There’s no doubt that America is in a tumultuous season right now, and many of us are feeling disillusioned. But there’s still a lot to love about our country — which is about to celebrate its 243rd birthday.
If you’re a proud American at heart, these patriotic baby names are a perfect tribute.
Our nation’s 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, is probably best known for helping pave the way for the abolition of slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation, and leading the country through our bloody Civil War. But along with that legacy, he also left a wealth of wonderful quotes … including this one, which is eerily applicable to today’s administration: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
This name has earned a spot on this list in two ways. First (and most obviously), there are a lot of famous landmark bridges in America: the Brooklyn Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Oakland Bay Bridge, just to name a very few. Secondly, it’s symbolic of the “bridging” of cultures that happens here, the incorporation of other heritages and traditions into our melting pot. Which brings us right into the next name on the list …
This federally-owned island in New York Harbor opened in 1892, and was the nation’s busiest immigration point through 1954. All in all, Ellis Island welcomed approximately 12 million immigrants to the United States, including many of our ancestors. For a twist, try Ellison.
The Statue of Liberty. “With liberty and justice for all.” The right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” There’s no need to elaborate on why Liberty is the perfect American baby name; it’s a theme woven tightly into the fabric of our nation.
Is there any more prominent symbol of the United States than our flag? But since Flag doesn’t exactly make the best baby name, we can fall back on the flag’s longtime nickname, Old Glory. (Fun fact: the original “Old Glory” was an American flag flown by sea captain William Driver in the 19th century). Banner is also a viable option, especially for a boy. And while we’re on the subject of the flag …
Betsy Ross was an upholsterer who has long been credited with sewing the first American flag. As the story goes, her acquaintance George Washington came to her with a design for the flag in mind. She gave it a couple of “tweaks” to make it easier to cut and sew, whipped up a template, and the rest is (literal, American) history.
The state of Arizona’s Grand Canyon is arguably one of America’s most famous landmarks. This unisex name not only pays homage to the 277-mile-long, 18-mile-wide natural wonder, but is also on-trend with the nature and geographical names popular today.
Another virtue name, this one perfectly gender neutral and appeals to our sense of fairness, yet isn’t overtly religious or spiritual. And of course, it’s part of the last few words of the Pledge of Allegience: “… with liberty and justice for all.” It strikes a nice balance between popular and hardly-used, too; it’s currently in the middle of the top 1,000, at #558.
Another quintessential American landmark, home to multiple national parks, the majestic Rocky Mountains stretch between the U.S. and Canada. Don’t wanna name your kid after the whole range? There’s always Pike, after the Rockies’ famed Pike’s Peak: the second most-visited mountain peak in the world.
The red, white, and blue stripes of our flag have meaning in their colors. The white stands for purity and innocence. The blue stands for vigilance, justice, and perseverance. And the red stands for valor and hardiness, which is why Valor is such a patriotic choice. It’s a modern virtue name, kind of like Patience and Mercy were to the Puritans.
This one lands on the list because of its association with Americana — after all, if something is totally unique to the U.S., it’s considered “as American as apple pie.” But we’d be remiss not to mention its association with something else American, too: Apple Inc., the global technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California.
The Bald Eagle has been one of our most visible national symbols since 1782, its sharp-eyed stare and sleek white head recognizable the world over. And sure, you could cut to the chase and name your kid Eagle, but Talon — as in, the eagle’s powerful bird-of-prey claw — is a more name-like alternative.
What could be more American than a reference to the stars and stripes or the star-spangled banner? And if you’re an American who happens to also love astronomy, or just gazing up at the night sky over our beautiful countryside, this name is doubly delightful.
An American cultural icon, “Rosie the Riveter” is the strong, bandanna-clad woman with the take-no-shit attitude who’s rolling up her sleeves on the famous “We Can Do It!” poster. The poster was made during World War II, when women stepped up in droves to enter the workforce and replace men who were fighting overseas.
For American auto enthusiasts, how about Ford? From the Model T to the Mustang, Ford — headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan — has manufactured some of the most classic American cars. (But if you’re on team Chevy, that makes a perfectly good name too — and is equally American.)
It’s one of the current crop of trendy place names, but Boston has real historical significance to the United States too. Founded in 1630, it was the commercial, political, financial, and religious center of New England. It was also the place where the American Revolution began. And of course there was the Boston Tea Party, one of the most famous political protests this country has ever known. Boston: Spilling the tea since ’73. (1773, that is.)
Can you imagine not even being sure of your own age? Born into slavery in Maryland, Frederick Douglass didn’t — although that was the least of his worries. But he grew up to be one of the most powerful abolitionists in U.S. history and among the most famed intellectuals of his time, advising Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War and becoming the first Black citizen to hold a government position. “Knowledge,” he said, “makes a man unfit to be a slave.”
There are songs and melodies, and then there are anthems. While a song is nice and mellow, an anthem has grit and meaning and is used to unify people who are fighting for the same cause. If our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” stirs up deep feelings, gives you chills, and/or brings tears to your eyes … you may just want to name your baby Anthem, because they’ll have the same effect on you. Sometimes all at once.
No matter what you want to name your baby after, we’ve got you covered. Check out the thousands of options (and inspirational lists!) at the Scary Mommy Baby Name Database!
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