President’s Day Names: Beyond Taylor and Tyler

Ever since the first American baby was christened Washington Smith, 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.


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The surname of the 28th President –and the eighth most common last name in the U.S.—Wilson has come back onto the radar as a worthy alternative to the classic William. Some other Wilson namesakes are British Prime Minister Harold, playwright Mizner and soul singer Pickett—as well as the volley ball Tom Hanks befriends in Cast Away.

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