American Names

July 4th – Patriotic Names

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. 😉

This wasn’t actually the signing, but rather a draft presentation of the Declaration

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.

Columbia, ca. WWI

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:

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