Baby Boom

Jennifer 8. Lee reports on the surge of “Baracks”:

There have been other presidential naming trends in the past century, according to Social Security Administration data. Franklin jumped to No. 33 in 1933, up from No. 147 in 1931. Dwight surged in the 1950s and Lyndon in the 1960s. Theodore hit its peak in the first decade of the 20th century.

“Honoring new presidents with baby namesakes used to be an American tradition,” said Laura Wattenberg, author of “The Baby Name Wizard.” But she pointed out that the custom faded around the time of Watergate, in part because people became more cynical about the presidency.

Ms. Wattenberg said Barack and Obama might break that trend for a number of reasons. Blacks, particularly moved by Mr. Obama’s victory, tend to be more open to new names and to naming children after public figures. Also, Mr. Obama drew strong support from people of child-bearing age, and his name sounds fresh.

Will Jewish parents return to naming kids Baruch?