10 Baby Names From the ’40s and ’50s Making a Comeback

After reading 12 predicted trends from Nameberry for 2014 and 5 predicted trends from Belly Ballot, I could only find one trend I was absolutely sure about: that baby boomer names popular in the 40s, 50s and 60s would bounce back as boomers age and pass away. In that post I provided the top-10 names in all three decades to provide a forecast of the names likely to be bouncing back.

I’m happy to recommend an article which suggests 10 popular boomer names to consider. Written by Anne Donahue for Baby Post.com, it will help you start thinking about names of your parents, aunts, uncles or grandparents that might be on that list:

James, Judith, Anne, Edward, Henry, George, Evelyn, Lucy, Paul and Carol.

Of the boomer boys’ names they suggest: James, Henry and Paul don’t seem too “old-fashioned” to use in 2014. (Naming the “royal baby” George and having two recent presidents named George has made that name seem “overdone” at the moment. And I’m feeling ambivalent about Edward.)

Of the boomer girls’ names, Judith is a strong name and Lucy is a fun name; both might work for use in 2014–though Carol, Anne and Evelyn seem “old-fashioned” to me.

Don’t be surprised if boomer names don’t sound fresh to you. You may have noticed I didn’t recommend Edward. Nothing wrong with the name; but it didn’t sound quite as fresh as Henry and James. If you agree that Carol, Anne and Evelyn are unlikely to get raves when you send out an announcement in 2014, give some thought to adding a new (or old) wrinkle.

I recently got excited about Annabel because it provides a fresher vibe than Anne or Anna, both of which sound “tired” to me. (Sorry Ms. Donahue.) Watching the Olympics last night, I saw an incredibly graceful Italian skater named Carolina (pronounced: CAR-oh-LEAN-ah). However, a pronunciation like North and South Carolina would be even more pleasing and less confusing for most North Americans. And with respect to Evelyn, I think Eve sounds fresher to me.

But don’t take my word for it. Mull these names over and discuss them with friends to figure out which names sound fresh and which sound dated. I think that’s the test you should put these and other boomer names to as you try to figure out which ones will come off well when you announce them and which names are likely produce whispered comments like “poor kid.” FYI, A good friend of mine just named his baby boy Henry Alexander; I gave him two thumbs up.

If you look at a list of the most popular boomer names I provided in my prediction post (see the first link, above) many of the most popular boomer girls’ names (like Mary, Anne, Patricia, Linda, and Donna) don’t sound particularly fresh to me (no disrespect intended), so don’t hesitate to get creative when there’s someone with a boomer name you want to honor as a beloved namesake for your child. As to boomer boys’ names, the only name I’d steer you away from is Richard, mainly because a president with that name left office in disgrace and because there are too many problems with the nickname, Dick.

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