Modern Classics- Boys and Girls

'Classic' names for the latter half of the 20th century and beyond! (Will continue adding names)
  1. Aaron
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "high mountain; exalted, enlightened"
    • Description:

      Aaron is a name of subtle contrasts: an unusual spelling that is easily recognizable; a solid Biblical choice that doesn’t feel exclusively tied to religion; a well-established name for boys but sometimes confused with the girls’ name, Erin; used internationally but with notably different pronunciations; classic like Andrew but not out of place with recent favorites like Weston or Jayden.
  2. Adam
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "son of the red earth"
    • Description:

      Adam -- a primal Old Testament name -- was revived as a 1960s cowboy name. Adam is not as popular as it once was and feels ready for a respite, replaced by newer A names like Aidan/Aiden, Avery and Axel. Its most prominent current bearers include Adams Sandler, Levine, Brody and Driver -- who plays a character named Adam on Girls.
  3. Adrian
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "man of Adria"
    • Description:

      Adrian is one of those names that’s easy to picture on all kinds of people. From an active and energetic five-year-old to your great grandpa, from the coolest, breeziest guy you know, to the quiet, serious one, it’s no wonder Adrian has always made the US Top 500 since the early 20th century.
  4. Alan
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "handsome, cheerful"
    • Description:

      In its three most popular spellings -- Alan along with Allen and Allan -- this midcentury favorite has tended to skew older. It was a Top 100 name from 1938 to 1971, peaking at Number 40 in 1951. Alan has had leading roles on recent TV, in shows like Two and a Half Men, 24 and Boston Legal.
  5. Alexander
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "defending men"
    • Description:

      Alexander has been in a Top 25 boys' name in the US for 30 years now. But namers are still attracted to its imposing historic pedigree.
  6. Allison
    • Origin:

      Scottish, diminutive of Alice
    • Meaning:

      "noble"
    • Description:

      Widely used here since the fifties, Allison -- a derivative of Alice -- has now been once again surpassed by the original Alice as parents embrace vintage revivals. Despite this, Allison's popularity has held strong, and it remains steadily within the Top 100. Allison's status is challenged by up-and-coming "-son" names, from Addison to Emerson. The freshest Allison alternative may be Ellison, which adds the appeal of trendy nickname Ellie as opposed to falling nickname Allie.
  7. Amy
    • 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.
  8. Angela
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "angel"
    • Description:

      Angela was a Top 10 name from 1965 to 1979, the fifth most popular name for three years, and staying in the double digits until the turn of the 21st century. Today, though, Angelina or Angelica would be more fashionable options.
  9. Christian
    • Origin:

      Greek or English from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "anointed one or follower of Christ"
    • Description:

      The name Christian has fallen a bit from its 90's and 00's heights, but it's still quite popular. Once considered overly pious, Christian is now seen as making a bold statement of faith by some, while also having secular appeal for others, perhaps influenced by such celebrities as Christian Slater and Christian Bale, not to mention the fashion world's Dior, Lacroix, Louboutin and Audigier.
  10. Christina
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "a Christian"
    • Description:

      Christina, a pretty and feminine, crystal clear classic, may be trending downward, but it's never out of style. Christina's short forms Chris, Christie, and Tina all seem dated—making the royal Christina best used in its full glory.
  11. Christine
    • Origin:

      French variation of Christina
    • Meaning:

      "Christian"
    • Description:

      Christine was the dominant feminine variation of Christopher forty or fifty years ago, when French E-endings were preferred over As; it was a Top 20 name for several years, from 1966 to 1974. But though it still hangs in on the popularity list, today most any other version would be considered more stylish, from Kristen to Kirsten to Christina herself.
  12. Christopher
    • 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."
  13. Clayton
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "place with good clay"
    • Description:

      Clayton is one of those names that feels like it could be recently popular but does in fact have a long history of use. It has made the US Top 400 every year since the records began, and though more recently it has been in decline, it is still given to more than 1000 babies every year
  14. Colin
    • Origin:

      English diminutive of Nicholas or Irish and Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "people of victory; pup"
    • Description:

      Thanks to its dashing Anglo-Irish image — due partly to Colins Firth and Farrell — and its C-initialed two-syllable sound, Colin and its cousin Collin have enjoyed a long run of popularity, reaching as high as Number 84 in 2004.
  15. Diana
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "divine"
    • Description:

      Diana, the tragic British princess, inspired many fashions, but strangely, not one for her name. For us, Diana is a gorgeous and still-underused choice.
  16. Dominic
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "belonging to the lord"
    • Description:

      Dominic comes from the Latin name Dominicus and is common in the Roman-Catholic community. In the past it has been given to boys born on Sunday—the word "Sunday" in languages including Spanish and French shares Dominic’s roots. In use in the English-speaking world since medieval times, its most famous bearer was St. Dominic, founder of the Dominican order of monks in the thirteenth century.
  17. Elena
    • Origin:

      Spanish, Italian, German, Greek variation of Helen
    • Meaning:

      "bright, shining light"
    • Description:

      Elena is at its most popular point ever in the US, thanks to its cross-cultural appeal and the overall popularity of El- names. It's more international than Ellen or Eleanor, but still accessible.
  18. Eric
    • Origin:

      Old Norse
    • Meaning:

      "eternal ruler"
    • Description:

      Eric is derived from the Old Norse name Eiríkr, from the components ei, meaning "ever," and ríkr, "rule." It was adopted by English speakers in the mid-nineteenth century, who were already familiar with the exploits of the tenth century Viking navigator and discoverer of Greenland, Eric the Red. Erik is an alternate spelling and the preferred form of the name across much of Europe.
  19. Gabriel
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God is my strength"
    • Description:

      Gabriel has become a biblical favorite, an angelic choice that's lighter and less patriarchal than some of his Old Testament brethren. Derived from the Hebrew name Gavri’el, Gabriel is taken from the elements gever, meaning "strong," and ’el, in reference to God.
  20. Gregory
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "vigilant, a watchman"
    • Description:

      The Greek name of sixteen popes and fifteen saints, the gregarious Gregory became big in the United States with the emergence of admirable actor Gregory Peck (born Eldred) in the late 1940s. From 1950 to 1973, it was in the Top 30, with nickname Greg becoming a Cool Dude name.