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These 100 baby names totally rocked the 1980s

  • These 100 baby names totally rocked the 1980s
    1/ Patryk Kosmider // Shutterstock

    These 100 baby names totally rocked the 1980s

    Known for the emergence of MTV, the rise of neon, and the invention of the mixtape, the 1980s were certainly a rockin' era in American history. New economic policies were introduced, the news network CNN launched, and, much less enjoyable, Wall Street crashed on the infamous Black Monday—the worst one-day decline in American stock market history. Sandra Day O'Connor was nominated by President Ronald Reagan as the first female Supreme Court justice, the Cold War saw the beginning of the end as the Berlin Wall began to fall, and millions watched in horror as the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded on live television.

    Among all the big hair, Rubix cubes, and shoulder pads, however, there were still plenty of babies being born during this defining time. And with celebrities like Michael J. Fox and Robert Palmer reaching their peak fame during the ‘80s, it's no surprise that many parents chose to name their kids after them.

    To see just how popular these names were, Stacker used data from the Social Security Administration Baby Name Ranks from 2019 to find the number of babies given each name between 1980 and 1989. According to the SSA, the 200 most popular names were taken from 19,237,195 male births and 18,455,213 female births during this time period. For comparison, we also included the rank and number of births for each name in 2018 and discovered the name origins from the baby-naming experts at Parents.com. Any fun facts, cultural trends, or stands-outs about these popular names were also mentioned

    Just like scrunchies and PAC MAN, Americans can still hold onto some of the best aspects of the ‘80s, including baby names (some things never get old). So whether you're welcoming a new little one into the world this year or just curious, these are the 100 most popular baby names of the 1980s.

    You may also like: Stories behind the 50 most popular baby names for girls

  • #50 Boy: Alexander
    2/ Voiceboks // Wikimedia Commons

    #50 Boy: Alexander

    - Rank in the 1980s: #50
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 81,995
    - Rank in 2018: #11
    - Births in 2018: 11,989

    Alexander is a name that has stood the test of time in terms of popularity, all the way back to Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C. The name is of Greek origin and translates into “defender of man.” One of the most popular shows of the decade, “Family Ties,” featured a male character by the name of Alex, which may have influenced parents.

  • #50 Girl: Allison
    3/ Pexels

    #50 Girl: Allison

    - Rank in the 1980s: #50
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 62,333
    - Rank in 2018: #69
    - Births in 2018: 3,678

    A derivative of Alice, which comes from the French “noble and graceful,” Allison become increasingly less popular between the 1980s and today. The classic teen dramedy “The Breakfast Club” premiered in the mid-80s, starring icons Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy, the latter of which took on the role of relatable outcast Allison.

  • #49 Boy: Jesse
    4/ STANZI // Shutterstock

    #49 Boy: Jesse

    - Rank in the 1980s: #49
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 85,919
    - Rank in 2018: #185
    - Births in 2018: 2,126

    Jesse Jackson became one of the most influential African American civil rights leaders of the age and became a promising presidential candidate in both 1984 and 1988. The name Jesse comes from the Hebrew “Yishay,” which translates into “God's gift.”

  • #49 Girl: Kathryn
    5/ PxHere

    #49 Girl: Kathryn

    - Rank in the 1980s: #49
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 62,443
    - Rank in 2018: #453
    - Births in 2018: 692

    With a wide variety of spellings and a popular name in the Christian world, Kathryn comes from the Greek origin meaning “chaste, pure.” The name is shared with many Catholic saints and is therefore also popular among royalty. The first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Director (for 2009's "The Hurt Locker"), Kathryn Bigelow, directed “The Loveless” in 1981 (William Defoe's first starring role) and “Near Dark” in 1987.

  • #48 Boy: Tyler
    6/ Pixabay

    #48 Boy: Tyler

    - Rank in the 1980s: #48
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 86,453
    - Rank in 2018: #119
    - Births in 2018: 3,298

    Tyler has quite a literal translation, and comes from the Old English language derived from an occupational surname to designate an actual “tile maker.” Tyler was traditionally used as a masculine given name but has recently begun to gain more popularity as a feminine name. Steven Tyler was a huge musical influence during the 1980s; his band Aerosmith released “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” in 1987 and “What It Takes” in 1989.

  • #48 Girl: Maria
    7/ PxHere

    #48 Girl: Maria

    - Rank in the 1980s: #48
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 65,706
    - Rank in 2018: #116
    - Births in 2018: 2,595

    Maria is derived from the Hebrew “Miryam,” but the meaning has been debated over the years. There are a few possibilities, one being “rebellious woman,” but many believe it to mean “bitter.” The name is exceptionally popular among Christians due to its connection to the name “Mary.”

  • #47 Boy: Jose
    8/ Oksana Kuzmina // Shutterstock

    #47 Boy: Jose

    - Rank in the 1980s: #47
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 86,612
    - Rank in 2018: #89
    - Births in 2018: 4,292

    A variant of “Joseph” from Portugal and Spain, Jose comes from the Hebrew meaning for “God raises.” In the 1980s Jose Canseco was at the height of his baseball career, winning Rookie of the Year, MVP, and the World Series during the decade.

  • #47 Girl: Vanessa
    9/ Echo Grid // Unsplash

    #47 Girl: Vanessa

    - Rank in the 1980s: #47
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 65,722
    - Rank in 2018: #230
    - Births in 2018: 1,369

    Vanessa first became popular as a girl's name in the mid-20th century, but the origin and meaning of the name is up for debate. Most agree that the name was invented by Anglo-Irish writer, Jonathan Swift, who first used the name in his poem "Cadenus and Vanessa." Others believe that the name is derived from the goddess Phanessa.

  • #46 Boy: Kenneth
    10/ Max Pixel

    #46 Boy: Kenneth

    - Rank in the 1980s: #46
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 89,136
    - Rank in 2018: #226
    - Births in 2018: 1,655

    Kenneth derives from the Gaelic origin, and means “handsome.” Kenny G, one of the best-selling musicians in history and renowned for his romantic music, first rose to fame in the late 1980s with his album “Duotones,” and Kenny Loggins released his famous single “Footloose” in 1984.

  • #46 Girl: Alicia
    11/ DanielReche // Pixabay

    #46 Girl: Alicia

    - Rank in the 1980s: #46
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 66,962
    - Rank in 2018: #391
    - Births in 2018: 786

    Alicia, a variant of “Alice,” comes from the Old French word for “noble and graceful,” and was first popularized in Lewis Carroll's book, “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.” The name has been shared with the daughter of England's Queen Victoria's and the daughter of American President Theodore Roosevelt.

  • #45 Boy: Gregory
    12/ Pixabay

    #45 Boy: Gregory

    - Rank in the 1980s: #45
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 93,673
    - Rank in 2018: #408
    - Births in 2018: 778

    The name Gregory peaked in popularity in the 1960s and ‘70s, most likely due to the popular TV show “The Brady Bunch” that graced American televisions from 1969 to 1974, before heading down a steep decline into the current day. The origin of the name is both Greek and Latin, and means “vigilant watchman.”

  • #45 Girl: Christine
    13/ Ivanna-Ivashka // Shutterstock

    #45 Girl: Christine

    - Rank in the 1980s: #45
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 68,013
    - Rank in 2018: #926
    - Births in 2018: 287

    Christine is the French form of Christina, meaning “Christian woman.” The name was extremely popular in the Middle Ages for the religious attachment and grew into the 19th and 20th centuries before slowing down dramatically in the 21st. The cult classic thriller “Christine” came out in theaters in 1983.

  • #44 Boy: Dustin
    14/ Pexels

    #44 Boy: Dustin

    - Rank in the 1980s: #44
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 97,320
    - Rank in 2018: #525
    - Births in 2018: 535

    With movies like “Rain Man” and “Tootsie” coming out in the 1980s, this name was definitely immortalized throughout the decade by the great actor Dustin Hoffman. Dustin comes from an old Norse surname and means “valiant fighter.”

  • #44 Girl: Lindsay
    15/ marina shin // Shutterstock

    #44 Girl: Lindsay

    - Rank in the 1980s: #44
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 68,492
    - Rank in 2018: #1300
    - Births in 2018: 174

    One of those important baby names that work equally well for any gender, Lindsay comes from a Celtic and English background. The name's only modern spike in popularity came in the early ‘80s, possibly inspired by the famous actress Lindsay Wagner who starred in “The Six Million Dollar Man” and “Bionic Woman” in the late ‘70s.

  • #43 Boy: Zachary
    16/ Pexels

    #43 Boy: Zachary

    - Rank in the 1980s: #43
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 101,852
    - Rank in 2018: #109
    - Births in 2018: 3,528

    Zachary is a variation of the Hebrew name “Zachariah” meaning “remembered by God.” The Hebrew version combines the words “zakar,” meaning “'to remember,” and “Yahweh,” the Hebrew name of God used in the Bible. The main character “Zack” on the show “Saved by the Bell” kept the name popular through the ‘80s and ‘90s.

  • #43 Girl: Kristin
    17/ Kruglova Inna // Shutterstock

    #43 Girl: Kristin

    - Rank in the 1980s: #43
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 70,558
    - Rank in 2018: #2646
    - Births in 2018: 65

    Kristin, a variation of the name “Christina,” means “follower of God.” The name rose in popularity in 1970 before taking a slight dip until 1981, where it reached its peak. By 2018, however, the name became unpopular with only 65 births that year. Kristin Shepard was a fictional character on the hit TV show “Dallas” from 1979 to 1981.

  • #42 Boy: Travis
    18/ Pixabay

    #42 Boy: Travis

    - Rank in the 1980s: #42
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 102,926
    - Rank in 2018: #313
    - Births in 2018: 1,072

    Country music fans of the '80s may have been inspired to name their babies after Randy Travis, one of the most successful country music stars of all time. His song “Forever and Ever, Amen” came out in 1986 and went on to become his most famous. The name Travis comes from English, French, and Portuguese origins as an occupational surname for bridge toll-collectors.

  • #42 Girl: Lindsey
    19/ Pixabay

    #42 Girl: Lindsey

    - Rank in the 1980s: #42
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 71,937
    - Rank in 2018: #833
    - Births in 2018: 323

    Lindsey comes from a Scottish surname meaning “Linden trees by the water.” The -ey spelling has been more popular among parents than the -ay version—and the name was more popular with boys than with girls until about 1970.

  • #41 Boy: Sean
    20/ Gelpi // Shutterstock

    #41 Boy: Sean

    - Rank in the 1980s: #41
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 103,866
    - Rank in 2018: #269
    - Births in 2018: 1,310

    Sean is a Celtic derivative of the name “John,” and continues to be one of the most popular names in Ireland. Scottish-native Sean Connery rose to fame in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, which may have influenced the name's spike in popularity during these time periods.

  • #41 Girl: Katie
    21/ javi_indy // Shutterstock

    #41 Girl: Katie

    - Rank in the 1980s: #41
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 72,863
    - Rank in 2018: #449
    - Births in 2018: 707

    Often short for “Katherine,” meaning “pure,” Katie has been used as an independent name since the turn of the 20th century. The name grew in popularity through the late ‘80s, but truly began to skyrocket in the '90s, likely thanks to Katie Holmes' starring role in “Dawson's Creek.”

  • #40 Boy: Paul
    22/ Max Pixel

    #40 Boy: Paul

    - Rank in the 1980s: #40
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 104,388
    - Rank in 2018: #234
    - Births in 2018: 1,625

    Paul comes from the Latin “Paulus” and is rooted in the story of the Roman Catholic saint who changed his name from “Saul” to “Paul” after converting to Christianity. The name has fluctuated since the early 1900s, peaking in 1960 (perhaps due to the popularity of Paul McCartney and the Beatles) before beginning a steady decline.

  • #40 Girl: April
    23/ Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

    #40 Girl: April

    - Rank in the 1980s: #40
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 75,947
    - Rank in 2018: #476
    - Births in 2018: 653

    The name April saw its largest peak in popularity in the years 1979 and 1980 after similar season-based names such as “June” and “May” began to become less popular. April is often given to babies born during the springtime and is believed to come from the Latin word “aperire,” which refers to flowers opening during the month.

  • #39 Boy: Nathan
    24/ 2xSamara.com // Shutterstock

    #39 Boy: Nathan

    - Rank in the 1980s: #39
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 105,990
    - Rank in 2018: #48
    - Births in 2018: 6,790

    Nathan, a Hebrew name generated from a shortening of the name “Nathanial,” was steadily popular between 1980 and 1997 before peaking in 2004. It is also a popular name in Christianity, as Nathan was one of God's prophets in the New Testament. Musical theater and movie actor Nathan Lane began his career in the early 1980s.

  • #39 Girl: Shannon
    25/ Pixabay

    #39 Girl: Shannon

    - Rank in the 1980s: #39
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 78,416
    - Rank in 2018: #1478
    - Births in 2018: 148

    A popular name for both boys and girls, Shannon originated in the Gaelic language and refers to the River Shannon, Ireland's longest river. The name peaked for both genders in 1970 and 1977 before beginning a decline into the modern age. American singer Shannon topped the charts with her dance-pop song “Let The Music Play” in 1983.

  • #38 Boy: Scott
    26/ Pexels

    #38 Boy: Scott

    - Rank in the 1980s: #38
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 108,183
    - Rank in 2018: #520
    - Births in 2018: 541

    Scott was used as a surname for those of Scottish heritage, but originated from the Old English Language. The name was also given to residents of Scotland who were originally from Ireland and spoke Gaelic. Though it is an old name, it is still widely used today and was the most popular in 1962 and 1971. Actor Scott Baio flourished in the '80s, starring in “Happy Days” from 1974 to 1984, “Joanie Loves Chachi” in 1982, and “Charles in Charge” from 1984 to 1990.

  • #38 Girl: Kristen
    27/ Pixabay

    #38 Girl: Kristen

    - Rank in the 1980s: #38
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 83,227
    - Rank in 2018: #1226
    - Births in 2018: 189

    Kristen became a popular variation of “Kristin” in the 1940s and comes from the Danish version of “Christian” meaning “Christ-bearer.” Its popularity in the 1980s may be attributed to astronaut Sally Kristen Ride, who became the first woman in outer space in 1983.

  • #37 Boy: Patrick
    28/ Rowena of the Rants // Flickr

    #37 Boy: Patrick

    - Rank in the 1980s: #37
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 111,418
    - Rank in 2018: #189
    - Births in 2018: 2,111

    The late Patrick Swayze dominated the ‘80s and ‘90s with movies like “The Outsiders” in 1983, “Dirty Dancing” in 1987, and “Roadhouse” in 1989. Fans of the Pat Benatar may have felt inclined to show their love for the legendary singer regardless of which gender their baby came out as. Benatar rocked the ‘80s with songs like “Love Is A Battlefield” in 1983, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” in 1980, and “We Belong” in 1984.

  • #37 Girl: Courtney
    29/ Pixabay

    #37 Girl: Courtney

    - Rank in the 1980s: #37
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 84,306
    - Rank in 2018: #1192
    - Births in 2018: 199

    The name Courtney comes from English and Portuguese origins, and translates into “from the court.” The name peaked in popularity for boys in the 1980s for about a decade before gaining more traction for girls by the 1990s due to influence from actresses like Courtney Thorne-Smith and Courteney Cox, and singer Courtney Love.

  • #36 Boy: Stephen
    30/ Public Domain Pictures

    #36 Boy: Stephen

    - Rank in the 1980s: #36
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 113,620
    - Rank in 2018: #284
    - Births in 2018: 1,236

    Steven Spielberg came out with some of his most iconic movies in the 1980s, from the “Indiana Jones” franchise, to “E.T.,” to “The Goonies,” to “Gremlins.” Though the name spelling is different, it could be possible that Spielberg's movies had an influence on parents of the ‘80s.

  • #36 Girl: Erica
    31/ Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

    #36 Girl: Erica

    - Rank in the 1980s: #36
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 93,151
    - Rank in 2018: #899
    - Births in 2018: 296

    The main character Erica on the soap opera “All My Children” became the most popular character in daytime TV after first airing in the 1970s, so it's no surprise that the name rode on the coattails of that popularity into the ‘80s. Erica also refers to the “Ericaceae” family classification name of 700 different species of flowers.

  • #35 Boy: Jacob
    32/ Ana Paula Lima // Pexels

    #35 Boy: Jacob

    - Rank in the 1980s: #35
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 124,239
    - Rank in 2018: #13
    - Births in 2018: 11,770

    Jacob has always been a popular name for twins, as a reference to the Old Testament story where Jacob was born holding onto his brother's heel. There is also the brother reference apparent in the popularity of the famous brothers who wrote “Grimm's Fairy Tales,” one of whom was named Jacob Grimm. The name originated from the Hebrew language and means “supplanter, substitute.”

  • #35 Girl: Mary
    33/ Nolte Lourens // Shutterstock

    #35 Girl: Mary

    - Rank in the 1980s: #35
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 95,860
    - Rank in 2018: #126
    - Births in 2018: 2,327

    Mary was the most popular girl baby name in the world from the turn of the 20th century up until the 1960s thanks to the numerous biblical references to the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene. While still riding on that worldwide popularity in the 1980s (kept afloat by the actress Mary-Kate Olsen in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s), the name has since begun to decline.

  • #34 Boy: Mark
    34/ Yulia Sribna // Shutterstock

    #34 Boy: Mark

    - Rank in the 1980s: #34
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 129,433
    - Rank in 2018: #210
    - Births in 2018: 1,859

    Historically, the name Mark has several references in significant stories in both the bible (Marcus St. Mark) and as the name of the Roman general who fell in love with Cleopatra (Marcus Antony). For this reason, the name has almost always been a part of the most popular names list throughout history.

  • #34 Girl: Jamie
    35/ Oleksiy Avtomonov // Shutterstock

    #34 Girl: Jamie

    - Rank in the 1980s: #34
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 96,551
    - Rank in 2018: #614
    - Births in 2018: 488

    Jamie is used both as a nickname for the masculine “James” and as the feminine form of “James.” The name peaked in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s thanks to the rise in fame of actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who starred in “Halloween” in 1978 and the sequel in 1981.

  • #33 Boy: Charles
    36/ Thomas // Flickr

    #33 Boy: Charles

    - Rank in the 1980s: #33
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 131,889
    - Rank in 2018: #52
    - Births in 2018: 6,604

    Charles has remained a popular name among royalty due to its meaning, “strong and manly,” and reference to Charles the Great (Charlemagne), the 8th- and 9th-century ruler of Western Europe. The wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981 was one of the most memorable moments in the decade, even all the way in the United States.

  • #33 Girl: Andrea
    37/ Pixabay

    #33 Girl: Andrea

    - Rank in the 1980s: #33
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 98,252
    - Rank in 2018: #134
    - Births in 2018: 2,154

    The female form of “Andrew,” Andrea comes from the Greek language and means “strong; courageous.” A possible influence on young parents of the '80s, child actress Andrea Elson starred in two shows on TV during the decade: "Whiz Kids" and "ALF."

  • #32 Boy: Aaron
    38/ Shutterstock

    #32 Boy: Aaron

    - Rank in the 1980s: #32
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 138,367
    - Rank in 2018: #60
    - Births in 2018: 5,953

    Aaron comes from the Old Testament as the name of Moses' brother and the first high priest of Israel. The name peaked in the early 1980s due perhaps to the famous baseball player Hank Aaron who dominated the sport until the late ‘70s.

  • #32 Girl: Katherine
    39/ izzet ugutmen // Shutterstock

    #32 Girl: Katherine

    - Rank in the 1980s: #32
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 99,172
    - Rank in 2018: #112
    - Births in 2018: 2,666

    The most popular spelling of the name, Katherine derives from the Greek language meaning “pure.” It has fluctuated greatly throughout the years, peaking in the 1920s, 1950s, and 1990s, and was popularized by actress Katharine Hepburn and writer Katherine Anne Porter.

  • #31 Boy: Benjamin
    40/ Max Pixel

    #31 Boy: Benjamin

    - Rank in the 1980s: #31
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 141,380
    - Rank in 2018: #6
    - Births in 2018: 13,381

    Not only one of the most-watched TV shows of the 1980s but one of the most-watched of all time, “M*A*S*H” was enjoyed by many parents in the ‘70s and ‘80s during its tenure from 1971 to 1983. The lead character, Benjamin, may have made an impact on viewers during the time.

  • #31 Girl: Lisa
    41/ Max Pixel

    #31 Girl: Lisa

    - Rank in the 1980s: #31
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 102,600
    - Rank in 2018: #891
    - Births in 2018: 302

    Lisa originally was used as a nickname for “Elizabeth,” but it broke out as its own separate name around the 1930s. The name peaked in 1965 and has moved steadily downward since then, associated with Leonardo da Vinci's painting, "Mona Lisa," and more recently with the actress Lisa Kudrow.

  • #30 Boy: Kyle
    42/ Pixabay

    #30 Boy: Kyle

    - Rank in the 1980s: #30
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 141,945
    - Rank in 2018: #223
    - Births in 2018: 1,668

    As names considered “trendy” due to the modern use of a “y” in the middle rose to popularity in the ‘80s, so did the name Kyle. The name comes from the Gaelic word referring to “narrow land” and can also mean “land where cattle grazes.”

  • #30 Girl: Sara
    43/ Evgeny Atamanenko // Shutterstock

    #30 Girl: Sara

    - Rank in the 1980s: #30
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 104,663
    - Rank in 2018: #173
    - Births in 2018: 1,692

    Sara is the Arabic form of “Sarah,” which means “princess” and refers to the wife of Abraham in the Old Testament. The name's popularity fluctuated throughout the decade, peaking from 1980–1981 and again in 1986 with a small decline in the middle. The incline in 1986 could be attributed to the popular song “Sara” by the American band Starship which reached #1 that year.

  • #29 Boy: Jeffrey
    44/ Africa Studio // Shutterstock

    #29 Boy: Jeffrey

    - Rank in the 1980s: #29
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 144,803
    - Rank in 2018: #331
    - Births in 2018: 1,003

    Jeffrey became a variation of the name “Geoffrey” around the Middle Ages and means “peaceful gift.” The name inspired several different surnames and was connected to the most amount of newborns in 1962 and 1970. It may have been popularized in the 1980s from the hit soap opera, “General Hospital,” and the character Amanda played by Anne Jeffreys.

  • #29 Girl: Kelly
    45/ Keeshi Ingram // Shutterstock

    #29 Girl: Kelly

    - Rank in the 1980s: #29
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 109,553
    - Rank in 2018: #618
    - Births in 2018: 484

    Kelly first appeared as the English version of the popular Gaelic name “Ceallach.” The name rose to popularity in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, likely due to the fictional character Kelly Garrett on the TV series “Charlie's Angels” from 1976 to 1981.

  • #28 Boy: Jeremy
    46/ Pixabay

    #28 Boy: Jeremy

    - Rank in the 1980s: #28
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 153,425
    - Rank in 2018: #204
    - Births in 2018: 1,955

    Jeremy is the English version of the Hebrew name “Jeremiah.” The popular comedy show “Here Comes the Brides” and its character Jeremy Bolt influenced a very steep rise in the name throughout the 1970s before beginning a decline into the 21st century.

  • #28 Girl: Erin
    47/ Tetiana Iatsenko // Shutterstock

    #28 Girl: Erin

    - Rank in the 1980s: #28
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 115,815
    - Rank in 2018: #421
    - Births in 2018: 735

    Erin is a modern version of the Irish name “Eireann” which actually translated into “Ireland” in some poetic forms. The name reached its peak in 1982, thanks largely in part to the popularity of the show “Happy Days” and the actress Erin Moran (who played Joanie), which ended in 1984, and the character Erin Walton from the show “The Waltons” which ran until 1981.

  • #27 Boy: Richard
    48/ FamVeld // Shutterstock

    #27 Boy: Richard

    - Rank in the 1980s: #27
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 154,755
    - Rank in 2018: #188
    - Births in 2018: 2,119

    Though Richard Gere's career began in the '70s, his movies “An Officer And A Gentleman” in 1982 and ”American Gigolo” in 1980 were huge successes. And in a show that defined the ‘80s, ”Happy Days,” a young Ron Howard played the main character, Richie Cunningham.

  • #27 Girl: Angela
    49/ Pixabay

    #27 Girl: Angela

    - Rank in the 1980s: #27
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 116,592
    - Rank in 2018: #264
    - Births in 2018: 1,236

    Derived from the word “angel,” the popularity of the name Angela was initially inspired in the late 1960s by the 1962 movie, ”The Manchurian Candidate” and the lead actress Angela Lansbury, as well as ”The Sound of Music”—Angela Cartwright played Brigitta von Trapp in 1965. Since then, it has been on a steady decline in popularity.

  • #26 Boy: Timothy
    50/ Pixabay

    #26 Boy: Timothy

    - Rank in the 1980s: #26
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 172,841
    - Rank in 2018: #165
    - Births in 2018: 2,330

    There have been several famous Timothys who have influenced the popularity of the name over the years. Timothy Hutton starred in Robert Redford's film ”Ordinary People” in 1980, Timothy Patrick Murphy played Mickey Trotter on the CBS show ”Dallas” from 1982 to 1983, and Tim Burton directed a number of films such as ”Pee-wee's Big Adventure” (1985), ”Batman” (1989), and ”Beetlejuice” (1988).

  • #26 Girl: Samantha
    51/ pixelheadphoto digitalskillet // Shutterstock

    #26 Girl: Samantha

    - Rank in the 1980s: #26
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 121,134
    - Rank in 2018: #60
    - Births in 2018: 3,897

    The female version of Samuel, Samantha rose to baby name fame in the 1980s. ”Cheers,” one of the most-watched TV shows of the early ‘80s was led by the main character of Sam Malone.

  • #25 Boy: Steven
    52/ Donnie Ray Jones // Flickr

    #25 Boy: Steven

    - Rank in the 1980s: #25
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 177,449
    - Rank in 2018: #198
    - Births in 2018: 2,022

    Though his full name is Stevland and not Steven, Stevie Wonder surely inspired plenty of parents-to-be to name their kids after the music legend in the 1980s. The late ‘70s and early ‘80s were full of hit Stevie Wonder songs, including ”Part-Time Lover” in 1985 and ”Overjoyed” in 1985.

  • #25 Girl: Emily
    53/ George Rudy // Shutterstock

    #25 Girl: Emily

    - Rank in the 1980s: #25
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 131,755
    - Rank in 2018: #12
    - Births in 2018: 8,656

    Starting in 1970, Emily saw a gradual incline into 1999, when it reached its peak. The origin of the name is Latin, and it is also believed to be derived from the medieval feminine version of “Aemilius.” The name became especially popular in English thanks to Emma Thompson, who began her professional career during the 1980s.

  • #24 Boy: Thomas
    54/ Pixabay

    #24 Boy: Thomas

    - Rank in the 1980s: #24
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 177,796
    - Rank in 2018: #49
    - Births in 2018: 6,779

    Tom Cruise has had a strong career ever since it began in the early '80s: Many who watched “Top Gun” in 1986 or “Risky Business” in 1983 fell in love. Tom Petty also graced the billboard charts at the end of the decade with hit songs “Free Fallin'” and “I Won't Back Down” coming out in 1989.

  • #24 Girl: Danielle
    55/ Patryk Kosmider // Shutterstock

    #24 Girl: Danielle

    - Rank in the 1980s: #24
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 134,372
    - Rank in 2018: #382
    - Births in 2018: 809

    The feminine form of the name “Daniel,” which originates in the Hebrew language, Danielle's popularity peaked in 1987. Danielle Steel, arguably one of the most celebrated romance writers of the decade, influenced the name's popularity after releasing her first book “The Promise” in 1978.

  • #23 Boy: Kevin
    56/ Shutterstock

    #23 Boy: Kevin

    - Rank in the 1980s: #23
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 188,694
    - Rank in 2018: #125
    - Births in 2018: 3,124

    There aren't many fans of the ‘80s who don't remember the popular TV show, “The Wonder Years,” which was on television from 1988 to 1993. The lead character Kevin, who narrated the nostalgic show set in the 1960s and 1970s, was a relatable character who undoubtedly reminded ‘80s parents of their childhood.

  • #23 Girl: Laura
    57/ Coy_Creek // Shutterstock

    #23 Girl: Laura

    - Rank in the 1980s: #23
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 134,594
    - Rank in 2018: #340
    - Births in 2018: 935

    Laura relates to the laurel trees of ancient Rome and is the feminine version of the Latin name “Laurus.” There were several notable Lauras that may have influenced baby-naming during the decade, including Laura Ingalls, the main character on the “Little House on the Prairie” TV show that ran from 1974 to 1983, and Laura Spencer, a character on the hit show “General Hospital.”

  • #22 Boy: Adam
    58/ Public Domain Pictures

    #22 Boy: Adam

    - Rank in the 1980s: #22
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 195,092
    - Rank in 2018: #78
    - Births in 2018: 4,675

    “The Love Boat” doctor, Adam Bricker, became a popular character on the show, which was on TV for most of the ‘80s. Adam comes from a word in Hebrew that describes the color of the earth and was the name of the first man created in the bible.

  • #22 Girl: Rebecca
    59/ Kateryna Gurska // Shutterstock

    #22 Girl: Rebecca

    - Rank in the 1980s: #22
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 136,229
    - Rank in 2018: #214
    - Births in 2018: 1,442

    The name Rebecca was first popularized by the 1938 novel of the same name eventually turned into a movie by the Alfred Hitchcock. It faded in and out of popularity between the ‘50s and the ‘90s, hitting its peak in 1981. Movie star Rebecca De Mornay got her breakthrough role during the decade with the 1981 “Risky Business” opposite Tom Cruise.

  • #21 Boy: Eric
    60/ Anna Grigorjeva // Shutterstock

    #21 Boy: Eric

    - Rank in the 1980s: #21
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 204,244
    - Rank in 2018: #160
    - Births in 2018: 2,389

    Eric, a name Norse in origin, peaked in popularity in 1970 and has fluctuated since then. The name's popularity amongst newborns was likely influenced by the musician Eric Clapton, who released a majority of his most famous songs in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.

  • #21 Girl: Brittany
    61/ Pixabay

    #21 Girl: Brittany

    - Rank in the 1980s: #21
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 140,847
    - Rank in 2018: #879
    - Births in 2018: 305

    Already popular in the '80s, the name became increasingly common in the late ‘90s thanks to singer Britney Spears and actress Brittany Murphy. Since then, the name has plummeted in popularity. The name Brittany comes from the area that eventually became Britain. 

  • #20 Boy: Anthony
    62/ Shutterstock

    #20 Boy: Anthony

    - Rank in the 1980s: #20
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 211,830
    - Rank in 2018: #38
    - Births in 2018: 8,003

    Anthony is a Latin name that comes from the ancient Roman surname, “Antonius.” With the release of Tony (short for Anthony) Robbins' first book in 1987, there may have been some parents who felt motivated' to name their kids after the successful motivational speaker. 

  • #20 Girl: Crystal
    63/ Max Pixel

    #20 Girl: Crystal

    - Rank in the 1980s: #20
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 141,006
    - Rank in 2018: #717
    - Births in 2018: 395

    A name of Latin and Greek origin, Crystal translates into “brilliant glass” and was most popular as a baby name in the year 1982. Thanks in part to the character Krystle Carrington played by actress Linda Evans on the soap opera, “Dynasty,” from 1981 to 1989, the actress went on to become the spokesperson for “Crystal Light” beverages in 1984 due to her tie to the name.

  • #19 Boy: Nicholas
    64/ Pixabay

    #19 Boy: Nicholas

    - Rank in the 1980s: #19
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 223,331
    - Rank in 2018: #74
    - Births in 2018: 4,801

    The name Nicholas first became popular in 1979 and climbed its way up to its peak in 1995. It means “victorious” and originates in the Greek language. Actor Nicolas Cage started his career around this time.

  • #19 Girl: Lauren
    65/ peasap // Flickr

    #19 Girl: Lauren

    - Rank in the 1980s: #19
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 145,151
    - Rank in 2018: #171
    - Births in 2018: 1,696

    Lauren, a feminine form of “Laurence” first made famous by actress Lauren Bacall in 1944, is most popular in European countries and the United States. The clothing designer Ralph Lauren boomed in popularity in the 1980s and eventually expanded into the fashion empire it remains to this day.

  • #18 Boy: Jonathan
    66/ Public Domain Pictures

    #18 Boy: Jonathan

    - Rank in the 1980s: #18
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 229,952
    - Rank in 2018: #63
    - Births in 2018: 5,712

    The influx in Jonathans may have come from the popularity of singer John Mellencamp who released his hit songs “Jack And Diane” and “Hurts So Good” in 1982, and “Smalltown” in 1985. The rock star gained plenty of fans during the decade and produced many more timeless hits.

  • #18 Girl: Christina
    67/ bottlein // Pixabay

    #18 Girl: Christina

    - Rank in the 1980s: #18
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 145,995
    - Rank in 2018: #439
    - Births in 2018: 719

    The popularity of this name may have come from Tina Turner, who released some of her most famous songs during the ‘80s. Her hits include “Proud Mary” in 1988 and “What's Love Got To Do With It” in 1984, just to name a few.

  • #17 Boy: Brandon
    68/ Minnikova Mariia // Shutterstock

    #17 Boy: Brandon

    - Rank in the 1980s: #17
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 232,210
    - Rank in 2018: #124
    - Births in 2018: 3,183

    Brandon was derived from the Celtic language and continues to be popular in the countries of Chile, Wales, England, and Scotland. The year 1985 saw the most Brandons born out of any other year. The cult classic film “The Goonies” came out in 1985 and one of the main characters went by the name of “Brand” (short for Brandon).

  • #17 Girl: Kimberly
    69/ Pixabay

    #17 Girl: Kimberly

    - Rank in the 1980s: #17
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 146,447
    - Rank in 2018: #170
    - Births in 2018: 1,696

    Kimberly used to be popular with both girls and boys up until about the year 1980. Singer/songwriter Kim Carnes came out with her song “Bette Davis Eyes” in 1981, which went on to become #1 on the Billboard charts that year.

  • #16 Boy: Brian
    70/ Pixnio

    #16 Boy: Brian

    - Rank in the 1980s: #16
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 234,014
    - Rank in 2018: #235
    - Births in 2018: 1,618

    Though spelled differently, Bryan Adams was one of the most popular musicians of the decade, with songs such as “Summer Of ‘69” and “Heaven” in 1984. It is definitely possible that parents wanted to memorialize some of the singer's legendary hits by naming their babies after him.

  • #16 Girl: Rachel
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    #16 Girl: Rachel

    - Rank in the 1980s: #16
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 146,668
    - Rank in 2018: #198
    - Births in 2018: 1,544

    Rachel first showed up in the Old Testament and means “lamb” in Hebrew. Actress Kelly McGillis played the leading lady named Rachel in the 1985 movie “Witness” opposite superstar Harrison Ford, which went on to win two Academy Awards the following year.

  • #15 Boy: William
    72/ Pexels

    #15 Boy: William

    - Rank in the 1980s: #15
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 248,301
    - Rank in 2018: #3
    - Births in 2018: 14,516

    Billy (short for William) Joel was a shining star of the ‘80s, and his famous songs “Uptown Girl” in 1983 and “We Didn't Start The Fire” in 1989 were bound to inspire ‘80s parents to name their babies after him. Billy is still performing to this day.

  • #15 Girl: Amy
    73/ javi_indy // Shutterstock

    #15 Girl: Amy

    - Rank in the 1980s: #15
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 150,669
    - Rank in 2018: #205
    - Births in 2018: 1,497

    The name comes from the word “aimee” in Old French, meaning “beloved.” The name grew increasingly popular in the 1980s thanks to singer Amy Grant, who produced a #1 hit in 1979 and a platinum album in 1982.

  • #14 Boy: Ryan
    74/ Max Pixel

    #14 Boy: Ryan

    - Rank in the 1980s: #14
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 278,952
    - Rank in 2018: #46
    - Births in 2018: 6,905

    Ryan saw a substantial spike in popularity in the year 1970 and continued to stay popular throughout the following two decades. Ryan O'Neal starred in the hit movie “Love Story” in 1970, and the movie received seven Academy Award nominations (including best actor) and one win the following year.

  • #14 Girl: Megan
    75/ Pexels

    #14 Girl: Megan

    - Rank in the 1980s: #14
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 153,507
    - Rank in 2018: #545
    - Births in 2018: 564

    The name Megan was originally a derivation of “Margaret,” and peaked in popularity in both the 1980s and 1990s. The TV series “Anne of Green Gables” came out in 1985 and starred actress Megan Follows. The mini-series was hugely popular and went on to win a Primetime Emmy in 1986.

  • #13 Boy: Andrew
    76/ Max Pixel

    #13 Boy: Andrew

    - Rank in the 1980s: #13
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 285,091
    - Rank in 2018: #43
    - Births in 2018: 7,234

    Fans of musical theater will remember the ‘80s primarily for songwriter Andrew Lloyd Webber, who debuted “Cats” in 1981, which ran for 21 years in London, as well as “The Phantom of the Opera” in 1986, which became the longest-running musical in history.

  • #13 Girl: Amber
    77/ Wayne Dery // Unsplash

    #13 Girl: Amber

    - Rank in the 1980s: #13
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 153,946
    - Rank in 2018: #471
    - Births in 2018: 658

    Amber refers to the golden fossilized stone made of tree resin that shares the same name. Tiffani-Amber Thiessen played the popular character, Kelly Kapowski in the hit TV show “Saved by the Bell” from 1989.

  • #12 Boy: Justin
    78/ PxHere

    #12 Boy: Justin

    - Rank in the 1980s: #12
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 289,790
    - Rank in 2018: #141
    - Births in 2018: 2,787

    Child star Justin Henry scored the role of Billy Kramer in the 1979 movie “Kramer vs. Kramer” alongside Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman, a movie which won an impressive five Academy Awards in 1980. The young actor (just 8 years old at the time) was nominated for best supporting actor, making him the youngest nominee in history and an obvious inspiration for parents everywhere.

  • #12 Girl: Michelle
    79/ CroMary // Shutterstock

    #12 Girl: Michelle

    - Rank in the 1980s: #12
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 154,013
    - Rank in 2018: #263
    - Births in 2018: 1,239

    Michelle is the feminine form of Micheal in the French language and first became popular after the Beatles released their song “Michelle” in 1965. The name skyrocketed in the ‘80s due to the increasing popularity of actress Michelle Pfeiffer, who starred in movies like “Grease 2” in 1982, “Scarface” in 1983, and “Witches of Eastwick” in 1987.

  • #11 Boy: Jason
    80/ Pixabay

    #11 Boy: Jason

    - Rank in the 1980s: #11
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 292,093
    - Rank in 2018: #100
    - Births in 2018: 3,847

    Jason was a name included in both the New Testament and in Greek mythology, generally considered to mean “healer.” The name first became popular in the 1970s thanks to characters of the same name on “Here Come the Brides” and “The Waltons,” and remained fashionable through the ‘80s perhaps from characters in “Growing Pains” and “Friday the 13th.”

  • #11 Girl: Tiffany
    81/ Max Bukovski // Shutterstock

    #11 Girl: Tiffany

    - Rank in the 1980s: #11
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 158,620
    - Rank in 2018: #690
    - Births in 2018: 418

    Most people will recognize the name from the jewelry company and the 1961 movie “Breakfast at Tiffany starring Audrey Hepburn. Its popularity in the 1980s can be attributed to Tiffany Renee Darwish, simply known as Tiffany, a pop singer who became widely famous during the decade with her songs “Could've Been” and “I Think We're Alone Now.”

  • #10 Boy: Joseph
    82/ Max Pixel

    #10 Boy: Joseph

    - Rank in the 1980s: #10
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 299,438
    - Rank in 2018: #23
    - Births in 2018: 9,555

    49ers quarterback Joe Montana rocked the sporting world during the 1980s after being drafted in 1979 and leading his team to eight playoffs during the decade. Any San Francisco 49ers fan would have been proud to name their son after the great Montana during this era.

  • #10 Girl: Heather
    83/ Pixabay

    #10 Girl: Heather

    - Rank in the 1980s: #10
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 191,860
    - Rank in 2018: #1149
    - Births in 2018: 210

    Actress Heather Locklear has been one of the biggest inspirations for the baby name ever since her debut in popular 1980s shows such as “T.J. Hooker” and ''Dynasty.” The name Heather comes from Old English and means “flowering shrub.” Since that decade, however, the name become much less common.

  • #9 Boy: John
    84/ Michael Beck // Flickr

    #9 Boy: John

    - Rank in the 1980s: #9
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 321,138
    - Rank in 2018: #27
    - Births in 2018: 9,119

    With the tragic loss of musician John Lennon in December of 1980, it could be that Beatles fans wanted to memorialize the legendary singer during the decade. John still continues to be one of the most popular names for boys in America to this day.

  • #9 Girl: Elizabeth
    85/ Pixabay

    #9 Girl: Elizabeth

    - Rank in the 1980s: #9
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 198,974
    - Rank in 2018: #13
    - Births in 2018: 8,513

    One of the most timeless names in history, Elizabeth as a baby name is unlikely to go out of style anytime soon. With timeless influences from Queen Elizabeth I and the principal character in Jane Austen's “Pride and Prejudice,” the name has continued to be popular ever since the 1880s.

  • #8 Boy: Robert
    86/ Pixabay

    #8 Boy: Robert

    - Rank in the 1980s: #8
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 321,680
    - Rank in 2018: #71
    - Births in 2018: 5,140

    As the name initially became popular in the early 1900s and has continued to be ever since, there have plenty of Roberts influencing parents throughout the years. Actor Robert Redford kept the name popular through the ‘70s and ‘80s with his movies “Out of Africa” in 1985 and “The Natural” in 1983. On the music circuit, Robert Palmer came out with some of his biggest hits in the ‘80s, including “Addicted to Love” in 1985 and “Simply Irresistible” in 1988.

  • #8 Girl: Nicole
    87/ Caroline Hernandex // Unsplash

    #8 Girl: Nicole

    - Rank in the 1980s: #8
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 210,482
    - Rank in 2018: #218
    - Births in 2018: 1,416

    Nicole is a French name and feminine form of “Nicolas” that has been around since the 1940s. Actress Nicole Eggert worked primarily on the show “Charles in Charge” and appeared in several other ‘80s classics such as “T.J. Hooker,” ''Fantasy Island,” and “Who's the Boss?” Actress Nicole Kidman kept the trend going through the late ‘80s and early ‘90s with her first films.

  • #7 Boy: Daniel
    88/ Max Pixel

    #7 Boy: Daniel

    - Rank in the 1980s: #7
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 345,506
    - Rank in 2018: #15
    - Births in 2018: 11,173

    Dan Marino, arguably one of the most famous football players of the era, undoubtedly inspired lovers of the sport when it came to naming their babies in the 1980s. Marino played for the Miami Dolphins from 1983 to 1999 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.

  • #7 Girl: Melissa
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    #7 Girl: Melissa

    - Rank in the 1980s: #7
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 217,906
    - Rank in 2018: #297
    - Births in 2018: 1,114

    A Greek name meaning “honey bee,” Melissa reached its peak popularity in the year 1979. This spike in the given name can be attributed to the 1974–1983 TV series “Little House on the Prairie” which starred two different Melissas, as well as singers Melissa Manchester and Melissa Etheridge.

  • #6 Boy: James
    90/ Michael Beck // Flickr

    #6 Boy: James

    - Rank in the 1980s: #6
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 356,481
    - Rank in 2018: #4
    - Births in 2018: 13,525

    James first became prominent in the early 1600s after James Stuart rose to power in England. Since then, celebrities such as Rick James and James Brown kept the name popular through the following decades until today.

  • #6 Girl: Stephanie
    91/ Pixabay

    #6 Girl: Stephanie

    - Rank in the 1980s: #6
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 218,148
    - Rank in 2018: #318
    - Births in 2018: 1,026

    Stephanie began to become fashionable in the 1940s and is believed to come from the name “Stephan” as the French feminine form. Actress Stephanie Zimbalist starred in the beloved TV series “Remington Steele” from 1982 to 1987, and Stephanie Powers starred in the mystery series “Hart to Hart” from 1979 to 1984.

  • #5 Boy: David
    92/ Falcona // Shutterstock

    #5 Boy: David

    - Rank in the 1980s: #5
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 383,723
    - Rank in 2018: #22
    - Births in 2018: 9,697

    David Bowie rocked the ‘70s and ‘80s with songs like “Let's Dance” in 1983 and “Dancing In The Street” in 1985, so it's no wonder that the name “David” spiked in popularity during this time. David Copperfield, the American magician, also kept the name popular in the ‘80s with his memorable illusions throughout the decade.

  • #5 Girl: Sarah
    93/ Pexels

    #5 Girl: Sarah

    - Rank in the 1980s: #5
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 272,613
    - Rank in 2018: #67
    - Births in 2018: 3,734

    American jazz singer Sarah Vaughan remained active in her career through the 1980s and could be responsible for keeping the name popular between the ‘70s and ‘90s. Sarah Jessica Parker starred in the trendy movie “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” in 1985.

  • #4 Boy: Joshua
    94/ Pixabay

    #4 Boy: Joshua

    - Rank in the 1980s: #4
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 396,590
    - Rank in 2018: #41
    - Births in 2018: 7,364

    A Hebrew name that appears in the Old Testament, Joshua means “God is my salvation.” Josh Brolin appeared in the hit 1985 movie “The Goonies” as his breakout role, and continued to maintain his popularity with the TV show “Private Eye” in 1987.

  • #4 Girl: Ashley
    95/ Michael Pettigrew // Shutterstock

    #4 Girl: Ashley

    - Rank in the 1980s: #4
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 352,187
    - Rank in 2018: #129
    - Births in 2018: 2,267

    Ashley reached its peak in 1987 and went down from there. That same year, the sitcom “Full House” debuted Ashley Olsen and her twin Mary-Kate as the character Michelle.

  • #3 Boy: Matthew
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    #3 Boy: Matthew

    - Rank in the 1980s: #3
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 458,976
    - Rank in 2018: #20
    - Births in 2018: 9,924

    Matthew means “gift of God,” and stems from the biblical name for the writer of the first gospel in the Old Testament. Actor Matt Dillon became somewhat of a teenage icon in the 1980s, starring in popular films like “My Bodyguard” and “Little Darlings” in 1980 and “The Outsiders” in 1983.

  • #3 Girl: Amanda
    97/ Tetiana Iatsenko // Shutterstock

    #3 Girl: Amanda

    - Rank in the 1980s: #3
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 369,721
    - Rank in 2018: #369
    - Births in 2018: 844

    The name Amanda first showed up in England in the 1200s and appeared in several plays and novels throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. The name continued to stay popular through the ‘80s and ‘90s due to the characters from popular shows such as “Dynasty” and “Melrose Place.”

  • #2 Boy: Christopher
    98/ Syda Productions // Shutterstock

    #2 Boy: Christopher

    - Rank in the 1980s: #2
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 554,904
    - Rank in 2018: #42
    - Births in 2018: 7,261

    While Christopher Reeve's intensely-popular “Superman” debuted in 1978, the three sequels that followed all came in the ‘80s. His stardom likely inspired some of the decade's parents in naming their child. 

  • #2 Girl: Jennifer
    99/ Pexels

    #2 Girl: Jennifer

    - Rank in the 1980s: #2
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 440,871
    - Rank in 2018: #345
    - Births in 2018: 915

    Believed to have originated from the name Guinevere, the wife of King Arthur, Jennifer as a baby name peaked in 1972 and maintained popularity throughout the next two decades. Actress Jennifer O'Neill starred in several films and expanded her modeling career during this time, and Jennifer Grey stole the show in the 1987 classic “Dirty Dancing.”

  • #1 Boy: Michael
    100/ Aaron Mello // Pexels

    #1 Boy: Michael

    - Rank in the 1980s: #1
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 663,742
    - Rank in 2018: #14
    - Births in 2018: 11,620

    The 1980s were full of famous Michaels. Michael Jackson’s hit song “The Way You Make Me Feel” came out in 1987 and continues to be one of the most popular MJ songs of all time, George Michael gained an obscene amount of success after going solo, Michael J. Fox stole everyone’s hearts in “Back to the Future” and “Family Ties,” and Michael Jordan dominated the basketball court.

  • #1 Girl: Jessica
    101/ Max Pixel

    #1 Girl: Jessica

    - Rank in the 1980s: #1
    - Average annual births in the 1980s: 469,487
    - Rank in 2018: #312
    - Births in 2018: 1,057

    One of the most famous Jessicas of the 1980s was Jessica McClure, born in 1986, who fell down a 22-foot, 8-inch-wide well in 1987 at just 18 months old. She was trapped for a harrowing 58 hours as emergency workers tried to reach her and Americans watched the drama unfold live on CNN—the only 24-hour news network at the time. 

    Other famous Jessicas of the decade include character Jessica Rabbit, Jessica Lange, and Jessica Steen.

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