In honor of President’s Day, here are some United States presidential names and their meanings. The most common name among presidents so far is James, followed by John, William, and George. If you want your baby to make it big in politics, you might want to consider some of these when choosing names for your baby!
James: James is the most common name of American presidents. James is a Hebrew name meaning supplanter. The six presidents with the first name James include James Madison, James Monroe, James Polk, James Buchanan, James Garfield, and James “Jimmy” Carter.
William: William is a name with English origins meaning strong-willed warrior. William is the third most common presidential name, after James and John. Presidential Williams include William Henry Harrison, William Taft, William McKinley, and William Jefferson Clinton.
Zachary: Zachary is a name with Hebrew origins, meaning God has remembered. Zachary Taylor is the only president with the first name Zachary.
Millard: Millard is an English name meaning guardian of the mill. Millard Fillmore is the only president with the first name Millard.
Chester: Chester is a name with English origins meaning fortress. It is a diminutive form of Rochester. Chester Arthur became president after James Garfield was assassinated.
Benjamin: Benjamin is an English name meaning son of my right hand. Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd president, between the two Grover Cleveland presidencies.
Calvin: Calvin is a Latin name meaning bald. Calvin Coolidge was the 30th president of the United States. Other famous Calvins include Calvin Klein and the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes.
Herbert: Herbert means army bright and is of English origins. Herbert Hoover was the 31st president of the United States.
Harry: Harry is an English name meaning army ruler. The “S” in Harry S. Truman most likely stands for family names of his two grandfathers “Shipp” and “Solomon.” The name Harry was originally a nickname for the formal name Henry.
Dwight: Dwight is an English name meaning devotee of Dionysus. It is also from an English surname “Diot.” Dwight David Eisenhower was nicknamed “Ike” as a diminutive of Eisenhower, which became a nickname on its own and a catchphrase for his campaign: I LIKE IKE.
Lyndon: Lyndon is an English name meaning from the flax hill. Lyndon B. Johnson was nicknamed LBJ. B stood for Baines, his mother’s maiden name.
Richard: Richard is an English name for brave ruler. Richard Nixon was the only president to resign. Nicknames for Richard include Rich, Richie, and Dick, the latter of which was used by Richard Nixon. After the Watergate scandal and his resignation, he was monikered “Tricky Dick.”
Barack: Barack Obama was the 44th president of the United States. President Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and is of American and Kenyan origins. Barack is the Arabic word for blessed and is related to the Hebrew word/name Baruch.
Kees Andersen (they/them) is a longtime BabyNames.com member and content creator for the site. They first became interested in names when researching for stories they were writing as a young child and it snowballed into a lifelong passion. Kees attended Western Washington University and majored in history, which helped inspire a love of historical names.
Kees resides in Washington state with husband Peyton and two cats Nimue and Caspian. In their spare time they love to travel, read, fawn over their cats, and take photos.