The 20 Most Popular Boys’ Names From The 1960s

What’s in a name? Everybody’s got one, yet anyone who’s ever had to introduce themselves with a last initial knows that some names are more common than others. For some, this may seem like a fluke, a mere coincidence — until they find themselves in a room with four people with the exact same name as them.

Strange as it seems, their parents didn’t get together and plan this out (but, hey, stranger things have happened). Certain names have enjoyed historic levels of popularity throughout different decades, and during the 1960s, these popular names were far from those we consider “common” today.

20. Christopher: From the Greek “Christóforos,” Christopher translates to “Christ-bearer.” A whopping 237,203 boys were given the name in the 1960s, including comedy legend Chris Farley.

Jeffrey Mayer / WireImage

19. Daniel: Of Hebrew origin, Daniel is derived from the biblical figure of the same name and means “God is my judge.” Miami Dolphins legend Dan Marino is just one of the 242,092 Daniels born in the 1960s.

oe Robbins / Getty Images

18. Paul: Initially common as a Roman family name in the form of Paulus or Paullus, the name Paul was given 242,547 times in the 1960s. The name translates to “small” or “humble” … or maybe not so humble.

Bettmann / Getty Images

17. Charles: Given to 249,436 boys during the 1960s, the name Charles is of Germanic origin and means “free man.” The name has also come to be associated with royalty — no wonder it was given to Prince Charles!

Keystone / Getty Images

16. Brian: A popular name in Ireland, Brian is believed to be derived from an Old Celtic word meaning “high” or “noble.” In the 1960s, 258,214 boys were given this regal moniker.

H. Armstrong Roberts / ClassicStock / Getty Images

15. Scott: Originally taken from a Scottish surname that referred to someone from Scotland or someone who spoke Scottish Gaelic, the name Scott translates to “Gaelic speaker.” Evidently, there were 266,884 Gaelic speakers born during the 1960s!

Three Lions / Getty Images

14. Kevin: The anglicized version of the Irish name “Caoimhín,” Kevin translates to “handsome birth.” There were apparently 271,463 handsome births during the 1960s, including that of comedian Kevin James.

Maureen Donaldson / Getty Images

13. Timothy: The name Timothy is derived from the Greek “Timotheos,” which means “honoring God.” A cool 276,858 babies were given this name in the ’60s, though it’s safe to say most of these boys probably preferred baseball over Sunday mass.

H. Armstrong Roberts / ClassicStock / Getty Images

12. Joseph: From the Hebrew “Yosef”, the name Joseph means “to add” or “to increase.” If one thing’s for sure, the number of Josephs in the world increased significantly in the 1960s — by 283,104, to be exact.

Reg Speller / Fox Photos / Getty Images

11. Steven: Along with its variation “Stephen,” this name comes from the Greek “Stéphanos” and translates to “reward, honor, renown, fame.” Several notable Stevens came from the 290,674 born in the 1960s, including the lovable Steve Carell.

Tim P. Whitby / Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images for BFI

10. Jeffrey: A variant of the Middle French name “Geoffrey,” Jeffrey means “pledge of peace.” Judging by the look on this boy’s face, he’s probably not one of the 302,054 peaceful Jeffreys that came out of the ’60s.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

9. Thomas: This name is the Greek form of the Aramaic name Ta’oma’, which means “twin” and “leader.” Of the 327,158 boys named Thomas born in the 1960s, how many could really have been twins?

Constance Bannister Corp / Getty Images

8. Richard: Another name often used among kings, Richard is derived from the old Germanic words “ric” (ruler) and “hard” (strong), meaning “strong in rule.” Though their mothers may have crowned them as such, it looks like none of the 373,974 Richards born in the ’60s became kings.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

7. William: A popular name following the Norman conquest of England, William translates to “vehement protector.” We should all feel much safer now, as 421,539 of these protectors were born in the 1960s.

H. Armstrong Roberts / ClassicStock / Getty Images

6. Mark: On the other hand, those Williams better watch out for the 441,446 Marks born during the ’60s. The name is derived from the old Latin “Mart-kos,” meaning “consecrated to the god Mars,” and also may mean “God of war” or “to be warlike.”

Hulton-Deutsch Collection / CORBIS / Corbis via Getty Images

5. Robert: The second most frequently used given name of ancient Germanic origin, Robert comes from the Proto-Germanic “Hrōþiberhtaz,” which translates to “bright fame.” Fittingly, Robert Downey Jr. was one of the 650,872 Roberts born in the 1960s.

Mark Davis / Getty Images

4. James: This name is a derivative of the Latin name “Iacobus,” which itself comes from the Hebrew name “Jacob.” James translates to “supplanter” or “he grasps the heel,” though most of the 684,885 babies given this name in the ’60s probably preferred their heels resting on the TV set.

Dennis P Hallinan / UNIC NA / Getty Images

3. John: Through the Hebrew name “Yohanan,” the Greek “Iōánnēs,” and the Latin “Ioannes,” 713,540 boys were given the name John in the 1960s. The name means “Graced by Yah.”

Chaloner Woods / Getty Images

2. David: The name David comes from the Hebrew “Dawid,” which is derived from the word “dod,” meaning “beloved” or “uncle.” Considering 734,056 boys were named as such back in the day, it’s safe to say the name — and hopefully the children, too — was pretty beloved.

Rae Russel / Getty Images

1. Michael: From the Hebrew “Mikha’el,” Michael means “who is like God?,” a rhetorical question implying no person is like God. Of the 833,254 Michaels born in the 1960s, notable names include Mike Tyson, Michael J. Fox, Mike Meyers, and Michael Jordan.

Alexander Hassenstein / Bongarts / Getty Images

Flash back a decade, and the most popular girls’ names are just as surprising as the boys’. Mary was the most popular girl name in the United States from 1880 to 1961. It fell out of the top 100 for the first time in 2009.

Sam Salt / Flickr

2. Linda: This name is another one that has stood the test of time, with some of the most famous Lindas being born during the 1950s. The list includes actress Linda Blair, model Linda Evangelista, and Terminator star Linda Hamilton.

H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock/Getty Images

3. Patricia: This nam may have been very popular during the 1950s, but Patricia has certainly fallen out of popularity. In 2018, it was the 918th most popular girls name in the United States. So, if you know someone named Patricia today, she is pretty special.

Jenette Ashe / Flickr

4. Susan: This name hit peak popularity during the 1940s and ’50s. Of course, this name is one of the most nicknamable, leading to Sue, Susie, and Suz. And how can we forget the convenient kitchen tool, the Lazy Susan?

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

5. Deborah: In 1955, the name Deborah reached peak popularity when it became the second most popular name in the United States! The alternate spelling “Debra” was also in the top ten names during the ’50s.

George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Image

6. Barbara: Glamorous actresses like Barbara Stanwyck and Barbara La Marr cemented the popularity of the name during the ’20s and ’30s, keeping it popular through the ’50s. However, the name went out of style in the ’60s.

Wikimedia Commons

7. Karen: Today, this name is often jokingly associated with a middle-aged woman seeking help from a manager, but during the 1950s, it was all the rage. In 1956 alone the name when up 117% in usage!

8. Nancy: Although the Nancy Drew mystery series gained popularity well before the ’50s, the name stuck around. Plus, Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, was born in 1957 during the Nancy boom!

9. Donna: The origin of the name Donna is pretty simple: it means “woman” in Italian. Ritchie Valens released a song “Oh Donna” in 1958, which lead to an all-time peak of babies named Donna in 1959.

10. Cynthia: Although this name might make you think of the adorable Cindy Brady, the fairly common title surprisingly has its roots in Greek mythology. The Greek goddess Artemis was born on Mount Cynthus, earning her the sometimes-nickname Cynthia.

I Love Lucy / CBS

11. Sandra: Anyone named Sandra has a lot to live up to, even from birth. The name means “protector of man” and rose to popularity during the 1920s. It peaked during the 1960s because of popular figure Sandra Dee.

Wikimedia Commons

12. Pamela: The year 1954 saw over 27,000 girls named Pamela born. It was popular during the ’40s and ’50s, but fell out of popularity in the 1960s, when it wasn’t even in the top 1,000 most popular girl names.

13. Kathleen: This Irish name was in the top 100 most popular named from 1948 to 1953. It is the subject of old songs such asI’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen,” sung by Bing Crosby. It was also popular in the 1980s.

Wikimedia Commons

14. Carol: The popular comedian Carol Burnett helped create a wave of Carols during the 1950s. Sadly, today it is on the verge of extinction in the United States, as it has basically disappeared from the popular name charts.

Wikimedia Commons

15. Diane: Diane reached peak use in 1955 and is one of the rare names that managed to remain popular throughout the 1990s. However, by 2015, it fell out of the top 100 most popular names.

16. Janet: If you know someone named Janet, hopefully they have managed to be humble even though the name means “God’s gracious gift.” The name is certified vintage, as hardly any new baby girls are graced with the name.

alexsc23 / Reddit

17. Elizabeth: As a name literally fit for a queen, Elizabeth has been consistently popular for a long time. It has remained on the top 25 list of girls names for the past 100 years.

BiblioArchives / Flickr

18. Margaret: A popular choice among saints and royals, this name has been popular in the United States since the 1800s. Plus, it comes with cute nicknames like Peggy and Maggie!

19. Janice: Long before Chandler from Friends dated his Long Islander girlfriend with this name, the Baby Boomers were all named Janice. The name dropped off in popularity by the 1970s.

Wikimedia Commons

20. Carolyn: This cheery title means “song of happiness,” so anyone named Carolyn will probably brighten your day. The 1950s had some interesting names, but there is something that decade is even more famous for: slang terms that need to make a comeback.

“Wig chop” – Every pompadour needs a touch-up now and then. Elvis and other greasers went to their local barbers for a regular wig chop, or haircut. Obviously, the “wig” part is just a joke, though Elvis (a natural blond) did dye his hair!

“Come on snake, let’s rattle” – Mia Wallace and Vincent Vega would’ve approved of this slang. The reptilian idiom is an invitation to dance, perhaps to Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell.”

A Band Apart

“Backseat bingo” – A favorite activity of sweethearts at the drive-in theater, this is slang for making out. Unlike actual bingo, your chances of winning this game are decently high — plus it’s actually fun most of the time.

gliggett / Reddit

“Give me a bell” – Decades ago, phones couldn’t take photos or play Candy Crush. All you could do was call friends and hope they’d pick up. This request meant that you wanted someone to call you, as folks used to actually look forward to a ringing phone.

20th Century Fox

“Bird dog” – Luckily, this term doesn’t refer to some mad science experiment gone awry. A bird dog, like a bloodhound following a trail, is a shifty guy who tries to steal someone else’s date.

Shelby Denison / Twitter

“Radioactive” – Contrary to the Cold War tensions of the era, 1950s folk described incredibly popular things as “radioactive.” This probably made sense because nuclear technology was relatively new at the time, although now nobody would want to get close to radioactive food or clothes.

“Later, gator” – Often followed by, “After a while, crocodile,” it’s just a cool way to say goodbye. Bill Haley and His Comets even managed to score a hit song in 1955 called “See You Later, Alligator.”

“Ankle biter” – It’s not just Charlie from the famous YouTube video that has a biting problem. Apparently ’50s tots were constantly sinking their teeth into their parents’ legs, because adults coined “ankle biter” to refer to any young child.

HDCYT / YouTube

“Made in the shade” – A nice shadow is more than just a way to avoid sunburn at the beach. This idiom describes an ideal situation where nothing is wrong or something that is a total success.

“-ville” – You can add this suffix to any adjective to describe a place, real or imaginary. Coolsville is where all the hip daddy-os hang out. Squaresville is full of nerds. And Nashville, well, that’s actually just the name of a city in Tennessee.

Warner Premiere

“Cruising for a bruising” – Tough guys like James Dean dropped this catchy line to let other fellas know that they were seconds away from instigating a fight. Violence is never the answer, but at least these toughs had a passion for rhymes.

Warner Bros.

“Pile up z’s” – Frank Sinatra would’ve done this after a long night of performing and partying with the Rat Pack out in Vegas. It just means going to sleep — with or without the most famous set of blue eyes in the world.

“Razz my berries” – How did people in the 1950s feel about fruit? Well, if something got your proverbial berries razzed, then you felt excited or impressed. There’s no evidence of anyone’s berries ever being cranned or blued, however.

Canal+

“Meanwhile, back at the ranch…” – At the end of a long digression, people used this phrase to get a conversation back on track. The phrase is a reference to western dramas, which were everywhere in the 1950s, and was meant to curtail blabbermouths, who are still everywhere.

Wikimedia Commons

“Go for pinks” – Hear those motors rumbling in the distance? That sound usually follows this phrase, which is a challenge to drag race. The winner would get the pink slip to the loser’s car, giving him ownership.

LucasFilm

“Bash my ears” – Ralph Kramden probably wasn’t hip enough to know the slang of his time, but the main character of The Honeymooners certainly knew what it was like to get your ears bashed, or to get talked at too much.

“Knuckle sandwich” – If you’re familiar with this dish, then you know you won’t find it on an actual menu. A knuckle sandwich is nothing but a punch delivered straight to the mouth. Worst of all, it doesn’t come with fries.

Premiere Hip Hop

“Earth pads” – You might be thinking this term has something to do with the space race, but you can get those images of rockets and satellites out of your head. Earth pads the strips of rubber keeping your feet off the dirt, otherwise known as shoes.

“Agitate the gravel” – This saying isn’t literal, so no need to start a brawl with your driveway. It’s roughly equivalent to “let’s go,” but with lots of extra syllables. Perfect for when you’re at a boring place, but aren’t in a hurry.

“Daddy-o” – Every greaser knew daddy-o referred to a man, usually a cool one. And while Americans won’t find a self-described daddy-o outside of a vintage diner, there is one place in the world where plenty of people still hold on to that label.

When you picture the average Tokyo resident, you might imagine a businessman who spends most of his time crammed into crowded subways or board meetings. There are plenty of those, but not everyone in Japan is so buttoned-up.

David Tesinsky

Daigo Yamashita certainly isn’t one of those squares. Going by the moniker Johnny Jeana, he spends each morning meticulously sculpting his hair into a tall, slicked-back mound. It’s a tribute to one man who’s the personal hero of Johnny and many others in Japan.

YouTube / NOWNESS

That would be the King of Rock and Roll. Even decades after his death, Elvis Presley remains as iconic a cultural touchstone as ever. His heyday during the 1950s represents an era of fun and innocence that many fans are desperate to connect with.

Alfred Haber

Most people can get their 1950s fix simply by checking out a retro diner or watching an old movie. Johnny Jeana and his pals, on the other hand, are far more dedicated. It’s not unusual for all of Tokyo to be staring at them.

Flickr / Heath Cajandig

These diehards make up Tokyo’s little-known rockabilly subculture. Instantly recognizable by their incredible pompadours and leather get-ups, the greasers frequent many of the city’s parks on weekends. They’re not just playing dress-up either.

The rockabilly lifestyle is the most important part of many of their lives, and some have been members of this retro circle since their teens. As a matter of fact, Japan’s love affair with American rock and roll predates Elvis.

Flickr / HIADA

The Japanese weren’t just following American trends; they made the culture their own. From the day that singer Chiemi Eri covered “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and His Comets in 1955, greasers popped up all over the country, which terrified more conservative folk.

A biker gang called the kaminari zoku, meaning “thunder tribe” arose soon after. They tore up the streets with rampant drug use, fighting, and illegal racing, but also provided a sense of identity for youth raised in a country ravaged by war.

With the Cold War brewing not long after, the leather clad-gangs died out. Japan was no longer as interested in imitating the fashions of the politically aggressive Americans. Still, they couldn’t stay away from rock forever.

Flickr / Andrea Hale

The 1980s saw Japan’s love for the oldies come roaring back. All of the sudden, there were more pompadours and pointed boots walking Tokyo’s streets than ever. Musicians started blasting rockabilly music around every club and street corner.

Between writing their own boogie-woogie tunes and covering classics by Elvis and Eddie Cochran, rock and roll seemed like it was here to stay. Specialty stores opened up for greasers like Johnny Jeana to always dress to the nines.

Flickr / Mattias Hallberg

Specialty boutiques like Jumpin’ Jack’s peddle the vintage clothing and tubs of pomade necessary to keep this subculture alive. But make no mistake — the ardent rockabillies are more than just a fashion trend.

YouTube / NOWNESS

It’s a way of life, one that places extensive demands on the greasers’ wallets and careers. Johnny, for instance, works as a nightclub rock singer whenever he can land a gig. Every minute of stagetime is becoming increasingly precious.

Instagram / johnny_daigo

That’s because, with every passing year, it’s undeniable that Japanese rockabilly is shrinking. Leaders of the movement are getting older or dropping out, while many younger people simply aren’t interested in reviving 1950s counterculture.

Flickr / Andrea Hale

For long-standing members, keeping up with retro looks can take its toll. Members of the Rockabilly Club often resort to keeping their old boots intact with duct tape. Others who are severely balding have given up on their slicked-back ducktails.

YouTube / NOWNESS

Even so, any Japanese greaser will tell you that they wouldn’t give up the lifestyle for anything in the world. They still meet up every Sunday in the scenic Yoyogi Park to crank up some Bill Haley and shake a tail feather.

Flickr / Andrea Hale

Throw in a couple souped-up hot rods, and the rockabillies are guaranteed to draw a crowd any given weekend. The exposure should keep this niche group going, especially in the age of social media. A few animal-lovers in the group have already acted accordingly.

Flickr / Olivier Lejade

With custom jackets and biker goggles, a couple canines have joined the trend! That adds an extra layer of meaning when the greasers get down to Elvis’ “Hound Dog.” While members consider themselves descendants of the kaminari zoku, the modern gang is far more accessible.

Flickr / Dave Golden Photography

With such an invigorating blend of old and new, East and West, Japense rockabilly will live on. After all, far more elaborate subcultures are flourishing in other parts of the world. Maybe Johnny Jeana can take a hint from some of the more metal rockers out there.

YouTube / NOWNESS

Under the open sky of the Mojave Desert, a mob dressed in tattered leather cheers on a fire-breather. It looks a lot like some barbaric civilization risen out of the ashes of the apocalypse. But it’s something else entirely.

Las Vegas Review-Journal / Benjamin Hager

It’s a yearly festival! Known as “Wasteland Weekend,” the California event spans four days and welcomes fans of all things post-apocalyptic to party down and show off their striking costumes. One particularly big cultural touchstone inspired the festival.

Wired / Tod Seelie

The George Miller fans out there will recognize that Wasteland Weekend is all about Mad Max. This film franchise depicts a dystopian future where humanity breaks down into violent tribes and fights over the remaining resources.

With the popularity of the Mad Max films, thousands of wastelanders make it out to the festival every year. Attendees kick up a huge cloud of dust as they arrive in monstrous, tricked-out vehicles. Up close, the guests are even scarier.

Daily Mail / Todd Seelie

Each year since the first Wasteland Weekend in 2010, festival-goers show up in crazy outfits. They combine military, punk, and horror elements to create some truly frightening visuals — though it’s all in good fun.

Food and Wine

The most serious attendees put together both incredible outfits and custom vehicles to recreate some of the most iconic moments from Mad Max. It’s hard to miss one of the series’ biggest villains — or at least a guy dressed like him — perched atop this vehicle.

Daily Mail / Todd Seelie

It’s the fearsome Immortan Joe! In Mad Max: Fury Road, he rules over the wasteland with an iron fist and a massive army of cultish supporters. In real life, fortunately, Joe is just at the festival to have a wild time.

Naturally, War Boys — ghoulish members of Immortan Joe’s fleet — are a popular costume at the Wasteland Weekend. We can only hope they pack a lot of sunscreen! At the same time, the festival also offers plenty for fans of the older Mad Max flicks.

Nerdist

Tina Turner made a big splash back in 1985 as Aunty Entity in the series’ third installment, Beyond Thunderdome. Thanks to Wasteland Weekend, her deadly arena is more than just a figment of George Miller’s imagination.

Flickr / hytam2

Thunderdome is real! Of course, they take plenty of safety measures to ensure that nobody is actually clobbered to pieces. Participants wear safety harnesses, and the “weapons” are made of PVC pipe and foam. Still, this Thunderdome makes for a fun show.

Wired / Todd Seelie

And for guests who’d prefer not to get so down and dirty, Thunderdome also has a thumb wrestling version. The miniature cage will stop your opponent from using his other hand to cheat.

Wanderlust and Pie

Along with the number of guests paying homage to specific characters, Wasteland Weekend offers plenty of room for creativity. Many others piece together totally original costumes, with unique personas to boot. They only add to the depth of the festival.

Wired / Todd Seelie

Take, for example, this mohawked raider. Between his hair spiked shoulder pads, he sure looks sharp. There may not be much water after the apocalypse, but it looks like there is still plenty of hair gel to go around.

AFP

But this woman isn’t green with envy – except for her hair. She’s got her own dazzling get-up. Channeling a bit of Disney’s evil Maleficent, she created a character she calls The Sand Witch.

Red Bull / Jim Krantz

Speaking of apocalyptic wordplay, these gearheads transformed an old school bus and dubbed it a “Cruel Bus.” With a set of scary jaws painted on the front and a (fake) harpoon launcher on the roof, it certainly lives up to its name.

Daily Mail / Todd Seelie

The Cruel Bus isn’t the only vehicle with a bark as big as its bite. With a few buckets of paint, one owner of a finned 1962 Cadillac turned his ride into a shark.

In addition to the cars and trucks, attendees show up with lots and lots of motorcycles. These bikes are perfect for speeding across the Mojave terrain. It gets hot riding through the desert with no roof, but lots of Wastelanders have inventive ways to stay out of the sun.

This partygoer not only covered her face in a sinister wrap and headdress; she also brought along a metal umbrella. That’s the kind of accessory that’s perfect for creating some shade and winning some glory in the Thunderdome!

LA Weekly

With his ominous mask and black wings, it’s no surprise this reveler calls himself The Crow. It’s hard to believe that after the long weekend wraps up, The Crow probably flies back to some office job!

Todd Seelie

And if night falls before you arrive, just look for a lantern lighting the way. Professional cosplay model Jessica Nigri stole the entire show with her ghostly shaman costume.

Las Vegas Review-Journal / Benjamin Hager

Wasteland Weekend happens at the end of every summer in California City. If you make it out there, you shall ride eternal, shiny, and chrome. Will next year be your time to take over the world?

Daily Mail / Todd Seelie

Recommended From Eternally Sunny

Stay up to date on the
latest trending stories!

like our facebook page!