Where did the baby name Nicklaus come from in 1964?

Golfer Jack Nicklaus on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine (April, 1964).
Jack Nicklaus

The Nicholas-like name Nicklaus first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1964:

  • 1969: unlisted
  • 1968: 7 baby boys named Nicklaus
  • 1967: 6 baby boys named Nicklaus
  • 1966: unlisted
  • 1965: 6 baby boys named Nicklaus
  • 1964: 5 baby boys named Nicklaus [debut]
  • 1963: unlisted
  • 1962: unlisted

This was around the time now-legendary pro golfer Jack Nicklaus (b. 1940) was gaining fame.

By 1964, he’d already won the U.S. Open, the Masters Tournament, and the PGA Championship once each. He went on to win each of these, plus the Open Championship, multiple times.

The German surname Nicklaus is in the Nicholas family, so it has the same origin: the ancient Greek words nike, meaning “victory,” and laos, meaning “people.”

(BTW, the name Nicholas saw a big jump in popularity from 1977 to 1978, possibly thanks to the TV show Eight Is Enough, in which the eighth child of the family was named Nicholas.)


Image: © 1964 Sports Illustrated

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