The Eight Presidents with Funny Middle Names

by ALEC JACKSON - December 21, 2020 - The hall of presidents if there were only eight of them.


Although ten is a very clean number, I cannot misrepresent the facts. There are only eight presidents with funny middle names that are worthy of poking fun. That’s roughly one in every five and a half. It’s almost like when these people were named, the parents weren’t concerned about what outrageous remarks a 17-year-old could come up with a couple of centuries later.


8. Harry S. Truman

Maybe the parents couldn’t decide on a second letter. Perhaps the pen was running low on ink forcing them to use what remained on the money names. Possibly this was the product of a Truman family inside joke. Either way, the 33rd president was left with only a fraction of a middle name. The poor guy must be harried about it.


7. James Spence Monroe

“You know the name Spencer? How about that?”

“Oh, but that’s a real name. We already used two of those. I was thinking for the middle we make up something, forcing him to explain how to spell it to strangers for his entire life.”

“Good call. I’ll just erase the ‘r’.”

6. James Knox Polk, Zachary Knox Taylor, Millard Knox Filmore

Presidents 11 through 13 all shared the middle name Knox. While not necessarily the funniest middle name, the unbelievable strangeness of three consecutive presidents sharing a central moniker absolutely earned a spot on this list. I’m just hoping the Commission on Ranking Funny Middle names doesn’t arrest me for putting three presidents in one spot.


5. Franklin K. Pierce

Although it is rumored that the initial stands for Kendrick, there is no actual documentation to prove this. I like to think of this middle name as a Mad Libs prompt. Whatever name starting with “K” that you can think of is probably right. My personal guess is Korneelius.


4. Hiram Ulysses Grant

Ulysses Grant was not a middle named orphan, in fact, he liked the middle name Ulysses enough to make it his first name. His original first name, Hiram, sparks an interesting historical debate. Which is more of a nerd name: Hiram or Ulysses?


3. Gerald Lynch Ruldoph Ford

Unfortunately, Alec Jackson was poached by the Chicago Tribune after they saw the first two-thirds of this article. We believe that the public has a right to know the other presidents with funny middle names, but it will be with decidedly less enthusiasm. Thank you for your understanding.

2. Warren Gammameil Harding

If my middle name sounded like a Lord of the Rings character, I would have shortened it to just “G” too. I’m not going to make fun of the guy any further. The first sentence in the Encyclopedia Britannica about the 29th president declares his administration “accomplished little of lasting value.” I could say he looks like Catholic Gandalf, but it seems like he has enough to worry about already.


And drumroll please………………….taking the #1 spot….


1. Richard Milhous Nixon

It’s like James Monroe’s parents were reincarnated with one regret: not naming their son after a The Simpsons character.



I hope this can serve as a cautionary tale to parents; names, especially first names, are not art projects. Before writing “Tracelynn” or “X Æ A-12” take a moment to consider all the unnecessary inconvenience or poking fun that’s going to instigate. As Bart Simpson put it, “When I grow up, I'm legally changing my name to Joe Kickass!”

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