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Mom Names Get Younger

June 18, 2020 Pamela Redmond
mom names

Today’s Mom Names might be familiar to you as the names of the friends who came to your first sleepover or your roommates in college: forever young. But many of the top girl names of the 1980s and 90s, once so fresh and cool, have become the new Mom Names of today.

It stands to reason that many 80s and 90s names have crossed over into mom territory: Girls born in those decades are now 20 to 40, the prime age for motherhood.

Of course, not every name of a twenty-or-thirty-something female automatically becomes a Mom Name.  What does?

To qualify as a Mom Name, the name has to be emblematic of those late decades of the 1900s but to have since faded from popularity. Sure, there are definitely still babies named Ashley and Jessica, but those names are more likely to suggest a mom than a tiny child.

Some of the girls’ names popular at the end of the last century are too classic to be typified as Mom Names. Sarah and Elizabeth, for instance, defy a connection to any one moment in time.

Other names widely used in the 80s and 90s were already past their peak and so are really more Grandma Names than Mom Names: Donna, for instance, or Debra or, yes, Karen.

And that’s the reason you may not want to give one of the new Mom Names to a baby. As appealing as many of them are in so many way, Mom Names belong to the last generation, not the next one.

Here, what we see as the new Mom Names:

Alex

Alexis

Alicia

Allison

Alyssa

Amanda

Amber

Amy

Angela

Ashley

Autumn

Brandi

Breanna

Brenda

Briana

Brittany

Carly

Chelsea

Cheryl

Cheyenne

Christie

Christine

Colleen

Courtney

Crystal

Cynthia

Danielle

Dawn

Denise

Devin

Erica

Erin

Haley

Heather

Jamie

Jasmine

Jenna

Jennifer

Jessica

Jessie

Jodi

Jordan

Julie

Kaitlyn

Kayla

Kayley

Kelly

Kelsey

Kendra

Kimberly

Krista

Kylie

Lauren

Lindsay

Lisa

Lori

Mallory

Megan and Meghan

Melanie

Melissa

Michaela

Michelle

Monica

Morgan

Nicole

Patricia

Raven

Rebecca

Renee

Samantha

Sandra

Shannon

Sharon

Shelby

Sherry

Sierra

Stacy

Stephanie

Tammy

Tara

Teresa

Tiffany

Tina

Tracy

Wendy

Whitney

Some background on the top girls’ names of the 1980s and 1990s, along with data on which names reached their highest points in the years when most of today’s new moms were born.

Top Girl Names of the 1980s

  1. Jessica
  2. Jennifer
  3. Amanda
  4. Ashley
  5. Sarah
  6. Stephanie
  7. Melissa
  8. Nicole
  9. Elizabeth
  10. Heather

Top 10 Girl Names of the 1990s

  1. Jessica
  2. Ashley
  3. Emily
  4. Sarah
  5. Samantha
  6. Amanda
  7. Brittany
  8. Elizabeth
  9. Taylor
  10. Megan

Girl names that peaked in 1980

Amanda

Candi

Monique

Star

Tasha

 

Girl names that peaked in 1985

Megan and Meghan

Cara

Jena

Julianne

Kristina

 

Girl names that peaked in 1990

Bianca

Mara

Courtney

Hilary

Kirstin

 

Girl names that peaked in 1995

Alex

Brenna

Carina

Kierra

Micaela

 

Do you have a Mom Name? Do you think all these qualify? Would you give one of these so-called Mom Names to a baby?

This weekend, we’re celebrating dads with Dad Names.

To read next:

Vintage Girl Names

Old Lady Names

About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its new sequel, Older.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles

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