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Liberal and Conservative Baby Names Toe the Party Line

March 12, 2020 Sophie Kihm
liberal conservative baby names

What is it about naming your child Lucia that marks you as a Liberal, or Knox that identifies you as a Conservative?

We’ve analyzed the Top 50 most liberal and conservative baby names to determine trends among the two political camps. We used data from Nameclouds, a name generator built on characteristics of names including trend line and popularity, as well as the political ideology, income, and education level of the parents who choose them for their children.

Liberals are widely considered to be anti-establishment, and Conservatives are known for having traditional values, but you wouldn’t know that from their baby names. Yes, it’s actually the leftists who prefer names with a storied past, choosing names like Julia and Jacob for their babies. On the right of the political spectrum are many invented names, or at least those with nouveau spellings, such as Baylee and Braylen.

Perhaps the best example of the differences in traditionality between liberal and conservative names is the case of Caitlin and Katelynn. The names are identical in sound, but each spelling attracts a different type of parent. Caitlin, according to Nameclouds, is used by Liberal parents in over 98% of cases, while Katelynn is virtually 100% Conservative. This follows the pattern. While the most popular variation is Kaitlyn — which ranks at Number 387 — Caitlin is the original, most traditional form of the name, ideal for Liberals. Katelynn, however, has significantly evolved from the mother name, and its unconventional spelling appeals to Conservative parents.

Liberal and Conservative Baby Name Trends

True to their traditional form, Liberals tend to prefer fuller forms of names, choosing Madeline over Maddie, Benjamin over Ben, and Nicholas over Nick. Conservatives are more likely to belong to the name-them-what-you-call-them camp, opting for Maggie, Gracie, and Colt rather than Margaret, Grace, or Colton.

The diversity of the Liberal voting bloc is reflected in their choice of baby names. Italian names like Emilia, Gianna, and Lorenzo are heavily represented, as are those with Irish roots, such as Quinn and Aidan. Many names that are popular among Latino parents, including Benjamin, Valentina, and Julian, make the list of most liberal baby names, as well as names heavily favored in the Jewish community, like Nina, Eliana, and Jacob.

Place names have proven popular among Conservatives, with names including Londyn, Brooklyn, and Dallas skewing far to the right. A report by Fatherly on the most common boy names among Liberals and Conservatives also lists Dakota as a top pick among right leaners.

Overall, Conservatives like names with stronger consonant sounds — those that begin with Cs, Ks, Rs, and the Br- sound are overrepresented, as are girl names that end in N. Liberals love softer syllables, particularly names beginning with vowels or the more lyrical consonant L. Over 90% of the most liberal girl names ended in a vowel, compared to 56% of the top Conservative girl names.

Unexpected Favorites

There are some surprise appearances on each of the lists. On the Liberal side, Tiffany seems like an improbable choice, as it is the name of Republican First Daughter Tiffany Trump. Especially considering Sasha also makes the list — a name that owes some of its success to former First Daughter Sasha Obama — we wonder if Tiffany will become less partisan in the coming years.

Phillip is one of the sole traditional names to slant right, but the fact that spelling alternative Philip doesn’t make the list is telling. Philip is the original form of the name, which makes it more attractive to Liberal parents. It may seem like splitting hairs (or Ls), but that extra letter makes a significant difference among party lines.

Brooklyn, a liberal enclave, might seem like an unusual choice for a right leaning parent, but it has all the hallmarks of a Conservative baby name. The brash Br- beginning, strong K, N ending, and place connection (despite the liberal associations) appeal to parents on the Right. Not to mention the relative novelty — Brooklyn only entered the US Top 1000 in 1990, while Brooklynn made its appearance in 1995.

Here, the Top 25 most liberal and most conservative baby names for girls and boys, as well as the percentage associated with each ideology.

 

Liberal Baby Names

Girls

Girl Name Percent Liberal
Nina 100%
Emilia 99.6%
Sasha 99.4%
Julia 98.9%
Caitlin 98.1%
Lucia 97.6%
Maya 97.4%
Zoe 97.2%
Juliana 97%
Jasmin 95.7%
Alexandra 95.4%
Angelina 95.2%
Sophia 94.8%
Fiona 93.7%
Kayla 93.3%
Samantha 92.7%
Emily 92.5%
Fatima 92.1%
Valentina 91.6%
Tiffany 91.4%
Madeline 91.2%
Gianna 91%
Sienna 90.8%
Eliana 90.3%
Alina 89.9%

Boys

Boy Name Percent Liberal
Jacob 100%
Ryan 99.8%
Evan 99.5%
Ethan 99.3%
Benjamin 99%
Nathan 98.8%
Quinn 98.3%
Julian 98%
Nicolas 97.3%
Luca 97.1%
Aidan 96.8%
Dylan 96.5%
Alexander 96.2%
Lorenzo 95.5%
Lucas 95.2%
Kevin 95%
Dominic 94.7%
Matthew 93.7%
Adam 93.5%
Louis 93.3%
Leo 93%
Matteo 92.8%
Nicholas 92.5%
Giovanni 91.8%
Maxwell 91.8%

Conservative Baby Names

Girls

Girl Name Percent Conservative
Katelynn 100%
Kyleigh 97.8%
Allie 96.7%
Kaydence 90.5%
Tatum 89.4%
Addisyn 89.2%
Baylee 88.3%
Madisyn 87.9%
Brylee 84.8%
Adalynn 81.9%
Aubrie 80.1%
Josie 79.7%
Londyn 77.9%
Charlee 77.5%
Kathryn 76.4%
Jada 75.8%
Brooklyn 74.4%
Maggie 74%
Gracie 73.8%
Bethany 73.6%
Brooklynn 72.3%
Rebekah 71.3%
Kinley 70.2%
Mallory 69.7%
Brynlee 69.3%

Boys

Boy Name Percent Conservative
Braylon 100%
Gunner 98.2%
Easton 96.4%
Rhett 95.7%
Braxton 94.1%
Dallas 87%
Knox 86.8%
Jase 86%
Conner 84.9%
Phillip 84.4%
Colt 83.2%
Karter 82.1%
Kyler 81.1%
Hayden 80.9%
Karson 80.6%
River 80.4%
Rylan 79.5%
Drake 77.3%
Preston 76.5%
Jett 76%
Cohen 75.5%
Paxton 74.7%
Kaden 74.5%
Cooper 71.7%
Cash 71.4%

 

About the author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top middle names of 2019, the top baby names in each state, and the hottest nickname names of 2018. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at sophie@nameberry.com. Sophie lives in Chicago.

View all of Sophie Kihm's articles

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