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posted by: Aimee Tafreshi View all posts by this author
80s movies

By Aimee Reneau Tafreshi

I have fond childhood memories of my family gathered around our living room and watching movies together on weekend nights. My dad liked to watch the same movies over and over again, so naturally some of them became cult classics in my family. Other movies I discovered on my own or enjoyed watching with my younger sister or with friends. As a baby-naming enthusiast, some names jumped out at me, then and now, as those that might befit a modern day baby. I even named my youngest son after one of these characters.

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Baby Names: Once so hot, now so not

shades

The history of baby names is littered with former stars that burned brightly for a decade or two, only to fade from view.

It’s hard to believe, from this vantage point, that Gladys or Edna ever made the Top 20, that names such as Harold or Larry were ever popular enough to dominate an entire decade.

It’s difficult to see Irene and Albert as the Isabella and Alexander of their day, to view Tammy or Tiffany as the height of cool.

Many of these once-hot names are lovely, even classic.  They’re just not as stylish as they once were (although some, especially from the earlier decades, are on their way back in).

We looked at the Top 25 baby names for each decade of the 20th century to pick out choices that were hot back them, and are not today.  Included here are Old People Names like Bertha and Clarence, Baby Boomer names such as Karen and Gary, today’s mom and dad names such as Jennifer and Jason, and names like Taylor and Tyler that are beginning to be heard much more often on babysitters than on babies.

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Mom Names

momnames

There’s a new generation of mom names, not the midcentury Kathys and Sues that are fast becoming grandma names, but the names of young moms today, born for the most part in the 70s and 80s, their names acquiring a more grownup image as they’ve grown up themselves.

This blog was inspired by the discussion of mom names over on the forums.  On that board, berries are discussing their own moms’ names plus the names of moms they know who have young children.

Of course, not every name of a twenty-or-thirty-something mother qualifies as a mom name.  What does?

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abbymett

This week for her Nameberry 9, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel looks back at 1980’s baby names and finds that the glam rock stars of that era are still having an impact on naming today.

Conventional wisdom says that parents are willing to take risks with their daughters’ names, but turn conservative as soon as they hear the words “It’s a boy!”

There’s some truth to that, and yet I know more and  more little fellows with daring names.  The US Top 100 bears this out, too, from Noah to Jayden to Chase, all names that sound mainstream today, but violate some of the traditional norms of naming boys.

I think I might have landed on one of the reasons this week: 80s glam metal.

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70s1

Nameberry’s Question of the Week: What 70s to 80s name or names do you consider ready for revival?

Looking back over the popular names of two and three decades ago, are there any whose comeback time has come?

As a reminder:

The top girls’ names of the 1970s were Jennifer, Amy, Melissa, Michelle, Kimberly, Lisa, Angela, Heather, Stephanie and Nicole.

They were joined in the 1980s by Jessica, Amanda, Ashley, Sarah, and Elizabeth.

Seventies boys’ names—most of which are perennials– were Michael, Christopher, Jason, David, James, John, Robert, Brian, William and Matthew, joined in the next decade by Daniel, Joshua and Joseph.

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