Category: 1970s names
When we talk about vintage names, we’re usually harking back to the Gay ’90s or the Roaring ’20s at the latest. But what about more recent vintage vintages? Are there any names that were popular just a couple of decades ago that are already ready for revival?–or are they all still too me, mom, or grandpa-ish?
The leading five girls’ names across the decade 0f the 70s were Jennifer, Amy, Melissa, Michelle and Kimberly, and among the boys’ Top 20–mostly dominated by classics–were Jason, Brian, Kevin, Jeffrey and Scott. I’m not suggesting that we’re quite ready for another generation of little Lisas (#6), any more than I’d suggest hanging a disco ball in your living room, but there are some buried possibilities further down in the mix that just might be getting ripe enough to pick again.
The names below were all in the top half of the popularity list throughout the Swinging 70s, and have either slid off the current list entirely or are very near the the bottom of the Top 1000. Most of them don’t particularly scream 70′s–some are semi-classics that were fading away at that time, a few are the kind of nickname names that are coming back into style.
In one of my extra-curricular, non-name lives, I write about the field of collectibles and in doing so, I’ve amassed several shelves full of books on the subject of dolls. I’ve always been intrigued (surprise, surprise) by the names these kiddie playthings have been given by their makers during various periods, making them kind of time capsules of trends and popularity during different eras. Of course, the manufacturers tried to pick names that they thought would be especially appealing and attractive to little girls.
Unfortunately, few of the gorgeous early French, German and other bebe dolls were given names–they would more likely be identified as “Baby Open-Mouth, Glass Eyes” or “Molded Blonde Hair Child,” leaving the actual bestowing of a name up to the child playing with it. But those with an official ID had names that were typical of their time:
The Patsy series introduced the double names that would soon become prevalent in the population of dollyland. Most of the other names were relatively formal and conventional, some a little on the fancy side.
It takes at least four generations for names to sound appealing again for babies. The names of today’s moms and dads – names popular from the late sixties through the eighties – are for the most part too familiar to foist upon an innocent newborn. You’ll find a lot of young parents but not many stylish babies with the following 1970s-style names:
Boys are a little more complicated, as styles don’t change as fast and more boys are named after their dads. Still, these are found far less frequently now than in the 1970s.
It’s not until you go back four generations, to names popular around the 1920s, that you start to find some appeal. Names from that decade that are beginning to find a new audience among modern baby namers, for stylish newborns, are: