Naming a baby is no easy task. Beautiful baby names abound, but expecting parents may not know where to begin when it comes time to search for the perfect monikers for their impending arrivals. Moms and dads with little ones on the way may be able to find inspiration for a possibly perfect designation for their treasured tots by looking to the not-so-distant past.
Vintage names are all-the-rage these days. Names that were once considered stuffy and outdated like Vera and George are now once again fresh, fun, and totally appealing. While names from the ‘70s may not yet fall into the old-fashioned category, some of them have been out of use long enough to once again bring with them a unique appeal that all classic and timeless names possess.
One of the most iconic and celebrated decades to date was the 1970s. Disco was king, kids cruised around town without car seats, and Queen and The Beatles were played on repeat. What better time period could moms and dads with babies on the way look to than the age of peace and love?
The names that follow are gorgeous, groovy and oh-so-far-out. Parents-to-be should definitely consider putting these names on their short lists.
James ranked well within the top 10 in the ‘70s as the 5th most popular choice for boys. It is a dapper name of Hebrew origin that means supplanter. It’s a classic, biblical choice that has never really gone out of style. Today, James ranks as the 9th most popular choice for boys and is up 1 spot in popularity since 2017.
Another reason this name is so 2019? In recent years, it has become an effortlessly cool option for a baby girl thanks to the always hip parents Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds. For girls, James currently ranks as the 2,264th most popular choice and has risen a whopping 351 spots since 2017.
Love James? Similar names to consider include Jacob and Noah for boys or Quinn and Emerson for girls.
Dawn ranked as the 26th most popular name for girls in the ‘70s. Since, it has fallen slightly in use, but it is another baby name option that is perfect for a tot born in 2019. This darling designation is a word name that invokes images of fluffy pink clouds and golden mornings.
Today, Dawn ranks as the 1,530th most popular name for girls in the United States. It fits right in with other nature-inspired names that are trending right now like Wren, Ivy, and Skye. Those who adore the name Dawn may also wish to consider the similar options Aurora, Rose, and Autumn.
Daniel is a gorgeous name of Hebrew origin that means God is my judge. It has ranked in or around the top 15 names for boys since 1972, and, according to Nameberry.com, “ranks first among all baby names starting with D.”
Currently, Daniel ranks as 20th most popular name for boys in the United States. This biblical beauty is also an international favorite. In 2017 it ranked 21st in Scotland and 3rd in Ireland, and in 2016 it ranked 38th in Australia, 28th in England, and 2nd in Spain.
Those who have fallen hard for the name Daniel may also wish to consider the similar options Matthew, Luke, or Gabriel.
Rebecca is a beautiful biblical name of Hebrew origin that means servant of God. In the ‘70s, it was the 13th most popular name for girls in America. Today, Rebecca ranks as the 304th most popular choice. It is another worldwide favorite that ranked 28th in Italy and 142nd in Germany in 2016, and 65th in Ireland and 63rd in Scotland in 2017.
This long-beloved and lovely option can be shortened to Becca, Reba, Beck, or Becky, making it a versatile choice filled with possibilities.
Those who adore the name Rebecca may also wish to consider the similar name options Rachel, Hannah, or Elizabeth.
Benjamin ranked as the 44th most popular name for boys in the 1970s. It is another moniker that has remained popular for generations. This handsome biblical name is of Hebrew origin and means son of the right hand.
Presently, Benjamin ranks as the 15th most popular name for boys in the United States. It is also a global favorite. In 2017 it ranked 55th in Scotland and 70th in Ireland, and in 2016 it ranked 21st in the Netherlands and 33rd in England.
Samuel, Elijah and Isaiah are similar names that may also appeal to fans of the name Benjamin.
Christine is a splendid French variation of the name Christina that means anointed. It ranked as the 22nd most popular choice for girls for the majority ‘70s before falling in popularity. Today, it ranks as the 1,065th most popular name for girls in the United States.
This name has appeared in best-selling novels, hit musicals, and even rock and roll songs. In short, Christine is a formerly beloved option that is ripe for rediscovery. It possesses a crisp, clear sound that will help a little girl stand out in the best of ways. Simply adore the name Christine? Similar options include Claire, Amelia, and Chloe.
Charles is a charming French from German name that means free man or strong. In the ‘70s, it ranked as the 23rd most popular name for boys in the United States. At the present time, Charles ranks as the 142nd most popular choice.
Some may argue that this name is a stuffy choice that is better left in the past, however, according to Nameberry.com, “The nickname Charlie has taken on a life of its own and is now a popular choice for both sexes.”
Henry, William, and Thomas are similar options that may also strike the fancy of those who love the name Charles.
Wendy is a whimsical name that was first used by author Sir James Barrie in the 1904 classic Peter Pan. According to Nameberry.com, “He supposedly took it from the nickname Fwendy-Wendy that he was called by a girl acquaintance.” It has also been linked to Teutonic origins and means fair one.
In the ‘70s, Wendy ranked as the 36th most popular choice for girls. Today, it ranks 1,492nd. This fun, fearless title is ready for a revival, and would fit any girl born for grand adventures perfectly.
Lucy, Alice, and Olive are similar options that may also appeal to fans of the name Wendy.
Edward is a timeless and stately name of English origin that means wealthy guardian. In the ‘70s, it ranked as high as 40th. Today, it is once again gaining popularity. It currently ranks as the 233rd most popular name for boys in the United States, up 16 spots since 2017.
Namberry.com states, “Unlike perennials William, John and James, Edward is a classic that moves in and out of fashion…[it] has benefited in recent years from the popularity of the hot hero of the vampire sensation Twilight, Edward Cullen, who has given his name a new infusion of cool.”
Ethan, Anthony, and Henry are similar names that may also appeal to fans of the name Edward.
Brooke is an ethereal nature-inspired name of English origin that means small stream. It ranked 186th in the ‘70s, and has been a beloved favorite ever since. Today, it ranks as the 207th most popular name for girls, up 2 spots since 2017.
According to Nameberry.com, “Brooke has long projected an aura of sleek sophistication, and can also be seen as a stylish water name...It was Brooke Shields (born Christa) who took it from quietly fashionable to ultra-trendy when she was just a young girl.”
Adore it? Emma, Paige, and Harper are similar options that are definitely worth considering.
Christopher is a debonair name of Greek and Latin origin that means bearer of Christ. It ranked within the top 2 names for boys in the ‘70s, and didn’t fall out of the top 25 most popular choices until 2013. Truly, Christopher is one of those names that will always be trending.
Presently, Christopher ranks as the 65th most popular name for boys in the United States. Chris and Topher are two effortlessly cool shortenings of this moniker that only add to its overall appeal.
Those who can’t get enough of the name Christopher may also wish to consider the similar choices Nicholas, Andrew, or Michael.
Heidi is an effervescent diminutive of the German name Adelheid and means of noble birth. In the ‘70s, Heidi ranked as the 77th most popular name for girls in the United States. Today, it ranks as the 425th most popular choice for girls, but is up 24 places since 2017.
According to Nameberry.com, “Heidi became known—and popular—via the 1880 eponymous children's classic by Swiss writer Johanna Spyri and, despite decades of American Heidi’s of all sizes, shapes, and personalities, the name seems permanently tethered to that spunky little girl on the Alpine mountain top in the book and Shirley Temple movie.”
Love the name Heidi? The similar names Gretta, Liesel, or Margot are also worth considering.
Peter is a perfectly posh name of Greek origin that means rock. This strong stunner ranked 55th in the ‘70s before falling a bit in popularity in the decades that followed. Currently, Peter ranks as the 268th most popular name for boys in the United States.
Nameberry.com states, “Peter retains an enduring appeal to parents seeking a less-used classic with those nice childhood associations.” What’s not to love about this charming choice? Many beautiful variations of the name Peter exist. In Britain, Piers is popular; Pierce is popular in Ireland; Pedro is a Spanish favorite, and the French love the name Pierre.
Fans of the name Peter may also appreciate the names David, Joseph, or Oliver.
Dana is a delightful feminine variation of the name Daniel. It is a name of English origin that means from Denmark or God is my judge. In the ‘70s, it ranked as the 57th most popular choice. It remained in the top 100 names for girls from 1960 until 1990, when its popularity finally began to wane. Today, it is the 528th most popular name for girls in the United States.
This name was once used almost solely for boys, but has transitioned into a unisex name that is more popular for little ladies than it is for tiny gentlemen.
Diana, Drew, and Darcy are similar options that may also appeal to those who are all about the name Dana.
Timothy is a classic name of Greek origin that means honoring God. It ranked 21st in the ‘70s along with many other New Testament favorites, and stayed ranked within the top 100 names for boys until 2008. Today, Timothy ranks as the 206th most popular choice, up 15 spots since 2017.
According to Nameberry.com, “[Timothy] peaked in the 1960s,[but] many modern parents still appreciate its familiarity and lively rhythm. And the short form Tim feels eternally boyish.” We can’t say we disagree. Director Tim Burton has helped solidify the shortening of this name as one that will always be considered quirky and oh-so-cool.
Love Timothy? Similar possibilities include Micah, Theodore, and Joshua.
Katherine is a sophisticated name of Greek origin that means pure. It ranked 55th in the ‘70s thanks to acclaimed actress Katharine Hepburn, and a certain royal mama has helped to ensure that this name will forever be synonymous with class and style. Plus, who can resist the nickname Kate?
Nameberry.com states, “Long one of the top girls’ names starting with K, Katherine has now been unseated on the popularity lists by upstarts Kennedy and Kinsley, but a dip on popularity only adds to its charm.”
Charlotte, Grace, and Sophia are similar beauties that fans of the name Katherine may also want to consider putting on their short lists.
Phillip is a striking name of Greek origin that means lover of horses or loving. In the ‘70s, this name ranked as the 71st most popular name for boys. Today, it ranks as the 566th most popular choice and has risen 5 spots in popularity since 2017.
According to Nameberry.com, “Phillip...is still favored by parents in search of a solid boys’ classic that is less neutral than Robert or John...more distinctive than Daniel or Matthew, and has many historic, royal ties.”
Obsessed with the name Phillip? Similar options to consider include Paul, Aaron, and Lucas.
Anna is an irresistible Hebrew variation of the biblical name Hannah that means grace. In the ‘70s, Anna ranked as the 87th most popular name for girls in the United States. The Frozen character of the same name has undoubtedly helped bring the name Anna back into the spotlight.
Nameberry.com states, “Anna offers a touch of the exotic and a bit more style than the oversimplified Ann. [It has been] used for generations throughout Europe from Russia to Italy [and] Spain to the Netherlands.”
Elsa, Abigail, and Emily are similar names that may also appeal to fans of the name Anna.
Eric is an arresting name of Old Norse origin that means eternal ruler or ever powerful. In the ‘70s, Eric ranked as the 14th most popular name for boys in the US. Presently, it ranks as the 187th most popular choice. Also spelled Erik, this name is a timeless classic that will fit any little man perfectly.
According to Nameberry.com, “[Eric] was adopted by English speakers in the mid-nineteenth century…[They] were already familiar with the exploits of the tenth century Viking navigator and discoverer of Greenland, Eric the Red.”
Evan, Ryan, and Aiden are similarly strong options that may also appeal to fans of the name Eric.
Joy is a jubilant word name of French origin that has been around for generations. In the ‘70s, it ranked as the 145th most popular name for girls. It reached its height of popularity in 1974 when it ranked as the 109th most popular choice. Currently, it ranks as the 307th most popular name for girls in the United States.
This name is one fit for a little lady born to live life to the fullest. Its single syllable makes it one that pairs beautifully with nearly any middle or last name.
Gone gaga for the name Joy? Similar attribute name options include Merry, Bliss, and Glory.
Jack is friendly English diminutive of the name John and means God is gracious. It ranked as the 146th most popular name for boys in the ‘70s, became the top choice for English boys in 2011, and is once again gaining major popularity in the United States. Today, Jack ranks as the 21st most popular choice for boys.
This casual favorite is sure to warm the hearts of all who hear it. Nameberry.com states, “Familiar to all from earliest childhood via Jack and Jill, Jack Sprat, Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Jack Horner et al, the name was so common in the Middle Ages that Jack became a generic term for a man.”
Adore Jack? Similar options include Max, Johnny, and Benji.
Virginia is a striking name of Latin origin that means virginal, pure or maiden. In the ‘70s, Virginia ranked as the 159th most popular name for girls in the US. Presently, it ranks within the top 1,000 names for girls as the 932nd most popular choice.
Speaking about the history of the name Virginia, Nameberry.com explains, “Virginia was in the top 10 for 25 years, from 1912 to 1937, hitting a high of Number 6 in 1921, when there were 19,000 newborn Virginias in their cradles.”
Hazel, Georgia, and Carolina are similar names that may also appeal those to adore the name Virginia.
Ian is a fetching Scottish variation of the name John that means the Lord is gracious. Ian ranked as the 155th most popular name for boys in the 1970s. At the present time, it ranks as the 93rd most popular choice.
According to Nameberry.com, “This Scottish form of John was rather late making inroads on our shores--it was already the seventh most popular name in England in 1975...after [it was] introduced to Americans by Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, it's been on a steady path in the Top 100...thanks to its jaunty charm.”
Colin, Ewan, and Beau are similar names that may also strike the fancy of those who can’t get enough of the name Ian.
Meredith is a breathtaking name of Welsh origin that means great ruler. In the ‘70s, Meredith ranked as the 179th most popular name for girls in the United States. At the present time, it ranks as the 693rd most popular choice for ladies.
Nameberry.com states, “Meredith is a soft, gentle-sounding name with subtle Welsh roots. Although originally a boys’ name, Meredith is used mainly for girls now.” Beloved Grey’s Anatomy heroine Meredith Grey has helped make this name so 2019.
Penelope, Caroline, and Alexandra are similar lilting three-syllable name options that may also appeal to fans of the name Meredith.
Calvin is a captivating name of Latin origin that means bald, hairless. Despite its less-than-desirable meaning, this name is a long-beloved choice that is once again poised to take center stage. In the 1970s, Calvin ranked as the 179th most popular name for boys in America. Today, it ranks as the 159th most popular choice.
It seems the name Calvin will continue its rise in popularity in years to come, possibly thanks to suave and sophisticated fashion designer Calvin Klein and the hilarious and lovable cartoon character from Calvin & Hobbes.
Adore Calvin? Similar names to consider include Gavin, Carson, and Miles.
Sources: Nameberry.com, BabyCenter.com, SSA.gov