Category: 1950s baby names

Not Your Mother’s Baby Names

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?

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12 Surprising Risings: Cindy? Bruce?

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Certain comeback kids have been getting a lot of buzz lately—names like Elsa and Amelia and Elias and Tobias, all of which have that nice vintage 19th century vibe. But there’s another group of names inching their way back that you might find a bit more surprising. Mostly midcentury mom and dad names, they are flouting the Hundred-Year Rule, returning way before their expected due dates.

Here are a dozen prime examples:

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A Century of Back-to-School Names

baby names 1945

As a new school year gets underway, we survey a century of names emblematic of each decade. The path from Old School John and Mary to today’s Anakin and Zendaya has not been a straight or direct one, but it’s certainly been educational. — by Abby Sandel and Pamela Redmond Satran

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posted by: karacavazos View all posts by this author

By Kara Cavazos, The Art of Naming

Let’s take another look at the past! The year 1950 was smack dab in the middle of the century. Babies born that year will celebrate their 65th birthday this year. Many of them are grandparents now and may even be lending their own names to their grandchildren.

The most popular boy names in 1950 were James, Robert, John, Michael and David. How did these names rank 63 years later in 2013? Well, most of them are classics that don’t fade very far down the charts. In fact, James, Michael and David are still in the Top 20 today. Here’s how the 1950’s Top 25 names rank in 2013:

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posted by: karacavazos View all posts by this author

By Kara Cavazos of The Art of Naming

The baby girls who were born in 1950 are now grandmothers. They will turn 65 this year! It is safe to say, though, that a lot of their first names may not be getting passed down to their grand-daughters at the same rate that grandpa’s name is probably being given to the boys.

While the boys have some solid classics on their side –even their more dated options like Jerry are well-used today– the girl names have not survived the test of time as well. Take a look at how the top girl names of 1950 rank then and now and see if you don’t agree:

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