Top Names that Peaked in 1980
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.
Meaning:"land beside the road"
Description:Country singer Waylon Jennings bestowed a kind of outlaw image on his name. However, for many children of the 1980s and '90s, Waylon will be forever associated with The Simpson's character, Waylon Smithers.
Waylon Jennings' son, also named Waylon, is called Shooter, and Shooter's young son Waylon Albert with actress wife Drea DeMatteo will be addressed as Blackjack. Grandpa Jennings was originally called Wayland, but the name was changed early on by his mother.
Description:Beau suggests someone devilishly handsome, with a large measure of southern charm—a nice image to bestow on your boy. Often solely a nickname in the past, it's now standing firmly on its own. Beau has been on the Social Security list non-stop since 1969.
Origin:English from German form of THEODORIC
Meaning:"the people's ruler"
Description:Derek started out as a sophisticated Brit, but the name became so common over the last decades of the twentieth century that it lost much of its English accent, along with its stylish edge. Derek was a Top 100 name in the U.S. for 25 years, from 1970 to 1995.
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:Spelling variation of Eric
Description:Gives a slightly updated feel to the stale Eric.
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:Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese variation of Robert
Description:Standard Latin classic.
Meaning:"she must be loved"
Description:Amanda may no longer be the most popular girls' name in her class, but she is still among the prettiest and has a lovely meaning. Amanda was one of the romantic-sounding girls’ names that rocketed to stardom in the eighties, along with Samantha, Vanessa, et al.
Meaning:"behold, a son"
Description:International variant of Reuben that is actually much more popular than the original in the US.
Description:Widely used across Europe as a common baptismal name symbolizing spiritual rebirth, Renata, in this country it has an operatic image via Italian-born divas Renata Tebadi and Renata Scotti.
Origin:Spelling variation of Derek
Meaning:"the people's ruler"
Description:Variation of Derek.
Origin:Spanish variation of James
Description:A Hispanic classic that has lost some momentum in recent years. It could be misunderstood by some as Jamie -- which is how it's pronounced on Game of Thrones.
Description:Meredith is a soft, gentle-sounding name with subtle Welsh roots. Although originally a boys’ name , Meredith is used mainly for girls now.
Origin:Celtic "Wise counsellor"
Description:Alfredo, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese variation of Alfred, is most familiar as the romantic lead in Verdi's evergreen opera La Traviata. On a less romantic note, Alfredo is also the name of a pasta sauce.
Description:A Spanish variation of the name Roger meaning "famous spearman." Rogelio is popular among the Filipino and Argentine communities and could be a great alternative for international families looking for a name that can still be shortened to the very Anglo nickname “Rodge.”