rebound.” Windsor Daily Star 5 Jun. 1956: 18.
Over at the New York Times photojournalism blog Lens, Patrick Witty has just finished a series of blog posts about New York-area males with presidential names. In one of his posts, he says:
Some of the presidential doppelgängers I met over the past nine months were named to honor the great men who have occupied the Oval Office; others inherited the name from their fathers. Regardless, living with such a name can be a burden.