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 the 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

 

Comments

1
October 6, 2016 4:36 PM

Fun article. I did find myself scrolling back and forth to match possible names with pics. For instance the 1920s pic would have probably been born about 20-25 years before. So her name could be Doris, but Hazel is more likely. 

2
October 10, 2016 3:20 PM

The quality of names may be debatable, but the fashion was definitely better in some of the other decades. Let's go back to the 20s-50s, please!

3
October 27, 2016 1:23 AM

This was fun to read, but I'm very surprised not to see David on your list of boys' names from the 1960's.  I was born in very late 1963, and was in school with more Lisas and Davids than I could count, and it seems that those were the top names (Lisa for girls, David for boys) in 1963-64 and maybe a few years afterward.  I believe the character on the soap opera As The World Turns made Lisa popular during that time, but I don't know what popularized David.

4
November 4, 2016 10:24 AM

namenut, I think David was pretty consistently popular throughout the 20th century, so it wasn't as representative of a particular decade.  I know a boatload of Davids born in the 70's, too.

5
February 10, 2017 1:29 PM

I found this facinating - from the 60s to the 00s I found myself thinking "eww" and then suddenly in the 2010s I thought "year, ok". I had my first child in 2014 and I was born in the 80s. I wonder how these fashions transmit. How do I feel that the names given only a decade before I was naming a baby feel so dated? I find this really intriguing.