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1970s Names

1970s Names

The top 1970s names are more likely to be the names of today's parents, not their children. Some of these names from the 1970s, such as Karen and Susan, Todd and Chad, have taken on new meaning from being associated with current memes. Along with Karen, other 1970s baby names that remain in the US Top 1000 include Brian, Gregory, Heather, Jennifer, Kevin, Kimberly, Melissa, and Sean. Names that have fallen the farthest since their decade in the Sun include Misty, Tonya, Dawn, and Brandy. These Gen-X names are on the fast-track to becoming grandparent names, as people born in the ‘70s are turning fifty this decade. Sourced from the 1970s Top 100, here is a list of popular 1970s names then which are relatively rare baby names today.

  1. ThomasHeart
    • Origin:

      Aramaic
    • Meaning:

      "twin"
    • Description:

      Thomas is the Greek variation of the Aramaic name Ta’oma’. It came about because there were too many apostles named Judas; Jesus renamed one Thomas—meaning "twin"—to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot and the Judas also known as Thaddeus. At first, it was used only for priests.
  2. CynthiaHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "moon goddess or, woman from Kynthos"
    • Description:

      Cynthia is an attractive name -- in classical mythology an epithet for Artemis or Diana -- that was so overexposed in the middle of the twentieth century, along with its nickname Cindy, that it fell into a period of benign neglect, but now is ripe for reconsideration in its full form.
  3. PeterHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "rock"
    • Description:

      Peter is derived from the Greek Petros, meaning “rock” or “stone.” One of the most important figures in the Christian hagiography is Saint Peter, keeper of the Gates of Heaven. Born Simon bar Jonah, he was given the nickname Peter by Jesus, to signify that he would be the rock on which Christ would build Christianity. Centuries later, there was Peter the Great, the czar who developed Russia as a major European power.
  4. NathanHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "given"
    • Description:

      Nathan was derived from the name Natan, which came from Hebrew verb natan, meaning “gave.” In the Old Testament, Nathan was the name of a prophet and also that of one of King David's sons. Nathaniel and Jonathan are related names.
  5. AnthonyHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "from Antium"
    • Description:

      Anthony is derived from the Roman family name Antonii, and was initially used as Antony, without the “h.” The name evolved into Anthony in the 17th century, when it was speculated that it derived from the Greek word anthos, meaning “flower.” In England, whether it's spelled Anthony or Antony, the name is often pronounced as the latter, while Americans typically utter the “h” if present.
  6. ErinHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "from the island to the west"
    • Description:

      First-wave Irish name and place name—the poetic name for Ireland—now supplanted by newer alternatives such as Maeve and Delaney.
  7. MichaelHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "who is like God?"
    • Description:

      Michael was derived from the name Mikha’el, which comes from the rhetorical question mī kā’ēl, meaning "who is like God?" in Hebrew. In the Bible, Michael is the archangel who led the other angels to victory in a war against Satan, one of only two archangels (the other is Gabriel) recognized by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. The widespread popularity of Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan were major contributors to its long-running success.
  8. LauraHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "bay laurel"
    • Description:

      Laura is a hauntingly evocative perennial, never trendy, never dated, feminine without being fussy, with literary links stretching back to Dante. All this makes Laura a more solid choice than any of its more decorative counterparts and one of the most classic girl names starting with L.
  9. MatthewHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "gift of God"
    • Description:

      Matthew is the English derivative of Matthaios, the Greek form of the Hebrew Mattiyahu, composed of mattan, meaning "gift" and yah, in reference to God. The biblical Matthew was the apostle who wrote the first Gospel in the New Testament. Mateo, Matthias, Teo, Matek, and Mattia are among the many named derived from Matthew.
  10. JoshuaHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "the Lord is my salvation"
    • Description:

      Joshua was derived from the Hebrew name Yehoshu’a, from the roots yeho, referring to God, and yasha’, meaning “to save.” Joshua shares origins with the name Jesus, which comes from the Aramaic variation Yeshu’a. An important figure in the Old Testament, Joshua was the successor to Moses who finally led the Israelites into the Promised Land, inspiring the hymn "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho."
  11. AmyHeart
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "beloved"
    • Description:

      Amy is the English variation of the Old French name Amée—Aimée in modern French. Amée was a translation of the Latin name Amata, which derived from amatus, meaning "beloved." Other spelling variations include Amie and Ami.
  12. AprilHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "to open"
    • Description:

      Once the most popular month names, April has been overtaken by June (for girls) and August (for boys), as well as the charmingly old-fashioned May. Literary reference: the heroine of the book and movie Revolutionary Road, and there have been Aprils on Parks and Recreation, Glee, and The Vampire Diaries. Trivia note: comedian Ralphie May named his daughter April June May.
  13. RyanHeart
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "little king"
    • Description:

      Ryan’s use as a given name was inspired by the surname Ryan, a variation of the Irish O’Riain meaning "son of Rían." Rían is composed of the Irish-Gaelic elements , meaning "king" and an, a diminutive suffix. Ryan is considered a unisex name in the US, where variant spellings Ryann and Ryanne are also valid for girls.
  14. ChristopherHeart
    • Origin:

      Greek and Latin
    • Meaning:

      "bearer of Christ"
    • Description:

      Christopher derived from the Greek Christophoros, which is composed of the elements Christos, referring to Christ, and phero, meaning “to bear.” The name was originally used figuratively, to represent the bearing of Christ in one’s heart. Later it became used to honor Saint Christopher, a third century martyr who became the protective saint of travelers, reflecting the legend of Christopher being the giant who carried the Christ Child over a river.
  15. MaryHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew or Egyptian
    • Meaning:

      "drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
    • Description:

      Mary is the English form of Maria, which ultimately was derived from the Hebrew name Maryam/Mariam. The original meaning of Maryam is uncertain, but theories include "drop of the sea" (from Hebrew roots mar "drop" and yam "sea"); "bitter" (from Hebrew marah "bitterness"); and "beloved" (from the Egyptian root mr).
  16. RachelHeart
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "ewe"
    • Description:

      Rachel was derived from the Hebrew word rāchēl, meaning "ewe." In the Old Testament, Rachel was the favorite wife of Jacob, and mother of Joseph and Benjamin. International variations include the Spanish Raquel and Israeli Rahel.
  17. PatrickHeart
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "noble, patrician"
    • Description:

      Patrick, long tied to a hyper-Irish image, is enjoying something of a renaissance as a stylish classic, as it has long been considered in England. Along with such choices as Charles and George, Patrick has escaped overuse in recent decades.
  18. RaymondHeart
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "wise-protector"
    • Description:

      Now that the show has gone into reruns, does anybody still love Raymond? Though it's been long dormant, some parents -- including Jack Nicholson -- are finding its cool name component, largely through the nickname Ray.
  19. KennethHeart
    • Origin:

      Scottish and Irish
    • Meaning:

      "born of fire, handsome"
    • Description:

      Kenneth may have lost much of its luster now, but Kenneth has had its moments of glory. The first king of Scotland was Kenneth, and Sir Kenneth, a Christian crusader, was the hero of the Sir Walter Scott novel The Talisman.
  20. EdwardHeart
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "wealthy guardian"
    • Description:

      Unlike perennials William, John and James, Edward is a classic that moves in and out of fashion. This royal Anglo-Saxon standard has benefited in recent years from the popularity of the hot hero of the vampire sensation Twilight — Edward Cullen — who has given his name a new infusion of cool.