Not Your Mother’s Baby Names

100+ names that we love, she didn't

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?

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

comments

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

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

Orchid_Lover Says:

March 2nd, 2017 at 3:43 pm

I think we shouldn’t be advocating for Cohen given that some Jews find it offensive.

leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.