The Most Popular Baby Names from the 80s
Have They Stood the Test of Time?
by Jane Duncan, freelance writer
Sept 23 2021
It’s so easy for each generation to be cynical about the one that preceded or followed it, and when ABC published this year’s most popular baby names a couple of months ago, there were all the gasps of horror that we have come to expect. But were things so different a generation ago?
Most Popular Boy's Name - Christopher
Most Popular Girl's Name - Sarah
Other Names That Peaked in the 1980s
1986 saw a sudden flurry of boys being nicknamed Marty, in honour of Michael J Fox’s character in Back to the Future. That in itself was a short-lived trend, although the full version of Martin is a derivation of Mars, the God of War, and goes all the way back to Roman times.
Cindy achieved brief popularity for the girls, following the meteoric rise to superstardom of Cindy Crawford, not to mention the gutsy and independent attitude of Cyndi Lauper, whose 80s hit "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" simply oozed girl power a decade before the Spice Girls came along!
Daniel was the second most popular boy’s name after Christopher, and there’s a good chance The Karate Kid was at least partially responsible. The name remained a top five favourite well into the 1990s, which is more than can be said for Chesney. Yes, this boy’s name had a very brief flash of popularity, much like the man who inspired it, Chesney Hawkes, whose single hit was, ironically enough, entitled "The One and Only".
The second most popular girl’s name was Emma, a timeless classic that has definitely stood the test of time. Third was Gemma, which has a decidedly 80s vibe, and has all but disappeared today.