Liberal and Conservative Baby Names Toe the Party Line
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.
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.
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
Conservative Baby Names