Grade school was a long time ago—longer ago than we’d like to admit. Names have changed since then. It was common to meet three girls named Jessica in one class, separated only by a varying second initial. Boys had shortened nicknames of their full name, often a familial trait passed on with each generation of Juniors, seconds and thirds.
In 1988, Jessica was the top name reported by Social Security for girls. Jessica stayed within the top 10 names until 2001, falling to the eleventh spot. Ten years later, Jessica ranked in the 120th spot—girls named Jessica today would have a unique name. Or a dated one.
Michael was the most popular baby name for boys in 1988, and has consistently stayed within the top range of names since then. Michael was ranked 6th in 2011. Names like Michael don’t seem to be going anywhere, but names like Mason and Jayden are replacing its previous top spots. Will Jayden go the way of Jessica and drop dramatically in popularity?
Boys saw a different change from 1988 to 2011. While the top girls name fell out of use, one of the lower ranking boy’s names became the most popular. Jacob ranked 29th in 1988, but has been the number one boy’s name since 1999—it took the top spot from Michael.
Are the names most of today’s kids grew up with outdated, or vintage enough to make a comeback? It seems like for the girls, names from the 80s are out, but boys are holding on to the classic style.
Check out this list of names we saw in grade school for both boys and girls that we rarely see used for babies anymore. Are any of these names yours?
Aaron (Hebrew): One who is exalted; From the mountain of strength
Timothy (Greek): One who honors god
Jason (Hebrew/Greek): God is my salvation/ Healer; In mythology, leader of Argonauts
Eric (Scandinavian): Ever the ruler
Kyle (Gaelic): From the narrow channel
Robert (German): One who is bright with fame
Jessica (Hebrew): The lord sees all
Amanda (Latin): One who is much loved
Nicole (Greek): Feminine form of Nicholas; Of the victorious people
Heather (English): Resembling the evergreen flowering plant
Kayla (English): Keeper of keys; Pure
Megan (Welsh): Form of Margaret, meaning “resembling a pearl/ child of light”