How popular is the baby name Ike in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Ike and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Ike.
Found this in a 1889 newspaper:
The boy baby born on C&A train 3 the other night has been christened Isaac Pullman Fisher, the first name in honor of the conductor Ike Wilcox, the second after Duke George Pullman, in whose car the little fellow first opened his eyes, at the rate of sixty miles and hour.
Hopefully it was the train going 60 mph, not the boy’s eyelids.
Source: “Tie Talk.” Galion Inquirer 22 Feb. 1889: 5.
Other babies named for Pullman Cars: Livonia and Pullman Carr
Tuesday’s post about the Victorian-style Tylney Hall Hotel reminded me of a list of Victorian-era names that I’ve had bookmarked forever.
The list was created by amateur genealogist G. M. Atwater as a resource for writers. It contains names and name combinations that were commonly seen in the U.S. from the 1840s to the 1890s. Below is the full list (with a few minor changes).
Which female name and male name do you like best?
Source: Victorian Era Names, A Writer’s Guide
Dwight D. Eisenhower’s mom didn’t like nicknames.
The future president, who was born in 1890, was going to be named “David Dwight Eisenhower” — David for his father, Dwight for evangelist Dwight Lyman Moody — until Mrs. Eisenhower realized that David would inevitably be shortened to Dave.
It was the contraction of Edgar’s name to Ed and another brother’s name from Arthur to Art that inspired Mrs. Eisenhower to try to forestall the cognomen of Dave for the son who was to lead the Allied armies in the second world war.
So she reversed David and Dwight.
But it made no difference. Dwight’s boyhood friends started called him “Little Ike” (because his older brother Edgar was called “big Ike”) and Ike stuck.
(Eisenhower biographer Stephen Ambrose tells a different story. He says Mrs. Eisenhower reversed the order of the names because she wanted to avoid the confusion of having two Davids in the family.)
Weirdly, I have three other posts about Eisenhower: Do You Like Ike, Were Babies Named After Sputnik, and Pakistani Baby Named After Eisenhower.
- “Mother of ‘Ike’ Shuns Nickname, Gets It Anyway.” Sarasota Herald-Tribune 15 Jun. 1945: 2.
- Smith, Jean Edward. Eisenhower in War and Peace. New York: Random House, 2012.
In December of 1959, President Eisenhower went on a 3-week, 11-nation tour. He visited Italy, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Iran, Greece, Tunisia, France, Germany, and Morocco [video].
While he was in Pakistan, a baby born in Liaquatabad was named Ike in his honor.
Source: “Baby Named Ike Khan.” Los Angeles Times 18 Dec. 1959: A11.
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):
- 1953: unlisted
- 1952: 5 baby boys named Eisenhower
- 1951: 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:
- 1959: 1,595 baby boys named Dwight
- 1958: 1,695 baby boys named Dwight
- 1957: 2,024 baby boys named Dwight
- 1956: 2,368 baby boys named Dwight
- 1955: 2,150 baby boys named Dwight
- 1954: 2,036 baby boys named Dwight
- 1953: 2,689 baby boys named Dwight
- 1952: 2,405 baby boys named Dwight
- 1951: 2,049 baby boys named Dwight
- 1950: 1,813 baby boys named Dwight
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.