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Liberal and Conservative Baby Names Toe the Party Line

Liberal and Conservative Baby Names Toe the Party Line

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 baby name trends of 2021, baby name synesthesia, and the top names in each state. 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.