Are you feeling groovy? The 1970s was a decade marked by big hair, big music, and big societal changes. Disco dominated the airwaves and was the soundtrack for a decade that was hopeful after the turbulence of the 1960s. Baby names were surprisingly conservative for boys with many “classic” names like Michael and Christopher surging in popularity. However, names for baby girls in the 70s were a bit more fun. Jennifer, Jessica, and Tina made their way on the scene and they were perfect names for many little girls. If you’re a fan of synthesizers and funky beats, you might do well to take inspiration for your baby’s name from the 70s. There are so many excellent names that came out of the decade. Here’s a look at some names that are toe-tapping inspired and might make you want to break out into “The Hustle,” “The YMCA,” or “The Funky Chicken Dance.”
Clint, the shorter form of Clinton, surged in the seventies. While the meaning of this name, “settlement on a hill,” might not seem too exciting, the name has a tough yet casual appeal. Thanks, Clint Eastwood!
Toby comes from the more buttoned-up Tobias, which is from Hebrew and means “God is good.” Can you dig it? The name Toby peaked in popularity in 1975 when it was one of the most popular names for little boys in the U.S.
While the name Joey might conjure up one of your favorite character’s name from Friends, the name was actually at the height of its popularity in 1976. Joey is often used as a nickname for Joseph or Joe. However, the given name Joey was very popular in the 70s and let others know that it was just fine to hang loose.
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The meaning of the name Heath isn’t too terribly thrilling. It simply means “A person from the heathland.” What’s a “heathland”? Who cares? Heath might remind you of a candy bar and it’s equally as sweet. This name reached the height of its popularity in the 1970s. And one famous Heath to consider: Heath Ledger!
Jermaine hit its peak in 1973. The name means “brother” and was popularized by a member of The Jackson Five, Jermaine Jackson. Not just groovy, but funky.
The anglicized spelling of the Irish name, Sean, Shaun was the 51st most popular name given to boys in 1978. The name means “gift from God” and would be a lovely name for a little boy.
The name Damon made its way into popularity in the 1970s. It’s a Greek name that means “to tame.” If you’re an expecting parent with a rebellious streak, you could do no better than naming your son Damon.
The name Lance is often mistaken as a shortened form of the name Lancelot. But, that’s a common misunderstanding. Lancelot was actually a fancy version of the name Lance, which came first. The name was most commonly given in the 70s and was one of the top 100 names given in the decade.
If you’re too cool for Bradley or Bradford, you can always give your son the name Brad. Brad was very popular in the 1970s and means a “broad clearing in the woods.”
Marc my words, the name Marc is due for a comeback. Marc hit peak popularity in the 1970s. This very French name was the 60th most popular name for boys in the U.S. throughout the decade.
The name Derrick started its ascent in the 1970s before peaking in the 80s. The name means “gifted ruler” and comes from the French, Derek.
Brent comes from Old English and it means “hill.” The name was at the height of its popularity in the 1970s when it was the 76th most popular name given for boys.
The name Troy started gaining steam in the 1960s but it wasn’t until the 1970s that the name exploded in popularity. You may have heard of the ancient city of Troy, the English certainly did. The name became synonymous with “soldier.”
If Chadwick is a little too fancy for your tastes, you can always go with Chad. In the 1970s, Chad was an extremely popular name for boys. Before it was popular in the U.S., Chad was a nickname often given to people named Charles. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the name was considered acceptable to give a child.
Eric was the 15th most popular name given to boys in the 1970s. The name became popular across Europe after navigator, Eric the Red “discovered” Greenland in the 10th Century. Eric means “one ruler.”
Holly is the perfect name for nature lovers, as it literally is the name of a shrub. The name Holly was most popular in the 1970s and was in the top 100 names given to girls in the decade.
Melanie is a name you’ve surely heard before, but did you know that it means “black and dark”? We doubt that bothered too many people because it was the 42nd most popular name given to girls in the 1970s.
The Soviet Union was still a thing in the 1970s and Tonya was a proud Russian name at the time. It was one of the most popular names given to girls that decade. The name comes from Antonina and means “praiseworthy.”
The name Stacey hit new heights of popularity in 1973 when it became widespread. Believe it or not, the name was very popular in Ancient Greece and comes from the male name, Eustace. The name means “fruitful.”
The name Tara means “hill and star” and has Irish origins. The name was popular throughout the 70s but hit its peak in 1977 when it became the 35th most popular name for girls.
The name Carrie might make you think of a horror novel or movie from the 1970s but its origin is much older. Many people mistakenly think that Carrie is a shortened form of the name Caroline (which it totally can be), but it’s actually derived from Cari or Kari which means “free man.”
Wendy was one of the most popular names in the 1970s when one out of every 200 girls was given the name. The name means “friend” and was popularized after the release of the novel, Peter Pan in which the character named Wendy is referred to as “Friendy Wendy.”
April comes from the French name Avril which means “open” denoting the time of year when buds open and flowers appear. This springtime name appealed to many parents in the 1970s and was one of the most popular names given to girls in the year 1970.
Like the name Holly, Heather is also synonymous with a plant. The name Holly means “to prick” just like the spikey leaf of a holly plant. It was the third most popular name for girls born in 1975.
The name Angela reigned in the 1970s and was the 6th most popular name of the decade. The name Angela comes from the same origin as the word angel and means “messenger of God.”
Michelle is the feminine form of Michael and hit its peak popularity in 1972 when it was the 2nd most popular name for girls. Aside from gaining popularity in the U.S., the name has been widely given in France for decades.
Melissa was most popular in 1979 and that year it was the 2nd most popular name given to girls. The name’s meaning is as sweet as it sounds. It means “honey bee.”
The name Kelly was in the top 10 most popular names for girls throughout the decade. It hit peak popularity in 1977 and is still a widely given name today. It is an Irish name that means “war.”
Amy was popular throughout the 1970s and was one of the top 3 names given for the whole decade. The name means “to love” or “beloved” and is English in origin.
The English name Jennifer dominated the 1970s, serving as the single-most common name for girls born in the decade. One out of every 29 girls born in the 1970s was named Jennifer. The name is Cornish in origin and means “white shadow.”
Did some of these names seem “far out”? Probably not! There’s a very good chance that you know someone with one of these names. These popular names from the 1970s would surely make a good name for a baby born today. There are several popular names we didn’t get to like Cedric, Monica, and Tyrone all of which are fantastic. However, you might feel a little odd calling your newborn Cedric.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 Boys’ Names
- 2 30. Clint
- 3 29. Toby
- 4 28. Joey
- 5 27. Heath
- 6 26. Jermaine
- 7 25. Shaun
- 8 24. Damon
- 9 23. Lance
- 10 22. Brad
- 11 21. Marc
- 12 20. Derrick
- 13 19. Brent
- 14 18. Troy
- 15 17. Chad
- 16 16. Eric
- 17 Girls’ Names
- 18 15. Holly
- 19 14. Melanie
- 20 13. Tonya
- 21 12. Stacey
- 22 11. Tara
- 23 10. Carrie
- 24 9. Wendy
- 25 8. April
- 26 7. Heather
- 27 6. Angela
- 28 5. Michelle
- 29 4. Melissa
- 30 3. Kelly
- 31 2. Amy
- 32 1. Jennifer
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