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Presidential Names: Which ones went viral?

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presidential names

By Nick Turner

Like millions of Americans, I was riveted by the Ken Burns documentary on the Roosevelts that aired this month on PBS. (I didn’t manage to watch all of 14 hours, but I hope to catch up eventually.)

I adore the first names in the Roosevelt family tree (Alice, Anna, Edith, Eleanor, Elliot, Ethel and Theodore are probably my favorites). But the documentary also got me thinking about Roosevelt itself, which the family’s charisma helped turn into a surprisingly common baby name.

In 1905, when Teddy Roosevelt was beginning his second term as president, his surname became the 91st most popular baby name in America. At the time, Roosevelt ranked higher than Stephen, Jacob, Alexander, Patrick or Philip.

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Canadian guest blogger Abby Simpson, of  The Name Station, takes us today into the realm of political names--past and present.

People say that few subjects are more controversial than politics, but sometimes politics has nothing on the often polarizing world of baby names! While some parents seek to avoid politically-inspired baby names at any cost, there are others whose passions drive them to use politically-inspired monikers from Thatcher to Reagan to Hillary, and even Chad.

So whether you need a list of names worth avoiding as we get closer to the U.S. election in November, or a list of names to inspire, this entry is as inclusive as politicians aim to be.

Reagan – the quintessential Republican hero has a surname that’s found relatively common use as a name through the years, though more for girls than boys. But if you’re looking for a more current GOP name, then why not Romney? Similar to hot Rom- names like Romy, Roman, and Romilly, the likely Republican presidential candidate has a gender-neutral name that could be shortened to Romy or Rome. Other notable past Republicans with names to inspire? Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Simpson Grant, TheodoreTeddyRoosevelt, and even Sarah Palin.

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