Born Leaders: BOYS 1 of 26
Born Leaders: Jefferson 2 of 26
Origin: Old English; Meaning: son of Jeffrey
We built this city on rock â€˜n roll! Wait — wrong Jefferson. We built this country thanks to the help of this founding father, who was the third U.S. president from 1801 1809 and currently graces our elusive two-dollar bill. If you like to go the more traditional route, you could always use his first name: Thomas.
Born Leaders: Grant 3 of 26
Origin: English, Gaelic; Meaning: tall, big
Ulysses S. Grant was our 18th president from 1869 1877 and was a prominent general during the Civil War prior to his time in office. Today, Grant is buried in Grant's Tomb, located in Riverside Park in New York City and known as the largest mausoleum in North America. While his last name works as a great first name, more adventurous parents (or ones who really love James Joyce, too) should try his first name, which means "wrathful."
Born Leaders: Carter 4 of 26
Origin: Old English; Meaning: transporter of goods
Our 39th president, Jimmy Carter, received mixed reviews as a president, but rave ones as a person: in 2002, Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work promoting peaceful solutions to international conflicts and advancing human rights worldwide. During his presidency, Carter was well-known for encouraging energy conservation during the energy crisis of the 70s, as well as his controversial decision to boycott the 1980 Moscow Olympics following a the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Born Leaders: Pierce 5 of 26
Origin: English; Meaning: rock
It's understandable if you hear Pierce and think Brosnan, he of the James Bond movies before Daniel Craig — but despite 14th president Franklin Pierce's quiet run in office from 1853 1857, we dig his last name so much it earns a spot on our list. Before becoming president, Pierce was the senator of New Hampshire, and is currently the only president from that state.
Born Leaders: Truman 6 of 26
Origin: Old English; Meaning: loyal one
As FDR's second-hand man for just under four months and the nation's 33 rd president for eight years, Harry S. Truman is a solid namesake for your little one. This name is a relatively uncommon pick, despite the fame it earned from the former president and author Truman Capote — making it perfect for parents who like an under-the-radar pick.
Born Leaders: Hayes 7 of 26
Origin: Old English; Meaning: hedged area
During his tenure as 19th president of the United States, Ohio native Rutherford B. Hayes rocked quite the name — and an impressive beard to boot. Hayes oversaw the country as our great-great-great-grandparents left the post-Civil War Reconstruction and entered the Second Industrial Revolution, an era that ended with the start of mass production and the modern production line. We prefer paying homage to Mr. President's last name, but the old-school Rutherford, which means "cattle crossing," could be an option for the family that marches to its own drum.
Born Leaders: Grover 8 of 26
Origin: Old English; Meaning: grove of trees
Just think — little Grover will have two instant idols: the furry creature on Sesame Street and our nation's 22nd and 24th president, Grover Cleveland, originally born Stephen Grover Cleveland. Cleveland is one of many former presidents known to rock both the mustache and the bowtie — but beyond aesthetics, Cleveland is remembered for being the first Democrat in the White House after the civil war, and the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms.
Born Leaders: Roosevelt 9 of 26
Origin: Danish; Meaning: rose field
Parents may consider our 26th president's first name, Theodore, before his last — but we think this option ups the ante (plus, it offers the awesome nickname Roo). Roosevelt served as president from 1901 - 1909, and the popular teddy bear is said to have been named after him after Roosevelt ordered a mercy killing of a wounded black bear. A toy maker caught wind and asked if he could use his nickname, Teddy, on a toy bear, proving you can speak softly and carry a big stick — and have a soft side, too.
Born Leaders: Lyndon 10 of 26
Origin: Old English; Meaning: linden tree hill
Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded John F. Kennedy after his assassination in 1963. LBJ, as he was also known, is noted for creating his "great society" legislation that provided for public broadcasting, Medicare, Medicaid, and upheld civil rights. Parents who are on the fence about this name could consider either the alternate spelling of Linden or the similarly sounding Landon.
Born Leaders: Barack 11 of 26
Origin: Hebrew, Arabic; Meaning: thunderbolt or blessing
This name probably wasn't a common pick for parents until the 2008 election of Democrat Barack Obama, who is the United States' first African-American president. Mr. Obama was named after his Kenyan father and may have been the only Barack in his class as a child — but we're guessing he'll meet a lot more little namesakes as the years go by.
Born Leaders: Jackson 12 of 26
Origin: English, Meaning: son of Jackson
Though this president's first name, Andrew, may be a more popular choice among traditionalists, Jackson as a first name is a perfectly hip pick. And naming your tot after the famous war general may set him up for success, too: the seventh president earned national fame when he led the U.S. to victory in the War of 1812 in New Orleans. Jackson proved you could be a lover and a fighter: he once dueled a man who insulted his beloved wife, Rachel — and won.
Born Leaders: Wilson 13 of 26
Origin: English, Meaning: son of Will
Though the name Woodrow is a bit of a throwback, Wilson would be a fresh pick for any baby boy today. While campaigning to become the 28th president of the U.S., Woodrow Wilson campaigned on ideals of individualism and states' rights. Name your little one after this president, and he could be set to lead like this famous commander in chief.
Born Leaders: GIRLS 14 of 26Born Leaders: Dolley 15 of 26
Origin: Greek; Meaning: short from of Dorothy, gift from God
If your baby looks like a little doll, this name that belonged to First Lady Dolley Madison might be a good fit. Married to James Madison, Dolley lived in the White House from 1809 - 1817. As the nation's third First Lady, Dolley took the public role as the president's wife seriously, hosting foreign diplomats with grace and steering political figures in a way that would agree with her husband's viewpoints.Born Leaders: Monroe 16 of 26
Origin: Gaelic; Meaning: mouth of the river Roe
Monroe, the surname of our 5th U.S. President, may be a traditionally male name, but we like it just as much for girls — so did Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, who chose this name for one of their daughters. President James Monroe was an original founding father and soldier in the Revolutionary war. He served in office from 1817 - 1825, passing his famous Monroe doctrine that ensured European intervention would no longer be tolerated in the Americas while there.Born Leaders: Kennedy 17 of 26
Origin: Irish, Gaelic; Meaning: armored or deformed head
Okay, maybe this name doesn't have the sweetest meaning, but ignore that and consider the pedigree this moniker has in the United States: the renowned Kennedy family, led by 35th President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy served in office from 1961 to 1963, his term cut short by an assassination that shocked and sorrowed the American public. Kennedy is remembered as one of the most publicly liked former presidents.Born Leaders: Jacqueline 18 of 26
Origin: French; Meaning: feminine form of Jacques, meaning "he who supplants"
We'd be amiss to mention JFK without including the iconic Jackie O. on this list. The first lady from 1961 - 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis led the nation in mourning after her husband's death and is remembered for being a style and fashion icon of the 60s and beyond.Born Leaders: Grace 19 of 26
Origin: Latin; Meaning: favor, blessing
Say it with us: Grace Coolidge. Could you imagine a more chilled-out, refined name for our nation's First Lady from 1923 - 1929? The wife of 30th president Calvin Coolidge, Grace grew up in Burlington, Vermont, and is said to have first seen her husband through a boardinghouse mirror as he was shaving. They met in person soon after and married in 1905. During Calvin's political career, Grace worked to maintain appearances, attend church, take part in community activities, and be the gregarious counterpart to her naturally shy husband.Born Leaders: Bess 20 of 26
Origin: Hebrew; Meaning: shortened form of Elizabeth meaning "God is my blessing"
Born Elizabeth Virginia Wallace, First Lady Bess Truman lived in the White House from 1945 - 1953 with her husband, 33rd President Harry S. Truman. Together, the couple had one daughter, Margaret, with whom they lived in Missouri until moving to Washington, DC after Harry's election to the Senate in 1934. Parents who like short, nickname-free names can also consider other variants of Elizabeth such as Beth or Liza.Born Leaders: Eleanor 21 of 26
Origin: unknown, believed to be derived from the Greek Helen or French Alienor; Meaning: unknown
"A woman is like a tea bag," Eleanor Roosevelt is quoted as saying, "you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." As First Lady from 1933 - 1945 alongside her husband Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Eleanor continued to work, traveling, speaking, and writing a syndicated newspaper column. After her husband's death in 1945, Eleanor continued to be active in politics and championing human rights until her own death in 1962.Born Leaders: Hillary 22 of 26
Origin: Latin; Meaning: cheerful, happy
Hillary Clinton is the only lady on our list who was both first lady to husband Bill Clinton and presidential hopeful. After Obama's presidential nomination and win in 2008, Hillary became the country's Secretary of State. In her current position, Hillary has worked on strengthening U.S. foreign policy and increasing the nation's diplomatic presence overseas.Born Leaders: Reagan 23 of 26
Origin: Irish; Meaning: little king
Reagan's a name that suits either boys or girls, but we like the posh, hipster, and of course, presidential connotations it bestows on a little lady. 40th President Ronald Reagan started his career as a film and television actor before beginning his path in politics and getting elected to the presidency in 1981. Reagan was a proponent of reducing government spending and taxes to spark economic growth.Born Leaders: Michelle 24 of 26
Origin: French, Hebrew; Meaning: "Who resembles God?"
Our current First Lady is just as well-known as her husband, thanks to both her killer fashion sense and her public outreach programs, including advocating on behalf of military families and her nationwide "Let's Move!" campaign focused on reversing the trend of childhood obesity in America. Parents looking for more Obama family naming inspiration can also consider the monikers of the couple's two daughters, Sasha and Malia.Born Leaders: Laura 25 of 26
Origin: Latin, Meaning: bay laurel
Though this name may seem simple and common, the former first lady who has it is anything but. Wife to 43rd president George W. Bush, Laura Bush is mother to twin daughters Jenna and Barbara. During her time as First Lady, she spearheaded educational programs and called for higher teacher wages. Now out of the political spotlight, she recently released a book in which she explains her time in the White House.Born Leaders: Abigail 26 of 26
Origin: Hebrew; Meaning: my father is joyful
Popular among hipsters and old-fashioned name-lovers alike, this classically chic name seems to be making a comeback. (It made the top 10 in 2011!) Name your little girl this, and she'll be among the ranks of Abigail Adams, the second first lady of the United States and wife to John Adams. Abigail was a formidable voice for women in the late 1700s, advocating for equal educational standards for girls. Think that's impressive? Consider the fact that this mother of five and lover of Shakespeare and theology never actually had formal schooling herself.