Category: modern classic baby names

posted by: upswingbabynames View all posts by this author

by Angela Mastrodonato of Upswing Baby Names

Certain names seem as likely to be on children as on their parents, but are unimaginable on grandparents and great-grandparents.

These names are modern classics, names that have been highly ranked on the Social Security list for about 30-40 years, but were very uncommon or even obscure before then.

To me, modern classics can follow two different paths. There are:

  1. Former revival names and,
  2. Former modern names.

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posted by: upswingbabynames View all posts by this author

by Angela Mastrodonato of Upswing Baby Names

Legions of expectant parents search for that “underused classic” name each year.

But what exactly is an “underused classic” name? Do underused classic names even exist? Are they some impossible standard like names that are universally appealing and forever-guaranteed-to-stay-unique?

“Classic” can be interpreted differently by different people. Instead of describing a name as “classic” I usually use “traditional” or “timeless” instead.

Semantics aside, a working definition of how I decide what makes a name “classic” might be useful. And in my world there is more than one type of classic name:

Authentic Classics – Evergreen names like Elizabeth and James. Ideally these names have never left the top 50 since 1880, the earliest year name rankings are available from the Social Security Administration.

Modern Classics – Names that were uncommon before WWII, but have become more common in recent generations and have morphed into traditional names. Examples: Allison and Kyle.

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