Mom Names: the New Generation

Mom Names: the New Generation

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 1980s names and 1990s names, once considered the cool girl names, have become today's new Mom Names.

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 ways, Mom Names belong to the last generation, not the next one.

Today's Mom Names

For background, here are the top girl names of the 1980s and 1990s, along with data on which names reached their highest points in the years when many of today’s new moms were born.

Top Girl Names of the 1980s

Top Girl Names of the 1990s

Girl names that peaked in 1983

These women turn 40 this year.

Girl names that peaked in 1988

The babies of 1988 are 35 years old now.

Girl names that peaked in 1993

People born when these names were at their most popular are turning 30.

Girl names that peaked in 1998

Babies born in 1998 celebrate their 25th birthdays this year.

About the Author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry and Baby Name DNA. The coauthor of ten groundbreaking books on names, Redmond is an internationally-recognized baby 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. She has written about baby names for The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and People.

Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its sequel, Older. She has three new books in the works.