Friday, January 10, 2014

Predictions: Presidential Names

Back when I was in Iowa, I went out to dinner with my sister, her husband, and their son. For whatever reason, we got into a conversation about how people sometimes name their kids with presidential last names. 

There are a number of presidential names that work quite well. For example, I know someone who has two girls who are named Madison and McKinley, which are great names. 

Per our conversation that night and conversations I've had with my family after that night, I'm predicting what I think will be some of the more popular presidential names for kids in the future, names that have little shot, and names that have no shot. 

But first I'm providing a rundown of presidential names that are in use right now:
  • Madison
  • Kennedy
  • Taylor
  • Reagan (Thankfully, this name seems to have declined in popularity.)
  • McKinley
  • Tyler
  • Pierce
  • Jackson
  • Wilson
  • Truman
  • Harrison
  • Carter
  • Clinton
  • Grant

There's not much to comment on here. However, Carter might have increased in popularity because of the character on ER, but that show's been over for a long time. Jackson is a popular name where I live. And I don't see Grant used as much as it used to be. 

Probable Names on the Rise
I'll explain these one-by-one. 

It's an easy to say, one-syllable name. Hayes wasn't a distinguished president, but that hasn't stopped people from using Carter, Grant, Tyler, and Pierce. 

Like people using Jackson and then calling the kid Jack, this name has potential because the kid's shortened name could be Jeff. In addition, TJ is one of the most beloved presidents of all time. As a three-syllable name, it doesn't take that long to say it. 

Like Madison, Monroe has a strong sound to it, almost stately. 

He was a pretty bad president, but Harding is a distinguished-sounding name. The only problem I see with this one that no one with the last name of Johnson will call their son Harding because kids could shorter the first name to "Hard."

Yet another week president, but it's rich sounding, and I could see a couple sitting in a McManson in some suburb considering this name for their son. 

I'm surprised Lincoln has never caught on that much. He's easily one of the top-five presidents of all time, and it's an easy-to-pronounce, two-syllable word.

Like Buchanan, this one has McMansion potential. In addition, over the supper I referenced at the start of this post, my nephew related he knew someone in college named Taft, a guy from a tony suburb of Chicago. The only detriment I see is that the dude was the fattest president ever. Then again, he was the only president to also become Supreme Court Justice, so that's kind of cool. 

Names with Little Shot
These names have some similarities to the ones above, but for various reasons I don't think they have potential
  • Ford ~ It's strong sounding but old fashioned.
  • Washington ~ It takes too long to say.
  • Cleveland ~ Fans of Seth McFarlane might like this, but I don't see people naming their kid after a rust-belt city.
  • Roosevelt ~ Same deal as Washington
  • Arthur ~ It's very old fashioned.
  • Johnson ~ Can you imagine the penis jokes? 

Names with No Shot
I'll explain these one-by-one. 

The high probability of annoyance will deter parents from this one. Just imagine the number of times someone would have to correct people on his name during his life: "It's Adams, not Adam."

Van Buren 
A two-word name? I don't think so.

It sounds too much like "Pork." 

The name sounds affluent, but since it's a compound word of basic terms, there's too much potential for crude remarks.  

The shortened version of "Cool" is humorous, but it's a weak-sounding name. 

This reminds me of a joke: If you name your kid Trixie or Jeeves, you might be pushing them toward certain professions.

Too long. 

A kid named after "Tricky Dick"? I doubt it. 

Don't get me started.

It's a bit phonetically unwieldy. 

Non-Sequitir: What this whole post leads me to is a concern that Christie will be our next president. 

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