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:
- 1930: 1,619 baby boys named Calvin (rank: 111th)
- 1929: 1,664 baby boys named Calvin (rank: 109th)
- 1928: 2,128 baby boys named Calvin (rank: 94th)
- 1927: 2,692 baby boys named Calvin (rank: 73rd)
- 1926: 3,015 baby boys named Calvin (rank: 65th)
- 1925: 4,301 baby boys named Calvin (rank: 47th)
- 1924: 4,916 baby boys named Calvin (rank: 44th) [peak]
- 1923: 2,410 baby boys named Calvin (rank: 82nd)
- 1922: 1,283 baby boys named Calvin (rank: 128th)
…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]
- 1919: unlisted
- 1918: unlisted
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 Social Security Death Index (SSDI) data, for a different perspective on the usage of Coolidge during the same time period:
- 1928: 13 people named Coolidge
- 1927: 18 people named Coolidge
- 1926: 23 people named Coolidge
- 1925: 52 people named Coolidge
- 1924: 63 people named Coolidge
- 1923: 34 people named Coolidge
- 1922: 2 people named Coolidge
- 1921: 8 people named Coolidge
- 1920: 5 people named Coolidge
- 1919: 2 people named Coolidge
Two of the many 1920s babies named after Calvin Coolidge were Calvin Coolidge Rogers (b. 1924 in Plymouth, Vermont — where Coolidge himself was born) and baseball player Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish (b. 1925).
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.)
What do you think of “Coolidge” as a given name?
- Calvin Coolidge – Wikipedia
- “Plymouth Baby Named for President Coolidge.” Lewiston Daily Sun 18 Dec. 1924: 4.
- Hanks, Patrick. (Ed.) Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
P.S. The baby names Warren and Harding both saw peak usage in 1921.
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