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The Name Madison: Popular Name From 80s Comedy Movie


Updated June 19, 2014

Meaning of Madison:

Though the name Madison has been an overwhelmingly popular name for girls since the mid-80s (Read which movie influenced the popularity of Madison), the meaning of Madison is not exactly a pretty one. Madison comes from an English last name which means "son of Maud." Maud is then derived from the Germanic medieval name, Matilda, which means "strength in battle."

Madison has become a unisex baby name, used first for boys. However, since it became such a popular girl's name, Madison has become much less used on boys.

Popularity of Madison:

On boys, Madison was never exceptionally popular, but at the same time, not uncommon either. Since the 1880s, Madison was most popular in the 19th century. From 1953-1986, the name did not make the popular name charts at all. Following that time period, the name has danced between the ranks of about 650-1000.

For girls, it is a much different story. Madison did not appear on the girls name charts until 1985, making her debut appearance at rank 628. She then climbed the charts in seeming record speed, breaking into the top 50 names in 1995, then within the top 10 in 1997, where she has remained. Thus far, her top ranking came in 2001 and 2002.

Despite its recent popularity, Madison does not make the list of Top 100 Names of the Past Century for either boys or girls.


Madison is pronounced with emphasis on the first syllable, and a short i sound on the second. MAD-i-sən.

Middle Names for Madison:

Madison is a name that pairs itself well with many different styles of middle names. Parents may wish to use a middle name that is slightly more feminine in sound, or continue with a name that is contemporary.

  • Madison Elizabeth
  • Madison Faith
  • Madison Jade
  • Madison Kate
  • Madison Mae
  • Madison Mackenzie
  • Madison Riley
  • Madison Rose
  • Madison Skye
  • Madison Violet

Share your suggestions for middle names at the "Write a Review" link below.

Nicknames and Spelling Variations:

A common nickname for Madison is Maddy (Maddie). This follows the currently popular trend in baby naming is to change the traditional spelling of the name. Just a few variant spellings in order of current popularity include Maddison, Madisyn, and Madyson.

Sibling Name Suggestions:

Parents looking for a name for a sibling that complements Madison might consider other last names as first names, other 3 syllable names, names beginning in "M", or other more contemporary sounding names. Consider the possibilities:

  • For girls: Allison, Avery, Bailey, Mackenzie, Mia, Monet, Monroe, Taylor, Peyton
  • For boys: Benjamin, Brody, Carson, Cooper, Hayden, Marcus, Mason, Micah, Sawyer, Spencer,

Baby Name Trends:

As mentioned above, Madison currently fits in the popular trend of using a last name as a first name. More specifically, many names ending in -son have become vastly popular, though traditionally these names actually mean "son of", though Alison is an exception. Madison can also be grouped into the trend of using president names for babies.

Famous People Named Madison:

Here are some famous people who share the name Madison:

  • Madison Hedgecock, Football Player
  • Madison Pettis, Actress
  • Madison Riley, Actress

Celebrity Babies Named Madison:

Several celebrities have chosen the name Madison for their child. Some have included:

  • Madison Brown Belafonte, (2011) daughter of Melanie Brown
  • Madison Elizabeth McMahon, (2000) daughter of Brooke Burns and Julian McMahon)
  • Madison Parker, daughter of Hank Parker Jr.
  • Madison Caroline Montgomery, (1996) daughter of John Michael Montgomery
  • Madison Clapp, (1996) daughter of Johnny Knoxville
  • Madison Fisk, (1988) daughter of Sissy Spacek and Jack Fisk
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