Presidential Names that Weren’t Presidents

The landscape of presidential names is rich and varied. It’s so expansive that one family named four kids after presidents (Grant, Madison, McKinley, and Kennedy). Presidential names seem to follow a pattern: surnames, usually of English origin, with a dignified style and approachable nicknames. The names here aren’t presidential names, they’re presidential style names- reflecting that same pattern without ever having been worn by an actual US president.

Winston- Churchill gave this name a definite air of dignity and strength, but this name has never been unwearable. It’s ranked in the top 1000 for most of the time since records have been kept and currently stands at #524.

Winslow- Like Winston, but with the trendy -O ending that so many modern parents love. Winslow is a little rarer than Winston (and a little quirkier) which could be a positive for some parents.

Thatcher- Although Thatcher fits right in with other occupational surnames like Harper, Archer, and Carter, it’s much rarer. At #902, Thatcher barely cracks the top 1000.

Judson- My favorite book in 5th grade was The Kid Who Ran for President, about a boy named Judson Moon who runs for president. I remember literally laughing out loud from the book, and I was thrilled when John Oliver did a segment about it on his show. There’s a passage in the book about how presidential Judson’s name is, and I agree. It fits right in with names like Franklin and Grover.

Wells/Welles- The only 1-syllable name on the list, I see Wells fitting in with names like Polk and Grant. It could be used as a nickname for something like Wellesley or Wellington, but it’s just as presidential on its own.

Henry- Despite Henry’s enduring popularity, there’s never been a president named Henry (I’m excluding William Henry Harrison- middles don’t count!) That surprised me. Henry fits in with presidential surnames that are often used as firsts, like Arthur and Pierce.

Whitley- Whitney has mostly gone to the girls, but Whitley retains a bit of masculine swag. Whitman, Whittaker, and Whitford are other routes to Whit.

Remington- A surname and the name of a gun, Remington lends itself to the nickname Remi. It’s been used quietly for both boys and girls.

Huxley- With the -ley ending and cool “Huck” nickname possibility, I’m surprised Huxley hasn’t taken off more- it just breaks the top 1000 at #962.

Everett- It’s the most second most popular name on the list (after Henry) and it’s rising. But Everett is far from trendy. The name has ranked in the top 1000 every year that records have been kept, and it reached as high as #81 in 1906. It’s currently experiencing a resurgence, now ranking #135, and I can see it getting even higher in the next few years.

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