18 Badass Baby Girl Names for Future Presidents

Caroline Olney | Jun 17, 2016 Pregnancy

If parents want a baby girl who will grow up to be a badass feminist icon, she needs a name to match. That's just basic math. And any strong name has a namesake to back it up -- a Jane can just be a Jane, after all, or she can be a Jane with the power of Jane Austen and Jane Goodall and Jane Elliott to back her up. There are so many insanely inspiring women in history to borrow names from, it's almost too much to list. But we have to try. 

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Any baby girl with these women at her back will live a life with poise and power and a healthy dose of badassness -- it's pretty much guaranteed. We rounded some of our favorite inspirational women -- the ladies who fought for something, whether that be injustice, the freedom to be a woman in a man's world, or even just the right for women to be heard. We honor these women every day, but naming a baby after them is truly something special. We can't promise that a strong baby name equals a strong, feminist daughter, but the story of her name and where it comes from is sure to inspire any little girl who wants to reach for her dreams. Take a look at these strong, badass girls' names that'll make anyone say, "I'm with her!"


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  • Harriet

    1

    This name has been getting well-deserved attention lately because the US Treasury confirmed, once and for all, that Harriet Tubman will be the first woman to permanently grace the front of our standard currency. That makes her a perfect namesake in itself, but way before this happened she was a slave, then an escaped slave, then a spy, then a powerful abolitionist. She rocks. And your baby Harriet will rock, too.

  • Coco

    2

    Coco Chanel was not a politician or an activist, but she lived an incredible rags-to-riches story that ended with her single-handedly revolutionizing women's fashion. She convinced the world to ditch corsets and frills and instead wear relaxed silhouettes and comfortable fabrics, and she gave us Chanel No. 5. Coco was born Gabrielle, but we're sure that wherever she is now, she'll bless a baby by either name.

  • Golda

    3

    If anyone ever gives you a weird look and says "what kind of name is Golda?" tell them this: Golda Meir was the OG "Iron Lady" and the first female prime minister of Israel. She loved her country and her people, and she had a long and formidable political career in the 20th century marked by her signature gray bun, her feminism, and her strong will.

  • Aretha

    4

    Aretha Franklin demanded respect in a big and powerful way in 1967, and 30 years later, not much has changed. She's a self-taught piano player and she recorded her first (fantastic) album when she was 14. Years later, she became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and to this day, she holds the record for most Grammys for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance with 11. She's the definition of a strong and independent woman, and she's a constant source of inspiration -- name-wise and otherwise, too.

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  • Margaret

    5

    The name Margaret actually does quadruple duty -- you have Margaret Sanger, the trailblazing women's rights activist who opened the first birth control clinic in the US and was essentially the great-grandmother of Planned Parenthood. Then there's Margaret Mead, the PhDed cultural anthropologist who kicked off the sexual revolution in the 1960s with her studies of South Pacific and Southeast Asian traditional culture. Next, we've got Margaret Thatcher, the tough-as-nails ex-prime minister of the United Kingdom. Lastly, there's Margaret Hamilton, the insanely smart computer scientist whose work made the Apollo moon landing a success. Margaret, we tell ya -- it's the name of killer ladies.

  • Ruth

    6

    Can you even hear the name Ruth anymore without thinking of the great RBG herself? Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a 5-foot-tall powerhouse who has tirelessly fought for women's rights from her seat in the Supreme Court. She does so with strength, grace, and a teensy bit of 'tude, and if that's the legacy the name Ruth leaves, we'll take it.

  • Sandra

    7

    For 191 years, the Supreme Court was an all dude, all the time operation. Then there was Sandra Day O'Connor. She waltzed up to the bench and changed the vote on cases involving abortion, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and election law, and our country would not look the way it does today without her vote.

  • Nellie

    8

    Technically, Nellie Bly is a pen name and Elizabeth Cochran Seaman is the real lady behind the byline, but Nellie is still the name we go to when we're dreaming about the insanely driven investigative journalist who changed everything about the game around the turn of the century. Nellie's work sent her in and out of insane asylums and quite literally around the world, and the words she wrote changed the world for the better. 

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  • Rosa

    9

    Rosa Parks is a name all kids will learn in school, but she was not just some lady who didn't want to give up her seat. Rosa was an activist. She very intentionally stayed in her seat that day -- she wanted to be arrested and brought to court. She was. She also became an international symbol for the Civil Rights Movement, and to this day, Rosa remains a name associated with strength and history-making badassness.

  • Jeannette

    10

    See that lady there? That's Jeannette Rankin. She rocks. She was the first woman to be elected to a national office in the United States. It was 1916, and Montana voted her into a seat in the House of Representatives. Her political career stretched more than 60 years and during that time she championed women's voting rights, civil rights, and gender equality. ("I want to be remembered as the only woman who ever voted to give women the right to vote," she once said.) She was also a notable pacifist -- she voted against the war declaration in 1917, and she was the only member of Congress to oppose declaring war on Japan in 1941. 

  • Madeleine

    11

    Madeleine Albright's name is like a shiny beacon of light and diplomacy. When she was appointed to Secretary of State in 1997, she became the first woman to hold the title and the highest-ranking woman in the history of US government. It's insane it took so long, but Madeleine knocked her role out of the park. Her eye and ear for international politics deepened the US's understanding of the role, and Madeleine remains a name associated with unequivocal good. 

  • Gloria

    12

    There is hardly a question about feminism today that isn't at some point tossed to the eternally wise Gloria Steinem, and there are few women's rights organizations that don't owe some credit to the same woman. She is the feminist, and she's earned that role so many times over. Gloria is a name tightly tied to the feminist greats, so it's obviously on all of our lists.

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  • Indira

    13

    In 1966, Indira Gandhi accepted a troubled and broken India when she became its first female prime minister. She steered the country through two of its most difficult decades, and even though her tenure was cut short when she was assassinated in 1984, she still remains the longest-serving female prime minister in the world. She was a powerful and essential figure in Indian history, and she did it all with a name worthy of a new generation of policy makers.

  • Susan

    14

    When you think "women who get sh*t done," you think Susan B. Anthony. She was a leader in every sense of the word -- especially when it came to organizing and deploying the suffragist movement and the anti-slavery movement in the late 19th century. If our daughters have even an inch of the backbone this woman did, we'd be happy ... and giving them her name is a good place to start. 

  • Estée

    15

    You've heard of Estée Lauder, right? Of course you have. She's the face of makeup and beauty, yes. But she was also a businesswoman who started out mixing creams and fragrances in her kitchen with her chemist uncle. She built Estée Lauder Co. off a foundation of just four products, and even as her company grew to enormous sizes, she attended every single new store launch and brought a personal touch to the beauty counter. Her savvy was unparalleled, and so was her success.

  • Florynce

    16

    Aside from being a way cooler spelling of the traditional "Florence," the name Florynce comes straight from Florynce Kennedy, the biggest and baddest 1950s lawyer you've never heard of. She fought for everything she ever got, and once she secured her own law practice, she fought for every case that came across her doorstep. She represented controversial, high-profile cases -- most of whom were black women -- and fought institutionalized racism, sexism, and homophobia like the blazing feminist she was. Name your daughters Florynce. You won't regret it.

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  • Angela

    17

    Angela is arguably the most powerful women's name in world politics right now, thanks to the eternally perfect German chancellor Angela Merkel. Angela has done everything right. After a career as a research scientist, she glided into German politics, where she moved forward and won respect by staying true to her values and her morals (and that, we might add, is not an accomplishment many politicians can claim). She earns every label of "most powerful woman in the world" that's thrown her way. Do we love her too much? IMPOSSIBLE.

  • Hillary

    18

    You didn't really think we were going to get through this list without talking about Hillary Clinton, did you? We hope not. Hillary's standing in a vulnerable position right now, and every decision she's ever made is being publicly scrutinized and debated and thrown back in her face. But she still stands. You can say what you will about her politics, but her career has been unarguably prolific, and she's one of the most powerful women in the world even without the title of "president." No woman has ever come closer to that title than she has, so if you want a name for future presidents, Hillary is it.

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