We've Captured Every Single Decade in Clothing and Baby Names

Oct 5th 2016


When you think of 1970s style, you probably think of disco and polyester. But that style set is missing an element: baby names. Trendy names like Chad and Heather were as much a part of the '70s as leisure suits and ABBA.

I've calculated the dozen defining baby names of every decade, from 1880s to todaythe names that were most distinctly popular in that decade compared to all others. When you hear Ethel and Arthur vs. Brittany and Brandon, you know immediately that you're talking about very different time periods. Then for extra atmosphere, I've paired each set of names with an outfit from the same time.

Take a walk through fashion time, and be sure to find your own era. Whether your youthful look was mod or grunge, I think you'll recognize the style, in clothes and names alike.

1880s  

GIRLS

Minnie

Maude

Ida

Cora

Lulu

Nellie

BOYS

Will

Grover

Henry

Ed

Charles

Bert

1890s  

GIRLS

Mabel

Ethel

Bessie

Florence

Bertha

Pearl

BOYS

Harry

Fred

Walter

Arthur

Dewey

Frank

1900s  

GIRLS

Mildred

Thelma

Gertrude

Viola

Edna

Hazel

BOYS

Willie

Clarence

George

Frank

Roosevelt

Henry

1910s  

GIRLS

Helen

Dorothy

Ruth

Lucille

Evelyn

Gladys

BOYS

Woodrow

Stanley

Francis

Willard

Irving

Chester

1920s  

GIRLS

Betty

Doris

Marjorie

Virginia

June

Maxine

BOYS

Harold

Robert

Eugene

Warren

Seymour

Raymond

 
1930s  

GIRLS

Shirley

Joan

Barbara

Dolores

Marilyn

Joyce

BOYS

Donald

Billy

Bob

Richard

Gerald

Gene

1940s  

GIRLS

Linda

Judy

Carol

Sandra

Sharon

Carolyn

BOYS

Larry

Ronald

Dennis

Jerry

Roger

Jimmy

         
1950s  

GIRLS

Deborah

Susan

Kathy

Pamela

Cynthia

Vickie

BOYS

Gary

Randy

Steven

Terry

Ricky

Bruce

     
1960s  

GIRLS

Lisa

Tammy

Lori

Kim

Tina

Robin

BOYS

Mark

Todd

Scott

Jeffrey

Timothy

Greg

     
1970s  

GIRLS

Jennifer

Amy

Heather

Melissa

Michelle

Stacy

BOYS

Jason

Chad

Brian

Shawn

Jeremy

Eric

          
1980s  

GIRLS

Jessica

Amanda

Ashley

Tiffany

Amber

Crystal

BOYS

Justin

Joshua

Christopher

Matthew

Dustin

Ryan

     
1990s  

GIRLS

Brittany

Taylor

Kayla

Kelsey

Ashley

Samantha

BOYS

Tyler

Cody

Zachary

Austin

Brandon

Kyle

     
2000s  

GIRLS

Madison

Abigail

Hailey

Destiny

Alexis

Brianna

BOYS

Ethan

Aidan

Gavin

Logan

Dylan

Jaden

     
2010s (So Far)

GIRLS

Harper

Ava

Zoey

Sophia

Avery

Scarlett

BOYS

Liam

Mason

Bentley

Jaxon

Easton

Carter

     

Images: 1880s-1990s via Wikimedia Commons. 2000s iStock.com/jonya. 2010s iStock.com/Jacob Ammentorp Lund.

 

Read More:
18 Steampunk Era Baby Names
Baby Name Time Machine: The Hottest Names of 1946

 

Baby Names With Southern Charm

Oct 3rd 2016

For this last installment in regional names, we look to the beautiful and dynamic American South. It has everything - mountains and plains, red states and blue states, and all kinds of unique individuals with their own brand of Southern hospitality. Check out some precious names from this area, and contribute your own inspired name ideas in the comments.


Image: Wikimedia Commons

Savannah. A Top 50 name since 1996, Savannah is a fantastic choice - it’s long, girlish, and elegant; it fits in with standards Anna and Hannah, but adds a modern twist; it’s got a bit of a Southern drawl but works well for all kinds of personalities and peoples. The city in Georgia was named for the Savannah River, which has a few unofficial etymologies, including connections to the Shawnee people or sweeping African landscapes. Savannah’s popularity may worry a few readers, but the name is far less a fad than a new classic.

Louis. In use for over a thousand years, Louis has been worn by everyone, from kings to athletes to pop stars. What gives this name a Southern edge? There’s the flourishing cities of St. Louis in Missouri and Louisville in Kentucky, the diverse state of Louisiana, and dozens of local namesakes from Armstrong to Prima. After a few decades in decline, Louis is beginning to rise again both in the United States and overseas.  

Memphis. Though this name comes from the city in ancient Egypt, Memphis today is most associated with the Tennessee capital of blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll. More than a few celebrity babies share the name, but it’s hardly a fad - it’s at #652 of the US Top 1000! Meaning “enduring and beautiful” in Greek and Coptic, it’s musical sound is tempered by its unique “is”-ending and historical credibility. If you want something both modern and antiquated, Memphis might work for you.

Dixie. The South has long worn the nickname of Dixie or Dixie’s Land, with various musical groups and supermarket chains using the term to indicate their connection to the South. While the origins of this term vary - one theory being that the nickname came out of the use of ten-dollar “dix” notes by French banks - today, it’s a sweet name for a Southern belle. The name has gotten a little more use in recent years, with more and more fans drawn to its energetic, feminine sound.

Charlotte. The largest city in North Carolina was named for the contemporary queen of Great Britain, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Today, a member of the British royal family has inspired many Americans to use Charlotte once again! A classic English name, Charlotte combines timeless nobility with accessible friendliness - you certainly don’t have to be a princess to wear the name with pride. Adorable nickname Charlie adds an extra level of congeniality.

Austin. Another popular Southern choice, Austin skyrocketed in the 1980’s and 1990’s, but now sits at a more manageable #69. It’s now a well-established option alongside similar-sounding Aiden and Aaron, with a more modern edge. The city in Texas was named for Stephen F. Austin, the “founder of Texas” and an early white settler. The name originally comes from a form of August, which makes it a quirky honorific choice, too.

Dallas. Western and rustic, Dallas calls to mind wide open spaces and acoustic guitar melodies. The city, however, is the fourth largest in the United States and the third largest in Texas - hardly a pastoral setting. With this combination of calm historic vibes and thriving metropolitan actualities, Dallas successfully straddles the fine line of yesterday and tomorrow in the South. The name is Scottish in origin, meaning “a meadow dwelling.”

Virginia. After more than a few years trending downward, sweet, retro Virginia is back on the rise. What makes this name so enticing? There’s the lovely vintage sound, the plethora of nicknames (including Ginger, Ginny, and Nia, for modern fans), and the associations with so many inspiring Virginia’s - Woolf, Hamilton, and O’Hanlon, to name a few. The state was named in honor of Queen Elizabeth I at the request of Sir Walter Raleigh (another excellent Southern place name).

Alexandria. While it has never eclipsed the popularity of sister-name Alexandra, adding that extra “i” packs a lot of punch! The city in Virginia was named for a few members of the Philip Alexander family, in order to convince them to give some of their land to the town. Today, the city is known for federal service, from patents to defense. The name Alexandria is sweeping and sophisticated, elegant and experienced - why not opt for a luxurious choice?

Selma. With so much attention recently, this place name is bound to take off! Selma, of course, was the site of the 1965 civil rights marches led by Martin Luther King, Jr.; these marches were immortalized in last year’s Oscar-winning film, Selma. This incredible history, as well as the vintage style and pleasantness of the name, make Selma a wonderful choice for those honoring the past and hoping for a better future.

Trinity. The name of a few Southern cities, as well as a Texas river, Trinity is a modern spiritual name alongside Grace and Hope. The South has long been a more religious area compared to the rest of the United States (at the very least according to a 2014 Gallup poll). The Holy Trinity is a major aspect of Christianity, and if a faith-based name is important to your family, Trinity is a lovely choice.

Boone. Early American explorer Daniel Boone is now an almost mythical figure - though he really did explore some of the South, books and television shows make him out to be a larger-than-life adventurous frontiersman. Though his legacy is exaggerated, the popularity of his last name is truly iconic - 220 boys were given the name last year. Not bad for the “rippin'est, roarin'est, fightin'est man the frontier ever knew!”

 

Suave Global Names for Boys

Sep 28th 2016

Today's name target is elegance. In particular, a timeless, globe-trotting, masculine elegance. That style is embodied in a group of 25 classic names that travel togetherand travel well. They are used in multiple countries, and cross borders as neatly as any jet-setter.

The suave standards put extra gloss on the idea of a traditional name. If Bob and Mike are jeans-and-t-shirt names and William and James belong in blue blazers, names like Dominic, Sebastian, Elias and Leonardo are ready for tuxedos. They can dress down too, though, as the situation requires. The names are familiar, and most of the longer names have casual nickname options.

Image: Karpova/Shutterstock

In the United States, these names are especially popular in areas with large Latino populations. (In fact, Sebastian is the #1 name in Puerto Rico.) Spanish/English crossover style is part of the appeal, but the heart of the name style actually lies in Italy. Rome, past and present, makes its presence felt in language, history, and religion. Roman Catholic saints in particular are well represented.

Yet "saintly" isn't the only story. Our readers have also singled out these names as among the sexiest for men. While they're not overtly romanticno Valentino or Romeo, for examplethe overall effect of these international classics is clearly tall, dark and handsome.

The Suave Global Boys

Angelo
Damian
Darius
Dimitri
Dominic
Elias
Emmanuel
Fabian
Gabriel
Giovanni
Ivan
Julian
Leonardo
Lorenzo
Mario
Mathias
Mateo
Maxim
Roman
Sebastian
Tristan
Victor
Vincent
Xavier