From the timeless elegance of George and Thomas to the evergreen names of John and Joe, each U.S. president’s name carries a unique story, and reflects the era in which they governed. The most common name among U.S. presidents are currently James, John, William, and George, in order. If you want your baby to make it big in politics, you might want to consider some of these names when choosing baby names for your baby!
George is a name with Greek origins and means farmer. Presidential Georges include George Washington, George Herbert Walker Bush, and George Walker Bush.
John is a name with Hebrew origins and means God is gracious. Presidential Johns include John Adams, John Quincy Adams, John Tyler, and John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
Thomas is a name with Greek origins meaning twin. The only American president named Thomas was Thomas Jefferson.
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.
Andrew is a name with Greek origins meaning manly. There were two presidential Andrews: Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson.
Martin is a name with Latin origins. The meaning of Martin is servant of Mars/God of War. Martin van Buren was the only president with the first name of Martin.
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 is a name with Hebrew origins, meaning God has remembered. Zachary Taylor is the only president with the first name Zachary.
Millard is an English occupational name meaning guardian of the mill. Millard Fillmore is the only president with the first name Millard.
Franklin is a name meaning free man from the English. The two presidents with the name Franklin were Franklin Pierce and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Abraham is a Hebrew name meaning father of nations. Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States. His nickname was “Honest Abe.”
Ulysses is a Latin name meaning wounded in the thigh. Ulysses S. Grant is the only presidential Ulysses but his first name was actually Hiram, a Hebrew name meaning exalted brother.
Rutherford in an English name meaning From the Cattle ford. Rutherford B. Hayes is the only president with the first name Rutherford.
Chester is a name with English origins meaning fortress. It was originally a diminutive form of the name Rochester. Chester Arthur became president after James Garfield was assassinated.
Grover is an English name meaning in the grove. Grover Cleveland was the only president named Grover, but he was president twice: he was our 22nd and 24th president.
Benjamin is an English name meaning son of my right hand. Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd president, between the two Grover Cleveland presidencies.
Theodore is a Greek name meaning divine gift. Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th president, and was nicknamed “Teddy.” The name was then applied to the children’s stuffed bear, which was named the teddy bear after Roosevelt.
Woodrow is an English name meaning from the lane in the woods. Woodrow Wilson and a founder of the League of Nations, the forerunner of the United Nations.
Warren is an English name meaning guard. Warren G. Harding’s middle name was Gamaliel, a Biblical/Hebrew name for God is my reward.
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 means army bright and is of English origins. Herbert Hoover was the 31st president of the United States.
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 is an English name meaning devotee of Dionysus, originally derived from the English surname “Diot.” President Dwight David Eisenhower was nicknamed “Ike” not as a diminutive of Dwight, but as a diminutive of his surname, Eisenhower. The name Ike became a nickname on its own and a catchphrase for Eisenhower’s campaign: I LIKE IKE.
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 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.”
Gerald is an English name meaning rules with spear. Gerald Ford became president after Richard Nixon resigned from office. A common nickname for Gerald is Jerry.
Ronald is an English name for counsel rule. Ronald Reagan was the 40th president of the United States and was often called Ron or Ronnie.
President Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and is of Kenyan and American origins. Barack is the Arabic word meaning blessed and is related to the Hebrew word/name Baruch.
The name Donald is of Scottish origin that means World Leader. It’s a anglicized form of the Scottish name Dòmhnall. U.S. President Donald Trump’s original family surname was Drumpf.
Joseph “Joe” Robinette Biden Jr. is currently serving as the 46th president of the United States. Joseph is a Hebrew name meaning God Will Increase. Joe Biden is the first U.S. president with this name. His middle name, Robinette, is his grandmother’s maiden name.
Jennifer Moss (she/her) is the founder of BabyNames.com, author of The Baby Names Workbook, and Producer of The Baby Names Podcast. Jennifer is widely regarded as the leading expert on popular baby name trends and the naming process, serving as the authoritative source on the subject for national and international media.
Jennifer entered the tech arena in the 80s as a software developer and database architect, and became a pioneer in the Internet industry. In addition to operating BabyNames.com, Jennifer owns a web development agency in central California.