Pregnancy

Baby Girl Names Inspired by the First Lady

by Jenn McBride

Photograph by Twenty20

To give your little girl a name rooted in American history, look to our nation's first ladies for some patriotic inspiration.

Martha

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #735

Meaning: Lady

Inaugural first lady Martha Washington and the wife of Thomas Jefferson shared the Aramaic name Martha, which fittingly means "lady." While Jefferson's wife died before he took office, the White House recognizes her as America's third first lady.

Elizabeth

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #14

Meaning: Oath of God, my God is abundance

While they used different nicknames, Elizabeth "Bess" Truman and Elizabeth "Betty" Ford shared this Greek moniker derived from the Hebrew name Elisheba. Other nicknames include Betsy, Beth, Liz, Lizette or Liza.

Jacqueline

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #246

Meaning: Supplanter, may God protect

O, Jackie! The French feminine form of Jacques is synonymous with American royalty. As the wife of JFK, Jacqueline Kennedy became the youngest first lady at age 31. Use Jackie, as she did, for a nickname.

Michelle

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #187

Meaning: Gift from God

Feminine for Michael, this French moniker peaked in popularity in the late '60s and early '70s. Michelle Obama became the first African-American first lady when her husband, President Barack Obama, took office in 2009.

Abigail

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #8

Meaning: My father is joy

The wives of John Adams and Millard Fillmore shared the Hebrew name Abigail, which was common among the Puritans. Letters between Adams and his wife show he consulted her about politics. Fillmore, a teacher, was the first first lady to hold a job after getting married. Use Abby (No. 389) for a nickname.

Hillary

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #721

Meaning: Cheerful

It's gone downhill! This Greek name declined in popularity during and after Hillary Rodham Clinton's tenure as first lady.

Laura

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #318

Meaning: Laurel

A Latin moniker meaning "laurel," former first lady Laura Bush's first name fits perfectly with her married one. In ancient Rome, laurel leaves were used to create victory wreathes or garlands.

Julia

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #86

Meaning: Young

A Latin name shared by the wives of Presidents John Tyler and Ulysses S. Grant, Julia is the feminine form of Julius. Use Jules for a nickname.

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