So few babies are being named “Fillmore” these days. Or even “Millard,” for that matter. You hardly ever see “Coolidge” anymore, either. Still, presidential names -- last names of presidents used as first names for newborns -- are popular, apparently.
So few babies are being named “Fillmore” these days. Or even “Millard,” for that matter.
You hardly ever see “Coolidge” anymore, either.
Still, presidential names -- last names of presidents used as first names for newborns -- are popular, apparently.
“Jackson, Carter and Grant are in the lead for boys and Madison, Kennedy and Reagan are in the lead for girls,” wrote Suelain Moy on msn.com. “On the rise: Lincoln and Jefferson, and Clinton is in the top 1,000.”
Buchanan -- or even Buck -- is not so sought after by parents. Eisenhower would be another tough sell.
First names only
If you want to give your child a first name that might give him a leg up on becoming president, maybe you should go with the traditional James, John or William. Five presidents went through life with the first name James – six if you count Jimmy Carter. Four presidents were named William, including William McKinley.
There were four Johns, and John Adams had the foresight to name his presidential son John Quincy. We can’t say that George Herbert Walker Bush used the same logic with George Walker Bush, because up to their time there hadn’t been a George who was president since George Washington.
It might be a long time before you see another Chester, Grover, Hiram, Lyndon, Woodrow or Rutherford. Hiram, by the way, was the original first name of Ulysses S. Grant.
“Ulysses?” asks a list of presidential names on YeahBaby.com. “This name is actually worse than Millard. Hard to believe.”
But Grant is a good name for boys whose fathers and mothers think are built of presidential timber, Moy wrote. And other presidential last names serve girls equally well as first names, today’s parents appear to believe.
About the girls
Well, not van Buren or Garfield. Name a girl Truman and see how popular she is.
But Taylor, Reagan and Madison are the kinds of names that could get a woman elected president of the country or her graduating class.
Indeed, the entire name of President Zachary Taylor is given high marks by YeahBaby.com.
“Cool! It’s hard to believe this baby name came from the early 1800s. Zachary is a hip name by today’s standards. In fact, YeahBaby will endorse this as our favorite presidential baby name. Even his last name, Taylor, makes a great name.”
Is Leslie Lynch King Jr. a great presidential name?
Gerald Ford didn’t seem to think so.
“President Gerald R. Ford was the son of Leslie Lynch King and his wife, Dorothy Ayer Gardner, who divorced soon after the birth of their only child,” explains the Web site for the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.
“Their son was known as Leslie Lynch King Jr. until his mother married Gerald R. Ford Sr. in 1916, after which he went by the name Gerald R. Ford Jr.”
So, Ford had five names and an initial, and “Leslie” is probably the only one on the list that I’d pick.
It’s a lot better than Polk.
Reach Gary Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org