How popular is the baby name Coolidge in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Coolidge.
The graph will take a few moments to load. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take 9 months!) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.
Yesterday we talked about Calvin Coolidge, so today here’s a quick story involving his wife, Grace:
In October of 1926, several earthquakes struck Turkey and Armenia. (They were centered near the city of Kars.)
American medical personnel set up in Leninakan (now Gyumri) to help the survivors. In the week following the first quake, dozens of babies were born in the American tent hospital. The first of these babies was a girl that the American nurses “named Grace Coolidge Dubenikan, in honor of the first lady of the United States.”
“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]
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 SSDI data, for a different perspective on the usage of Coolidge during the same time period:
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.)
So today let’s check out another fun set of “top” names: the top rises. The names below are those that increased the most in usage, percentage-wise, from one year to the next according to the SSA data.
Here’s the format: girl names are on the left, boy names are on the right, and the percentages represent single-year jumps in usage. (For example, from 1880 to 1881, usage of the girl name Isa grew 240% and usage of the boy name Noble grew 333%.)
The SSA data isn’t perfect, but it does get a lot more accurate starting in the late 1930s, because “many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, so their names are not included in our data” (SSA). Now, back to the list…
(Did you catch all the doubles? Tula, Delano, Tammy, Jermaine, and Davey/Davy.)
I’ve already written about some of the names above (click the links to see the posts) and I plan to write about many of the others. In the meanwhile, though, feel free to beat me to it! Leave a comment and let us know what popularized Dorla in 1929, or Lauren in 1945, or Dustin in 1968, or Kayleigh in 1985, or Talan in 2005…
Princess Ileana of Romania, the youngest surviving child in the Romanian royal family.
Toward the end of 1926, 17-year-old princess Ileana (pronounced ee-LYA-nah, roughly) accompanied her mother, Queen Marie, and one of her brothers, Nicolae, on a tour of the United States (and Canada). The three of them were fixtures in the U.S. news for a number of weeks.
They left France on the night of October 12 aboard the SS Leviathan. En route to America, Princess Ileana, “brimful of enthusiasm,” told reporters that “she was looking forward to the purchase of an American automobile, having learned to drive before leaving Bucharest.”
They were greeted with a ticker tape parade upon their arrival in New York on October 18. The next day, they dined with President Coolidge at the White House in Washington, D.C.
Soon after, the royals and their entourage began a transcontinental journey aboard a luxury train (the Royal Roumanian) that was described as a “traveling palace.”
The train will follow closely the trail of Lewis and Clark on their 1803-06 historic expedition of the Northwest through the Red River Valley, through the Yellowstone Valley, will cross the American Rockies into the Inland Empire, to Spokane and to the Columbia River and Cascade Mountains.
Along the way, they hit a slew of cities — usually just briefly. Americans followed their every move, day by day, via the newspapers.
Their many stops included:
Niagara Falls on Oct. 26
North Dakota (where they watched a rodeo) on Nov. 1
Washington state (where they toured a lumber camp) on Nov. 4
Colorado (where they visited Buffalo Bill’s grave) on Nov. 10
Indiana (where they toured a steel mill) on Nov. 16
The media focused on the queen, of course, but Ileana and Nicolae were mentioned in nearly every article as well. (Though Ileana did become the primary focus on November 17 — the day she got into a minor car accident in Grant Park, Illinois.)
The royals had planned to visit several southern states as well, but Queen Marie decided to cut the trip short in mid-November upon hearing that the health of her husband, King Ferdinand, was failing. So they sailed out of New York and back to Europe at the earliest opportunity (aboard the RMS Berengaria on November 24).
The Romanian name Ileana is thought to be a variant of Elena/Helena. Incidentally, the most famous Romanian Ileana isn’t the princess, but the mythological figure Ileana Cosânzeana.
What are your thoughts on the name Ileana? Do you like it?
“Get Ready for Queen.” De Kalb Daily Chronicle 16 Oct. 1926: 1.
Major League Baseball pitcher Cal McLish was born in 1925. He played from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s for a total of seven different teams.
His full name? Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish.
Here’s what he told reporters in the mid-1950s:
“There were seven of us in the family and my mother named all but me,” says Cal. “When I came along she let dad pick a name and he came up with Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma. It’s a dandy, ain’t it?
“I don’t know why he named me Calvin Coolidge. He never voted Republican in his life, in fact, he was a Democrat. Just liked the name, I guess. And I suppose that’s why he slipped Julius Caesar in there, too.
“Tuskahoma is an Indian name, so that makes sense. I think it was a town in the Indian territory of Oklahoma. Both my mom and dad were born in Indian territory though they’re not full-blooded Indians.”
He went on to mention that his dad (John) was one-quarter Chickasaw and his mother (Lula) was one-sixteenth Cherokee.
Source: Vaughan, Doug. “On the Rebound.” Windsor Daily Star 5 Jun. 1956: 18.