Names that Peaked in 1989

  1. Elliot
    • Origin:

      Anglicization of Elijah or Elias
    • Meaning:

      "Jehovah is God"
    • Description:

      Elliot (which boasts several spellings depending upon how many 'l's or 't's you want to use) is a winner -- it has the ideal quality of being neither too common nor weirdly unique. Elliot had a style boost back in the early 1980s via the young hero of the movie E.T. , who was named Elliott. Since then there have been Elliots on Law & Order: SVU and Mad Men.
  2. Nico
    • Origin:

      Italian diminutive of Nicholas, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "people of victory"
    • Description:

      Nico is one of the great nickname names, full of charm, energy and effortless cool -- a neo Nick.
  3. Michael
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "who is like God?"
    • Description:

      Michael was the Number 1 American boys' name for almost half a century. While Michael has moved out of the Top 10 baby boy names, it's still widely used.
  4. Christopher
    • 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."
  5. Asha
    • Origin:

      Sanskrit; Swahili
    • Meaning:

      "hope; life"
    • Description:

      Asha is an Indian name that comes from the Sanskrit word for hope or desire, but it is also a Swahili name derived from Aisha, meaning life. Since the ascendance of Ashley through the 1980s and 90s, all baby names Ash-related have been used in the U.S. for both girls and boys, from Ashlyn to Ashby, Ashton to Asher. Despite its separate roots, Asha is part of this group.
  6. Cecily
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of Cecil
    • Meaning:

      "blind"
    • Description:

      Cecily is as dainty as a lace handkerchief. Cecily has a wide assortment of namesakes. One Cecily was the mother of King Richard III, whose beauty gained her the title "the Rose of Raby," Cecily Parsley is a Beatrix Potter bunny, Cecily Cardew is a character in The Importance of Being Earnest, and the author of the Gossip Girl books is Cecily von Ziegesar.
  7. Lauren
    • Origin:

      English from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "from Laurentum or bay laurel"
    • Description:

      Lauren was derived from Laurence, an English name from the Roman family name Laurentius, meaning "from Laurentum." Laurentum, an ancient Italian city, got its name from the Latin word laurus, meaning "bay laurel."
  8. Jessica
    • Origin:

      English, meaning unknown
    • Description:

      When Jennifer was ready to give up her throne, her crown was passed to Jessica, who reigned for not one but two decades; Jessica was the top name of both the 1980's and 90's, never sounding quite as trendy as its predecessor, maybe because of its classic Shakespearean pedigree. Jessica has declined a bit in popularity but is still a popular choice.
  9. Brittany
    • Origin:

      English name of the French region Bretagne, meaning 'from Briton'
    • Description:

      Brittany first arrived on the US popularity list in 1971, and rapidly zoomed up the charts, in the Top 100 a decade later. By 1986 it had entered the Top 10, becoming the third most popular girls’ name in the country by 1989. After such immense popularity, there has been a steep decline, but it remains a name evocative of one of the most beautiful and culturally interesting areas of France -- and much preferable to the contracted Britney. Brittany evolved as a modern coinage from the ancient French duchy Bretagne. Celtic Bretons emigrated from France to become the Bretons of English; later the name Britain came to signify the country.
  10. Erika
    • Origin:

      Spelling variation of Erica
    • Description:

      This is a more spunky and Nordic looking variant of Erica, but the k also makes the connection to the beautiful flower less apparent.
  11. Tawny
    • Origin:

      English word name
    • Meaning:

      "golden brown"
    • Description:

      Y-ending color adjectives like Tawny and Rusty are nowhere near as stylish as the more sophisticated Lilacs and Violets.
  12. Deangelo
    • Origin:

      Italian
    • Meaning:

      "from the angel"
    • Description:

      This name obviously has the prefix De- that denotes "son of"—in this form it can mean either "son of Angelo" or "from the angel."
  13. Arsenio
    • Origin:

      Spanish from Greek
    • Meaning:

      "virile, strong"
    • Description:

      Long considered Mr. Hall's exclusive property, it's now ready to be adopted by others.
  14. Kelsey
    • Origin:

      English surname
    • Meaning:

      "Cenel's island"
    • Description:

      Kelsey (ex-Frasier) Grammer is a famous male bearer, although most modern Kelseys are female. It derives from several English place names, possibly meaning "Cenel's island", from the Old English name Cenel "fierce".
  15. Kala
    • Origin:

      Tamil; Hawaiian
    • Meaning:

      "Virtue; princess"
  16. Leandra
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of Leander, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "lion-man"
    • Description:

      With the rise of many once-dated leonine names, from Leona to Lionel to Leonora, Leandra is an unusual choice that might be looking at a comeback..
  17. Hakeem
    • Origin:

      Arabic
    • Meaning:

      "judicious"
    • Description:

      Muhammad approved all ninety-nine attributes of Allah as worthy names, and this is one of the most popular. It was in the US Top 1000 for the first time since 1998 in 2016, when it was one of the 10 fastest-rising boys' names. Perhaps the most well known person in America with the name is former Houston Rockets center and Basketball Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon.
  18. Ashton
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "ash tree place"
    • Description:

      Hot star Ashton Kutcher is pushing this unisex choice toward the boys' camp, but its variation Ashtyn is on the rise.
  19. Leanna
    • Origin:

      Spelling variation of Liana; Combination of Lee and Anna
    • Description:

      A name that gained some currency through its rhyming relationship to Breanna, though it has been on a downward trend since 1989.
  20. Britney
    • Origin:

      Variation of Brittany
    • Description:

      This abbreviated spelling, which also relates to Whitney, quickly took on a life of its own, thanks to the megafame of Britney Spears, but it's already beginning to burn out.