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These 100 baby names totally rocked the 1980s

  • #30 Boy: Kyle

    - Rank in the 1980s: #30
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 141,945
    - Rank in 2018: #223 (1,668 babies born)

    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

    - Rank in the 1980s: #30
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 104,663
    - Rank in 2018: #173 (1,692 babies born)

    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

    - Rank in the 1980s: #29
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 144,803
    - Rank in 2018: #331 (1,003 babies born)

    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

    - Rank in the 1980s: #29
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 109,553
    - Rank in 2018: #618 (484 babies born)

    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

    - Rank in the 1980s: #28
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 153,425
    - Rank in 2018: #204 (1,955 babies born)

    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.

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  • #28 Girl: Erin

    - Rank in the 1980s: #28
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 115,815
    - Rank in 2018: #421 (735 babies born)

    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

    - Rank in the 1980s: #27
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 154,755
    - Rank in 2018: #188 (2,119 babies born)

    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

    - Rank in the 1980s: #27
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 116,592
    - Rank in 2018: #264 (1,236 babies born)

    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

    - Rank in the 1980s: #26
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 172,841
    - Rank in 2018: #165 (2,330 babies born)

    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

    - Rank in the 1980s: #26
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 121,134
    - Rank in 2018: #60 (3,897 babies born)

    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.

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