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Classic Baby Names Reborn

classic baby names

Every year, new baby names vault onto the US Top 1000, some of them (hello, Zendaya!) for the very first time and others making a return appearance.

But what about those names that have been off the list for a decade or longer — sometimes more than half a century! — and are now making a comeback?

There were only 13 such reborn names on the Top 1000 for 2014.  It may be questionable to call some of them classics as they only entered widespread use in the 1970s or 80s.  But many of these names were hugely popular 100 or more years ago and are true classic names once again spreading their wings.

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The James Gang

baby name James

Among the classic boys’ names, James shines out as one of the most enduring, likable and versatile, still stylish after centuries of popular usage. Here are some of the many nicknames and variations of James, including his charming international counterparts.

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rising vintage baby names

By Linda Rosenkrantz & Pamela Redmond Satran

One day you’re out, and the next day — if you’re one of the old-fashioned formerly-dowdy baby names here — you’re very very in.  Just a few years ago, you might have cringed if the family expected you to name the baby after Great-Aunt Martha or Grandpa Harvey.  Today, those names and the others on the list are among the fastest-rising on the Social Security list.  These are the Olives and Oscars, the Sadies and Silases of tomorrow.

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classic boys' names

Last week we asked you to name your favorite classic name for girls; now it’s the boys’ turn.

What’s your favorite classic boys’ name?  Do you prefer one of the classic classics such as James or William or a fashionable classic such as Henry or (thanks to England‘s young prince) George?

There are quiet classic boys’ names such as Robert and Richard and John, no longer quite in style yet undeniably classics.  And then there are trendy names such as Noah and Sebastian that may or may not qualify as classics in your book.

What’s your very favorite classic boys’ name?  And yes, sure, you can mention more than one.

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classic boys' name

By Linda Rosenkrantz

When you think of classic boys’ names, chances are that the first three that pop to mind are John, James and William. Of the three, William is, much like female counterparts Elizabeth, Mary and Margaret, probably the richest in its multiplicity of variations, nicknames, girl versions, etc. Here’s a rundown of the main man and his manifestations.

WilliamFor four hundred years, William was second only to John as the most widely used name in the English-speaking world, and even now is the fifth most prevalent boys’ name in the US, given to almost 17,000 baby boys last year. With Germanic roots, William was introduced to England by William the Conqueror, and has long been a royal name in that country; it has belonged to no fewer than four US presidents and countless notables from Shakespeare to the present popular high-profile prince. 

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