20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s

Mitch
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Roll up your sleeves, grab a soda pop, and let’s jitterbug back to the fabulous 1950s – a time of poodle skirts, Elvis Presley, and some cool baby names. So put on your dancing shoes; it’s time to jive through this list!

James

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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The name “James” was a hit in the 1950s, often appearing as a poster child on popular baby name lists. James was recorded a staggering 843,513 times during this decade, according to data from the Social Security Administration. This classic name, originating from Hebrew, carries the meaning of “supplanter,” one who follows.

Mary

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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This classic moniker was recorded 625,601 times throughout the decade. Mary, known for its timeless elegance and biblical roots, resonated with parents of the 1950s, proving its popularity by standing strong as one of the most common names of the decade.

Michael

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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“Michael” was recorded a staggering 837,079 times in the 1950s alone. This classic name, of Hebrew origin and meaning “who is like God?” has a timeless appeal that was particularly embraced by parents during the post-war baby boom.

Linda

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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Linda, meaning ‘pretty’ in Spanish, was recorded 804,240 times in the United States during this decade. In pop culture, Buddy Clark’s song “Linda” became a chart-topping hit around the same period, further boosting the name’s popularity.

William

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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As traditional as names come, William ranked highly among parents of this decade. There were around 410,565 registrations of this name in the 1950s. Its popularity may have been influenced by notable figures at the time, including Hollywood icon William Holden.

John

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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John, a name of biblical origin and meaning ‘God is gracious,’ was a front-runner in the 1950s. Parents across America were entranced by its timeless appeal and straightforward simplicity. Approximately 800,000 newborn Johns were registered during this decade, making it one of the most popular names of the era.

Susan

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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During this decade, it consistently ranked among the top ten names for girls, with an impressive record of over 440,000 newborn Susans in the United States alone. This name, rooted in Hebrew and meaning “lily,” was favored for its soft, melodic sound and representation of grace and purity. Susan’s popularity in the 1950s can also be attributed to popular cultural influences, such as the fame of actress Susan Hayward.

Barbara

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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With its timeless elegance, this name was a true sweetheart of the mid-20th century. This moniker graced over 345,718 birth certificates during this decade, making it one of the most chosen names for baby girls.

Mark

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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“Mark” held its own among the top 10 names for boys in America at that time. According to social security data, there were over 382,000 baby boys named Mark during this decade alone. The name, having Hebrew origins meaning ‘God of war,’ resonated with many parents, making it a standout choice during this period.

Deborah

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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Originating from Hebrew, Deborah means ‘bee,’ symbolizing hard work and dedication. In the 1950s, the U.S. Social Security Administration recorded over 430,000 baby girls named Deborah, making it the 4th most popular name for girls in that era.

David

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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This biblically inspired name, meaning “beloved,” truly lived up to its meaning, with an impressive 360,000 newborn boys named David in the United States during that decade. This high frequency made “David” the second most popular male name in the 1950s, only surpassed by “James.”

Joseph

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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“Joseph” consistently held a spot within the Top 20 names for boys throughout the decade. In fact, in 1950 alone, the name Joseph was recorded over 30,000 times, reflecting its widespread appeal.

Nancy

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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As per the U.S. Social Security Administration data, Nancy was the sixth most popular female name in the decade, with an impressive 296,980 registrations. Reflecting a blend of simplicity and sophistication, Nancy resonated with the harmonious vibe of the ’50s, continuing its popularity well into the subsequent decades.

Sandra

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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It’s a delicate derivative of Alexandra, meaning ‘defender of mankind.’ Sandra had quite the appeal during this era, with over half a million baby girls (approximately 574,665 to be specific) recorded with this name in the U.S.

Karen

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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In the 1950s, Karen was all the rage. This Scandinavian derivative took the nation by storm, ranking at number 3 for popular girl names. In fact, an impressive total of 878,214 baby girls were named Karen during this decade. Today, it may be associated with a certain stereotype, but in the 1950s, Karen was synonymous with charm and elegance.

Richard

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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Resonating with strong leadership qualities, it was recorded a staggering 882,187 times throughout the decade. Its popularity during this era emphasized the timeless appeal of classic, strong names. Richard is a name that has withstood the test of time, with roots dating back to ancient Germanic cultures.

Thomas

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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With a classic and timeless appeal, Thomas was a household name during this decade. Thomas was registered more than 600,000 times during the 1950s alone. The name, which has Greek origins and means ‘twin,’ was a top choice for parents seeking a strong, traditional name for their sons.

Donna

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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With its soft syllables and classic charm, this decidedly feminine name was a favorite among new parents during this golden era. The name Donna was recorded over 434,021 times in the United States within the decade, making it the 11th most popular name for girls.

Charles

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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This classic name, which exudes strength and tradition, saw an impressive number of registrations in the decade.  Charles was recorded 409,786 times in the 1950s, securing its place as one of the most popular names of the era.

Kenneth

20 Baby Names That Were Popular in the 1950s
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In this decade alone, the Social Security Administration recorded the name Kenneth over 600,000 times, making it one of the decade’s go-to names. Its popularity was owed mainly to its traditional Scottish roots and the meaning ‘handsome,’ which parents found charming. So, if you’re looking for a classic name with a vintage touch, Kenneth might be the ticket!

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20 Most Popular Baby Names in America and Their Meanings
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20 Most Popular Baby Names in America and Their Meanings

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Image/Wikimedia Commons

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  • Mitch

    A computer science enthusiast with a keen interest in technology and games, Mitchelle (Mitch) contributes a cutting-edge perspective to the Frenz Hub writing team, integrating her academic knowledge with her personal passions

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