The name of the community comes from the name of an old railroad station. According to one account, the station was named "Daddy's Bag", after a colorful railroad worker who lived there, which was eventually shortened to "Bagdad". Another account suggests that a person with a speech impediment named it "Granddad". Yet another story has it that the young speech-impaired son of a local feed merchant, whenever a customer walked into the door, would holler to his father, "Bag, dad!". This last one can be refuted since the community well predates the 1884 establishment of the feed mill that still operates there.
Bagdad is the hometown of former governor of Kentucky Martha Layne Collins, Kentucky's first and so far only female governor.