Top Names that Peaked in 1977
Meaning:"who is like God?"
Description:Michael was derived from the name Mikha’el, which comes from the rhetorical question mī kā’ēl, meaning "who is like God?" in Hebrew. In the Bible, Michael is the archangel who led the other angels to victory in a war against Satan, one of only two archangels (the other is Gabriel) recognized by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. The widespread popularity of Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan were major contributors to its long-running success.
Description:Wesley is one of a group of W-starting surname names reminiscent of the Old West that are making a comeback -- though it's not as well used as it was in the 1970s, when he ranked as high as Number 66.
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.
Description:The temperature is definitely rising for this popular seasonal name, which began being used in the seventies, and has been heard consistently ever since.
Origin:English from Dutch
Description:Rhett has been more tied to Gone with the Wind than even Scarlett, but now we're hearing rumblings of its finding new and independent favor among parents, perhaps emboldened by the growing popularity of Scarlett.
Origin:Variation of Brian, Irish
Meaning:"strong, virtuous, and honorable"
Description:An alternate spelling of Brian, Bryan's one of the most enduring of Irish imports. Bryan is now slightly more popular than the original, with associations to Bryan Cranston, Bryan Ferry and Bryan Brown.
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. Bryan is a common alternative spelling.
Description:Melissa derives from the Greek word mélissa, meaning "bee," which was taken from the word for honey, meli. In Greek mythology, Melissa was a nymph who nursed the infant god Zeus with honey. Melissa was used as a given name by the early Greeks, as well as for fairies by Italian Renaissance poets.
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.
Meaning:"from the hollow"
Description:Former teen idol name, now middle-aged. This name has been on a steady decline since the early-1990s.
Description:Aisha was Muhammad's favorite wife, making this lovely name and its myriad variations hugely popular among Muslims and also African-Americans. It's been energized by TV personality Aisha Tyler. Pronunciation is usually eye-EE-sha but some say ay-sha.
Meaning:"estate of the fifth son"
Description:Quirky in the way that all Q names are quirky, Quincy was once a buttoned-up, patrician New England name, an image countered in recent years by the talented and ultracool musician Quincy Jones (middle name: Delight; nickname: Q).
Description:A favorite Muslim name, Kareem first appeared on the US Top 1000 list in 1972 (jumping in at Number 405!), coinciding with the early career of basketball great turned writer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Lewis Alcindor). It has continued to chart every year since.
Description:This saintly name--she was the mother of St. Augustine--plummeted after the double whammy of Lewinsky and the demise of Friends.
Origin:Diminutive of James
Description:Jamie is typical of the relaxed unisex names starting with J that seemed so cool in the sixties after decades of Jeans and Joans, though now pretty tepid. Jaime and even Jamey and Jayme are alternate spellings.