Where did the baby name Tighe come from in 1949?

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Tighe E. Woods in 1952

The name Tighe (pronounced tie, like the second syllable of necktie) has been in the U.S. baby name data most years since 1970, but it first appeared in 1949 specifically:

  • 1951: unlisted
  • 1950: unlisted
  • 1949: 9 baby boys named Tighe [debut]
  • 1948: unlisted
  • 1947: unlisted

Why that year?

Likely because of Tighe E. Woods, who served as Housing Expediter under President Truman from late 1947 to 1952.

During the summer of 1949, his name was mentioned in the news more frequently than usual in association with the Senate subcommittee investigation into the so-called “five-percenters”: Washington lobbyists, “usually former Government officials or ex-Congressmen,” who helped businessmen obtain Federal contracts and then took five percent of the profits. Woods testified before the subcommittee in August.

His first name was his mother’s maiden name. It’s an Anglicized form of the Irish surname Ó Taidhg, meaning “descendant of Tadhg.” The Irish name Tadhg (pronounced tieg, like the first part of tiger) means “poet” or “philosopher.”

What are your thoughts on the name Tighe? Do you like it more or less than Tadhg?


Image: Screenshot of a 1952 episode of Longines Chronoscope.

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