Menu

Not Your Mother’s Baby Names

February 27, 2017 Pamela Redmond
1950s baby names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

If your Mom (and Dad) are baffled by your baby name ideas, there’s a reason for that. Baby names that were all the way at the bottom of the extended list in 1957 — a year that saw the birth of many now grandparent-aged people — have become stylish, even popular. So when your parents say they’ve never heard that name you love, you may need to take that literally.

Every generation needs to reinvent baby names. Today’s expectant parents aren’t interested in using the names popular when they were born — Jessie and Jason, Melissa and Michael — and they’re really not interested in using names favored for their parent’s generation in the 1950s or 1960s. So Debra, Karen, Richard, and Gary, names well-represented among grandparents, are out for today’s babies.

But names that were unpopular in the Baby Boom era are a different story. In fact, the bottom of the 1957 popularity list is full of names that sound fresh, elegant, fascinating, beautiful today.

There are patterns in evidence. Names without a clear gender identification were often relegated to the bottom of the barrel back then, as were ethnic names, surname-names, word names, place names, and ancient names. All these groups are of course well-accepted now.

If your parents are eager to talk about baby names but you want to avoid a tussle over the name, share this list with them. All these names were given to only five babies in 1957 but are used for hundreds and in some cases thousands of babies now. What do you think, Mom and Dad?

girls

boys

Which of these has your Mom ever heard? Which does she like? Which do you like?

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

Comments

1 Response to “Not Your Mother’s Baby Names”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.