Friday, June 6, 2014


Since this is "car week", we'll look at the boy name Ford. The Ford Motor Company has been around since 1903 and was founded by Henry Ford. Clearly, the name comes from a surname but it was originally derived from a place name meaning "ford" in Old English. Nameberry says that it means "dweller at the ford". A ford is defined as "a shallow place in a river or stream allowing one to walk or drive across." That makes Ford a nature place name and a surname.

Famous namesakes include the aforementioned Henry Ford, former U.S. President Gerald Ford, popular actor Harrison Ford, writer Ford Madox Ford, Pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Madox Brown and sportswriter Ford Frick. Actor Owen Wilson named his baby boy Robert Ford.

In pop-culture, there's James "Sawyer" Ford from the TV show Lost, and Nathan Ford on the TV show Leverage. There's a character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy named Ford Prefect.  This name seems to be used most often as a surname as opposed to a first name.

In fact, the history of popularity for this name contains very small numbers. The question is, are parents ignoring this name because of the motor company? There are plenty of surnames that have had popularity for boys over the years. Nameberry believes that "the long association to the Ford Motor Company doesn't stand in the way of this being a strong, independent, single-syllable name."  Perhaps Ford just hasn't caught on yet.

It has been given to boys since 1880 but only in handfuls. 1915 was a good year for Ford with 133 births and a ranking of #483. 1923 was also good with 115 births. Since then, the name has hung around in the 30-50 births a year range until it dropped even more in the 70s. It slightly increased again around 2000 and by 2013, the name Ford received 179 births for a ranking of #1050. It has now surpassed its original early peaks and could be poised to finally land within the Top 1000 again for the first time since 1951.

Ford as a given name for boys is still a rare gem that modern parents should take advantage of! Otherwise, there are a few names that contain "Ford" within the name that could be used with Ford as a nickname:

  • Alford                     
  • Bedford
  • Bluford
  • Bradford
  • Buford
  • Clifford
  • Crawford
  • Forden
  • Gifford
  • Kalford
  • Lanford
  • Milford
  • Oxford
  • Rayford
  • Redford
  • Rexford
  • Rutherford
  • Sanford
  • Stafford
  • Stanford
  • Talford
  • Telford
  • Wilford
  • Winford
As far as using Ford itself as a given name, here are a few suggestions that I came up with for sibling and middle names to go with it:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Audra, Brooklyn, Cora, Harper, Lena, Presley, Tessa
Brothers: Arlo, Bridger, Clive, Franklin, Gage, Owen, Parker

Middle Name Ideas:
Ford Everett
Ford Jonathan
Ford Oliver
Ford Sebastian

As a Middle Name:
Andrew Ford
Ethan Ford
Tristan Ford
Vincent Ford

What would you pair with Ford? What do you think of it as a baby name? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below or on Facebook!

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