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elbanditoroso's avatar

Does anyone name their kids with monickers from the fifties? What will we do without classic names like. ...

Asked by elbanditoroso (15950 points ) January 22nd, 2013

Midge
Betty
Madge
Betty
Bessie

Ralph
Donald
Theodore
Aloysius

What are classic names are likely to never again be used?

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27 Answers

Seek's avatar

Bertha.

Thank the gods that name is dying out.

glacial's avatar

I could see some of these names being popular with the “rockabilly punk” set, especially the girls’ names. So maybe not dead yet.

Shippy's avatar

Gertie
Hilda

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Agnes
Josephine
Lucille

@elbanditoroso I was born during the 50’s, and I can tell you that your names are from long before my generation! When I went to school, most girls were named:

Diane
Denise
Deborah
Susan
Brenda
Kathleen or Katherine
Linda
Karen
Cynthia
Sharon

jca's avatar

Dick.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

If you search for the most popular names of the past century, on a year-by-year basis, you’ll notice something interesting. Until the middle of the 20th century, names really didn’t change much; they stayed the same as time went by. Until the 1950’,s the most common names for a girl or boy were Mary and John, and the other choices were very consistent.

As people were increasingly influenced by pop culture, names became more faddish. Tiffany, Brittany, and Whitney, anyone?

My personal favorite is what I call “Generation J”—babies born during the 1980’s – 1990’s and named Jennifer, Jessica, Jason, Justin, Jared, Joshua, Jacob, etc.

My runner-up is the use of Irish names, which are often mispronounced. The name Caitlin, usually said “Kate-Linn,” is really “Kat-Leen.”

jca's avatar

In the 80’s, another common one was Ashley.

I heard in the 50’s, every classroom had a Patricia. Also Nancy is another one that people don’t name their babies any more.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@jca Yes, there were plenty of girls named Nancy. I do recall some Patricia’s, but that name was much less common.

Some other names that probably won’t be used again:

Mildred
Gloria (except for Latina girls)
Cora

My grandmother was named Beatrice, but she’d been born in 1902. For decades (generations, really), Beatrice was an outdated “grandma” name. Then, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson named their daughter Beatrice—at the time, they were criticized for choosing it—and the name suddenly became popular. Who could have guessed?

Ava was also long out of fashion, until Reese Withspoon used it. Right away, it became one of the most popular names for baby girls.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I’m aware of at least two girls (women) that were named Layla, after the Clapton song.

jca's avatar

I have an aunt named Carole. That name seems popular with women who are now in their 60’s and 70’s.

When I was pregnant, my daughter’s father said he would like it if the baby could be named after his grandmother. I asked him what his grandmother’s name was, and that I would consider it. He said “Wilhemina.” I said to myself “nooooo!”

Another common name I find among older ladies is Camille.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@elbanditoroso I once met a Lola, after the Kinks song. She detested her name. Everyone she met would either say something cutesy or start singing, “L-O-L-A, Lola.”

@jca People really need to careful with family names. Grandma Mabel Agatha may have been the sweetest, most loving person in your life, but I guarantee you that your daughter doesn’t want to be given her name.

I was named for my aunt. I adored Auntie but couldn’t stand her/my name. As a child, I got teased and mocked by my classmates. It’s a very bad thing to cringe and be embarrassed when called by one’s own name; our names are so integral to our identies. When I was 15, I dropped some letters from my birth name and changed it to Lori (which I love). When I turned 18 and became a legal adult, I went to probate court and made it official. Now, even my Mom (who also hated my original name!) knows me as Lori.

glacial's avatar

@PaulSadieMartin I’m trying to guess what your original name was now! I hope it wasn’t Lorelei… that’s a favourite of mine.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@glacial. Nope, not Lorelei. It could have been Dolores, or maybe Cloris, or perhaps Gloria, or Clorinda’s a possibility…

glacial's avatar

I find it interesting that you are trying to conceal what is no longer your official name. :)
Poor Delores, that name is forever tainted by Seinfeld!

Symbeline's avatar

I don’t know if it’s from the fifties, but Winnifred. And Gertrude.

Coloma's avatar

I knew 2 kids called ” Skip” and “Skippy” growing up in the 60’s.
What about Beaver? The Beav. lol

My grandmothers name was “Blanche.” That one’s pretty much gone forever I think.
I do LOVE the name Charlotte!

Coloma's avatar

Pat and Patty too.
Not many Patricias’ left.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I quite like the old names. I like names that are handed down in families skipping generations to avoid the confusion of seniors and juniors.

I am named for both my grandfathers. Being born in the South, I have a nonreligious middle name, too. Two of my children have names that have been in our families for generations, and the third has a name more closely associated with the locality of where she was born, Hawai`i.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@glacial That’s because I truly loathe/hate/dread my original name. :-)

Symbeline's avatar

@Coloma I know a girl called Marie-Blanche, if that counts.

tranquilsea's avatar

My mom had 5 girls and had unique and old names for almost all of us. Fergie and Andrew were purportedly going to give one of their daughters my name. I got bugged a lot in elementary school about my name but I love it.

My children have old names too.

diavolobella's avatar

I think the odds are against anyone naming their child using my Mom’s name (Margie) or three of my grandparent’s names (Elmer, Edna and Minnie). Even my own name, while once extremely common, is now no longer used. It had already fallen out of popularity when my parents gave it to me, but they were old enough to have been my grandparents, so they weren’t using the “popular” names associated with my generation anyway. I have four sisters and two brothers. My brothers got very traditional names, which are still quite popular. My sister’s names were a bit different. Two got very traditional names, one of which is still popular. The other two got more creative names, but one was born in a foreign country and got a name related to that and the other one just got lucky.

The names Julia and Rose are traditional in my family and still used frequently. I had a great-grandmother named Rose Martile, a great-grandmother named Julia and a great-aunt Rose, who are no longer living. I also have an aunt Julia, a sister named Julia Rose and a 1 year old great niece named Rose. Rose seems to be fairly trendy now, but for me it will always be traditional.

CWOTUS's avatar

Y’all may enjoy this graphical view of “name popularity” over time.

You can also enter a single name in the box and see the graph of its popularity.

jca's avatar

My name was in the 600’s to 800’s in the majority of the 20th century, now in the 300’s (still not a popular name but I like it for its unpopularity). Those of my Jelly friends on FB know what my name is.

diavolobella's avatar

@CWOTUS That graphical view is really cool. My name peaked in popularity in the 1930’s! It stopped even registering by the 1990’s. LOL

Kardamom's avatar

Girls

Jean

Martha

Marilyn

Laverne

Shirley

Rita

Margaret

Helen

Jane

Barbara

Elaine

Janis

Rhonda

Sharon

Darlene

Annette

Janet

Ruth

Boys

Rex

Larry

George

Ronald

Dennis

Roger

Kenneth

Leroy

Douglas

Frank

Howard

Leonard

Bruce

Russell

Albert

Lloyd

Carl

Wayne

A few that are a little older that you don’t hear too often

Men

Clayton

Earl

Eugene

Clarence

Women

Mavis

Polly

Vivien

Esther

Some from my own high school days in the late 70’s that I thought were unique at the time

Letty

Nova

Michelene

Hildy

Lourdes

Sergio

Xavier

Zoltan

Two of the most common female and male names from my HS days

Melissa

Janelle

Mike

Stephen

Two names that bug me when people (of the exact age range to have been born when this actor/character name came into common knowlege) claim that they weren’t named after

Alexis (Carrington)

Ashton (Kutcher)

Symbeline's avatar

@Kardamom Ha, Barbara. But I have to say, I knew two guys, one named Earl, one Eugene. Otherwise though, granted, never heard those again much.

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