Names that Peaked in 1979
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.
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: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.
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.
Meaning:"god is gracious"
Description:Siobhan is the Irish variation of Joan, which is derived from the ancient Anglo-Norman name Jehanne. In this way Siobhan is indirectly related to the name Sinead—the Irish form of Jeannette, which also derived from Jehanne—although Sinead is not a nickname for Siobhan. Siobhan was the name of several early Irish queens and was introduced to the American public by the actress Siobhan McKenna.
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:Diminutive of Bambina, Italian
Meaning:"child; baby girl"
Description:Although Disney's cute deer was a male, Bambi has always been used for girls. It first appeared on the charts in 1943, the year after the Disney movie was released. Bambi featured in the Top 1000 from 1954-1964 — a decade where girl names ending in I, like Lori and Teri, were big — and again from 1977-1982.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Meaning:"exaltation or little dwelling"
Description:An Old Testament name with a Puritan feel and post-Zachary possibilities--one of several routes to the cool nickname Zeb.
Origin:Diminutive of Reginald
Description:Old time nickname that's starting to sound fresh again, à la Alfie and Freddie.
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:International feminine variation of Jan
Description:A sweet name with many cross-cultural ties: it's an equivalent of Jane in languages including Czech, Slovak, Dutch, German, Slovene, Catalan, Estonian, and Latvian.
Description:More authentic and original form of Ryan, but far less common of the two spellings.
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:Slavic variation of John, or Latin
Description:Jovan, the name of the supreme Roman deity, seems more extraterrestrial now -- and it's also firmly attached to a perfume label. Some parents may see it as a variation of Giovanni, the Italian for John. It is in fact the Slavic variation of John and may be an original way to honor an ancestral John.
Origin:Variation of Alice or Elizabeth
Description:The Elissa version of a long-popular name is fading in favor of Alyssa, Eliza and other variants. The legion of other forms and spellings includes Alissa, Allissa, Allyssa, Alyssa, Elissah, Ellisa, Ellissa, Ellyssa, Elys, Elyssa, Elyssia, Ilissa, Ilysa, Ilyssa, Lissa, Lissie, Lissy Lyssa.
Origin:Variation of Alyssa or Alice
Description:The entire congregation of Alissa-related names—from the classic Alice and Elise to newer forms like Alicia, Alyssa, and Elissa—have faded somewhat from their heyday in the late 20th century but maintain some appeal as a member of the popular class of girl names starting with A. Their major disadvantage is their similarity to each other and the resulting confusion.