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Quick Facts on Franklin

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 495
Simple meaning:
Free man

Characteristics of Franklin

  • Dependable
  • Solid
  • Practical
  • Hard-working
  • Industrious
  • Studious
  • Conservative

Etymology & Historical Origin - Franklin

Franklin is the transferred use of an English surname originating from the Middle English “frankelin” which was borrowed from the French “franc” meaning “free”. The first recorded spelling was rendered Frankelein dating back to the late 12th century when the feudal system was alive and well in medieval Europe. This particular surname identified a “free man” or holder of land as opposed to the laborers who worked the land. They were gentlemen of society but ranked below the nobility. Probably the most notable surname bearer was American statesman and man of many talents, Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), whose father had immigrated to Boston from England in the 1680s. Adding additional currency to the name was Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd President of the United States.

Popularity of the Name Franklin

Given the current trendiness of surnames as first names, we were surprised to see that Franklin has actually been on the decline. From the late 19th century through the mid-20th century, Franklin was always a moderately popular choice. Not surprisingly, the height of the name’s usage came in the 1930s and early 40s as Franklin D. Roosevelt decisively guided this nation through its greatest economic crisis only to be followed by World War II. Winston Churchill said of FDR: “Meeting Franklin Roosevelt was like opening your first bottle of champagne; knowing him was like drinking it.” It’s no wonder American parents would want to pay homage to Roosevelt by naming their sons after him. However, in the latter half of the 20th century, the name Franklin saw a slow and steady decline on the male naming charts. Now that we’ve crossed the threshold into the 21st century, Franklin is experiencing his lowest point on the graphs right now (which is low-moderate popularity). Surnames like Franklin have been replaced with the trendier Connor, Logan and Mason type surnames. Yet Franklin (like Jackson) has a more dignified and old fashioned sensibility than these others. And Franklin still feels modern and cool without sounding pretentious. Plus, between Ben Franklin and Franklin Roosevelt, the name carries major historical value in the United States. In an interesting pop-culture reference, Franklin is the name of the first African-American character in the “Peanuts” comic strip first introduced in 1968 by Charles M. Schulz. His appearance in the popular comic is notable for its time, a period of racial and civil unrest, and the same year that Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Even some southern newspaper editors demanded that Franklin was not to be shown in the same classroom as the other white characters. Of course Schulz sat Franklin squarely behind Peppermint Patty at school in his own act of defiance! Let’s be “frank” here; Franklin is a cool name.
Popularity of the Boy Name Franklin
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Franklin

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Franklin

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Franklin

    Franklin ("The Franklin's Tale") The Franklin is the narrator of his own “The Franklin’s Tale” in Geoffrey Chaucer’s 14th century masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales. As he describes himself in his prologue, he is a simple man, a plain speaker, a man for whom, as they say, “what you see is what you get”. He excuses himself for his “vulgar speech”, and then goes on to tell a tale elegant in its very simplicity of presentation and theme. The tale he tells is that of the happy and equitable marriage of the knight Arviragus and his lady, Dorigen, a state of happiness which is tested by Arviragus’ absence and Dorigen’s wooing by another, Aurelius. Dorigen makes a foolish promise to Aurelius based upon a test she believes he can never pass. Aurelius enlists the help of a magician for an enormous fee, performs the deed, and restates his case to Dorigen. In horror, she confesses her misstep to Arviragus, whose own noble response causes Aurelius to forgive the promise he had extracted from Dorigen. When Aurelius offers to pay the magician anyway, that fine fellow erases the debt, impressed as he is with Aurelius’ own nobility. This is a case of generosity begetting generosity, and speaks to the ethereal quality of the highest nature of good intentions. This is a tale of the shining possibilities of life as it could be lived, were we all to adhere to such lofty behavior. As the Franklin himself poses it at the end of his tale: “This question would I ask you now: which was most generous, do you think, and how (?)” The very choice of subject that the Franklin took inclines us to think of him as a modest practitioner of that of which he tells.

  • Popular Songs on Franklin

    Popular Songs on Franklin

    Franklin - a song by Paramore

    Lord Franklin - a song by Sinead O'Connor

    Pride of Franklin County - a song by Tanya Tucker

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Franklin

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Franklin

    Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius Ultimate Collection - Book 1 (Chris Eliopoulis) - Move over, Mr Fantastic--Marvel's First Family has a brand-new star! Franklin Richards finally hits the big time with this collection of all four of his critically acclaimed one-shots! Join Franklin and his robot pal H.E.R.B.I.E. as they head into Reed's lab for all kinds of fantastic fun, amazing adventures and more trouble than you can shake an Ultimate Nullifier at! This compilation is bound to bring out the kid in every reader! Recommended for ages 7-10.

    Franklin's Big Dreams (David Teague) - Franklin’s trying to sleep, but a construction crew has other plans. Each night there’s a different project: railroad, canal, runway—and every one of them is being built in the middle of Franklin’s bedroom. Where are all these people going? And why are they in Franklin’s room? Franklin’s determined to find out. With equal measures of dreamy adventure and down-to-earth construction fun, this collaboration between new author David Teague and established illustrator Boris Kulikov is sure to be a favorite bedtime book in homes everywhere. Recommended for ages 3-6.

    Franklin's Classic Treasury II (Paulette Bourgeois) - Franklin fans of all ages will be delighted to find these four favorite Franklin stories together in one volume in this Franklin Treasury. The complete text and illustrations of Franklin Is Lost, Franklin Wants a Pet, Franklin's Blanket and Franklin and the Tooth Fairy have been combined in a beautiful hardcover edition that is sure to become a valued addition to any family or school library. Recommended for ages 3-6.

    Franklin's Classic Treasury, Volume I (Paulette Bourgeois) - Now, for the first time, four of the most beloved Franklin stories are available in one volume in this Franklin Treasury. The complete text and illustrations for Franklin in the Dark, Hurry Up, Franklin, Franklin Fibs and Franklin Is Bossy have been combined in a beautiful hardcover edition that is sure to become a family favorite. Perfect for gift giving or as an introduction to the bestselling series, Franklin's Classic Treasury will delight old fans and new. Recommended for ages 3-6.

    Franklin's Family Treasury (Paulette Bourgeois) - This Franklin Treasury is a special gift from Franklin's family to yours. Here are four well-loved Franklin stories: Franklin Goes to the Hospital, Franklin's Baby Sister, Franklin and Harriet, and Franklin Says I Love You. In this collection, Franklin discovers that though he may face many challenges as he grows up, he will always have the love and support of his family. Recommended for ages 3-6.

    Franklin's Friendship Treasury (Paulette Bourgeois) - Franklin learns about the meaning of friendship in these four classic stories, now available in one Franklin Treasury. Franklin Has a Sleepover, Franklin's Bad Day, Franklin's New Friend and Franklin's Secret Club are gentle stories that have helped make the lovable turtle one of the world's best-known and most endearing children's book characters. Recommended for ages 3-6.

    Franklin's School Treasury (Paulette Bourgeois) - Franklin goes to the head of the class with these four popular stories, now available in one Franklin Treasury. Franklin Goes to School, Franklin's School Play, Franklin's Class Trip and Franklin's Neighborhood are winning tales that have made the lovable turtle one of the best-known and most endearing children's book characters. Recommended for ages 3-6.

    Meet Franklin Bean (Emmy Swain) - Kindle edition. First of Franklin Bean Storybooks enchants and transforms lives for kids’ parents wanting to help their kids navigate today's tough challenges will appreciate the new children's book, Meet Franklin Bean. The lovable Boston Terrier helps ten-year-old John soothe anxieties resulting from his mom's job loss, and being bullied at school. Created as a lean-forward experience, this fun read will inspire your entire family. Recommended for ages 8-12.

    Who Was Ben Franklin? (Dennis Brindell Fradin) - Ben Franklin was the scientist who, with the help of a kite, discovered that lightning is electricity. He was also a statesman, an inventor, a printer, and an author-a man of such amazingly varied talents that some people claimed he had magical powers! Full of all the details kids will want to know, the true story of Benjamin Franklin is by turns sad and funny, but always honest and awe-inspiring. Recommended for ages 7-10.

    Who Was Franklin Roosevelt? (Margaret Frith) - Although polio left him wheelchair bound, Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office during the Great Depression and served as president during World War II. Elected four times, he spent thirteen years in the White House. How he led the country through tremendously difficult problems, much like the ones facing America today, makes for a timely and engrossing biography. Recommended for ages 7-10.

  • Famous People Named Franklin

    Famous People Named Franklin

    Famous People Named Franklin - Franklin D. Roosevelt (U.S. President); Franklin Pierce (U.S. President); Franklin Graves (member of the Donner Party); Franklin Dixon (author of the Hardy Boys); Franklin Edwards (basketball player); Franklin Graham (religion); Franklin Gutiérrez (baseball player); Franklin Morales (baseball player); Franklin Pangborn (actor); Franklin J. Schaffner (director); Franklin Stubbs (baseball player)

  • Children of Famous People Named Franklin

    Children of Famous People Named Franklin

    Famous People Who Named Their Son Franklin - Franklin D. Roosevelt (U.S. President); Franklin Pierce (U.S. President); Billy Graham (evangelist); Della Reese (actress)

  • Historic Figures

    Franklin - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Franklin D. Roosevelt (30 Jan 1882 – 12 Apr 1945) - FDR served as the 32nd President of the United States and had the longest term in history (1933-1945). Franklin Delano Roosevelt is another one of the "great" presidents. He was a public charmer and a brilliant politician. With his "It'll Be Better Tomorrow" slogan, FDR had the American public at "hello". He was born into wealth, pampered as a child, a Harvard graduate (and C student), and the 5th cousin to the ever-memorable Teddy Roosevelt. FDR was also struck with polio and crippled at the age of 39 (the severity of which he carefully kept hidden from the public). He had a strong personality and an infectious charisma, but he was elusive and hard to know. FDR had a rather unorthodox even chaotic management style but this didn't stop him from effecting so much change in a fast-changing landscape. His "New Deal" was a set of initiatives designed to impart a new degree of security and safety upon the American people. He joined the citizens every week in their living rooms during his "Fireside Chats" (he was a master radio broadcaster). Although ultimately it was the industrial mobilization for the war effort which brought America out of its depressed economy. At first, FDR aided allies but maintained a position of neutrality. Then came December 7, 1941 ("a day which will live in infamy") when Pearl Harbor was attacked thrusting the U.S. into war. Roosevelt and General Eisenhower orchestrated the greatest logistical effort and massive assault on mainland Europe known as "D Day" (June 4, 1944). FDR was easily re-elected to a 4th term, but at this point his health was failing and he would die soon after. FDR is remembered for having the longest and one of the greatest presidencies in history - all future presidents would have to live in the enormity of his shadow. He was challenged with two of the largest crises in American history: the Great Depression and World War II - but as he said once: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!"

    Franklin Pierce (23 Nov 1804 – 8 Oct 1869) - Franklin Pierce served as the 14th President of the United States between 1853 and 1857. "Handsome Frank" was loved by everyone. So much so, the presidency was practically handed to him on a silver platter. Unfortunately for this charming, out-going and charismatic guy, he was also an indecisive leader and a heavy drinker. Franklin Pierce's big boo-boo was known as the Kansas-Nebraska Act, designed to repeal the Missouri Compromise and let Nebraska and Kansas decide for themselves on the slavery issue. In fact, Abraham Lincoln was so outraged, he created the Republican Party in retaliation, bringing himself squarely into the political narrative (phew). Once loved, Pierce ended his term reviled and ruined. He died an alcoholic recluse; a victim of cirrhosis.

Personality of the Boy Name Franklin

The number Four personality is marked by stability and discipline. This is the personality that follows the rules and is conservative by nature.  They have an earth-bound energy that prefers to build things methodically on top of firm foundations; they don't cut corners. Fours take their time and don't like to be hurried. But the outcome of their endeavors is likely to result in some strong and useful structure, which makes them great engineers and inventors. Fours are anything but frivolous or controversial. This is a trustworthy, straight-forward personality that embodies dedication and organization. They are the backbone and anchor in their relationships, careers and communities. They are tidy, punctual, and full of integrity. Hard-work comes naturally to a Four and they are immensely reliable. This is the personality you can always count on.

Variations of the Baby Name - Franklin

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