Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Names of our generation

The oh-so-awesome JenX67 linked to this article about how passe Generation X first names are, saying that "Jennifer" is now as passe as "Myrtle."

These were the most popular top 10 girl and boy names in 1967.

When I think back on my own classmates and which names were the ones that always had to have last initials after them because there were more than one of them. Dans, Daves, Mikes, Jerrys, Roberts, Kims, Amys, Sarah/Saras -- those are the main ones I remember. And there were names that you just NEVER see any more, like Barb and Brenda and Cheryl. When I went on to a heavily Irish-Catholic girls' school in St. Paul (Derham Hall, represent!), I met a lot of Bridgets and Shannons, too.

The only negative comment I ever heard when we told people we were naming our daughter Kelly was from one person who said "Why would you do that when everyone in the 1970s was named Nicole or Kelly?" I guess I did know some Kelly/Kellis too, but not that many, and I still love the name, so there.

Now, of course, it's all Sophia and Alex and Brayden/Cayden/Jayden/Brayden/Aiden/Peyton. I like most of those names, but they'll mark a generation as sure as our own did, and as sure as Betty and Linda and Mary did for generations before us. (I always joke that half my mom's friends were named Lorraine.)

What names do you remember being the most popular back in the 1970s and 1980s in school? Do you see any babies getting that name today?

6 comments:

Mrs Pinchloaf said...

I'm pregnant with my second girl and my mom keeps suggesting names like Heather, Joanne, and Carrie. As someone who was born in 1976, I can safely attest that I will not use any of those names!

Other names off the table from the outset due to "dating": Jessica, Lauren, Katie (or any variant of Katherine), Kristin, Jennifer, Nicole (both of which you mentioned), and Beth.

One "'80s" name I do really like is Allison, but my husband isn't interested. And it's one of the few names from that era that I actually see getting used now.

My mom is one of a zillion Carols born in the late '40s/early '50s.

Mike said...

My grade school class only had 16 kids. You could call out Mike and Dave and pretty much get all the boys attention. I used to be so happy that Mike was one of the most popular names. What happened?

Anonymous said...

Growing up in the 60's there were many many Susan's, Linda's, Michael's and David's. The name Kelly was only a last name back then! My children in the 80's were among tons of Amy's, Andrea's, Tara's, and Jason's, but Michael and David was still popular. I can't keep up with all the weird names/spellings of today. There are a lot of last names again too, being used for first names, like Madison and Taylor/Tyler.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer, Kimberley, Joseph, Kathy

Anonymous said...

I'm an early 70s baby and my classes were full of Chris, Mike, Dave, & Rob, and Jennifer, Michelle, Julie, & Lisa. A few others, like Tanya, Cathy, Tracy, Connie, Donna, Tammy, and Cindy all sound dated to me now.

Brian said...

In my class (first grade 1970), the common names that really stand out in my memory were Mark and Lisa.