How popular is the baby name Pershing 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 Pershing.

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.


Popularity of the Baby Name Pershing


Posts that Mention the Name Pershing

Where did the baby name Mcadoo come from in the 1910s?

Politician William Gibbs McAdoo (1863-1941)
William Gibbs McAdoo

The name McAdoo surfaced in the U.S. baby name data in the 1910s:

  • 1919: 12 baby boys named Mcadoo
  • 1918: 26 baby boys named Mcadoo [peak usage]
  • 1917: 11 baby boys named Mcadoo [debut]
  • 1916: unlisted
  • 1915: unlisted

The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) data shows a similar pattern of usage:

  • 1919: 11 people with the first name Mcadoo
  • 1918: 24 people with the first name Mcadoo
  • 1917: 6 people with the first name Mcadoo
  • 1916: no people with the first name Mcadoo
  • 1915: 2 people with the first name Mcadoo

What was drawing attention to the Irish surname McAdoo at that time?

Businessman and politician William Gibbs McAdoo (1863-1941), who served as Secretary of the Treasury from 1913 to 1918 under Woodrow Wilson (who, incidentally, was his father-in-law). McAdoo became relatively famous during WWI:

[A]s chair of the War Finance Corporation, he basically set up the policy for how to fund World War I by raising taxes and instituting gold savings bonds called “Liberty Loans,” a money-raising and propaganda tool. When German submarine attacks made transatlantic trade dangerous and expensive, he created the U.S. Shipping Board in 1916. And he served as director general of U.S. railroads when the government started controlling the railroads to make sure military supplies and personnel got transported in a timely manner … [P]eople thought so highly of McAdoo at the time that they equated him to Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury. TIME summed up his accomplishments in 1932 by quoting a jingle: “He’s always up and McAdooing / From Sun to Star and Star to Sun / His work is never McAdone.”

William G. McAdoo also campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination twice, in 1920 and 1924, but lost both times. (The surname’s final appearance in the baby name data was 1924, in fact.)

Here are several interesting examples of “McAdoo” being used as either a first or a middle name:

  • McAdoo Pershing McBride (b. 1919 in Texas)
  • McAdoo Wilson Clouser (b. 1918 in Indiana)
  • William Gibbs Mcadoo Stoffel (b. 1918 in Texas)
  • Woodrow McAdoo Miles (b. 1917 in North Carolina)

The surname McAdoo is an Anglicized form of Mac Conduibh, Gaelic for “son of Cú Dhubh,” with cú dhubh meaning “black hound.”

Do you like McAdoo as a given name? Why or why not?

Sources:

Babies named for Armistice Day

Front page news, 11/11/1918

Here’s a name that, year after year on November 11, I keep forgetting to write about: Armistice. It debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1918:

  • 1922: unlisted
  • 1921: 6 baby boys named Armistice
  • 1920: unlisted
  • 1919: 5 baby boys named Armistice
  • 1918: 5 baby girls named Armistice [debut]
  • 1917: unlisted

The influence, of course, was the Armistice declared on November 11, 1918, that signaled the end of World War I. From that point forward, November 11 became known as Armistice Day. (It was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.)

A few of the babies named Armistice even got “Day” as a middle name. And at least one of these “Armistice Day” babies, born in Connecticut in 1927, managed to make it into newspapers:

Bridgeport, it has developed, is to have an Armistice Day the year round. Born on Nov. 11 last, the infant daughter of a local family is believed to be the first child in the country named in honor of the world holiday. Her official name is “Armistice Day Guiseppina [sic] Olympia Bredice.” Her father is an employee of a local sewing machine factory.

What do you think of Armistice as a first name?

Source: “Baby named “Armistice Day”.” Reading Eagle 23 Nov. 1927: 4.

P.S. More WWI baby names: Foch, Marne, Allenby, Joffre, Pershing, Tasker, and Liberty.

Fastest-falling U.S. baby names (relative decrease), 1881 to today

arrow, decrease

We looked at the top baby name rises last month, so this month let’s look at the opposite: the top drops. That is, the baby names that decreased the most in usage, percentage-wise, from one year to the next in the Social Security Administration’s data.

Here’s the format: girl names are on the left, boy names are on the right, and the percentages represent single-year slides in usage. (For example, from 1880 to 1881, usage of the girl name Clementine dropped 68% and usage of the boy name Neil dropped 76%.)

  • 1881: Clementine, -68%; Neil, -76%
  • 1882: Malissa, -56%; Verne, -67%
  • 1883: Minna, -67%; Morton, -74%
  • 1884: Roxy, -62%; Ellsworth & Newt, -60%
  • 1885: Sina, -68%; Clarance, -74%
  • 1886: Cordia, Dicie & Johnie, -64%; Adelbert, -69%
  • 1887: Faith, -69%; Hardy, -73%
  • 1888: Diana & Hope, -63%; Connie, -55%
  • 1889: Zilpha, -71%; Wendell, -71%
  • 1890: Buena, -60%; Alvie, -69%
  • 1891: Odie, -65%; Pierce, -76%
  • 1892: Eudora, -67%; Maude, -58%
  • 1893: Lollie, -65%; Levy, -64%
  • 1894: Macy, -64%; Lindsay, -76%
  • 1895: Gina, Laurel & Pennie, -69%; Alvie & Urban, -65%
  • 1896: Dagmar, -75%; Talmage, -67%
  • 1897: Myrta & Ouida, -75%; Benton, -68%
  • 1898: Fae, -71%; Fate, -74%
  • 1899: Rosia, -80%; Fitzhugh, -79%
  • 1900: Irva, -74%; Dora, -69%
  • 1901: Leonore, -75%; Judge, -81%
  • 1902: Veva, -74%; Davis, -72%
  • 1903: Littie & Samantha, -67%; Hunter, -67%
  • 1904: Genie, -71%; Bessie & Reynold, -67%
  • 1905: Luberta, -75%; Randall, -67%
  • 1906: Dulcie, -75%; Patsy, -69%
  • 1907: Libbie, -71%; Geo, -59%
  • 1908: Aurore, -75%; Elden & Minor, -67%
  • 1909: Arnetta, -68%; Tracy, -75%
  • 1910: Lollie, -67%; Hadley, -64%
  • 1911: Nada, -72%; Shelton, -73%
  • 1912: Carla, -71%; Rosendo, -67%
  • 1913: Vassie, -67%; Auburn, -67%
  • 1914: Coy & Maryelizabeth, -64%: Hosey, -78%
  • 1915: Thomasine, -67%; Giacomo, -67%
  • 1916: Zudora, -75%; Remus, -72%
  • 1917: Athalie, -78%; Tatsuo, -82%
  • 1918: Theta, -74%; Lennis, -72%
  • 1919: Liberty, -83%; Foch, -84%
  • 1920: Veatrice, -77%; Pershing, -73%
  • 1921: Fidela & Theone, -70%; Cleven, -71%
  • 1922: Angelyn & Renata, -75%; Dail, -73%
  • 1923: Odilia, -83%; Ugo & Waino, -74%
  • 1924: Gladine, -71%; Masayuki, -72%
  • 1925: Williemae, -72%; Emitt, -72%
  • 1926: Patrice, -75%; Ann, -78%
  • 1927: Vila, -75%; Boston, -76%
  • 1928: Kazue, -79%; Shoji, -93%
  • 1929: Livia, -81%; Tatsuo, -82%
  • 1930: Ivalee, -71%; Deforest, -72%
  • 1931: Emaline, -76%; Audley, -75%
  • 1932: Zulema, -80%; Hale, -77%
  • 1933: Dessa, -78%; Burleigh, -79%
  • 1934: Nira, -81%; Overton, -71%
  • 1935: Claudean, -73%; Hester, -74%
  • 1936: Norita, -79%; Kenley, -79%
  • 1937: Adel & Berdine, -71%; Grace, -78%

The SSA data isn’t perfect, but it does become more accurate 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…

  • 1938: Ever, -75%; Casimiro, -75%
  • 1939: Walda, -74%; Butler, -74%
  • 1940: Avalon & Ellouise, -75%; Jacque, -71%
  • 1941: Lassie, -71%; Faye & Lemar, -71%
  • 1942: Voncille, -75%; Meyer, -70%
  • 1943: Mahala, -76%; Ewing, -76%
  • 1944: Kyle, -77%; Griffith, -77%
  • 1945: Sherrianne, -74%; Ellwood, Kern & Pascal, -67%
  • 1946: Bettyjo, -71%; Adrien, -77%
  • 1947: Judye, -76%; Bernardino, -72%
  • 1948: Tilda, -78%; Saverio, -74%
  • 1949: Vickii, -77%; Alphonza, -75%
  • 1950: Ranelle, -78%; Agapito, -68%
  • 1951: Vallorie, -90%; Skippy, -72%
  • 1952: Laural, -76%; Edson, -74%
  • 1953: Annelle & Otilia, -72%; Gerrit, -70%
  • 1954: Trenace, -81%; Celso, -76%
  • 1955: Jyl, -79%; Garrie & Robet, -74%
  • 1956: Cerise, -79%; Orlin, -74%
  • 1957: Angelene, -77%; Ruby, -76%
  • 1958: Seneca, -80%; Darryel & Richerd, -72%
  • 1959: Elfrida, -82%; Dietrich, -75%
  • 1960: Jinny, -72%; Ardis, -74%
  • 1961: Perian, -91%; Cully, -84%
  • 1962: Chantay, -80%; Torin, -73%
  • 1963: Marnita, -82%; Isidore, -75%
  • 1964: Julann, -79%; Tandy, -75%
  • 1965: Tonjua, -90%; Jaimie, -86%
  • 1966: Charlet & Desi, -77%; Glennon, -74%
  • 1967: Jeryl, -83%; Haskell, -72%
  • 1968: Millette, -88%; Daneil, -77%
  • 1969: Lya, -81%; Athony, -73%
  • 1970: Cinamon, -77%; Aldrin, -77%
  • 1971: Chimene, -77%; Garet, -74%
  • 1972: Jurea, -83%; Rayvon, -77%
  • 1973: Dayatra, -86%; Keelan, -70%
  • 1974: Shondell, -78%; Efraim, -71%
  • 1975: Natonya, -78%; Imari, -76%
  • 1976: Okema, -87%; Nakia, -79%
  • 1977: Liberty, -79%; Tierre, -81%
  • 1978: Farrah, -78%; Quint, -77%
  • 1979: Danetta, -77%; Kinte, -84%
  • 1980: Vernee, -77%; Kendra, -75%
  • 1981: Santresa, -80%; Jerritt, -74%
  • 1982: Andres, -75%; Stavros, -78%
  • 1983: Tremaine, -81%; Nicanor, -75%
  • 1984: Tyechia, -81%; Jeris, -77%
  • 1985: Gricel, -89%; Duron, -76%
  • 1986: Celenia, -83%; Damiano, -76%
  • 1987: Tareva, -86%; Krystal, -75%
  • 1988: Jeree, -82%; Jammal, -80%
  • 1989: Neyva, -77%; Derrel, -76%
  • 1990: Catherin, -93%; Salvator, -88%
  • 1991: Tichina, -80%; Arsenio, -76%
  • 1992: Unnamed, -88%; Unnamed, -86% [2nd place: Emilce & Symba, -83%; Quayshaun, -80%]
  • 1993: Akeiba, -88%; Evelyn & Jawara, -71%
  • 1994: Kebrina, -86%; Farrell, -79%
  • 1995: Noheli, -84%; Ajee, -79%
  • 1996: Shatasha, -81%; Unknown, -77%
  • 1997: Hydia, -80%, Halston, -79%
  • 1998: Ajaysia, -77%; Jachai, -91%
  • 1999: Naidelyn, -86%; Denzil, -79%
  • 2000: Shanequa, -82%; Giovan, -75%
  • 2001: Berania, -78%; Devontre, -75%
  • 2002: Anallely, -86%; Nkosi, -72%
  • 2003: Jnaya, -88%; Tyheim, -81%
  • 2004: Nayzeth, -89%; Myzel, -75%
  • 2005: Nathaniel, -80%; Hannah, -87%
  • 2006: Babygirl, -86%; Infant, -91% [Counting legit names only: Mikalah, -82%; Jakyri, -79%]
  • 2007: Bethzy, -91%; Brasen, -83%
  • 2008: Lizania, -86%; Duvan, -79%
  • 2009: Aideliz, -88%; Kesan, -78%
  • 2010: Chastelyn, -95%; Yanixan, -87%
  • 2011: Samuel, -79%; Tiger, -80%
  • 2012: Thaily, -78%; Vadhir, -88%
  • 2013: Shanik, -88%; Oneil, -77%
  • 2014: Audris & Avalie, -80%; Sy, -73%
  • 2015: Rion, -83%; Rawley, -79%
  • 2016: Yazaira, -84%; Treysen, -79%
  • 2017: Brucha, -76%; Makana, -79%
  • 2018: Yuleimy, -85%; Neizan, -78%
  • 2019: Anifer, -86%; Nomar & Gianlucas, -73%
  • 2020: Diala, -81%; Daer, -80%
  • 2021: Ashvi, -76%; Aldair, -70%

(Did you catch the doubles? Alvie, Tatsuo, and Fae/Faye.)

Top drops aren’t quite as exciting as top rises, but certain ones become much more intriguing when you notice that they were also top rises:

  • Rose-then-dropped: Clarance, Lollie, Lindsay, Zudora, Tatsuo, Liberty, Norita, Vallorie, Krystal, Seneca, Nakia, Mikalah, Bethzy, Thaily
  • Dropped-then-rose: Clementine, Malissa, Diana, Alvie, Pierce, Judge, Rosendo

I’ve already written about some of the names above (click the links to see the posts) and I plan to write about a few of the others. In the meanwhile, though, feel free to beat me to it — leave a comment and let us know why you think any of these names saw dropped in usage when they did.

More WWI names: Allenby, Joffre, Pershing, Tasker

joffree, cover of collier's, 1915
Joffre, Collier’s cover, Mar. 1915

The top debut names of 1918 were Foch and Marne, for French general Ferdinand Foch and the Second Battle of the Marne. Of course, Foch and Marne weren’t the only WWI-related baby names to debut in the SSA data during the 1910s. Here are four more:

Allenby

  • 1919: unlisted
  • 1918: 6 baby boys named Allenby [debut]
  • 1917: unlisted

Allenby, which made the SSA’s list only once, comes from British Field Marshal Edmund Allenby (1861-1936). He was given command of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) in mid-1917.

Joffre

  • 1919: 7 baby boys named Joffre
  • 1918: 35 baby boys named Joffre
  • 1917: 37 baby boys named Joffre
  • 1916: 16 baby boys named Joffre
  • 1915: 14 baby boys named Joffre
  • 1914: 6 baby boys named Joffre [debut]
  • 1913: unlisted

Joffre, which debuted in 1914 and peaked in 1917, was inspired by French General Joseph Joffre (1852-1931). He was commander-in-chief of the French Army during World War I.

The SSDI tells me that two of those 1917 babies were named Joffre Pershing and Joffre Haig, and that another Joffre Pershing was born in 1918.

Pershing

  • 1920: 28 baby boys named Pershing
  • 1919: 103 baby boys named Pershing [rank: 595th]
  • 1918: 295 baby boys named Pershing [rank: 334th]
  • 1917: 53 baby boys named Pershing [rank: 882nd]
  • 1916: unlisted
  • 1915: 10 baby boys named Pershing [debut]
  • 1914: unlisted

Pershing, which debuted in 1915 and peaked in 1918, was inspired by General John Pershing (1860-1948). He was the only person promoted to the highest rank in the U.S. Army — General of the Armies — during his lifetime (in 1919).

No doubt scores of other baby boys were named “John Pershing,” such as John Pershing Williams, born in August of 1917 to Mr. and Mrs. W. J. S. Williams of Scioto County, Ohio.

Tasker

  • 1920: unlisted
  • 1919: 8 baby boys named Tasker
  • 1918: 7 baby boys named Tasker [debut]
  • 1917: unlisted

Tasker, which has been on the list a total of three times, comes from General Tasker Bliss (1853-1930). He was the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from 1917 to 1918.

…Not surprisingly, the WWI names above fell out of favor after the early 1920s. But a few did reappear on the SSA’s list in the early ’40s (during WWII) — Pershing in 1940, and Joffre and Tasker in 1942.

Source: “Namesake Son for General Pershing.” Portsmouth Times 26 Oct. 1917.

Where did the baby names Foch and Marne come from in 1918?

French military leader Ferdinand Foch (1851-1929)
Ferdinand Foch

The names Marne and Foch and were the top debut names in the U.S. baby name data for girls and boys (respectively) in 1918:

Boys named FochGirls named MarneBoys named Marne
1920.65
19199.6
191858*24*17*
1917...
1916...
*Debut

Foch debuted so impressively in 1918 that it reached the top 1,000 for the first and only time (ranking 874th in 1918).

And Marne didn’t just debut as a girl name — it also debuted as a boy name. In fact, it was the third-highest boy-name debut of 1918, after Foch and Victory.

The Social Security Death Index shows a similar spike in usage of both names (being used as first names specifically) that year:

People named Foch (SSDI)People named Marne (SSDI)
1920.10
1919813
19184137
191716
1916.3

So where did these two names come from?

As it turns out, they were inspired by related things.

The Second Battle of the Marne — the last major German offensive of WWI — was fought in the Marne River valley (in northeastern France) over several days in July of 1918. The Allies resisted the attack, then launched a counterattack led by French general Ferdinand Foch — Supreme Commander of the Allied Armies. Soon after, Foch launched the Hundred Days Offensive (August to November), which led to the defeat of Germany and the end of World War I.

The river name Marne is pronounced mahrn (with a guttural R) by French speakers, though I doubt the American babies named for the battle used this pronunciation. (The name saw peak usage in the late 1960s, shadowing the much higher peak of the similar name Marnie.)

The surname Foch is pronounced fosh — like the word “foe” with an sh-sound attached. I spotted several feminized versions of the name (e.g., Focha, Fochette) in the SSDI.

The SSDI also included people with more than one WWI-inspired given name, such as:

  • Foch Pershing Pensis (1918-2011)
  • Marne Pershing Nagle (1918-2010)
  • Victory Foch Havens (1918-1944)
  • Pershing Foch Mills (1918-2008)

What are your thoughts on these names?

Sources: Second Battle of the Marne – Wikipedia, Ferdinand Foch – Wikipedia, SSA, SSDI
Image: LOC

[Latest update: 6/2022]