One of the most important and overwhelming tasks for expectant parents is to choose a name for their newest family member. What better place to start looking for inspiration than from arguably the best decade of all time? Read on as we reveal 25 awesome names inspired by the ‘60s.
Peace, love, and rock and roll. The ‘60s was a time that was incredibly significant to history, fashion, and music. It earned the name “The Swinging Sixties” in large part due to the change that occurred during this time in London, England. Time Magazine published a piece called “Swinging London” in 1966 to celebrate London as the hip and fashionable trendsetter it had become. But swinging soon became synonymous with all things hip, trendy, and fashionable and marked the decade as opposed to the city.
Some of the events that took place in the ‘60s forever changed the world - sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse. JFK was assassinated. Sidney Poitier became the first African-American to win an Academy Award. Rolling Stone published its first magazine. Men walked on the moon. The Vietnam War raged. The Cuban Missile crisis threatened. And all the while, icons in fashion and music emerged and thrived, many of whom are still heavily influential today.
We’d be remiss if we also didn’t mention Woodstock as a defining event to mark the end of the ‘60s. Woodstock epitomized peace, love and rock and roll, and many associate the '60s with this phrase.
The ‘60s certainly offers much to commemorate, celebrate, and appreciate. As a result, we have put together a list of 25 baby names for parents to consider that pay tribute to the decade in one way or another. Maybe your winner will be on this list!
One of the most famous Arlos of all time is Arlo Guthrie. Guthrie is an American singer/songwriter who performed his first show at age 13 and then went on to perform at the original Woodstock Festival. Guthrie is the reason this name is important to the ‘60s. He became a true icon of the decade’s counterculture movement.
Arlo is an English baby name meaning “fortified hill”. It’s not the most inspiring of name meanings but also isn’t offensive in any way. Arlo ranked as a popular baby name up until 1944 and then disappeared until more recently when it began to re-emerge in popularity. Most recently it ranked in at spot #502 in terms of boys’ names. It’s been steadily climbing for the past 5 years and we expect it to keep going.
Arlo is a great and original boy’s name. It’s hipster without being pretensions and strong without being overwhelming. We’re going to keep an eye on it.
The name Presley for a baby girl is seriously on the rise. Currently it ranks at spot #187, having risen from spot #990 in 1998. We think it’s pretty and melodic, and ultra cool.
This name pays tribute to the late King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, in a more subtle way than choosing his first name. Elvis was of course a strong presence in the ‘60s with his telltale swagger. The ‘60s saw him springboard into films courtesy of his successful music career.
Presley is an English surname that came about from a place name meaning "priest clearing". Its meaning feels old-fashioned but the name itself certainly does not. Presley would pair nicely with a monosyllabic middle name like Anne or Kate.
Super model Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber named their daughter Presley, now 16.
Dawn was a popular name through the ‘60s, ranking in as the 37th most popular girl’s name during this era. It’s also fitting for this list because it’s a great hippie name.
It stayed strong through the ‘70s and then began rapidly losing its appeal. It hasn’t ranked in the top 1,000 names in the U.S. since 2000 at which point it was #915.
We think it’s ready to make a comeback. It’s strong, yet feminine. It is defined as “the first appearance of light in the sky before sunrise”. This could be very inspirational to any little girl.
Regardless of its popularity, we think this name is really nice. It’s definitely not the spiciest one on this list but it would definitely make your baby unique. There is a small risk that “Dawn” might be mistaken for “Don” when spoken, but gender-neutral names are all the rage right now anyhow.
Marlowe represents an alternate spelling of the name Marlo but we think the additional two letters give it added appeal. This name is super cute for a baby girl but it also works for a sophisticated adult without any stretch of the imagination.
Marlowe belongs on this list because it pays homage to the likes of Marlon Brando or Bob Marley without being too obvious. Marley and Marlon both skew masculine but we think Marlowe is best suited for a baby girl.
Marlo appeared on the baby girl name chart in 1967 and disappeared again in 1977. The version we’ve put forward is actually an Old English surname that means "remnants of a lake" and doesn’t appear on the charts at all.
Some might think of Marlo Thomas when they hear this name. She was actually born Margaret Julia Thomas but her nickname “Margo” turned into Marlo when she mispronounced it repeatedly as a child. Thomas was a prominent actor in the ‘60s so she’s another reason this name suits the decade.
Bond. James Bond. Need we say more? The first Bond movie, Dr. No, hit the silver screen in 1962 with Sean Connery playing the leading man. All told, there were seven Bond films released in the ‘60s.
Aside from the Bond franchise which continues to be uber successful, James was the 4th most popular boy’s name of the ‘60s. It currently ranks as the 7th most popular boy’s name in the U.S. It held the #1 spot between 1940 and 1952 and was in the top 10 between 1916 and 1992.
James means to "supplant or replace" and is actually a variant of Jacob. What’s particularly interesting is that its unconventional nicknames, Jim, Jamie, or Jimmy, really transform the name. Famous folks called James include James Blunt, James Cameron, James Patterson, and James Belushi.
Although the popularity of James could be due to the super cool secret spy, it was also the name of one of the apostles, and that might also have something to do with the name's popularity.
Audrey is a classically beautiful name that is Old English and means "noble strength”. It sounds pretty and sophisticated so it will transition well into adulthood.
Audrey was the 194th most popular girl’s name of the ‘60s but is seriously on the rise. It settled in at spot #37 most recently so its appeal is catching on.
The late Audrey Hepburn, film and fashion icon, is one reason the name appears on this list. Some of the roles she was best-known include the leads in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) and My Fair Lady (1964).
Appealing variants of the name include Audra or Audrea. Some parents are also opting for the name Aubrey (replace the “d” with a “b”) for their baby girls. This was historically a boy’s name but has definitely transitioned to a girl’s name now.
We think this name is not only charming, but pretty classy too for a little lady.
It probably isn’t too tough to figure out why the name Buzz makes this list. Buzz Aldrin was one of the first people to land on the Moon, and the second person to walk on it in 1969.
Buzz wasn’t actually his given name. He was born Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr. His elder sister pronounced "brother" as "buzzer” and Buzz was born. Today a name like Buzz is very on trend. Many “everyday” words are being chosen as baby names so Buzz fits that bill. Think about other everyday words turned names like Chase, Blaze, and Cash.
In any event, Buzz could be a very inspiring and very unique name for a little boy. One slight drawback to the name is that it is also a lead character in the Toy Story movies. Parents would have to think about how to navigate this if they did choose Buzz.
Curtis made it into the top 100 most popular boy names of the ‘60s, stealing spot #79. Although there are a lot of names more popular than Curtis through the decade, this one stands out given it has a youthful and hip feel to it but isn’t chosen to death today. In fact it ranked in at spot #527 most recently.
Another reason Curtis fits on this list is thanks to Tony Curtis. Tony Curtis was an actor with a long list of features through his career spanning the ‘40s through the ‘90s but he was most popular through the ‘50s and ‘60s. Other famous Curtis’ include Curtis Stone, Curtis Grimes, and Curtis Joseph.
Curtis arose as from an English surname which likely meant "courteous" in Old French. We particularly love this name because of its short form Curt or Kurt.
Edie makes it onto this list thanks to Edie Sedgwick. Edie was an American heiress, actress, and model. But what she was really best known for was her association with Andy Warhol. After starring in a string of his short films, she was dubbed “The Girl of the Year in 1965”. Vogue magazine also referred to her as a "Youthquaker".
Sedgwick was definitely one of the most iconic figures of the ‘60s. Even though her life was tumultuous, her influence lives on. But regardless of whom was called Edie before, we think the name is great. It’s pronounced EE-dee so the beginning “e” is long. Overall, the name sounds cute and spunky and avant-garde.
Edie is a short form for Edith. It undoubtedly has a much more youthful feel to it than its more matronly long form.
Considering this is a name form the 60s, it's pretty ironic that the name means, "Prosperous in war." But this could also mean that your little angle will be one kick butt lawyer one day!
Cary is pronounced the same way as the girl’s name Carrie. We’ve included Cary in our list to honor Cary Grant – one of Hollywood’s most handsome and famous leading men. Cary was 56 by the time the ‘60s rolled around but was still considered one of the hottest actors of that time. He starred in five films in the ‘60s including The Grass is Greener and Walk, Don’t Run.
We think Cary is a great name for a baby today. It’s boyish and charming and can transition nicely from a baby name to an adult name as a boy grows. This name doesn’t rank in the top 1,000 names for boys currently but we think it has great potential. Its peak year was 1966 when it came in as the 264th most popular name for a boy in the U.S. No doubt, any Cary would be unique in his school.
Lennon can be used for a boy or a girl. Most recently, it settled in at spot #609 for a boy and #516 for a girl. Naturally, one can’t think of the name Lennon without thinking of John Lennon of The Beatles, formed in 1960. In the early ‘60s, "Beatlemania" overtook the world making the group one of the most iconic and influential rock bands of any era.
Lennon is Irish in origin and represents the Anglicized version of the surname Ó Leannáin. It means "lover" in Gaelic which could set a boy or girl off to a good start in life. This name (for a boy) is more popular in England and Wales (#237) and the Netherlands (#273) than it is in the U.S.
Arguably Lennon hits several hot trends of today if parents choose it. First, it’s unisex, and second it’s unique. We think it’s a great choice for parents looking to bestow an offbeat name on their baby.
Melody is a great baby girl’s name befitting of the flower power era and so finds its way on this list. Melody was moderately hip in the ‘60s but then fell out of favor for a time. Although it has never been super-popular, it appears to be climbing in the ranks now. In 1999 it ranked as the 436th most popular girl’s name and has been gaining each year since such that it came in at spot #148 in the U.S. most recently.
As an “everyday” word, melody is of course associated with singing and music. There’d be an unwritten expectation that any baby girl named Melody could at least carry a tune.
The name is serene, calming, and beautiful. It’s similar to Melanie, of course, which is more popular. A cute nickname for your baby Melody could be Mel. It is more popular in the U.S. than in other parts of the world.
We are including Lisa here because the name made waves in the ‘60s, securing the #1 baby girl name spot between 1962 and 1969. We would never have guessed.
We bet you can think of at least half a dozen Lisas you know in their late forties or early fifties, right? And now we see there is a good reason why. This name is great for kids because it’s easy to spell, easy to say, and easy to read, making it a great name for school.
Even though it was very popular in the ‘60s, it isn’t very popular today. Last year it ranked in at spot #749 but we think think it will rise again.
It is said to English roots and is the short form of Elizabeth or one of its variants. Lisa means, “pledge to God”. Famous Lisas include Lisa Marie Presley, Lisa Kudrow, and Lisa Loeb.
The name Malcolm will always hold a place in the history of the ‘60s due to Malcolm X. Malcolm X was a minister and human rights activist who was assassinated in 1965. Malcolm X was a polarizing character but there is no doubt is one of the most influential leaders in American history.
Malcolm is Scottish in origin and means “servant of Saint Columba”. The feminine equivalent to Malcolm is “Malina” which is very pretty. Malcolm held a place in the top 1,000 baby boys’ names in the most recent year, capturing spot #420. It was most popular in 1965, the year Malcolm X was assassinated, settling in at spot #305.
We like the name Malcolm because it’s bold and strong and definitely isn’t mainstream. It would pair nicely with a simple and softer-sounding middle name like James or Charles.
We can’t think of this name without thinking of the late King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. He was born in 1935 and died young in 1977. By the time the 60s rolled around, Elvis was well established in the music scene. He spent much of the decade making films and their accompanying soundtracks.
The name Elvis has never surged in popularity but we think it’s because it is too laden with the Presley association. Enough time has passed that parents can safely resurrect the name for their babies. It’s cool and suave and highly original. It hasn’t even ranked on the top 1,000 baby boy name charts since 2011.
This name was bestowed upon Elvis Presley because his father bore the same middle name. The meaning of the name itself is unknown but there is speculation that it arose from a surname.
Jude is considered a quintessential hippie name. It has typically been used for a boy but we think it has unisex potential. It is currently rising in the ranks as a boy’s name. In the past 10 years it has climbed from spot #305 to #156.
“Hey Jude” is also the name of the uber popular song released by the Beatles in 1968 so there is another reason to include Jude on this list. At more than seven minutes in run time, it was one of the longest singles ever to top the British charts.
Typically the name Jude has been described as a diminutive of Judith or Judas but we think it works well as a standalone name. If parents chose it for their baby boy, he’d be in the company of A-list actor Jude Law.
Jude means "praised" and we think you and your child will be more than happy with this fabulous name.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include Mia on this list given it was likely popularized by the famous actress Mia Farrow. She rose to fame in the late ‘60s thanks to her role as Rosemary in Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby which earned her a Golden Globe for Best Actress.
It’s such a simple and pretty name, it’s no wonder much of the country and world has fallen in love with it too. Mia is currently the 6th most popular baby girl name in the U.S.
It has Latin origins and means “mine or wished for”. Historically Mia was short for Maria but is a name in its own right now. It originally appeared on the baby name charts in the early ‘60s and has been rising every since. It also has widespread appeal, ranking highly in many countries around the world.
Michael makes this list because it was the #1 boy’s name in the ‘60s. This means 833,402 American parents chose it for their baby boy over this time period. Of course, this name is currently very popular in the country overall, coming in at #9.
Michael reigned supreme between 1954 and 1998 at which time it was the #1 name in the country, save for in 1960 when it slipped briefly to spot #2. Michael is a solid upstanding name. Its biggest drawback is its popularity.
Everyone knows multiple Michaels, so if this is the name parents choose, their little boy will be in good company. It has Hebrew origins and means “who is like god?” which is meant to be a rhetorical question.
Famous Michaels include Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Michael Phelps, Michael J. Fox, and Michael Bublé to name a few.
The ‘60s was an important decade for the name Rachel because it rose in popularity 140 spots in the rankings during this time. It broke the top 100 most popular names for girls for the first time in 1969. Overall, Rachel registered as the 146th most popular girl’s name of the ‘60s.
Further, the name honors Raquel Welch, the beautiful and iconic singer and actress who was at her peak through the ‘60s. We doubt the name Raquel is going to come into mainstream popularity anytime soon but its close relative “Rachel” very well could.
Rachel is Hebrew in origin and means “ewe”. Rachel is currently the 167th most popular girl’s name in the U.S. and is more popular in Ireland (#75), (Canada #75), and Scotland (#80).
Rachel pairs well with most middle names, mono- or multi syllabic. We don’t feel there is any need to complicate its spelling by throwing in another “a” like some folks do.
Marilyn registered as the 143rd most popular girl’s name of the ‘60s. It was actually more popular in decades prior but likely fell out of favor after Marilyn Monroe’s death in 1962. Her character has been so intrinsically linked to the name that it was likely tough for parents to get over this association. Even though this name wasn’t on the rise in the ‘60s, it holds a prominent place there.
In the most recent year, Marilyn was the 426th most popular name for baby girls. It’s a very pretty and feminine name with appealing short forms like Mari, Mer, and Lynn. It actually came about as a combination of the names Mary and Lyn.
Aside from Monroe, famous Marilyns include Marilyn Dennis, Marilyn Manson, and Marilyn Horne. We think it’s ready for a comeback.
John was a very popular name through the ‘60s. It was consistently in the top five names for boys during this decade. In fact, it turns out that John is the 2nd most popular baby boy’s name of the last 100 years. Wow!
Its popularity through the ‘60s is not the only reason we included it on this list. It is also to honor the late John F. Kennedy who was assassinated in 1963. Despite so many years having passed, the JFK legacy lives on making “John” a very fitting name to honor this decade.
We also really like that the name John comes equipped with the unconventional nickname of Jack. We can thank the Normans for this. To them, Jen was a term for John. They often added the suffix “kin” when they were making nicknames, so there arises Jenkin. Eventually, this became Jakin, which gave way to Jack. Of course, Jack is a very popular stand-alone name now.
This name was very popular through the entire ‘60s. In fact, it was the 13th most popular name of the decade, spending each year within it in the top 20. It has been slipping steadily since then. Presently it is nowhere near as popular but ranks in at spot #147. Early results from 2016 suggest has dropped further in popularity.
Timothy has Greek roots and comes from the name Timotheos and means "honoring God". It comes equipped with a couple of solid diminutives, namely Tim or Timmy.
Timothy is a strong name that would pair well with a shorter middle name. Although it’s not uber popular, it’s familiar and likeable.
Famous Timothys include the Tim Robbins, Tim Gunn, Timothy Hutton and Timothy Dutton, the latter of whom portrayed James Bond in films. Tim Burton also comes to mind as does Tiny Tim (born Herbert B. Khoury).
Robin was very popular through the ‘60s but hasn’t been in the top 1,000 in the U.S. since 2004. This is interesting because we feel like it’s more common than it actually is. The alternate spelling “Robyn” is about as popular for a girl as Robyn with a “i” is, although Robin had wider appeal from the fifties through the seventies. It’s noteworthy that the name “Robin” actually came about as a nickname for Robert.
So at the end of the day, the name did not originate from the red-breasted bird of the same name but many people think of it that way. The bird may very well help to carry it on. It also makes it feel appropriate for an era focused on peace and love.
This name could also be used for a little boy but we think it’s better suited as a more feminine name. It ranked at spot #973 in 2015 for a boy. Famous Robins or Robyns include Robin Wright Penn, Robin Tunney, Robin Givens, and Robyn Lively.
Walter hails as the 82nd most popular boy’s name of the ‘60s. That fact alone is not very impressive but it deserves a spot on this list thanks to Walter Cronkite who began his 19 year reign as anchorman for the CBS Evening News in 1962.
Cronkite was considered "the most trusted man in America" after an opinion poll earned him the title. Given that he reported on so many profound news stories of the time, American hearts warmed to him.
The name Walter was more popular 100 years ago than it is now but we think it’s poised for a comeback. Most recently it ranked as the 308th most popular boy’s name in the country, having risen 75 spots since 2008. It’s possible this recent rise was due to the influence of Walter White, the fictional leading man from the TV show Breaking Bad which debuted in 2008 . That said, we’d hate to think parents would name their child after a meth chemist and dealer.
Walter is Germanic in origin and means "ruler of the army" so its meaning brings some gusto. We think the name sounds masculine and offbeat, and we love the short forms Walt or Wally.
Sidney is a significant name to the ‘60s thanks to the incredibly talented, sophisticated, and poised Sidney Poitier. In 1964, he became the first African-American to win an Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Homer Smith in Lilies of the Field. Further, 1967 was a truly breakout year for him when he starred in three box office hits, making him a bonafide superstar .
Sidney is a fabulous name that can be used for a boy or a girl. It originated from an English surname. It wasn’t particularly popular in the ‘60s but more recently it has come into vogue for girls but with the spelling “Sydney”. It ranked in at spot #122 for girls last year whereas “Sidney” for a boy ranked in at spot #999.
Suffice it to say parents would be original if they chose it for a boy or girl.