Names that Peaked in 1960
Origin:Hebrew or Egyptian
Meaning:"drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
Description:Mary is the English form of Maria, which ultimately was derived from the Hebrew name Maryam/Mariam. The original meaning of Maryam is uncertain, but theories include "drop of the sea" (from Hebrew roots mar "drop" and yam "sea"); "bitter" (from Hebrew marah "bitterness"); and "beloved" (from the Egyptian root mr).
Origin:English diminutive of Susannah, Hebrew
Description:Although Susan had her heyday from the thirties to the sixties, and is now common among moms and new grandmas, and though most modern parents would prefer Susanna/Susannah, we have spotted some flickers of interest in a revival. It still retains a certain black-eyed-Susan freshness.
Description:Though this feels like a modern invention, Jay has been in use for centuries. Early Jays often were named in honor of founding father John Jay, whose surname derived from the jaybird. A popular mid-century choice, Jay was in the Top 100 from 1956 to 1970. In the last couple of decades he was replaced by such more elaborate forms as Jayden, Jaylen, and Jayce. But Jay could make a comeback in tandem with cousins May, Kay, Fay, and Ray.
Description:David is derived from the Hebrew name Dawid, which evolved from the element dod, meaning "beloved." It is the name of the Old Testament second king of Israel who, as a boy, slew the giant Philistine Goliath with his slingshot. He grew up to become a wise and highly cultivated leader who enjoyed music and was a poet, later providing inspiration to such great sculptors as Michelangelo and Donatello.
Description:A melodious choice big in the sixties, Melody is now starting to pick up tempo again. It cracked the Top 150 for the first time ever in 2015. Melody is also the name of Ariel's equally curious and more tom-boyish daughter in The Little Mermaid sequel. Read more about Melody and other Disney Princess Names in our featured blog.
Description:After centuries of lagging behind other apostle names Peter and Paul, Mark suddenly caught on in the early 1950s, reaching Number 6 by 1960. It was in the Top 10 from 1955 to 1970 and second only to Michael in popular boy names starting with M.
Description:A second-tier classic, the New Testament Timothy moves in and out of fashion more than John and James. But though it peaked in the 1960s, many modern parents still appreciate its familiarity and lively rhythm. And the short form Tim feels eternally boyish.
Origin:English variation of Stephen
Description:Steven, the phonetic and now predominant spelling of the classier Stephen, has finally dropped out of the Top 100 after seventy years. Steve has become one of the ultimate regular-guy names, right up there with Dave and Joe. and there have been innumerable pop-culture role models among its bearers--from Steven Spielberg to Steven Soderbergh to Steve Jobs.
Description:Annette is a French diminutive of Ann which was among the first wave of widely-used girls' names from France, now neglected for so long that it's almost starting to feel stylish again.
Description:Literally meaning "lady" in Italian, Donna was the perfect ladylike housewife mom name on The Donna Reed Show in the fifties and sixties. And there were plenty of namesakes: Donna was in the Top 10 in 1964. These days we'd be more likely to associate it with the emanciatpated clothes of Donna Karen than as a baby name.
Description:This ancient royal Scottish name had a brief vogue in midcentury America, but it would be far from a fresh choice for a baby boy now.
Origin:German and Scandinavian variation of Charles
Description:Manly almost to the point of macho.
Origin:Diminutive of Kenneth; Japanese
Meaning:"born of fire or handsome; healthy and strong"
Description:In many minds this one belongs to Barbie, but with such positive meanings and international connections, can Ken make the transition to usability again?
Origin:Greek, diminutive of Timothy
Description:Tim is a boyish short form very rarely given on its own.
Origin:Diminutive of Kenneth
Description:Kenny might be all South Park to some, but it has been in steady use in the US since the 1930s.
Origin:French variation of Brighid
Meaning:"strength or exalted one"
Description:Brigitte is the French version of the ancient Irish Brighid long associated with 1950s sex symbol Brigitte Bardot. If you want to pronounce Brigitte the French way, it's brih-ZHEET.
Origin:English diminutive of Kimberly; Vietnamese; Scandinavian diminutive of Joachima; Soviet name
Description:Kim was the coolest name... of the 1960s. Kim was popularized by actress Kim Novak, and its energy is still maintained by rapper Lil' Kim, but it holds lil' or no appeal for new babies. Parents who like Kim's short, sweet sound might look to a choice such as Sam, Lou, or Belle.
Origin:Italian, diminutive of any name ending in -dino
Description:Italian heritage name. It's sweet and simple, but has fallen almost out of use since its heyday in the 1960s.
Description:In the 1940s, Toni began to surpass its progenitor, Antonia, but it peaked in 1960 and has since dropped back below the US Top 1000.
Origin:English, diminutive of Laura
Description:Morphed into the more streamlined Lori in the sixties, now feels dated for a girl in either spelling. Update Lauren has been renovated as Laurel or Laura itself.