Top Names that Peaked in 1979
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.
Origin:Greek and Latin
Meaning:"bearer of Christ"
Description:Christopher derived from the Greek Christophoros, which is composed of the elements Christos, referring to Christ, and phero, meaning “to bear.” The name was originally used figuratively, to represent the bearing of Christ in one’s heart. Later it became used to honor Saint Christopher, a third century martyr who became the protective saint of travelers, reflecting the legend of Christopher being the giant who carried the Christ Child over a river.
Description:An English surname name, Bradley has a long history, dating way back to at least 1086, but as a first name it actually succeeded in the US before it reached England--though Dickens used it in his novel Our Mutual Friend. Bradley Cooper is one namesake.
Origin:Italian variation of Marius
Description:Familiar via such notable Marios as Lanza, Cuomo, Andretti, Puzo, and Van Peebles, this Italian name has been fully integrated into the US.
Origin:French occupational name
Description:Has a laid-back rural feel some would associate with country singer Travis Tritt; Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon chose it for their son. Travis Scott, born Jacques Webster Jr., a popular rap artist, is another famous Travis.
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.
Origin:English nature name
Description:Holly ranks just in British Top 50, but it's been out of favor here since the 1970s Era of Nickname Names. Still, the name may be on her way back as a rejuvenated nature pick.
Description:Once the most popular month names, April has been overtaken by June (for girls) and August (for boys), as well as the charmingly old-fashioned May. Literary reference: the heroine of the book and movie Revolutionary Road, and there have been Aprils on Parks and Recreation, Glee, and The Vampire Diaries. Trivia note: comedian Ralphie May named his daughter April June May.
Origin:Spelling variation of Jason
Description:Part Jason, part Jayce, this name has been among the Top 500 names for boys near-consistently since the late 1960s. While it's a reasonable spelling especially if you're naming your son after someone named Jay or another name that starts with the letter J, it's one of those names that will eternally need to be spelled out for people. But then again, so are classics like Elisabeth and Sara and Jon.
Meaning:"beloved of the Lord"
Description:Jedidiah, an Old Testament name with a touch of Gunsmoke-era western panache, is right in line to be revived along with the other biblical -iah names.
Description:Leif is one of the most recognizable Scandinavian names, thanks to Icelandic explorer Leif Erikson, and is still one of the best, with a pleasant aural association with the word leaf.