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Top 1940s Baby Names

  • Diane

    Like Joanne and Christine, middle-aged Diane has been overshadowed by the a-ending version of her name. Diane has a definite mid-century feel; it was a Top 20 name from 1946 to 1959. Though it... Read More 

  • Donald

    Donald has been used for centuries in Scotland, where the Macdonald clan is one of the most ancient and where there have been six early Scottish kings by that name. Donald was a Top 20 name... Read More 

  • Donna

    Literally meaning "lady" in Italian, Donna was the perfect ladylike housewife mom name on The Donna Reed Show in the fifties and sixties. And there were plenty of namesakes: Donna was... Read More 

  • Doris

    Doris had long been on our so-far-out-it-will-always-be-out-for-babies list, and seemed to be written there in indelible ink. But there are signs of a sea change, that Doris could profit from the... Read More 

  • Douglas

    Douglas, and more particularly its nickname, Doug, had a real romantic swagger in the 1950s and 1960s dating back to swashbuckling Douglas Fairbanks, but today is more likely to conjure up your... Read More 

  • Elaine

    This old Scottish form of Helen has had quite a history, going from appearing as one of the shining heroines of the Arthurian legends, the princess who fell in love with Sir Lancelot and became... Read More 

  • Eugene

    Eugene is a classic that has rather lost its way. On the one hand, it's a grandpa, even great-grandpa name that hasn't been one of the cool kids recently—or to quote Jim Carrey, who bears this... Read More 

  • Frank

    A Top 10 name from the 1880s until the 1920s, Frank has fallen from favor but still has a certain warm, friendly real-guy grandpa flavor that could come back into style, like other such choices as... Read More 

  • Gary

    When Gary cracked the Top 10 in 1950, it was one of the first nonclassic boys’ names to do so, largely due to Gary (born Frank) Cooper, who was... Read More 

  • Gerald

    Both a saint's name and a presidential one via Gerald Ford—who was born Leslie—Gerald is a quintessential 1930s-40s name, when it ranked as high as Number 19. Hence all those nice middle-aged and... Read More 

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