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By Linda Rosenkrantz

On previous Presidents’ Days, we’ve looked at the first and last names of the Chief Executives, their wives and their children’s appellations.  So what’s left?

Their middle names! And in this era of middle-name mania, we think they merit our attention.

Many of the early people in this position did not have middle names, having come to the office before the practice became so prevalent. A significant number bore their mothers’ maiden names; a few others switched the first and middle and so became know by the name listed below.  One—Gerald Ford—changed his name completely.

So, if you don’t like any of the Presidents’ first or second name, here’s an alternative option.

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Blonde, Brunette and Redhead Baby Names:

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Ever wonder how our names actually originated? A lot of them derived from the Latin or Greek word for the physical characteristic of a single individual—for example Cicero means ‘chick pea’ because of a wart on the nose of the first Cicero, and Claude’s meaning of ‘lame’ ditto. Several more are related to the bearer’s hair color or quality, such as the ones here. I’ll spare you poor Brendan, which means ‘stinking hair’ and the biblical Esau, meaning ‘hairy’.

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Born on the Fourth of July

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Yes, July 4th is the birthday of America, but it’s also an occasion to salute some of the notable people who share that date—and of course featuring those with the more interesting names. It makes for quite a diverse little birthday party—from Nathaniel Hawthorne, born in 1804, to First Daughter Malia Obama, born in 1998. But we won’t be including three who erroneously claimed the date as their own—composer George M. ‘born on the Fourth of July’ Cohan, MGM’s Louis B. Mayer and Louis Armstrong, whose real date of birth was August 4th.

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Presidential Baby Names: Hail to the Chiefs

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Just as other countries have their royal names, America has had a long tradition of honoring our  presidents, going back at least as far as John Quincy Adams naming one of his sons George Washington Adams.  Not to mention the presidential surnames that have become latter day fads—think Taylor and Tyler and Madison and Jackson.  Today we’re looking at the first, middle and last names of all the past Chief Executives, to arrive at our Nameberry Picks for best presidential baby names today.

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limboys

Last week we took a look at the ladies in limbo, the girls’ names not old enough to fall under the Hundred Year Rule, but were most popular from the 1920s to the 1960s, to question whether any of them were eligible for resuscitation.

And now, as promised we perform the same operation on the boys’ list.

We find several differences between the genders.  For one thing, the popularity of the boys’ names tend to stretch over longer periods of time (122 years for Howard, for instance), and clearer syllabic and sound patterns tend to emerge.  In the 1920s and 1930s, for example, we see a preponderance of two-syllable names ending in the letters n and d.  By the fifties and sixties, there are lots of four and five-letter single syllable favorites—the Todds and Troys, Deans and Dales—those surfer dudes we’ve labeled ‘Beach Boys’ in our books.

Not many of these names, except for a few in the pre-1920 list, have shown significant signs of revival—once again, because they’re the names of our grandpas and great-uncles and fathers-in law—the older men in our lives, the men still smoking pipes on Father’s Day cards.

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