Names go in and out of fashion just like everything else in the world. One minute the name is the hottest thing on the block and within seconds it is yesterday's news. However, popular and common names don't just drop out of favor for any old reason, with social and cultural changes usually to blame.
That's right, the wonderful world of celebrity stardom, along with different changes in society often influences what is hot and what is not. This explains why a name can be all the rage one second and then dormant for decades. So, let's take a look at the 10 most popular names in the USA over five decades ago. Maybe they will make a comeback!
Michael is one of the oldest names in the world and has undergone a number of different transformations and spellings over the years. The name originally comes from Hebrew, and is said to have originated from the question, "Who is like God?". The name can also be used as a surname with names such as Carmichael, Mikkelsen, Michaels, also common last names. Since its conception, the name has been a popular first name for centuries and is now one of the most common names for men in the entire world. In fact, Michael ranked number one from 1954 to 1998 and only recently fell out of the top 5 in favor of more modern and unique first names.
Jennifer is said to derive from the British name of Guinevere. The name Guinevere has a lot of significance in British history and has a number of royal and noble connotations as well as a mythological presence. The name first started being used as a first name during the 18th century, going on to get even more popular during the 20th century. However, it was in the 70s and 80s when Jennifer really peaked, with the name residing in the top 10 for nearly two decades. These days, although the name is still used, it is not as common, with parents now preferring names from abroad or those that are more unique.
Jason comes from the Greek word for "healer" and has been used as a name for a while. The name has been exceptionally popular over the years with its highest peak during the 1970s. In 2003, Jason fell out of the top 100 for the first time in years and is still on the decline. Jason has a number of different spelling variations, from Jayson, Jaison, Jacyn and even Jasin. In fact, there is even a feminine version, Jacin, which is commonly used in Portugal and Spain. Although the name has dropped out of fashion, nicknames for Jason have become somewhat popular as first names.
Yes, names such as Jay, Jayce, and J, are now on the rise as stand-alone first names.
Lisa is a name with a lot of history and exists in a number of different countries all over the world. In the United Kingdom, Lisa is a short form of the more regal and noble name of Elizabeth, as well as the name Melissa. In the 1960s the name became extremely popular, peaking in the 1970s and becoming one of the most common names in the USA and England. In fact, in 1974, Lisa was the fifth most popular name in the UK and was just as popular in the United States. Sadly, the mid-nineties, the name dropped out of favor and has been on the decline ever since.
Brian first originated in Ireland is said to have derived from the Old Celtic word of "high" or "noble". The name, which can be spelled, Brian or Bryan, used to be quite popular in the USA and the UK, peaking in the 60s and 70s. However, during the mid-90s the name fell in favorability, with parents opting for more unique in and less common monikers. However, Brian is still rather popular in Ireland and has remained in the top 100 names for the last few decades.
Interestingly, the name has also become popular in South America with Argentina and Uruguay seemingly falling in love with the Irish moniker.
Kimberley first originated in England and was made popular due to John Wodehouse, 1st Earl of Kimberley, who named a town in South Africa, Kimberley, as well as a region in Australia. The name is most popular with women but it can also be used for a man, although it is rare. Back in the 70s the name rose in popularity and peaked near the end of the decade. These days, Kimberley is on the decline and is ignored in favor of more modern names. However, Kimberley is still one of the more popular female K names and is credited with kickstarting the trendy "ey" ending names such as Ashley or Hadley.
Stephanie comes from the Greek word, Stephanos, which means crown. The name can be found all over the world and also has a number of variations such as Stefanie, Stefania, Estefânia, and Estefanía. Both Stephanie and the male version of Stephen, have royal and noble connections, with a number of Queens and Kings donning the name throughout history. During the late 60s and 70s and the name peaked in popularity and was extremely common, especially in the USA. However, the name has dipped as of late and is now sitting just outside of the top 400 most common names in the USA and the UK.
The name Robert has been used as a first name for a long time, and can sometimes be used as a surname, but with an S at the end of the name. Robert comes from Germany and was originally said to mean, "bright fame."
Throughout the years, the name has been in and out of the top 10 and was number 1 both in 1925 and 1950. These days, the name is not as popular as it once was although the nicknames that originally stemmed from Robert are now common as stand-alone names. For instance, names such as Bobby, Rob, and Robbie, are becoming more and more widely used throughout the world.
The name Nicole was extremely popular during the 70s and early 80s and first originated in France and Greece. In fact, in Greek, Nicole's original meaning was, "people of victory" and was said to bring positivity and grace to those who wore the name. The name has lots of different variations, both for men and women. For instance, Nicole can form, Nicola, Nick, Nicholas, Nichola, or Nicholas, and can also be shortened to just Nic. These days, the name is not as popular as it was once was and has dropped in favor of more modern versions such as Nico or Nicky.
Christopher first originated in Greece with the Greek word, Christóforos, meaning "Christ" or "Anointed". The name has been used as a first name since the 10th century and has been popular for a number of years. In fact, the name was in the top twenty for England and the USA for decades upon decades, only dropping out of the top 100 in 1995. However, although Christopher is still pretty successful, it has now been dropped in favor of a more approach to the name. For instance, names such as Kit, Chris, Topher, and Toph, are now becoming much more common and well on their way to becoming more popular than Christopher itself.