Names that Peaked in 1975

  1. Michael
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "who is like God?"
    • Description:

      Michael was the Number 1 American boys' name for almost half a century. While Michael has moved out of the Top 10 baby boy names, it's still widely used.
  2. Sonny
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "son"
    • Description:

      Sonny is one of the generic boy nickname names making a surprise reappearance, and it was recently used by actor Jason Lee. Another surprise: It's been on the US Top 1000 list every year since 1927, reaching a peak in 1975, when it hit Number 428.
  3. Amy
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "beloved"
    • Description:

      Amy is the English variation of the Old French name Amée—Aimée in modern French. Amée was a translation of the Latin name Amata, which derived from amatus, meaning "beloved." Other spelling variations include Amie and Ami.
  4. Jason
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "to heal"
    • Description:

      Jason, the Number 3 name for the entire decade of the 1970s -- thus the title of our original baby-naming book, Beyond Jennifer & Jason -- is more likely to be dad's name now than baby's, but it's still a widely used name.
  5. Jennifer
    • Origin:

      Cornish variation of Welsh Guinevere
    • Meaning:

      "white shadow, white wave"
    • Description:

      Jennifer is the Cornish variation of Guinevere, which ultimately derived from the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar. It has been in use in the English-speaking world since the 18th century but came to prominence in the 20th. Playwright George Bernard Shaw chose Jennifer for the name of his leading lady in his play The Doctor’s Dilemma, which drew more attention to the name.
  6. Sunny
    • Origin:

      English nickname
    • Description:

      Upbeat nickname-name that can't help but make you smile. You might want to use it as a short form for a more "serious" name such as Sunniva, but Sunny is undeniably, well, sunny.
  7. Brian
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "strong, virtuous, and honorable"
    • Description:

      The origins of the name Brian are not entirely clear, but it is suspected that it evolved from an Old Celtic word related to nobility. In Ireland the name is associated with Brian Boru, the most famous of all Irish warrior-kings, credited with driving the Vikings out of Ireland around the year 1000.
  8. Heather
    • Origin:

      English botanical name
    • Description:

      This flower name was one of the most popular in her class in the seventies and eighties (in the 1989 movie Heathers, every snobby girl in the high school clique bore that name). Now, though still pretty and evocative of the Scottish moors, it has faded in favor of other purplish blooms, having fallen out of the Top 1000 after having been as high as Number 3 in 1975, when it was given to close to 25,000 girls.
  9. Eric
    • Origin:

      Old Norse
    • Meaning:

      "eternal ruler"
    • Description:

      Eric is derived from the Old Norse name Eiríkr, from the components ei, meaning "ever," and ríkr, "rule." It was adopted by English speakers in the mid-nineteenth century, who were already familiar with the exploits of the tenth century Viking navigator and discoverer of Greenland, Eric the Red. Erik is an alternate spelling and the preferred form of the name across much of Europe.
  10. Maria
    • Origin:

      Hebrew or Egyptian
    • Meaning:

      "drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
    • Description:

      As a highly popular girls’ name in all Spanish-speaking countries, this saintly Latin variation of Mary retains a timeless beauty. Through the centuries, Maria remains one of the most widely-used girl names starting with M.
  11. Jamie
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of James
    • Meaning:

      "supplanter"
    • Description:

      The cool form of James in the 1970s and '80s for both sexes. Still a more stylish short form than Jimmy, though many parents will want to call James by his entire, not-very-long name.
  12. Toby
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Tobias
    • Description:

      This jaunty unisex nickname name has recently been given a shot of testosterone via actor Tobey Maguire and the gruff, erudite character on West Wing.
  13. Christina
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "a Christian"
    • Description:

      Christina, a pretty and feminine, crystal clear classic, may be trending downward, but it's never out of style. Christina's short forms Chris, Christie, and Tina all seem dated—making the royal Christina best used in its full glory.
  14. Orlando
    • Origin:

      Italian variation of Roland
    • Meaning:

      "famous throughout the land"
    • Description:

      Orlando, the ornate Italianate twist on the dated Roland, with a literary heritage stretching back to Shakespeare and before, has appealing book-ended o's, and is open to combination with almost any last name, a la British actor, Orlando Bloom.
  15. Benji
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Benjamin
    • Description:

      Benji is undeniably cute, much in the way of a — yes, an adorable movie mutt. Ben is the handsome traditional short form of Benjamin, but Benji makes a more unexpected nickname
  16. Angela
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "angel"
    • Description:

      Angela was a Top 10 name from 1965 to 1979, the fifth most popular name for three years, and staying in the double digits until the turn of the 21st century. Today, though, Angelina or Angelica would be more fashionable options.
  17. Georgina
    • Origin:

      English, feminine variation of George
    • Meaning:

      "farmer"
    • Description:

      Now more popular than Georgiana in Britain, this elegant Dickens. Jane Austen name deserves attention. Most American parents prefer Georgia to Georgina or any other feminization of George.
  18. Pepper
    • Origin:

      English from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "berry"
    • Description:

      Parents are beginning to scan the whole spice shelf for inspiration, picking up on Saffron, Sage, and Cinnamon -- and opening up a chance for this spiciest possibility of all; used for peppy TV characters.
  19. Charity
    • Origin:

      English word name
    • Meaning:

      "charity"
    • Description:

      Charity is one of the Big Three abstract virtue names, along with Hope and Faith, though far less widely used than the others. But as Faith, Grace and Hope grow more common, some parents are beginning to look at the more unusual three-syllable choices like Verity, Amity, Clarity and Charity, which sound much fresher and also have that pleasingly rhythmic 'y'-ending sound.
  20. Geoffrey
    • Origin:

      Anglo-Saxon from French
    • Meaning:

      "pledge of peace"
    • Description:

      In the US, this spelling is less common than mid-century favorite Jeffrey, and it has faded from popularity faster. This more British spelling is the usual form for historical figures like Geoffrey Chaucer and the Welsh historian Geoffrey of Monmouth, and as such it may feel more rooted and enduring.