It's not hard for Gen-Xers to remember the time on the NBC sitcom Friends when Rachel gave birth to a baby and decided to name her Emma. The episode was so popular that several moms-to-be who curled up in front of the telly every Thursday night to catch the show also named their newborn girls Emma, one of the most popular baby names in the '90s.
As it turns out, Emma is making a comeback, given that Friends is still in syndication. So is Charlotte, another holdover from the Bill Clinton years, although much of that was probably inspired by the fact that Prince William and his Duchess wife Kate christened their first daughter with that same name.
But much like denim overalls and old-school gangsta rap that had their heydays in the '90s, baby names used during the final decade of the 20th century are back in a big way almost 30 years later. At least those are the findings of a survey conducted by UK-based parental website, Mumsnet.
Emma, which was the eighth most popular name in the '90s, is edging its way back into the baby-moniker charts at number 53 and climbing. Daniel, which was the fourth-most used name back then is faring better, enjoying an upward climb in the 28th berth. Others getting the '90s nostalgia treatment include Samuel (currently 24th), Hannah (57th ) and Luke (59th).
"Naming trends tend to go in cycles, but it’s taken 80 years or so for Ivy, Mabel and Noah to become popular again, so it’s interesting to see '90s names coming back so quickly," said Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts.
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But according to Mumsnet, the most popular baby name so far in 2018, at least in the UK, is Gareth, presumably due to the efforts of soccer manager Gareth Southgate, who helmed the English squad to a semi-final finish in the FIFA World Cup earlier this year.
If the '90s are all the rage, anything to do with the flower power movement is definitely on the wane. Mumsnet reported that the most popular names from the '60s, such as Diane, Tracey, Susan, Jacqueline, and Sharon, are a lot less common these days and continue to spiral. The most common name from that decade, Helen, was rejected by three out of four survey respondents.
The most popular baby names on a Mumsnet survey revealed in 2017 were Oliver for boys and Olivia for girls, but that may change with the current '90s trend on the rise.