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Category: 1990s baby names



A Century of Back-to-School Names

baby names 1945

As a new school year gets underway, we survey a century of names emblematic of each decade. The path from Old School John and Mary to today’s Anakin and Zendaya has not been a straight or direct one, but it’s certainly been educational. — by Abby Sandel and Pamela Redmond Satran

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Baby Names of the 1990s

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199s names

By Josh Murray

September is here, which means that summer is just about over and schools have once again reconvened. As a college instructor, I always find myself interested in the names of my new students each semester. Here, I take a look at some of the names that might appear in a college classroom today, names tied to students who were born in the mid-1990s.

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TV Names: Happy Soap Opera Day!


Today is officially Soap Opera Day (woo hoo!) and though this isn’t as big of a deal in the baby name world as it once was, with a lot fewer sudsers on TV than there were when soap operas were the main staple of daytime programming, we have to acknowledge the influence that they did have in the past—just as powerful as reality show show TV names do today.

This is true both in terms of trends (as in sometimes condescendingly considered “soap opera names” on the order of Thorne and Trent, Blade and Brent, and also place names like Sierra and Egypt, boys’ names for girls) and individual names—the classic example of which is Kayla.  It’s highly doubtful that there would have been 16,000 baby girls named Kayla in 1996 if popular good girl Kayla Brady hadn’t appeared on Days of Our Lives a decade earlier.  And the same goes for all those Ashleys too.

What follows is a list of soap opera names across three decades that did have some influence—though it sometimes took as long as a decade or two to make an impact (and of course there could be other factors involved)—followed by the year in which they were at the peak of their popularity.

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