New parents adore going back in time to find baby names for their new bundles of joy. After all, a great way to create our future is to honor our past. Certain time periods, such as the 1920s, offered a few classy names that are still used all the time nowadays. Then, of course, there are names from thousands of years ago that are still beloved for both girls and boys. However, some of them are so outdated it's hilarious.
But due to a number of social movements, celebrities, and trends, many names from the 1960s are still completely usable and appropriate for today's youth. Thanks to our friends at Nameberry, we've curated a list of some of the most swinging, artsy, and downright classy names from the 1960s that reflect the period but also seem completely natural for right this moment. Of course, we've included names that are suitable for both genders but also ones that are pretty exclusive to both boys and girls.
So, no matter what gender a reader's baby is, chances are they will find something that's totally suitable for their child, and preferably something that's creative and exciting. Additionally, this is a great place to do a little brainstorming even if there isn't a baby on the way. Without further ado, here are 25 baby names from the swingin' '60s to snatch up today.
Yes, the swinging sixties was a time full of those who preached peace, love, and bought their tickets to Woodstock. Chances are, many of these people were named Meadow, especially if they were girls. There are no negative connotations to this name. We just think of dew-covered soft greens and a warm breeze. Of course, this is probably what Tony Soprano thought when he and Carmella named their first-born daughter this in the masterful HBO series, The Sopranos. So, if you're not a fan of the sixties, but love this series, Meadow's the name for you.
The music of Bob Marley was ushered in during the mid-sixties with songs like "One Love". Of course, he continued to gain popularity in the 1970s and the 1980s for his brilliant reggae jams. This is why Marley has to be on this list. It's a great name for both girls and boys or even your dog. It's cute, loving, but has an air of wonder about it. This "no worries" attitude name is sure to win over other kids who come into contact with it and make your kid pretty popular.
If you're aware of the supremely popular and utterly hilarious show from Britain, Absolutely Fabulous than you're probably more than aware of this name. Of course, Edina, on the show, wanted to name her daughter Saffron because it reflected a "funner" era... the '60s. Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world, which also makes it sound pretty classy and suitable for a social media princess. But it still holds a lot of that "free love" and exciting attitude that accompanied it during this wonderful decade.
Okay, so not every name on this list reflects the peace, love, and Woodstock vibe of the sixties. We have to remember that this decade was occupied by a lot of more traditional individuals that wanted to appeal to strength over sensitivity. And there's no doubt that Brian is a strong name for a boy that still works well today. It comes from Ireland and literally means "strong, virtuous and honorable". Of course, these are all traits that most parents would love to see in their boy. But, swap that "I" out for a "Y" and you could have a name that works for a girl.
Once again, we return to a Woodstock-y name that also sounds wonderfully vintage. Dawn is the name of someone who is utterly creative. A woman who has transformed her home into an art gallery and only makes her friends the most luxurious drinks when they visit. Like Meadow, there are few negative connotations that go alongside this name. It reminds us of the time in the morning where endless possibilities are abundant and the most beautiful light warms our faces. It is a loving name that's wonderful for a girl.
Yes, yes, anyone who has seen Austin Powers knows that this name means when it's used as a verb, especially in England. But, before that, Randy was one of the most powerful names in the 1960s. It was the name of a leader, a boy with an attitude but also somebody who you'd like to have a beer with. It's the name of Stan Marsh's father on South Park, and that alone should make everyone want to use it as the name for their child. After all, Randy Marsh is actually the musician Lorde in his off-hours. Yes, that's an inside joke for all you South Park Fans out there.
There are few names in our language that are as elegant as Celeste. The name has an ethereal meaning ("Heavenly") is also very soft when spoken. The name conjures images of a doe-eyed, curly-haired heiress as much as it does a hippie-dippie rocker. Its versatility is one of the reasons why it's still a wonderful name to be used today. Of course, many geriatrics still hold this name dear, but that doesn't mean that it's not ready to be transformed into a name owned by this upcoming generation. Also, all you Babar fans will certainly recall Queen Celeste from your childhoods.
Donna is actually a name that comes from Italy and dates back to the late nineteenth century. It became very popular in 1926 and then again in 1940. But in 1960, it was the fifth most popular name for a girl in the U.S. The Queen of Disco, Donna Summer certainly didn't have anything to do with its popularity as she didn't become big until the late 1970s/early 1980s. But still, people loved it. Of course, we can look back and think of Donna as the name of a 1960's housewife, or we can see it as a spunky, retro, call-back and retake the name for a new, more progressive generation.
Gregory Peck was one of the most famous and talented actors of the 1950s and 1960s. Seriously, this guy as Atticus Finch is just the best. Even though his real name was Eldred (also kind of a cool name for today), many wanted to honor him and name their boys Gregory. Although, Gregory goes way further back than Mr. Peck. It comes from Greece and means "vigilant, a watchman". It's a completely appropriate name for a boy nowadays, even if you don't want him to go by the obvious nickname, "Greg".
Although the late River Phoenix may be the most famous person to go by this wonderful name, it was actually popular way before him. It was the ideal name for the child of hippies during the 1960s as it made us think of strength but, more importantly, peace and tranquility. Many celebrities have named their children, both boys, and girls, this name as they see the power that it holds. Water names are usually always a great choice, but River sounds more natural and less forced. Nameberry seems to see a bit of a rise in this name's popularity, albeit mostly for middle names, so you may want to snatch it before too many people have it.
Many may not want to use this name because it makes us think of grease and line-ups. The same thing happened when we decided not to name our children "Burger King", but, alas, another fast food chain snatched that one up too. But if you still have some courage in you, Wendy may be a great name to try and win back. It was very popular in the 1960s, but it's been a name that's been around for a while. Ever since it was the name of the Peter Pan character, individuals all around the world wanted to use it because it reminded them of a loving mother.
Okay, so Michelle is definitely one of the "safer" names on this list. The name, which comes from France, has been used for decades and is usually in the top 200 most popular names for girls. Recently, we've seen an upswing in the use of this name, probably thanks to the wife of a very prominent person no-longer in office. But, perhaps people just want to honor the 60s by calling their daughters this name. After all, Michelle was used quite a bit in the 1960s by pretty much any type of individual around. it's quite flexible when it come sot personality.
Sorry, but a baby named Rodney is one of the cutest ideas around. It just may not work as well when he ages. Although, we can never know for sure until we try. Nowadays, Rodney doesn't even make it into the top 600 most popular names for boys. But in 1965, it was at its most popular. The name comes from England and means "island near the clearing", which is a pretty specific and beautiful image to evoke. There have been quite a few famous Rodneys over the years, perhaps most notably the comedian Rodney Dangerfield. If your child has half the comedic ability as that man, it won't matter what his name is.
This is a color name that doesn't sound pretentious for once. In fact, it sounds quite romantic. But perhaps it reminds us of the name of one of the romantic heroes from The Princess Bride who uttered his name over and over again as he avenged his father's demise. However, Indigo was very popular in the 1960s, a time when it first started to be used. It was derived from the bluish-purple dye that was used on many of the hippie t-shirts, bandanas, and other clothing items. The name Indigo has strong ties to jazz music, thanks to Duke Ellington, and to novels such as Ntozake Shange's Sassafrass. Then there's the whole 1970s New Age theory that Indigo children possess special, sometimes supernatural abilities.
Tina, which comes from both England and Greece, is a name totally suitable for today. After all, many moms and dads want to honor the superb comedian and writer, Tina Fey, or even the mega-star, Tina Turner. The name was very popular in the 1960s as it created this image of a petite, elegant, and soft woman that many men wanted. Of course, many Tinas in the '60s didn't get to spread their wings like they do today. So, perhaps, this is precisely why you'd want to name your daughter Tina -- It's a chance to set this name free.
If you didn't realize Gladiator, Walk The Line, Inherent Vice, and upcoming Joker star, Joaquin Phoenix was actually known as Leaf. This is because he was called this by his parents and his parents were 1960s' hippies. Seriously, the names of Pheonix's siblings are River, Rain, Summer, and Liberty... Yep, you don't get much more hippie than that. However, like Leaf, all of these names are totally suitable for today's social media age. These names sound trendy, but also soft and beautiful. Leaf, for a boy, is definitely one of the more sensitive, natural, and sweet sounding names on this list.
Yes, believe it or not, this name, which comes from England, was totally popular in the 1960s. Regardless of whether, it's spelled with a "ly" or a "ley", the name was used by both the mainstream and the counterculture in the 1960s. It sounded peaceful and artistic for the counterculture and it sounded rich and elegant for the mainstream. After all, Kimberly is also the name of a diamond town in South Africa. Currently, the name is sitting in the top 200 for girls, therefore it's likely to become popular once again. So snatch it up while you can.
Song names perfectly reflect the core of the 1960s' hippie culture and their belief systems. Songs bring us together and allow us to find our truths through emotional connection and rhythm. Perhaps this is why the name both reflects the decade and was also popular during it. Nowadays, Harmony doesn't sound too strange. After all, celebrities have picked far ickier and more pretentious names for their kids... I.E. Kulture, Blue Ivy, and North West. Harmony is sweet sounding and is perfect for any fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Janis Joplin... That is all. If we could get away with writing just that name, we would. After all, it perfectly encapsulates the 1960s for both its cultural movements, it's feeling of pent-up unhappiness and just how unbelievably fantastic the music was. Due to the popularity of this Woodstock icon of rock and roll, many parents wanted to name their girls Janis. Although Friends fans may have a different feeling when they hear this name, it was originally made popular by one of the strongest, most creative, most talented, and downright authentic women of all time.
Obviously, the name Karma has many spiritual and religious connotations as it does come from the peaceful and inclusive nature of Buddism. This is why it was very appealing to the hippie mindset of the sixties. Basically, the idea of karma is what goes around comes around; something that those who promoted peace and equality during this time truly wanted to believe in. The name, which is probably best suited for a girl, makes us think of destiny and authenticity. Therefore, it may be a great name for a child nowadays.
Although you may not like Brenda in accounting, because, let's face it, every person in the accounting department is named Brenda and we all dislike them, the name is actually quite beautiful. It's Celtic and means "blade of a sword", which is a pretty cool thing to call a young woman. The name first became popular in 1822, when Sir Walter Scott used it as the name of his heroine in the novel, The Pirate. By the 1940s, 50s, and the 60s also saw a rise in the use of this name as it made us think of a glamorous debutante. Fans of Beverly Hills 90210 may want to consider this name for today's youth.
Long before the popularity of Lisa Simpson, moms and dads wanted this name for their daughters. This is because the name, which is Hebrew, means "pledged to God". So, you can imagine which type of people in the 1960s wanted to name their kids this. However, the name has been transformed since the 1960s into the name of a universal, intelligent, and quick-witted individual. Even Elvis Presley liked the name for his daughter. Oh, and then there's the Mona Lisa, which is probably one of the most famous paintings in the world.
Fans of Toy Story are probably thinking about Buzz Lightyear. And fans of Home Alone are probably thinking about Kevin McCallister's mean older brother. But anyone who knows a thing about the 1960s is thinking Buzz Aldrin. On July 21, 1969, Buzz Aldrin was the second guy ever to walk on the moon. This is the main reason why there was suddenly an upswing in the use of this name in the 1960s. Well, that and the fact that "Buzz" was also the terminology used by the flower child movement as it described the effect of one of their favorite pastimes --- one still pretty popular today.
Arlo as a popular name in the 1960s thanks to a shaggy-haired folk singer named Arlo Guthrie, who was best known for protesting social injustice through his wonderful music. The name still sounds totally laid back and cool to this day. Although the boy's name has connections to many lands, it actually comes from Spain. It's often added to Nameberry lists like Bold Bohemian Names for Boys as it's a name just as suitable for today as it was back in those hazy days of Woodstock.
Any celebrities reading this list are surely going to want to snatch this name up for their child as it sounds as pretty as it is soothing. So, you may want to beat them to the punch and grab it for your own daughter. The name, which is from England, comes from the ancient willow tree which was used in alternative medicine for thousands of years and thus pretty popular during the cultural movements of the 1960s. The willow tree has been featured in many works of fiction such as Shakespeare and Harry Potter. Due to the magical and mystical elements of this tree, many names have derived from it such as Willa, and even William. But Willow is easily the most appropriate for today and just sounds gorgeous. So, hurry up and snatch up this 1960s name.
Sources: Kidspot, Nameberry