MAD MEN NAMES
Okay, we admit it, we’re huge fans of the JFK-era television show Mad Men, which had its amazing Season 2 finale last night. One of the show’s many delights is that it gets so many period details pitch-perfect, not least of all the names.
The lead character, on whom we (okay, I, Pam) have an enormous crush, is named Don: How perfect is that? But it gets better. Don‘s real name isn’t Don, it’s Dick, a name as redolent of that period as a Buick with fins.
My husband’s name is Dick, and I can testify that it’s a difficult name to bear, especially these days. In the early sixties, though, it was fairly common, as was my mother-in-law’s name Betty — the name on Mad Men of Don‘s icy, complicated wife.
Other Mad Men names from the show include Peggy, Roger, Joan, and Pete. It stands to reason that these are choices popular in the thirties and forties, when the characters on Mad Men were theoretically born. Don and Betty were both Top 10 names from the early 1920s through the early 1940s.
Last year, there were fewer than 1000 babies named Donald (most doubtless named for their fathers and/or grandfathers) and Betty is no longer even in the Top 1000. But these names will sound more appealing to our own children and may be revived by the next generation. Instead of Grandma Betty, then, we’ll have granddaughter Betty. Though we have our doubts about grandson Dick.
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on October 27th, 2008 at 10:19 am
I’ve got cousins born in the JFK era (I was born during the Nixon era) but I’d happily name a kid Richard, if I could call him Rick, Rich or even Skip (I have an Uncle named Richard who’s gone by Skip forever).
The early 60’s is probably my least favorite time period (trying to forget the 70’s ever existed too) but I really like the names of the 30’s & 40’s. Stan, Richie, Larry, Ray, Hal, Barbara, Dorothy, Margaret & Gloria… yep I dig ’em all. 😉 Too bad my other half ( a Ken!) grew up surrounded by them and now thinks they’re bland.
on October 27th, 2008 at 10:35 am
I just have to say that Mad Men is the most brilliant, interesting, and best show on television right now. I am so upset that this season is over (but how exciting was that finale!). I can’t wait till it comes back!
on October 27th, 2008 at 12:32 pm
I totally agree! Did you see “Don’s” dating tips on SNL? Check it out on youtube — it’s hilarious.
on October 27th, 2008 at 1:06 pm
I did, what a hoot! 😀 He’s dreamy! (Don’t tell my other half, Shhh!) 😉
Ex Boyfriend Said
on April 9th, 2009 at 7:54 am
This is quite a up-to-date information. I think I’ll share it on Facebook.
on September 3rd, 2009 at 2:30 pm
My mom loves Mad Menand her name is Joan. i plan on using it for one of my children.If it is a girl Ramona Joan and a boy Jonah Nathaniel.
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