Where did the baby name Sirica come from in 1974?

Judge John J. Sirica (1904-1992)
Judge John J. Sirica

A new Watergate exhibit will open at the Richard Nixon Library today. The original exhibit, which had been criticized for its pro-Nixon bias, was dismantled several years ago. Archivists say the revamped version “is faithful to fact, balanced and devoid of political judgment.”

What does this have to do baby names?

Nothing, other than it reminded me of the eight baby boys named Sirica in 1974 — the one and only year the name appeared in the U.S. baby name data.

  • 1976: unlisted
  • 1975: unlisted
  • 1974: 8 baby boys named Sirica [debut]
  • 1973: unlisted
  • 1972: unlisted

Federal Judge John J. Sirica was the man who ordered the White House to turn over the Watergate tapes. For doing this, and for being “a symbol of the America judiciary’s insistence on the priority of law throughout the sordid Watergate saga of 1973,” he was made Time magazine’s Man of the Year in 1973.

Sirica is an Italian surname that likely comes from the Latin word sericus, meaning “made of silk, silken.”


Image: Clipping from the cover of People magazine (20 Jan. 1975)

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