There is something about the 1960s that stirs deep motherhood movements inside me. Maybe it's all the cute pinafores babies wore back then and knee-high socks and daydreaming of Jackie O and pillbox hats and little girls in bright colored dresses. Maybe it's the pop of color in every 1960s house or the mod fabrics that made up entire couches. Or maybe it's just that the most popular
1960s baby names are so pure and wholesome and charmingly vintage that it makes me want to have seven children. (Husband, if you're reading this, stop hyperventilating.)
Truthfully, I think it's a combination of things. Of course the '60s were problematic and had a lot of bad things going for the decade, but these 37 baby names are still worthy of a birth certificate. Whether you're looking for something nobody else in your child's preschool class will have or you just want something vintage enough to remind the world of a time full of flower power, epic sitcoms, and Mary Tyler Moore, there's something on this list for you. I prefer baby names that conjure images of 80-year-old senior citizens, but these baby names from the 1960s pack a punch of charm that just can't be beat.
When's the last time you met a Jacqueline? Exactly. In the 1960s, Jacqueline was the
name chosen for 84,377 baby girls, and was just one spot short of being in the top 50 most popular, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Maybe thanks to the classy First Lady? It's not totally off-the-wall, but I think it's unique enough for your own kiddo and has a sweetness about it. Nameberry noted that the name Jacqueline means "supplanter" and has still remained fairly popular by being within the top 500 baby names of 2017. 2 Valerie
Valerie is preppy and bright and fun — I don't know why this name conjures such happy images for me, but it does. Back in the '60s, the name was given to 56,586 babies, reported the SSA, but it's not a super common choice now. The sweet name means "strength, health," according to Nameberry, and remained in the top 100 names until about 1988. It definitely has a bit of vintage flair to it, and makes me think of high school letterman jackets, root beer floats, and other Norman Rockwell images. (I have no idea why.)
Ralph. You guys, I love this name. It makes me think of Beverly Cleary's
Ralph S. Mouse series, and that is undeniably charming. In the decade of hippies and great music, Ralph was a steady choice for parents of little boys and ranked as the 105th most popular boy name of the decade, according to the SSA. So where did all the Ralphs go? Nameberry reported that it was a consistent top 30 choice from the 1870s to the 1920s, but hasn't been very popular since. Its vintage flavor can't be denied though, and this sweet moniker deserves an epic comeback. 4 Theodore
Ah, Theodore. This is one of our choices if we ever have a baby boy, and I just love the old-fashioned feel of it. In the '60s, Theodore was bestowed upon 21,296 babies, and it's slowly coming back in the modern day. Maybe we can thank Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver for that? People love the quirkiness and the sweetness of it, especially with all those cute nicknames. (Theo and Teddy are obviously my favorites.) According to Nameberry, the name also means "gift of God" if you like adding a bit of faith into your children's names.
Maybe it's because my daughter is obsessed with
Clifford the Big Red Dog, but man do I think this name is cute. It was given to 19,268 baby boys in the 1960s, but isn't really a fan favorite these days. Its meaning is pretty nature-inspired — "lives near the ford by a cliff" — but it's just too sweet to pass by on this list. Cliff is a really darling nickname, and you'll definitely have the only one in your child's kindergarten class. 6 Lorraine
Lorraine makes me think of my favorite movie,
Back to the Future, so its vintage charm knows no bounds. In the 1960s, the SSA reported that Lorraine was given to 22,246 baby girls, but nowadays, its popularity isn't quite so high. Nameberry noted that the name hasn't been very popular since those golden years, but with its French origin and its undeniable sweetness, it shouldn't take long for it to make a comeback. 7 Audrey
Thank you, Audrey Hepburn. I'm convinced the glamorous actress and humanitarian kept this name in the running back in the '50s and '60s, and it's still fairly popular today. In the '60s, it was given to 17,869 babies, but Nameberry reported that it's stayed in the top 50 since 2017. The name means "noble strength" and is incredibly chic and sophisticated while still being appropriate for a little girl.
Franklin is just quintessential "old-man" name territory, but I adore it. The SSA noted that in the 1960s, Franklin was the name for 13,888 babies (maybe thanks to FDR?), but hasn't been very popular since. The name means "free landholder," according to Nameberry, so it has a patriotic feel to it, even if it wasn't attached to a popular American president. Frankie is a super cute nickname if you choose this moniker, but honestly, the name Franklin just deserves its time in the spotlight.
Elaine might make you think of the dancing queen of
Seinfeld, but it's also a solid choice for your own baby girl. Nameberry noted that the name means "bright, shining light," which is literally the cutest baby name meaning I can think of. It's been popular for decades, and while it still remains in the top 600 these days, it's unlikely you'll have duplicate Elaines in your child's life. Back in the '60s, however, there were 27,464 little Es running around. 10 Dorothy
Dorothy is one of my favorites, but my husband totally hates it. (You guys, there is no cuter nickname than Dottie.) Apparently a lot of parents loved it in the '60s considering Dorothy was the 124th most popular baby name, but it seems a lot of modern parents side with my husband. According to Nameberry, it's not even in the top 600 anymore. The name means "gift of God," though, so I'm hoping its sweetness and charm will catapult it back into more popular standings. Dottie, you guys. How can you stand it?
Douglas is a pretty strong, distinguished name, but it's still pretty cute for your little guy. It's 1960s love was steady as it was the 30th most used baby boy name of the decade, but nowadays, it's losing some steam. Nameberry noted that the name means "black water" thanks to its Scottish roots, but just focus on the romantic magic of it thanks to the star Douglas Fairbanks. If you're looking for vintage, this is the one.
OK, so Bruce isn't exactly a name you never hear anymore, but it's still less popular than all of the Jacobs and Olivias of the world. Bruce is just cute, and in the '60s, it gave 74,655 baby boys a name. It's still within the top 500 these days, according to Nameberry, but I think it's unique enough to try. The name means "from the brushwood thicket," which is delightfully English-sounding, and has been delighting comic book fans for years. (Use Batman if you need to convince a partner who isn't on board with Bruce is all I'm saying.)
Wendy is as darling as Wendy Darling herself, my friends, and it's high time this sweet name made a comeback without a fast food joke. In the top 50 baby names of the 1960s, Wendy was given to 88,965 babies, but is hardly heard anymore. Nameberry noted that it's a "literary name," which is just about the best way to describe any moniker, and that it was actually created by J.M. Barrie when he wrote
Peter Pan back in 1904. I mean, it doesn't get much more unique than that. 14 Julie
Julie is my own mom's name and she was born in 1960, so this one's perfect if you want to honor the psychedelic decade. The name was mega popular in the '60s, coming in at number 18 for baby girls, but it's wavered ever since. Nameberry noted that it's just not considered as popular as other longer names these days, but Julie does mean "youthful," so there's a chance this cute moniker could make one heck of a comeback.
Guys, how precious is the name Susan? Whether you shorten it to Susie or not, it's totally sweet. Nameberry noted that the name means "lily," and has still managed to be in the top 1000 popular names, despite its vintage charm. In the '60s, Susan was the third most popular baby girl name.
OK, so Laura isn't exactly a name you never hear anymore, but it's not nearly as popular as it used to be. In the decade of
The Brady Bunch, it was the 16th most popular name for girls. These days, it's still in the top 400 according to Nameberry, and has a timeless feel about it. 17 Cynthia
I have known only one Cynthia in my entire life, so I'm definitely thinking this is one that deserves a comeback. In the '60s, Cynthia was the 10th most popular baby name, and I can only assume it was often shortened to Cindy.
Maybe this one was popular thanks to Greg Brady, or maybe Gregory is just strong enough to impress a ton of '60s parents. The name was given to 187,534 baby boys born in the decade, and has remained fairly popular ever since, but never as big as it used to be. According to Nameberry, Gregory means "vigilant, a watchman," which gives it a strong, impressive feel.
I just love the name Patrick. In the '60s, it was the 32nd most popular baby boy name and is still pretty popular today. But I think it deserves an epic comeback. Nameberry noted that Patrick means "noble," and its classic feel is one I love.
OK, seriously Rhonda sounds super old-fashioned, I know. But there's a reason why — you just never hear it anymore. According to Nameberry, the name means "noisy one," which is basically perfect for any child. In the '60s, that means there were a lot of loud Rhondas running around — 93,606, to be exact.
OK, Frank is one of my favorite baby boy names and my husband nixes it every time I suggest it. So here, I bequeath it to you. In the '60s, Frank was the name for 87,167 baby boys. It's still a favorite these days thanks to its old-fashioned charm, and it has such a sweet, warm feel to it.
OK, I love Peter, and I love that it's slowly coming back. Think of Peter Brady, the ultimate '60s Peter, and all 92,433 of the baby boys born in the decade with the name. According to Nameberry, the name means "rock," which makes it even sweeter for your little guy.
I actually don't know if I've ever met a Craig in real life, but I think the name is just too cute and spunky. The name's not super old-fashioned by any means, but it is considered unique these days. With a meaning like "from the rocks," it conjures some nature feels. In the '60s, there were 84,720 little Craigs rocking the same meaning.
How cute is Laurie? Bonus: you can use it for a girl or a boy. In the '60s, it was strictly a girl name with 74,447 baby girls having Laurie on their birth certificate, but these days, it's a unique gender-neutral moniker.
Margaret, Maggie, Mags — all perfect names for your little one. This has always been a classic, so calling for a comeback isn't exactly necessary, but in the 1960s, it was the 53rd most popular baby girl name.
Bradley had a moment in the late '80s and early '90s, but hasn't been as popular since. In the '60s, there were 48,739 little boys with the name, but now it's considered a pretty gender-neutral choice, which is super cute.
Russell may still be in the top 500 popular boy names, but it's not one you hear all the time. With a meaning like "redhead, fox-colored," it has a super rustic, sweet feel to it. In the '60s, there were 60,457 little boys with the name, but I also love the fun of Russ.
Gina is another short favorite from the '60s and was bestowed on 52,368 babies. You could totally try Regina if you wanted, but Gina is strong and cute enough to stand alone.
Maybe we can thank Judy Garland for this one, but in the '60s, Judy was given to 50,334 baby girls. I think it's so punchy and sweet, but you don't have to use the name Judith to get all of the good vibes from it. Seriously, nicknames are where it's at.
Oh Martha. If this name makes you think of George Washington's wife, refine your mind to head to the 1960s when it was the 94th most popular baby girl name. It's been slowly coming back, but with a meaning like "lady," it's just so precious.
Maureen is so pretty, you guys. In the '60s, there were 34,446 little girls with the name, but it's rarely used now. Nameberry noted that it means "bitter," as it's a variation of Mary, but really, let's not focus on that. It's just super cute and lovely.
Skip Penelope and the Kardashian popularity of that one, and go straight to Penny, the perfect '60s name. This one makes me think of retro swimsuits, cat-eye sunglasses, and ice cream cones. Basically, I'm in summer mood with the cuteness of the name Penny. In the 1960s, Penny was the given name for 38,223 babies, but these days, people focus more on the formal Penelope and then shorten it. Skip the formality. Penny is a "zesty moniker," according to Nameberry, and you know what — I totally have to agree.
Does this name conjure chin clefts and muscles for anyone else, or just me? I think I'm just imagining Clark Kent, but the name Kent is so cute and stands alone really well. Nameberry has hardly any info on it, which means Kent isn't super popular and a fairly unique name. Apparently it means "edge," and its one-syllable sound keeps it brisk and short. In the '60s, this was the name for 19,258 baby boys.
Veronica is a classic. Whether you call her Ronnie or Vi, this name has serious '60s vibes. Over 30,000 babies born in the decade were given this name, but it's only been the recent launch of
Riverdale that has people thinking about it again. According to Nameberry, the name means "he who brings victory; true image," so it's totally fit for your boss girl. 35 Warren
Warren just makes you think of those old decades, doesn't it? Could be because 18,558 baby boys in the 1960s were given the name and because it's still not immensely popular. Because vintage names are on the rise, it's getting some love again, but I still think it's worth helping out with an extra comeback. Warren means "park-keeper" thanks to its English origin, noted Nameberry, but it also just sounds fit for a baby
and a grown man to me. 36 Sally
Sally is just sweetness in a name, isn't it? I literally never hear this anymore, but in the '60s, it was the name for 24,347 new babies. (Maybe thanks to Sally Field in
Gidget and The Flying Nun?) I definitely think this one deserves a comeback, not only for the undeniable 1960s vibes, but also because the name means "princess," according to Nameberry, and that is just too cute. 37 Marcia
I feel like there's some rule here that you can only name your child Marcia if you promise to shout, "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" every time you need her. She'll totally love it. I don't know if
The Brady Bunch had anything to do with the name's success in the '60s, but Marcia was the name for 18,425 babies born in the decade. If you ask me, Marcia Brady is iconic, so the name deserves a comeback of epic proportions. According to Nameberry, the name means "warlike," which is exactly what Marcia Brady was when facing anything from a student council president election to a snotty girl on the cheerleading squad. Like I said — icon.