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Presidential Baby Names

Presidential surnames are becoming increasingly stylish as baby names, ideally as a way to give your child something to live up to. While Presidential names have always been used for baby boys, they're increasingly popular for baby girls too. The top Presidential name for boys is Jackson, while the top Presidential name for girls is Madison.

Along with Madison, other Presidential names ranking in the Top 1000 for girls include Kennedy, Carter, Taylor, Reagan, and McKinley. Along with Jackson, other Presidential names that make the boys' Top 1000 include Carter, Tyler, Lincoln, Hayes, and Pierce.

In 2020, the name Joe became Presidential when Joe Biden was elected as the 46th President of the United States. He is the first US President to be named Joseph or Joe. The most common name among former Presidents is James, followed by William and John. Below, names inspired by Presidents of the United States.
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TheodoreHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "gift of God"
  • Description:

    Theodore is a derivative of the Latin Theodorus, a variation of the Greek name Theodōros. The components are from the Greek words theos, meaning “God,” and dōron, meaning “gift,” giving Theodore the meaning “God-given” or “gift of God.” Names with similar origins include Theodora, Dorothy, and Dorothea.

ArthurHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic
  • Meaning:

    " bear"
  • Description:

    Arthur, once the shining head of the Knights of the Round Table, is, after decades of neglect, now being polished up and restored by some stylish parents, emerging as a top contender among names for the new royal prince.

JamesHeart

  • Origin:

    English variation of Jacob, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "supplanter"
  • Description:

    James is an English derivation of the Hebrew name Jacob. James is biblical (the name of two apostles in the New Testament), royal (kings of both England and Scotland), presidential (with more U.S. Chief Executives named James (six) than any other name), and it is shared by countless great writers and entertainers.

ZacharyHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "the Lord has remembered"
  • Description:

    Zachary is the English variation of Zacharias, which itself is derived from the Hebrew name Zechariah. The name Zachary is attached to eight different people in the Bible, the most prominent being the father of John the Baptist, and it's also presidential, via 12th president Zachary Taylor. Zackery is an alternate spelling, and nicknames include Zack, Zach, Zac, and Zak.

WilliamHeart

  • Origin:

    English from German
  • Meaning:

    "resolute protection"
  • Description:

    William is derived from the Germanic name Wilhelm, composed of the elements wil, “will,” and helm, referring to a helmet or protection. The name was introduced to England by William the Conqueror, with William being the Norman variation of the name. In Central and Southern France, it was translated as Guillaume.
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CalvinHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "bald, hairless"
  • Description:

    Calvin is a slightly quirky but cozy name that has a fashion edge thanks to Calvin Klein. It has been steadily on the popularity list since records were kept, never lower than Number 250, peaking in the 1920s, the era of the Calvin (originally John Calvin ) Coolidge presidency.

BenjaminHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "son of the right hand"
  • Description:

    Benjamin is derived from the Hebrew name Binyamin, from the elements ben, meaning “son” and yamin, “right hand.” In the Old Testament, Benjamin was the youngest of the twelve sons of Jacob and Rachel in the Book of Genesis, and he was one of the founders of the twelve tribes of Israel. Nicknames for Benjamin include Ben, Benny, Benji, and Benno.

HarrisonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Harry"
  • Description:

    Harrison, a name made viable by Harrison Ford, is increasingly popular with parents who want an H name that's more formal than Harry or Hank but doesn't veer into the stiff Huntington-Harrington territory.

MadisonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Matthew"
  • Description:

    Madison originated as an English surname, a variant of Mathieson, meaning “son of Matthew.” It is occasionally translated as “son of Maud,” as Maddy was historically a nickname for Maud. It was introduced as a feminine given name in the 1984 movie Splash, in which the main character takes her name from New York’s Madison Avenue street sign.

CarterHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "transporter of goods by cart"
  • Description:

    Carter has been popular for almost two decades, but it only cracked the Top 30 in 2014, leaving the other upscale occupational surname names behind. Having hot characters named Carter on both Gossip Girl and The OC probably didn't hurt, and for fifteen years on ER" Noah Wyle's Dr. John Carter was always called by his last name. Carter also, of course, has presidential cred.
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LincolnHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "town by the pool"
  • Description:

    Lincoln cracked the Top 50 for boys' names for the first time in 2016, more than 150 years after the death of its most famous bearer. This is especially remarkable because, as crazy as it seems now, Lincoln was deeply out of fashion as recently as the late 90s, consistently hovering near the bottom of the Top 1000. This admirable presidential choice with a stylish two-syllable sound projects the tall, rangy, upright, image of Honest Abe. Bill Murray is father to a son named Lincoln, and Kathryn Erbe's boy Carson has Lincoln for his middle name. Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard gender-bent it for their daughter.

ChesterHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "fortress, walled town,"
  • Description:

    Chester is a comfortable, little-used teddy-bear of a name that suddenly sounds both quirky and cuddly.

HayesHeart

  • Origin:

    English surname and nature name
  • Meaning:

    "hedged area"
  • Description:

    One of those simple, straightforward English surnames -- and with a presidential pedigree -- that's easy to translate into a first. It was recently chosen by both Kevin Costner and Jessica Alba for their sons, which can likely be credited for its spike in popularity in the past few years. Surname names and nature names like Hayes, which qualifies on both counts, along with occupational names all make up the new generation of stylish English names for boys that go far beyond Harry and Edward.

JacksonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Jack"
  • Description:

    Cool name Jackson is one of the celebrisphere's top favorite boy names, having been chosen by, among others, Spike Lee, Poppy Montgomery, Carson Daly, Maria Bello, Natalie Maines, Scott Wolf, Maya Rudolph, and Katey Sagal. After a spectacular rise, this stylish presidential name has been in the Top 25 since 2010, overtaking John as one of the most popular boy names starting with J.

GeorgeHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "farmer"
  • Description:

    Iconoclasts though we may be, we like Fred, we like Frank, and we like George, which was among the Top 10 from 1830 to 1950, when the number of little Georges started to decline. Solid, strong, royal and saintly, yet friendly and unpretentious, we think that George is in prime position for a comeback, especially since it was chosen by Britain's royal couple.
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GrantHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish from French
  • Meaning:

    "large"
  • Description:

    One-time beach-boy compadre of Glenn, Greg, and Gary that originated as a nickname for a tall person, Grant has become a no-nonsense, career-oriented grown-up and one that is seeing new appreciation. It was chosen for his son by actor Morris Chestnut. It has cultural cred via artist Grant Wood, whose best known painting is 'American Gothic.'

AbrahamHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "father of multitudes"
  • Description:

    Abraham is among the most classic baby names that's still widely-used today, popular for its references to both the Bible and American history. The Biblical Abraham was the first of the Old Testament patriarchs and is considered the founding father of the Jewish people. He was originally named Abram, until, according to Genesis, he was told, "No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations."

UlyssesHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin variation of the Greek Odysseus
  • Description:

    Ulysses is one of the few U boys' names anyone knows -- with heavy links to the Homeric hero, eighteenth president Grant, and the James Joyce novel -- all of which makes it both distinguished and kind of weighty for a modern boy. Ulysses was on the US popularity list well into the twenty-first century; it's off now, but Number 684 on Nameberry.

TylerHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "maker of tiles"
  • Description:

    The presidential Tyler rocketed up popularity charts in the late 1980s and early 1990s (it ranked Number 9 for that entire decade), along with cousin Taylor, becoming almost pandemic across the land-- and to make matters more confusing, both (especially Taylor) have been used for girls as well.

FordHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "dweller at the ford"
  • Description:

    The long association to the Ford Motor Company doesn't stand in the way of this being a strong, independent, single-syllable name.
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JoeHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Joseph
  • Meaning:

    "Jehovah increases"
  • Description:

    Joe is still the ultimate good-guy name, not at all diminished by its longevity or popularity or its everyman rep as Regular Joe, Cowboy Joe, G.I. Joe, Joe Exotic, Joe Blow, Joe Millionaire, Average Joe -- and now President Joe (Biden).

KennedyHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "misshapen head"
  • Description:

    This attractive surname name still projects that Kennedy family charisma. While it didn't come into widespread use until long after the deaths of martyred heroes President John F. or Senator Robert Kennedy, Kennedy is now one of the most popular unisex names for girls as well as the top girls' name starting with K. This is one name that manages to sound trendy and classic at the same time.

RichardHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "dominant ruler"
  • Description:

    A classic old Norman name popular for a thousand years and favored for kings (Richard Nixon was named for Richard the Lionhearted), as well as the hoi polloi (as in every Tom, Dick and Harry), Richard was the sixth most popular US boys’ name in 1925, and was still Number 8 in 1950, but is now much less popular.

PierceHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Piers"
  • Description:

    Actor Pierce Brosnan brings a strong helping of charm to this name.

ReaganHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little king"
  • Description:

    A strong, straightforward Irish unisex surname, with a merry glint in its eye, Reagan has been leaping up the popularity lists, to become one of the top girl names starting with R. Some will inevitably link it to President Ronald, but spell it Regan and it's a Shakespearean name: a daughter of King Lear.
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TaylorHeart

  • Origin:

    English occupational name
  • Meaning:

    "tailor"
  • Description:

    Taylor is one of the prime unisex surnames used for girls and has also been a soap opera favorite. Taylor was in the Top 10 for the last several years of the twentieth century, so that now it tends to feel a little nineties – though Taylor Swift is keeping it in the spotlight and Tay is a charming nickname. Garth Brooks and Bryan Cranston have daughters named Taylor; Taylor Schilling portrays lead Piper Chapman in Orange is the New Black.

FranklinHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "free landholder"
  • Description:

    A doubly Presidential name, via Pierce and Roosevelt, Franklin was given an initial boost via the fame of Benjamin Franklin. It also has a literary tie to the main character of the Wilkie Collins classic The Moonstone.

IkeHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Isaac
  • Description:

    Ike, once the quirky one-person nickname of President Dwight Eisenhower, has morphed into a cool kid nickname of the early 21st century. The rise of Isaac and the stylishness of short down-to-earth nicknames like Max and Gus means that many parents like Ike once again. In the Top 200 (!) at the end of the 19th century, Ike fell off the Social Security Top 1000 by the end of Eisenhower's presidency in the late 1950s but may rise again -- though our guess is that more modern parents will put Isaac or Isaiah on the birth certificate.

NixonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Nicholas"
  • Description:

    A fresher spin on Jaxon, with built-in cool nickname Nix, and a great way to honor an ancestral Nick. But the association with disgraced former president Richard Nixon remains strong, which might explain why this otherwise bang-on-trend surname name has remained under the radar, peaking at #482 in 2017.

WilsonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Will"
  • Description:

    Wilson is a substantive presidential choice far less prevalent than Taylor or Tyler, and with the advantage of being a new route to friendly nickname Will. We see Wilson growing in popularity as an alternative to William; and as a patronymic, it would make a conceivable (if possibly confusing) choice for a son of William.
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TrumanHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "loyal one"
  • Description:

    Truman is an upstanding presidential name that radiates an aura of integrity and moral truth, values any parent would want for a child. It seems definitely headed for a revival.

MonroeHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "mouth of the Roe river"
  • Description:

    Monroe is a presidential surname which feels fresher than Jackson, Lincoln and Taylor. Marilyn Monroe is a famous female namesake, but her smart Scottish surname feels equally usable for either sex. Plus, we think old man nickname Moe would sound both cool and adorable on a baby boy today!

GroverHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "lives near a grove of trees"
  • Description:

    Forget the furry blue Muppet, forget corpulent President Cleveland (not too difficult), and consider this name anew. We think it's spunky, a little funky, and well worth a second look.

GeraldHeart

  • Origin:

    English and Irish from German
  • Meaning:

    "ruler with the spear"
  • Description:

    Both a saint's name and a presidential one via Gerald Ford—who was born Leslie—Gerald is a quintessential 1930s-40s name, when it ranked as high as Number 19. Hence all those nice middle-aged and senior Jerrys we've known and loved. Gerald has always been popular in Ireland, accounting for the prevalence of Fitzgeralds there. Though not considered stylish, Gerald remains on the popularity charts. Cousin Gerard has a similar profile, Geraldo is the well-used Spanish version, and Geraldine is the most promising of the family, in line to follow the path of Josephine to imminent revival.

WoodrowHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "row of houses by a wood"
  • Description:

    Aside from President Wilson (born Thomas), most Woodrows, including Herman, Guthrie, and Harrelson, have chosen to be known as Woody, which says it all.
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DonaldHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "proud chief"
  • Description:

    Donald has been used for centuries in Scotland, where the Macdonald clan is one of the most ancient and where there have been six early Scottish kings by that name. Donald was a Top 20 name throughout most of the early twentieth century. But first there was the quacking Donald Duck, introduced in 1934, to affect its image, and then there was The Donald Trump, leaving it drained of much baby appeal. Trump's surprising run to the presidency didn't save Donald's decline on the baby name charts; it fell 47 spots between 2015 and 2016, from 441 to 488, and is now a less popular name than it's been since records have been kept.

BillHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of William
  • Meaning:

    "resolute protection"
  • Description:

    Most Bills today are dads...or grandpas. The younger Williams are usually nicknamed Will, or called by their full names.

BarackHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew; also Swahili from Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "thunderbolt, lightning; or blessing"
  • Description:

    The name of the 44th president, which he inherited from his Kenyan father, is related to the Swahili word "baraka," meaning "blessing," derived from the Arabic "baracka." It is linked, through the Semitic root, to the Hebrew name Baruch. Barack is also sometimes an alternate spelling of the Hebrew name Barak, which stems from the Semitic word for "lightning." Barack Obama may have found it a difficult name to grow up with, but the same won't be true for the many babies starting to be given that name. Other parents are being inspired to use Obama, which is a common surname among the Luo people of East Africa meaning "to lean or bend."

LyndonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "linden tree hill"
  • Description:

    Presidential it ain't.

DwightHeart

  • Origin:

    German and Dutch
  • Meaning:

    "white or blond"
  • Description:

    This presidential name is in style limbo today - or, some might say, in the the sweet spot of familiar but little-used.
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MckinleyHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "son of the fair hero"
  • Description:

    Presidential name that makes a fresh substitute for MacKenzie or McKenna. Possible spelling variations include MacKinley, MacKinlee, Makinleigh ad almost infinitum. McKinley is one of the Scottish names for girls that can work equally well for boys.

JeffersonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Jeffrey"
  • Description:

    The name of the third U.S. President sounds, like Harrison and Jackson, more modern and stylish now than its root name. Used as a first name long before our surname-crazed era, Jefferson was most famously connected to the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis--and is the middle name of another Prez, William Clinton. Fictional Jeffersons include Jefferson Bricks in Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewit and Jefferson Almond in Henry James' Washington Square, the title character in the Frank Capra classic film "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," plus others--for better and for worse-- in "Married With Children," "The Dukes of Hazzard" and "Kit Kittridge: An American Girl."

ClintonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "hilltop town"
  • Description:

    Like many names that have strong political connotations, the attractiveness of the name Clinton will be affected by your world-view. But, taking politics out of the equation, Clinton has a lovely pastoral meaning, a strong sound and a tremendously wearable nickname - Clint - all which would seem to be in its favor for at least a second thought.

ObamaHeart

  • Origin:

    Luo; Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "bending or leaning; little beach"
  • Description:

    The surname of the 44th US President has been been adopted as a first, for girls as well as boys, by admiring parents around the world. And the O beginning even makes it fashionable. Though Barack Obama's name derives from the Luo people of Kenya, Obama is also a Japanese place name and a surname that means "little beach."

GarfieldHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "triangular field"
  • Description:

    Despite the presidential pedigree, it's still hard to shake the image of the cartoon cat (named after his creator Jim Davis's grandfather). However, there are other Garfields, such as Barbadian cricket player Sir Garfield Sobers, who carries it with gravitas.
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RooseveltHeart

  • Origin:

    Dutch
  • Meaning:

    "rose field"
  • Description:

    Presidential surname adopted as a first by numbers of midcentury African-American parents.

RutherfordHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "cattle ford"
  • Description:

    Stuffy presidential choice: consider Hayes instead.

ClevelandHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "hilly land, from the cliff"
  • Description:

    A presidential and place-name that's not a stand-out in either category.

MillardHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "caretaker of the mill"
  • Description:

    If you're looking for a presidential first name, keep looking.

HooverHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "owner of a patch of farmland"
  • Description:

    A huve is 40 acres of land, so the occupational name Hoover refers to the farmer who owned and worked it. Hoover also relates to the rock band, the vacuum cleaner, the dam, and former FBI head J. Edgar.
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