Happy Independence Day, everyone! As we celebrate the original Brexit, let’s take a look at some names that are reminiscent of that Declaration and subsequent Revolution which gave U.S. our freedom and autonomy from that monarchist island across the pond. 😉
A few of the signers had very interesting or unusual names:
- Caesar Rodney (Delaware)
- Button Gwinnett (Georgia)
- Carter Braxton (Virginia)
- Elbridge Gerry (Massachusetts)
- Lyman Hall (Georgia)
- Abraham Clark (New Jersey)
- Josiah Barlett (New Hampshire)
Then there are the American ‘virtues’:
Independence – Perhaps the most obvious name for the 4th, it’s also perhaps the rarest. Just 5 baby girls were named Independence in 2015.
Liberty – One of the most popular American virtue names, this ranked #558 last year. Liberty has a very interesting, sporadic usage history. This was briefly popular at the end of World War I and was popular again at the bicentennial in 1976. Liberty next reentered the top 1000 (this time staying) in 2001, after 9/11.
Justice – As a name, Justice has only been popular since the 1990s. It currently ranks #451 and #521 for boys in the U.S.
Felicity – Perhaps a bit of a stretch, but doesn’t the Declaration proclaim everyone’s right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?” Felicity is a synonym for happiness. This name ranked #359 in the U.S. last year.
Columbia – 10 baby girls in 2015. Columbia is the female personification of America, much in the way that Britannia represented Britain.
America – 280 girls were named America last year. Whether they’re named after the country, America Ferrara, or some combination of the two, this is the ultimate American name.
Amerigo – The two continents of the ‘New World’ derive the name America from Amerigo Vespucci.
Philadelphia – This name hasn’t appeared in SSA data in over 20 years, but I occasionally see her on lists of colonial names.
Sam – as in, Uncle Sam. Sam ranked #553 last year, but there are probably a lot more of them that have it as a nickname for Samuel (#23). Samson (#622) is also growing in popularity.
Do you have a favorite patriotic name? What do you think of these?
Sources for popularity data:
- https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/limits.html (information in zip file)