America: Whether you think it’s the greatest country on earth or are a little disillusioned with it right now, Independence Day is a time to reflect on where we’ve been as a nation — and where we need to be. Despite a few setbacks (ahem, SCOTUS), there are still wonderful things about this country to be celebrated. Among them, that we are still allowed the freedom to voice our opinions about our democracy.
Plus, there’s just something special about the nostalgic patriotism that goes hand-in-hand with the 4th of July. Flags flying proudly, dazzling fireworks displays, hot dogs and burgers on the grill and a Popsicle or ice cream cone melting down your arm. It’s the quintessential summertime feeling!
So in homage to our country and the landmarks, trailblazers, and ideals that helped shape our idea of Americana — and the warm nostalgia that’s the hallmark of this time of year — we’ve curated this list of Americana baby names. Many of them are unconventional, but still surprisingly wearable, especially in light of our modern-day quest for unique baby names.
Liberty is “the state of being free” — and, of course, there’s the famous line from the National Anthem, ” … with liberty and justice for all.” And we can’t forget the Statue of Liberty! With all these American associations, Liberty is the perfect patriotic name.
Oh say can you see … a more poetic name for an American baby? While the word “anthem” itself is not exclusively American, obviously, it has an inextricable tie to our national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner”, for anybody from the U.S.A. It hits a sweet spot, too: undeniably unique, yet familiar-sounding enough to not be weird, thanks to its proximity to more common names like Anthony.
Virtue names are not just for Puritans — they’ve been making a huge comeback in recent years, and Honor is one of the most wearable modern virtue names. It signifies adhering to what is right and showing respect and integrity. The Medal of Honor is the U.S. Armed Forces’ highest military decoration. Jessica Alba and Cash Warren chose this name for their oldest daughter, Honor Marie Warren, but it works equally well for a boy.
The fabric of our great nation was woven from multiple nationalities — many of whom immigrated to the U.S. via Ellis Island, the country’s biggest federal immigration station. From its opening on the first day of 1892 to its last day in 1954, Ellis Island welcomed over 12 million immigrants. As a name, Ellis is derived from the Hebrew name ‘Eliyyahu, meaning “my god is Yahweh.” It has been used since medieval times, which is why this name is a great choice for a more subtle tribute to America.
We’ve seen a multitude of little boys named Tanner — so why not put a patriotic spin on its popularity by swapping out the T for a B? Banner, of course, pays homage to our national anthem “The Star Spangled Banner” and our flag.
It may have been a while since Abraham Lincoln was President of the United States, but his legacy remains strong — and his name remains trendy! It stands to reason, since similar names like Logan are consistently within the top 50 most popular names in the U.S.
Boston, Massachusetts is widely considered to be the birthplace of the American Revolution; the Siege of Boston was the first major battle in the Revolutionary War, and who can forget the infamous Boston Tea Party? As a name, Boston pays homage to a spirit of independence worth fighting for.
America wouldn’t have the power it holds today without the vital support of our armed forces. While nothing is technically stopping you from naming your kid Air Force, there are probably better choices — like Navy! It has become more trendy as a name since the increased popularity of unique color names like Indigo and Scarlet.
Valor is defined as “great courage in the face of danger,” and if it weren’t for the valor of certain groups and individuals throughout America’s history, we might have a whole different story to tell. Like Honor, this fits right in with the virtue baby name trend, plus has the additional perk of Val as a cute nickname.
There are so many reasons to love this name. First of all, its patriotic ties; Betsy Ross was, of course, credited with sewing the first American flag. The name, meaning “pledged to God”, is a diminutive of Elizabeth – which is one of the most popular girl names of all time. While Elizabeth has a ton of potential nicknames, Betsy isn’t one you hear a lot these days — but as old-fashioned names come back into vogue, this one is a perfectly charming choice.
Whether it’s a nickname for Samantha, Samuel, or just a standalone, Sam is a short-but-sweet way to pay subtle homage to the U-S-of-A. After all, “Uncle Sam” has been regarded as the personification of the U.S. (and more specifically, the U.S. governmental system) since the early 19th century.
Another virtue name extolling the values on which this country was founded, Justice is a strong choice suitable for either gender (and, perhaps, for a future lawyer or judge?).
The multiple meanings of glory as a word — magnificence, high renown through notable achievements, to delight in — makes it excellent as a name too. And of course, our flag’s nickname is “Old Glory”, given by 19th-century American merchant seaman William Driver, a Massachusetts native who defiantly flew the flag on his ship during the Civil War, when it was considered a symbol of Union loyalty.
As a name, Star could fall into a few different categories: nature names like Rain and Meadow, celestial names like Luna, or patriotic Americana baby names! Whether you’re paying tribute to the twinkling orbs scattered through the night sky or the five-pointed symbols waving proudly on our flag, you can’t go wrong.
Perhaps the most subtly Americana-inspired moniker of all the names on this list, Indie (or Indy if you prefer that spelling, which skews a little more masculine) can be a nod to independence: one of the principles that’s been the driving force of this country since its founding.
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