How popular is the baby name Stevenson 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 Stevenson.
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One, born in mid-August to Mr. and Mrs. Ben R. Isenhower of Chatsworth, Georgia, was named Adlai Stevenson Isenhower. His older brother, Dwight David Isenhower, had been born eight years earlier and was (of course) named after Dwight D. Eisenhower, “whose forces were then spearheading the European coastal invasion.”
Another, born during the wee hours of the morning on election day (Nov. 4) to Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Smith of Richlands, North Carolina, was named Adlai Stevenson Smith.
“He’s Named, Win or Lose.” Evening Star [Washington, D.C.] 4 Nov. 1952: A-2.
“Political Influence.” Kokomo Tribune 8 Aug. 1952: 23.
The interesting name Adlai first appeared in the U.S. baby named data in the early 1890s:
1893: 9 baby boys named Adlai (rank: 706th)
1892: 17 baby boys named Adlai (rank: 480th)
1891: 6 baby boys named Adlai (rank: 841st) [debut]
That 1892 spike in usage remained Adlai’s high-point until the 1950s.
But, because many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, the earliest decades of the SSA data tend to under-count actual usage. The following numbers, from the Social Security Death Index, should be more accurate:
1893: 34 people named Adlai
1892: 91 people named Adlai
1891: 8 people named Adlai
1890: 3 people named Adlai
1889: 1 person named Adlai
So, what inspired this sudden interest in the name Adlai?
Adlai Ewing Stevenson, who served as the 23rd Vice President from 1893 to 1897 under President Grover Cleveland. (They were called “Cleve and Steve” during the campaign, adorably.)
He’d served as assistant postmaster general during Cleveland’s first term, and, before that, he’d served twice as a U.S. Representative from Illinois (1875-77; 1879-81).
The slightly elevated usage of “Adlai” in 1891 — a year before the campaign/election — could be due to the fact that many babies were not named at birth during that era. So, some 1891 babies likely weren’t given names until well into 1892.
Going through the records, I found dozens of people with the first-middle name combo “Adlai Stevenson.” Here are a few examples from 1892 specifically:
The name Adlai comes from the Bible, but no one knows for sure what it means. Guesses include “my witness; my ornament” (Hitchcock’s Bible Names Dictionary, 1869) and “lax, weary” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 1939).
What are your thoughts on the name Adlai? Would you use it?
“142” boy names: Huntington, Konstantine, Naetochukwu, Iyanuoluwa, Marquavius
7 via 151
The following baby names add up to 151, which reduces to seven (1+5+1=7).
“151” girl names: Montserrath, Victorious
7 via 160
The boy name Arinzechukwu adds up to 160, which reduces to seven (1+6+0=7).
7 via 169
The boy name Somtochukwu adds up to 169, which reduces to seven (1+6+9=16; 1+6=7).
What Does “7” Mean?
First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “7” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “7” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.
“7” (the heptad) according to the Pythagoreans: …
“Since everything comes together and is distinguished by coincidence and in a critical manner at the place of the hebdomad [group of seven], they called it ‘critical time’ and ‘Chance,’ and custom has entrenched the habit of saying ‘critical time and Chance’ together.”
“Many things, both in the heavens of the universe and on the Earth – celestial bodies and creatures and plants – are in fact brought to completion by it. And that is why it is called ‘Chance,’ because it accompanies everything which happens, and ‘critical time,’ because it has gained the most critical position and nature.”
“It is also called ‘that which brings completion,’ for seven-month children are viable.”
“Everything is fond of sevens.”
“It is called ‘forager’ because its structure has been collected and gathered together in a manner resembling unity, since it is altogether indissoluble, except into something which has the same denominator as itself”
“7” according to Edgar Cayce:
“Seven is the spiritual number” (reading 261-15).
“As does seven signify the spiritual forces, as are seen in all the ritualistic orders of any nature” (reading 5751-1).
Does “7” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 25, 43, 88, 151) — have any special significance to you?
Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. Maybe you like how “88” reminds you of piano keys, for example.
Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.
If you have any interesting insights about the number 7, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!
Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).
In mid-1965, Peter and Pat O’Sullivan of Staffordshire, England, welcomed a baby girl.
Peter, a bricklayer who called himself a “fanatical Liverpool fan” — inspired by the team’s recent victory in the FA Cup — took it upon himself to give his daughter the following name: Paula St John Lawrence Lawler Byrne Strong Yeats Stevenson Callaghan Hunt Milne Smith Thompson Shankly Bennett Paisley O’Sullivan.
Those 15 middle names honored 15 members of the Liverpool Football Club: 12 players, the team manager, and two assistants:
St John Lawrence Lawler Byrne Strong Yeats Stevenson Callaghan Hunt Milne Smith Thompson Shankly Bennett Paisley
Ian St John Tommy Lawrence Chris Lawler Gerry Byrne Geoff Strong Ron Yeats Willie Stevenson Ian Callaghan Roger Hunt Gordon Milne Tommy Smith Peter Thompson Bill Shankly (manager) Reuben Bennett (asst.) Bob Paisley (asst.)
All 15 middle names appear on her birth certificate, but her name had to be shortened to “Paula St J L L B S Y S C H M S T S B P O’Sullivan” on the birth register.
Unfortunately, Paula’s mother Pat was not very enthusiastic about the situation: “The first I knew about it was when I saw the birth certificate, and I don’t mind saying I was furious. It’s a real shock to learn your baby’s been named after a whole football team.”