Names that Peaked in 1953
Description:Thomas is the Greek variation of the Aramaic name Ta’oma’. It came about because there were too many apostles named Judas; Jesus renamed one Thomas—meaning "twin"—to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot and the Judas also known as Thaddeus. At first, it was used only for priests.
Origin:Hebrew or Egyptian
Meaning:"drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
Description:Mary is the English form of Maria, which ultimately was derived from the Hebrew name Maryam/Mariam. The original meaning of Maryam is uncertain, but theories include "drop of the sea" (from Hebrew roots mar "drop" and yam "sea"); "bitter" (from Hebrew marah "bitterness"); and "beloved" (from the Egyptian root mr).
Origin:Variation of Gwendolen, Welsh
Description:One spelling variation that's more popular than the original, this somewhat old-fashioned name might be in honor of poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American to win a Pulitzer prize for poetry, or may be a way to get to the modern short form Gwen.
Origin:English from German
Description:Robert was derived from the ancient Germanic name Hrodebert, from the elements hrod, meaning "fame" and bertha, "bright." Robert was the name of three kings of Scotland, including Robert the Bruce, who freed Scotland from English rule. The name was brought to England by the Normans.
Description:Always the top spelling of the name; Neil peaked in the 1950s, but then enjoyed a second coming following the fame of such Neils as astronaut Armstrong and singers Sedaka, Diamond, and Young. Now semiretired.
Meaning:"dweller at the holly trees"
Description:Hollis is a surname-name used quietly for both genders. In 2015, it was given to 176 boys and 106 girls in the US. It has notable connections for both genders: Hollis Thompson is a professional (male) basketball player, while Hollis is an outsized favorite for girls in South Carolina, where Pete Hollis was a community folk hero. On the girls' side, it makes Holly more buttoned-up and distinctive
Description:Pam was a somewhat pampered prom queen of the sixties who was never called by her full name, which is a pity because Pamela is so mellifluous and rich in literary history. A Top 25 name from the late 1940's through the late 60's, Pamela has just, sadly, dropped out of the Top 1000.
Meaning:"dweller on the plain"
Description:One of the first generation of cool surname names, now largely gone to the girls.
Origin:German and Dutch
Meaning:"white or blond"
Description:This presidential name is in style limbo today - or, some might say, in the the sweet spot of familiar but little-used.
Origin:Basque and Scandinavian variation of Michael
Meaning:"who is like God"
Description:A Basque and Scandinavian form of Michael, pronounced MEE-kel. In the US, it is sometimes chosen as a modern alternative spelling of Michael.
Meaning:"wide river crossing"
Description:Brad in a Brooks Brothers suit.
Description:Anglo parents are taking note of this Latina classic, thanks to actress Rosario Dawson and a character on Will & Grace.
Origin:Diminutive of Cynthia or Lucinda
Description:Cindy for the 21st century.