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19 May 2022
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Most Popular Names of the Last 100 Years

What were the most popular names of the last 100 years? This is a question that many people are curious about. After all, names are a big part of our identity. In this article, we will take a look at the most popular baby names over the last century. We will also explore some of the reasons why these names became so popular.

So, what were the most popular names? The following list includes the top ten most popular names for both boys and girls:

For Boys:

John

John is a classic name with a long and interesting history. It was the most popular name in the United States for nearly two centuries! The popularity of John can be attributed to a number of factors, including its Biblical origins.

David

David is based on the Hebrew name “Dawid,” which means “beloved.” It’s no wonder this name has been so popular over the years! In the Bible, David was a shepherd who became the King of Israel. He is also the author of many of the Psalms.

Robert

Robert is a Germanic name that means “bright fame.” It became popular in the after the Norman Conquest of England in the 11th century. Robert the Bruce was a Scottish king who famously fought for Scottish independence against the English in the 14th century.

Michael

Michael is a Hebrew name that means “who is like God.” Michael is an archangel that is mentioned several times in the Bible. He is known as a protector and a warrior.

James

James is a Hebrew name that means “he who supplants.” It became popular in the western world after the translation of the Bible into English in the 14th century. James is the name of two books in the New Testament.

Joseph

Another biblical name, Joseph was the 11th son of Jacob and the firstborn of Rachel. His story is in the Book of Genesis. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers but eventually rose to a position of power in Egypt.

Christopher

Christopher is Greek and means “bearing Christ.” It was popularized by Saint Christopher, who is the patron saint of travelers.

William

William is a Germanic name that means “resolute protector.” Famous Williams include William the Conqueror, who was the first Norman king of England, and William Shakespeare, one of the most famous writers in history.

For Girls:

Mary

Everyone knows a Mary or three. This name figures heavily into Christian theology, of course, as the name of Jesus Christ’s mother. It also has Hebrew origins, deriving from the Hebrew name Miriam, which means “bitter.”

Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth II is the monarch of England and has held the title for over 60 years. She’s not the only Elizabeth to make history, however, as this name has been held by a number of powerful women throughout the years. Its Hebrew meaning is “my God is an oath” or “my God is abundance.”

Jennifer

Jennifer has been a popular name for girls since the 20th century. It is of Welsh origin and means “white wave” or “fair one.”

Patricia 

Patricia is a Latin name that means “noble” or “patrician.” The name has been made popular over the years by a number of famous women, including Patricia Heaton, an American actress best known for her role in “Everybody Loves Raymond”.

Lisa

Lisa is a Hebrew name that means “devoted to God.” While it was popular in previous generations, it has fallen out of favor in recent years.

Melissa

Melissa is a Greek name that means “honeybee.” The name was incredibly popular for 30 years, starting in the 60s. However, it has since fallen out of the top 1000 names for baby girls.

Karen

This name has taken on negative connotations in recent years. However, it was wildly popular in the mid-20th century. It is of Danish origin and means “pure”.

Sarah

Sarah is a Hebrew name that means “princess”. Sarah was the wife of Abraham and the mother of Isaac in the Bible. The name was popular in the Puritan community in the 17th century and has remained popular since then.

Thoughts

There are a few things that stand out when we take a look at this list. First of all, many of the most popular names have remained fairly consistent over the last 100 years. For example, John, David, and James were all in the top ten list for boys in 1920, and they are still popular today.

However, there are also some changes that we can see. For instance, girls’ names like Lisa and Melissa were much more popular in the 1980s than they are now. In addition, names like Ashley and Courtney did not even appear on the list until the 1990s. This just goes to show how much our naming conventions can change over time.

So, why do certain names become popular? There are a number of factors that can influence this. In some cases, it may be due to the popularity of a certain celebrity or public figure. For example, the name Jennifer rose in popularity after actress Jennifer Aniston became famous in the 1990s. In other cases, it may be because of religious or cultural reasons. For instance, the name Mary has remained popular for centuries because it is the name of the Virgin Mary in Christianity.

No matter the reason, it’s always interesting to see which names are popular in any given time period. It can give us a snapshot of the culture and values of that time.

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