Ever since the first American baby was christened WashingtonSmith, there has been a tradition here—just as the Brits honor their Royals–to draw inspiration from the surnames of U.S. presidents, with Grant, Tyler, Taylor, Madison, and now Jackson landing high on the hit parade. So here, for President’s Day, are some examples drawn from our history that still resonate—even if the connection to the Commander-in-Chief isn’t always immediately apparent.
The surname of James Earl Carter Jr., the 39th president, is a long-running favorite now in the Top 50—its highest point ever. Carter is a sophisticated occupational last-name-first name that goes back to a Signer of the Declaration of Independence. Gender-bender note: Selena Gomez played a girl named Carter in a Disney Channel movie.