Are fifties names having a revival?

(191 Posts)
Jusfloatingby Wed 03-Oct-12 16:47:22

In the last couple of months I've heard of a baby Jill, a baby Hilary and a baby Judy. I think of these as very fifties Enid Blytoney type names and am just wondering if the fashion for early twentieth century names like Edith, Iris and Ethel is now moving on to another stage?
I love the names Jill and Judy by the way.

MolotovBomb Wed 03-Oct-12 17:08:48

Hmm, possibly but I'm not 100% convinced. Names such as Janet, Patricia and Colin ranked in the top 10 in the UK in the 1950s but I don't these these names have the cache of some retro/vintage names that are re-emerging now.

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 17:11:44

It will edge that way.

If I met a little girl called Jill and her Mum was hipper than hip I'd assume Jill was now a fashionable name.

If I met a little girl called Jill and her Mum was a bit frumpy I'd assume she just liked the name Jill.

Jusfloatingby Wed 03-Oct-12 17:14:14

I actually like the name Janet. Again, a real Enid Blytoney middle England kind of name.
Laughing at your post squoosh. I know exactly what you mean.

Jusfloatingby Wed 03-Oct-12 17:15:48

Actually, thinking about it I have a very cool, artistic, hip friend and her daughters are Susie and Sally and I think they're great names.

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 17:22:33

Susie and Sally are cute name! But not too cute.

I like Jean from that era. But I'm thinking Jean Shrimpton and not Jean who works in the chip shop.

Jusfloatingby Wed 03-Oct-12 17:24:30

Funny, I don't like the names Jean, Joan or June but I absolutely love the name Jane.

MadBusLady Wed 03-Oct-12 17:25:55

I like Joan. Sounds sorted and pretty (and Joni is a lovely nn).

MadBusLady Wed 03-Oct-12 17:26:22

And yy Jane too! Jane a bit cooler than Joan.

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 17:27:32

Now I'm not crazy about Jane.

Jane would be at home in front of the fire darning her socks whilst her sister Jean (parents didn't have much imagination) would be sliding down the drainpipe and running off into the woods for a snog with Sidney, the vicar's wild son.

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 17:28:58

Joan makes me think of Shakespeare, but not in a good way . . .

Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

Greasy Joan.

Jusfloatingby Wed 03-Oct-12 17:30:31

Actually Joan would be at home darning the socks while Jane is in the studio with paintbrush in hand. And poor old June is married to Colin and keeps a very tidy house.

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 17:36:00

Colin gives June what for if the antimacassars are wrinkled.

MadBusLady Wed 03-Oct-12 17:37:01

Noooo, Joan would be calling her editor to get permission to board a helicopter and fly further into a war zone so she can report the real story, and Jane would be putting the final touches to her graduate show at Central St Martins.

Jean would be doing the thing with the drainpipe and the vicar's son though.

Isitginoclockyet Wed 03-Oct-12 17:42:54

Yeah the old fashioned names seem to be coming back, I know babies called Edith, Maisie and Joan. Not my cup of tea but I do like Jane

Shoshe Wed 03-Oct-12 17:44:58

I know a baby Melanie, and a Claire both young hip Mums, and a Simon and a Mark, which I always think of as 80's names!

bushymcbush Wed 03-Oct-12 17:48:53

Oh I really like Janet and Jane.

Colin can give me what for any time he likes wink

bochead Wed 03-Oct-12 17:57:06

lol! Ds has a friend named Janet so I think it's been trending for a while. Another little girl the same age is named Esme, which I think is lovely. My goddaughter is 20 and a Lois - so the turn of the century names peaked a while ago in this neck of the woods.

She's 8 and yes her Mum adored Mallory Towers growing up & now runs a cake business and is one of the jolliest people I know. (It's wonderful being a tester for all those new cream recipes - the hardship one has to suffer for one's mates wink).

1944girl Wed 03-Oct-12 18:02:41

My DGD is 9 and her middle name is Joan, after her other grandmother!.Her cousin who is 8 has as one of her names Jean, after her greatgrandmother.

1944girl Wed 03-Oct-12 18:10:44

I was at school in the fifties and the names I remember from my classmates were;

June-who was born in that month
Carol and Christine-all born in December

Take your pick from that lot.Mine is not amongst them.

BigFatLegsInWoolyTIghts Wed 03-Oct-12 18:12:49

I have loved Jean and Joan for ages Aunt is Jeannie and it's so pretty. I love Sylvia too...and Rita is just cool!

BikeRunSki Wed 03-Oct-12 18:15:22

Babies are often named after their GP, so I reckon names cycle every 50 or 60 years.

wigglybeezer Wed 03-Oct-12 18:27:29

Your are making me smile, my brother Colin and his girlfriend Jane are expecting a baby girl and I think they should name it after my mum Jeannie ( but am keeping my ideas to myself unless asked for suggestions and will say all their ideas are lovely).

Snog Wed 03-Oct-12 18:32:17

Yup, Rita is a rocking name

StellaNova Wed 03-Oct-12 18:33:21

Ooh, excellent point BikeRunSki. But my grans were Vera and Gwen, neither of which seem particularly popular now. It's my great-grandmas that were Daisy, Amelia, Amy etc which seem to be more like the names that are popular now.

There should definitely be a run on Blyton names though. Isabel obviously very popular. Any Darrells about?

googlyeyes Wed 03-Oct-12 18:40:31

I think it will be our daughters who take up these names with gusto!

For me, Joan, Jean, Rita etc are not just old lady names but are v v meh as every woman of a certain age as I was growing up was called one of about 6 or 7 names like that and I can't make the leap to seeing them as cool just yet. They're just too recent for me.

It's a theory born out of my experience re dd's name (Lily)...MIL and a few other similar aged rellies were horrified, saying it was an old lady name on the way to extinction. Little did they know how it was racing up the top names chart!

I think you need at least a couple of generations' distance before names regain their cool as a whole new audience 'discovers' them

Must stop reading this thread. I have no intention of having another baby but I would love a little Rita. And looking at that list 1944girl posted, even Jacqueline is looking glamorous!

perfectstorm Wed 03-Oct-12 18:46:29

I think they will come back, but not quite yet. Basically all the original Ella, Elsie, Alfred, Freddie, Daisy and Rubys died and the names stopped being associated with old ladies. It's going to take another twenty years, I think, before Janet, Colin, Nigel, Gail etc come back in.

I don't think either Susie or Sally ever went out. I was at university with 3 Sallys and I knew two Sues.

perfectstorm Wed 03-Oct-12 18:47:17

For me, Joan, Jean, Rita etc are not just old lady names but are v v meh as every woman of a certain age as I was growing up was called one of about 6 or 7 names like that and I can't make the leap to seeing them as cool just yet. They're just too recent for me.

It's a theory born out of my experience re dd's name (Lily)...MIL and a few other similar aged rellies were horrified, saying it was an old lady name on the way to extinction. Little did they know how it was racing up the top names chart!

Yes, this.

perfectstorm Wed 03-Oct-12 18:48:04

Though funnily enough I know a couple of Americans who think Audrey is lovely. To me, it's a complete Granny name. 1930s though, so probably due a bit of a renaissance?

JumpJockey Wed 03-Oct-12 18:54:12

I'd like to know when/if Mavis will ever come back in. It just seems to be one of the old lady names that's a step too far...

bialystockandbloom Wed 03-Oct-12 19:08:28

A few of the girls' names not so bad imo, but some of the boys' would be awful.

Derek or Donald anyone?

My name screams 1950s and I hate it. No one has ever been given my name since 1959.
In my class at school in the 60s there were about seven Susans.
Other common names were;
I don't recall any Jills though, more 1930s I think? Also Jean and Joan are def 30s not 50s names.

ggirl Wed 03-Oct-12 19:16:14

googlyeyes yy when I told elderly relatives of dd's name 21 yrs ago they were not impressed...Rose.
They couldn't believe I would use such an old fashioned name.

CaseyShraeger Wed 03-Oct-12 19:18:11

I think it's heading that way. I found that with DC3 a few names from my parents' generation (born late 40s - early 50s) had crept onto my list, which hadn't been the case with DC1 (I still went for safe turn-of-the-century name in the end, though).

I know an 8yo Audrey who is lovely.

Bue Wed 03-Oct-12 19:20:36

Audrey is massive in the States, in the top 50 at least.

Jusfloatingby Wed 03-Oct-12 19:25:25

I grew up in Dublin so don't have the mumsy associations that English people have with names like Janet, Jill etc. To me they are just lovely nostalgic names from the books I enjoyed reading as a child.
I would love to see them come back in fashion.

StellaNova Wed 03-Oct-12 19:26:09

Ooh, I love Audrey. I know a five year old Audrey, is v pretty - Audrey Hepburn, Audrey-from-Twin-Peaks (puts 90s hat on)...

My dd3, 4 months, is called Elsie. People were shocked when we said her name and got the 'that's an old ladies name'

liquorsquicker Wed 03-Oct-12 19:28:27

Yes 1944girl! I was also at school in the 50s and had all of the same names in class with me - as well as Heather, Dorothy and Jennifer. The only name I liked then and still like now, was Stephanie. And I was one of a number of Judys!

WhatWouldGrandmaDo Wed 03-Oct-12 19:34:03

My former boss was a Colin (born in 1950s). When I was pregnant with DS1 he suggested Colin (I'd found out I was having a boy) and I do think he was only half joking.

thegreylady Wed 03-Oct-12 19:49:53

I love Joan but I was an Abbey Girls fan! I was born in 1944 my name is Valerie and I hate it.

pissovski Wed 03-Oct-12 20:03:36

DS's middle name is Colin, after FIL who died when i was 6 months pg.

Em2010 Wed 03-Oct-12 20:18:42

Ooh I like Audrey. Wouldn't be so sure about Deirdre though!

I know a baby Sandra...

delphinedownunder Wed 03-Oct-12 20:20:12

I think that Susan is a lovely name. Pity it gets shortened to Sue.

Jean, pronunciation of, confused the hell out of me as a kid (French mum).

EB....Rory, Bets, Fatty, Julian.....I know one Rory, 18 y.o., pretty quiet and trendy.

Romilly70 Wed 03-Oct-12 20:46:05

Been watching the Mad Men re-runs

The characters definitely make the names more attractive; top of the list is
Joan (Holloway)
Peggy (Olsen)
Bettty (Draper) - although i prefer Betsey

CheerfulYank Wed 03-Oct-12 20:53:22

They'll definitely come back, though I don't know if they have yet.

In a few years it will be "Pearl, with her daughters Pamela and Tammy..." smile

poppydaisy Wed 03-Oct-12 21:14:45

I recently met a baby Susannah and a little Quentin. Actually am starting to like them now.

HairyPoppins Wed 03-Oct-12 21:29:33

In the mid-80s I was at primary school with two brothers called Colin and Nigel, which seemed quite middle-aged at the time, although I know three more Colins in their 30s, and I considered it for my (now 2yo) DD had she been a boy.

I always think of Norma as a 1950s style name. I used to work with a Norma who had a twin brother called Norman, so I guess her mum or dad was quite big on the name.

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Wed 03-Oct-12 21:32:13

I know of a Sally who'll be about preschool age now, and a Claire and a Susanna of about 9 or 10. Claire is more 60s/70s than 50s, though.

One of my classmates at secondary at the end of the 80s had a little sister called Jill. I also knew a Sally and an Alison.

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 22:14:27

Colin is the pits!

I am banning anyone from calling their poor sons Colin.

mulranno Wed 03-Oct-12 22:24:31

Friends of mine have babies named Sylvia, Gloria and Maggie -- agree with another who said girls could carry it -- but boys -- Gordon? Keith? Trevor?

AgathaPinchBottom Wed 03-Oct-12 22:27:22

Ha this post made me giggle...
What would Bernard, Margery, Bessie, Susan and Carol be up to then?

mulranno Wed 03-Oct-12 22:28:39

Worse is the Irish 50s versions - so Geraldine, Kathleen, Bridie, Philomena, Bernadette, Maureen, Francis

squoosh Wed 03-Oct-12 22:29:44

Sylvia, Gloria and Maggie sound like the coolest sisters ever!

But yes, the boys names don't have quite the same zing. Maurice, Malcolm and Geoffrey . . . . . . . not quite so fabulous.

poppydaisy Wed 03-Oct-12 22:30:44

I like Gordon. Not that keen on Keith though....

AgathaPinchBottom Wed 03-Oct-12 22:31:58

Winifred would no doubt be head girl, with Doris as deputy, but Gladys and Betty?

My baby girl (when she's born) Is going to be called Summer Rose Florence Patrcia Scarlett S smile

SrirachaGirl Wed 03-Oct-12 22:43:53

I've always loved Jean and Joan, thanks to Enid B. Joan was Eliabeth Allen's sensible friend and Jean was the clever, witty Scottish girl in Mallory Towers. I think there was a Mavis but wasn't she the silly one with delusions of grandeur?

We know a little Patsy. I think it's great...such a refreshing change from all the current names smile.

NigellasGuest Wed 03-Oct-12 22:58:30

I love Jean...

and what about Julie? more 60s than 50s perhaps, but still due a revival IMO

SingingSands Wed 03-Oct-12 23:09:03

I think Julie is great, and definitely due a revival. I'd name a DD Julie.

NanaNina Wed 03-Oct-12 23:38:16

What an interesting thread. I was born in 1944 and hate my name but luckily it can be shortened into quite a nice name. I remember the kid's names at school in the 50s. as already listed by another poster. I think whoever said that it is the grandparent's names that are back in fashion is right, and not the Maureens, Eileens, Cynthias and John Derek and Victor of the 50s. YUK horrible names. The Florences, Amies, Lilys are back. I hate the new trend for American names, Maddison, Harrison etc.

No can't be doing with Jean - she definitely works in a chip shop! Hairdressers used to have their names as the shop name - I recall Phyllis and Barbara - written in curly writing.

Can't believe the poster who likes Sylvia, Gloria (yuk) and Maggie. I have a friend called Gloria and she hates it and goes by Glo. She said at school she was often called "in exelcis deo!"

I know some triplets called Alice, Mabel and Phoebe. Like Alice but not the others. There are 2 Arthurs in our road (both under 2) and a Henry, but think it would be unusual to call a child Colin or Janet now.

The prettiest girls names I think are some of the Irish names (my dil is Irish) and there are Roseannas, Roisins, Catrins, Catrionas, Aseling, Orla and many more I can't recall.

ErrorError Wed 03-Oct-12 23:45:44

If I was to name any DC after any of my elders I'd end up with Barbara, Sydney, Muriel, Fred. Ho hum...! There was an Alice and Tamar, which aren't so bad but not common.

Whenever I think of a typical 50s name though, I always end up thinking of, Eileen, Pauline, Diane, Christine, Ruth. Conjuring up images of housewives, nurses and secretaries.

All 50s men to me are Brian, Eric or John. No idea why.

Agreed that the names cycle every 50-60 years due to being used on the grandchildren. My middle name is a common middle name but very old fashioned. (probably 3rd most common after Jane or Louise in the 80s)

ErrorError Wed 03-Oct-12 23:49:43

Malcolm is another one... you don't hear of many baby Malcolm's these days. Or do you?

spookytoo Thu 04-Oct-12 00:06:49

I am probably outing you here 1944girl.
You missed Anne from your list, there were always Annes in the 50s. Possibly influenced by Princess Anne's birth.

spookytoo Thu 04-Oct-12 00:08:08

Funny there are so many Henrys. Prince Harry must be an influence there I think.

squoosh Thu 04-Oct-12 00:10:54

It's all about what's familiar isn't it NannaNina? I'm Irish so to me Irish names are very run of the mill, whereas Sylvia and Gloria are from a good generation ago so have started to sound fabulously vintage!

CheerfulYank Thu 04-Oct-12 00:25:02

What about a little boy named Roger?

My cousin is Keith, he's 17.

lisianthus Thu 04-Oct-12 06:24:45

To an Aussie ear, Heather and Christine are very 70s names.

I love Jane and Susan. I know a couple of little Patricias and a small Margaret (all in London).

tethersend Thu 04-Oct-12 06:48:27

I have an Angie and a Shirley, and I am exceptionally hip grin

Oh and I know a Henrietta. Is that 50s?

BlueSkySinking Thu 04-Oct-12 08:13:25

Colin, Alan, Ken, Brian,

mommybunny Thu 04-Oct-12 09:12:00

I just wanted to call attention to the fabulousness of one of the names in 1944girl's list which everyone seems somehow to have missed: Blanche. Just wow.

melika Thu 04-Oct-12 09:25:50

My name makes me feel old it's one of those in the 50's but I was born middle 60's. I sometimes wish I was called something trendier eg Debbie!

RillaBlythe Thu 04-Oct-12 09:38:33

I know a baby Cindy. Not sure about that one.

MadBusLady Thu 04-Oct-12 09:52:08

I'm not either. But I love Cynthia! There aren't really any other nicknames. Cyn is even worse because of the sound! Thia? But that's practically a different name.

Jusfloatingby Thu 04-Oct-12 10:10:49

Re Enid Blyton type names, I think Ann must surely be due a comeback. It's been out of fashion for ages.

Here in Ireland typical 50s names were horrible: Bernie, Philomena, Patricia, Geraldine, Teresa, Marie. English names of that vintage were much, much nicer.

Quadrangle Thu 04-Oct-12 10:12:59

You could shorten Philomena to Mena and you could shorten Teresa to Tess. I like those nns. Quite like Marie.

manicinsomniac Thu 04-Oct-12 10:13:41

In 40 years time all the Kayleighs, Donnas and Michelles will be in nursing homes being looked after by Lily, Rose and Esme grin

mommybunny Thu 04-Oct-12 10:14:35

Jusfloatingby - you have no idea how many of those names are in my (Irish-American) family. I hope you're right about Ann - a more unfashionable name you could not imagine wink.

Jusfloatingby Thu 04-Oct-12 10:14:39

I like Tess and Tessa. In Ireland in the 50s Marie was usually pronounced Maaree as opposed to Ma-ree which isn't as nice.

Jusfloatingby Thu 04-Oct-12 10:15:51

Sorry mommybunny. I hope I wasn't insulting you.

Quadrangle Thu 04-Oct-12 10:16:57

Someone called Gloria could only ever be fun. She would have a throaty laugh and long red nails and all the men would fancy her.

Quadrangle Thu 04-Oct-12 10:18:28

I think Joan and Betty have been made very cool indeed by Mad Men

Quadrangle Thu 04-Oct-12 10:23:49

When Lily, Rose and Esme end up in the nursing home they will be looked after by a new generation of Jean, Joan and Junes and it will have gone full circle.

Jusfloatingby Thu 04-Oct-12 10:27:09

What about Jane Quadrangle? sad

I really love that name and want it to come back into fashion NOW.

bacon Thu 04-Oct-12 10:31:20

I had Pearl, Ethal and Gwladys as options for #2 ended up with another boy.

I hate popular/trendy names.

Quadrangle Thu 04-Oct-12 10:31:55

I like Jane. I think it is quite classy. It makes me think of Henry VIII's wife Jane Seymour.

Quadrangle Thu 04-Oct-12 10:34:24

I think Pearl is very cool because of Pearl Lowe.

StellaNova Thu 04-Oct-12 10:37:10

Like Anne of Green Gables I prefer Anne-with-an-e.

StellaNova Thu 04-Oct-12 10:38:18

mommybunny there was a whole thread about Blanche a while back, which started with everyone hating it and then people started growing into it...

squoosh Thu 04-Oct-12 10:46:00

Stella anytime I hear the name Blanche I now think of that thread grin
People really came around to it, I think it's a brilliant name!

And yes Anne must always be spelt with an E. Ann looks awful, Anne looks a trilliion times better.

<Anne of Green Gables superfan emoticon>

SnotandBothered Thu 04-Oct-12 11:01:57

Love Blance
Love Rita
Love Shirley
Love Betsey

When I was small I always wanted to be called Carol or Maggie (which is what all my mums friends were called) hmm

Then later on Tina which to me epitomised all that was glamorous. confused

I would have found 50's names really frumpy

It's funny how our perception of what's glamorous changes. I now think 50s names do seem glamorous, but I suspect it has a lot to do with Mad Men.

mommybunny Thu 04-Oct-12 11:24:49

squoosh, agree with you on Blanche, but please do go easy on Ann... wink

wheresthebloodydogmummy Thu 04-Oct-12 11:53:07

A mate recently named her girl Maggie. We were all a bit hmm but the cuteness factor is well high.

Latara Thu 04-Oct-12 11:54:14

Firstly: a plea from my 80 year old neighbour... she says ''please never call your daughter 'Winifred' or she will never forgive you!''

(If i was given just £1 for every elderly lady i meet who hates her name & uses a totally different name; then i would be very rich indeed, so beware!).

Re: 1950s names - These are the most common names of the women i know born 1945-59; quite often they seem to prefer to use nicknames based on their Christian names:

Susan (Sue)
Jacqueline (Jackie)
Julie (Jules)
Valerie (Val)
Patricia (Pat, Patsy, Tricia, Trisha, Trish)
Joyce (Joycie)
Christine (Chris, Chrissie, Chrissy, Christy, Tina
Jane / Jayne (Janey)
Ann / Anne / Annette / Annie
Barbara (Babs)
Carol / Caroline
Janet (Jan)

I think it's best to try to be original (but not eccentrically so) in name choices if possible.

For example i know lots of women named 'Sue' in the 35 - 65 age group (the younger Sues tend to be Suzanna / Suzanne or Susanne / Susanna as well as Susan.
I think Susan is a pretty name actually, but the name is so common that in conversation i have to use extra identifiers eg. give a surname / description or my relationship to the 'Sue' in question.

Tedharry Thu 04-Oct-12 12:01:31

Not really %0s but my Grannies/ great aunts names were Ruth, Phyllis and Diana. Love Phyllis now. Can just imagine a little girl called Phyllis

Jusfloatingby Thu 04-Oct-12 12:02:51

Funny, I hate Phyllis but think Ruth and Diana are lovely. I could never understand why there wasn't a big revival of the name Diana in the eighties.

evamummy Thu 04-Oct-12 12:04:31


issynoko Thu 04-Oct-12 12:18:57

I know 2 Jeans - aged 3 and 6. One known as Jeannie. DD has Jean as her middle name and sometimes gets called that in conjunction with her first name. Which makes her sound like a hill-billy. But cool! Joanie is cool too. What goes around comes around I guess.

Jusfloatingby Thu 04-Oct-12 12:39:31

There's something very reassuring about fifities names. They make me think of nurseries and high tea and children in mufflers playing out in the fields. Probably wasn't like that at all but that's the image those names conjure up for me.

shoppingtrolley Thu 04-Oct-12 12:41:33


squoosh Thu 04-Oct-12 12:45:08

I love the name Sylvia. She's a bit more glam than Carol or Joan. She has a long line of gentleman callers and wears her scarves in a very dashing way when Terence brings her for a spin in the country in his open top MG.

She's a little bit fast but who cares, it's the 50's and she's a modern woman!

shoppingtrolley Thu 04-Oct-12 12:48:02

Yes, and she smokes Sobranie cocktail cigarettes on special occasions!

Jusfloatingby Thu 04-Oct-12 12:53:32

I used to love the name Sylvia until I had a really annoying boss with that name. Up until then I had always associated it with 'Garnie' in Ballet Shoes. Very feminine, ladylike, middle class English.

perfectstorm Thu 04-Oct-12 12:53:57

I like Alicia, too! Sylvia and Alicia and Lydia, all so pretty.

Though they somehow seem more 1930s, really.

Jusfloatingby Thu 04-Oct-12 12:55:19

Alicia and Lydia are lovely names. Wasn't there an Alicia in Malory Towers?

MadBusLady Thu 04-Oct-12 13:09:25

Yes. She was a bit lively and clever-clever, and Blyton (through the headmistress) found this kind of behaviour inappropriate in a gel. grin Alicia probably had an exciting career in advertising and lived in lots of different countries with different men though while Darrell obediently became a secretary.

Jusfloatingby Thu 04-Oct-12 13:12:29

Oh no. Darrell became a teacher and ended up as headmistress of Malory Towers. She just could not get enough of that place.

StellaNova Thu 04-Oct-12 13:13:11

There was! She was hard. Well hard.

I never knew how to pronounce Alicia so used to skim over it going Alicka in my head.

I know an Alicia in her 30s. Other Malory Towers/ St Clares ones - Doris, Belinda, Felicity, Anne-Marie, Gwendoline, Mary-Lou, Wilhelmina (!)

StellaNova Thu 04-Oct-12 13:13:44

Darrell became a writer, because she was really Enid Blyton wink

MadBusLady Thu 04-Oct-12 13:16:58

She was a right little twonk really. The O'Sullivan twins were much cooler and had vastly better names. Isobel of course is very common now but Patricia (Patsy, Tricia) must be due a revival soon.

Jusfloatingby Thu 04-Oct-12 13:17:17

I hope she was less complex than Enid Blyton, who was a seriously disturbed woman in real life and pretty horrible to her children.

Jusfloatingby Thu 04-Oct-12 13:18:19

Wasn't there an Alison in St Clare's? Funny, because I think of that as a very 70s name.

StellaNova Thu 04-Oct-12 13:38:05

I identified with dippy Alison. She got a bad press from Blyton, but she was kind hearted and her main crime was not to like games.

But yes, I am a 70s child and there were two Alisons in my class. Having said that the teacher was also an Alison.

wigglybeezer Thu 04-Oct-12 13:40:38

Can I just defend Colin as a name, in Scotland it is more common and is more of a suits all ages traditional manly name, especially in the Highlands where it is popular with members of clan Campbell.

Mind you my brother Colin reckoned it affected his dating success in England as women didn't like the thouhght of introducing " my boyfriend Colin" to their friends.

edam Thu 04-Oct-12 13:40:52

Friends called their baby Jason which I think is a bit of a Colin name. Too soon for a comeback on that one, I feel...

Declutterbug Thu 04-Oct-12 13:41:06

I have met babies called Colin, Winifred (Winnie) and Edith, and 2 little Susannah's and an Audrey.

I think we are halfway there already!

edam Thu 04-Oct-12 13:41:42

Cross-post! :-)

squoosh Thu 04-Oct-12 13:43:45

Wow the parents of baby Jason are waaaay ahead of the curve.

I agree with the advice from the 80 year old neighbour further up the thread, Winifred is awful!

stokemeaclipper Thu 04-Oct-12 13:54:30

daily fail

interesting name they have gone for this time

squoosh Thu 04-Oct-12 13:56:40

5th child???? How is he old enough to have f-i-v-e children?

Wilhelmina though. Ouch. Poor kiddo.

MadBusLady Thu 04-Oct-12 13:57:45

There was also an Erica who was mean and horrible and had to be reformed by the other gels, but I can't remember which books.

Alison was the stuck up one at St Clares. I dunno why, I think she occasionally brushed her hair or something.

squoosh Thu 04-Oct-12 14:04:59

Blyton also didn't approve of gels who had silly pashs on the fellows.

It would cause Darrell and co to shake their heads in pity for the little airheads. Then they'd retreat to the games pavilion for a quick grope with the games mistress

Quadrangle Thu 04-Oct-12 14:05:47

If I was named Wilhelmina I would call myself "Mina" (pronounced Minna not Meana or Miner."

weegiemum Thu 04-Oct-12 14:23:03

This is great. Ii know a Darrell. He's in his 50s and American.

I'm a 70s baby and was one of four susans in my class. It's lovely to say people saying they like it as it was considered way too "Mavis" on MN a few years ago.

Reading this is like reading the register when I was at school!

Some names retain more popularity in some areas - like people mentioned earlier. We used to live in NW Scotland and I knew Donalds, Murrow, Malcolms, Alastairs of all ages. And Donaldas, Murdinas, Jeans, etc. Many, many Donald Macdonalds too!!

weegiemum Thu 04-Oct-12 14:23:40

Murrow = Murdo

Jusfloatingby Thu 04-Oct-12 14:29:13

Alison was sensible feeble and silly because she didn't like racing around a lacrosse field in freezing cold weather.

She also used to have crushes on teachers and other girls, IIRC. Totally innocent of course. I'm sure she's a happily married grandmother now.

ivykaty44 Thu 04-Oct-12 14:48:19

I am really sorry but Phylis reminds me of an illness


ivykaty44 Thu 04-Oct-12 14:49:13

Wilhelmina - I would choose Billie

frogletsmum Thu 04-Oct-12 14:56:48

I'm a 60s girl - can't believe no one has mentioned Catherine/Kathryn/Katherine and all the variants yet. There were always at least 3 of us in every class I was in and I hated having to be identified by my surname.

My big sister was a 50s baby and had a typical name - Helen - she wanted to be a Penny.

Guess you're never happy with what your parents inflict on you...

timmytoes Thu 04-Oct-12 14:58:06

I was at school in the 70s and popular names were Joanne, Rebecca , Rachel, Victoria, Susan, Robert, Richard, Stephen, Andrew, David, Louise, Sandra, Claire, Mark whereas my parents generation were Ann, Sylvia, Roger, Peter, Trevor, Kathleen, Sheila, Stephanie and Colin. My grand parents generation were Stanley, Florence, Marion, Percy, William, Gladys, Frank, Elizabeth, Ann !, and Lancelot (not heard of that one for a while). There were lots of Emmas a few years after me.

ivykaty44 Thu 04-Oct-12 14:58:19

I thought Catherine was still popular though so can't be reveived in the same way as other names that have gone out of fashion

squoosh Thu 04-Oct-12 14:58:34

I think it's because Catherine has never fallen out of fashion.

Unlike poor Wilhelmina (!)

thefudgeling Thu 04-Oct-12 15:02:00

My mum is 60 and ALL her friends are called Linda, Sue, Kath/Cath or Anne.

Jusfloatingby Thu 04-Oct-12 15:22:41

Oh, I forgot Helen. That's another lovely 50s name. I vote for a revival of the following:


frogletsmum Thu 04-Oct-12 15:31:57

Diane and Nicola/Nicole were really popular when I was at school.

Funny, I've noticed 'older' people often call me Cath - which I HATE! Must be an age thing.

Not 50s at all but my favourite name for revival would be Maude - would have called DS that if he'd been a girl. DH wasn't too keen though.

Quadrangle Thu 04-Oct-12 15:34:48

Caroline was the most popular name at my high school. I still like it..and Clare. I think Clare is very pretty. Makes me think of County Clare in Ireland. Bit irrelevant to the thread really as I was at high school in the 80s.

WhatWouldGrandmaDo Thu 04-Oct-12 16:36:19

if there is a revival I will blame Mr Bloom - Raymond, Joan, Margaret, Colin etc.

I am quite surprised that Maggie is having a revival. I would've thought it was in the same no-go category as Adolf! (not saying Maggie was the female Hitler but, well, still not good...)

salome2001 Thu 04-Oct-12 16:40:32

my great grandmother was Ivy, I think it would suit the Victorian names revival without being too over-used. but we are not succumbing with pink bump smile

jacks1972 Thu 04-Oct-12 16:42:33

My 2 year old DD is called Isobel, my mother wasn't impressed smile

I fancy Iris or Elsie for my next one. Grace is my favourite but DH refuses me that one.

My granny was Jemima but she refused to be called that and called herself Nan [to everyone not just her grandchildren!]

SusanneLinder Thu 04-Oct-12 17:01:59

I was at school in the 70s and popular names were Joanne, Rebecca , Rachel, Victoria, Susan, Robert, Richard, Stephen, Andrew, David, Louise, Sandra, Claire, Mark whereas my parents generation were Ann, Sylvia, Roger, Peter, Trevor, Kathleen, Sheila, Stephanie and Colin. My grand parents generation were Stanley, Florence, Marion, Percy, William, Gladys, Frank, Elizabeth, Ann !, and Lancelot (not heard of that one for a while). There were lots of Emmas a few years after me.

My 3 daughters born in late 80's- to late 90's names are in there.Plus my mums name and she was born in the thirties (not Gladys). When I was at school in the 70's there were lots of Alison's, Caroline's, Claire's ,Morven, Susans etc.

ErrorError Thu 04-Oct-12 17:05:27

In my school year there were loads of Emma's and Kelly's. My own name has popped up in one of your lists OP, I hadn't realised it was popular in the 50s. I was named after a TV character my dad fancied!!!

Latara Thu 04-Oct-12 17:17:49

I'm 36; at school 80s & early 90s; for girls born approx 1975-1979 these were the names of many girls in my classes:

Claire / Clare
Katherine / Katharine / Kathryn / Catherine / Kate / Katie / Katrina
Shelley / Shelly
Deborah (Debbie)
Louise / Louisa
Nicola (Nicky, Nikki etc)
Victoria (Vicky / Vickie)
Caroline / Carrie
Kelly / Kellie
Samantha (Sam)
Rebecca (Becky / Becci)

Popular boys' names of the same age group in my classes:

James (Jamie / Jim)
Daniel (Dan / Danny)
Alan / Allan
Andrew (Andy)
Jason (Jay)
Nathan / Nathaniel (Nate)
Stephen / Steven (Steve)
Nicholas (Nick / Nicky)
Samuel (Sam)
Christopher / Christian (Chris)
Gareth / Garry / Gary
Richard / Ricky (Rich / Rick)
Carl / Karl
Matthew / Mathew (Mat / Matt)
Michael (Mike / Micky / Mickey)
Jonathan / Jon / John / Jonathon
Mark / Marcus

Some of these names are still popular now as Christian names or Second names.

If i had i baby now - too many of the Girls' names are too strongly associated with certain girls for me to want to use those names; a lot were or still are friends; alternatively some were quite bitchy.

I still like some of the Boys names & would consider those for a baby boy; maybe cos i didn't know as many of the boys at school so well!
I definitely like: James, Carl, Nathaniel / Nathan, & Daniel.

Latara Thu 04-Oct-12 17:48:12

I forgot; there were quite a few of these girls at school: Helen, Rachel & Natasha.
Also these boys: Russell, Robert.

Some of my girl classmates had what were then very pretty & unusual names; some have since become very popular: Chloe, Aimee, Jaime; Holly.. & i'd use those particular names now.

Some of the Romany boys had unusual names that i've not heard since school: Sherren, Soren, Reuben, Blue.
I like 'Reuben' as it's biblical but a bit different.

Old fashioned names:

I've not heard this name at all; it's the name of a neighbour who lived until she was 102; she'd have been born in the late 1890s i think:

Henrietta (she was 'Hetty' for short).

I know a young woman called 'Millie' (which is very current) but her full name is actually 'Millicent' which is pretty - i've never heard of anyone else under 90 with that name; & i think it was always quite rare.

Foreign names

I worked with a Filippino woman called 'Sherry' who was nice & very pretty. I like that name & would use it as long as no-one thought i'd used it because of the drink!

The other pretty & unusual names i heard recently are those of colleagues with East European or Italian parents: Zorica, Tatiana, Loretta.

Also i have 2 Pakistani Facebook friends with 2 variations on the same name which i like & i've not heard it on anyone else: Tehmina / Tahmina.

ivykaty44 Thu 04-Oct-12 17:49:53

Samantha was a popular name, when did that appear?

weegiemum Thu 04-Oct-12 17:52:18

Am I ahead of the name curve as I have a Katherine (12) and Rachel (8)?

Never thought of them as 50s. I thought they were undateably classic!

ErrorError Thu 04-Oct-12 17:58:06

I like the name 'Sherry' (because of the drink grin) but I think it would be vetoed by DP instantly. He likes Esmé (pronounced Es-May and must have the accented 'e') but I'd veto that because of the Twilight connotations. It is a lovely name though. There's a lot of young Alfie's and Charlie's in my area at the moment, but names in their own right, and not short for Alfred/Charles. I wonder if there are any baby Barry's and Brian's though. No offence to anyone called Barry, but I look at lovely baby boys and just can't imagine anyone thinking Barry would suit them. I know a Terence and a Harold my age (26) but they usually go by their middle names.

ErrorError Thu 04-Oct-12 18:03:06

I had a friend called Baz and always thought it was a jokey nickname with no relation to his name, then wondered if it was short for 'Barry', then found out it was actually short for 'Basil'. Most unusual but very interesting!

Latara Thu 04-Oct-12 18:16:51

weegie - the Katherines & Rachels i knew were born in the mid 70s to early 80s.

They are good classic names that don't ever sound dated; so possibly would have around in the 50s too.

I remember: Zoe, Gemma / Jemma, Jennifer / Jenny / Jenna, Karen, were popular at school (80s / early 90s too). I keep remembering more names from school now, not sure i wanted to!

Danielle (Danni) was another popular name in late 70s / early 80s - i remember that because i recently learnt that one of my Great-Great Grandmothers in the 19th Century was called 'Daniele.'

I think of 'Diana' as a 50s name due to Diana Dors.

ErrorError Thu 04-Oct-12 18:22:50

My mum has a Chinese friend called Mei. I love it and love foreign names (like Rayana/Coralie/Sakura/Johan/Theo (pronounced the German way tay-oh), but have no connections to their countries of origin and feel my white working class family would think I was being very pretentious!

Sorry, thread hogging - back to the 50s!

johnworf Thu 04-Oct-12 18:38:43

I have a Katherine here too. Hope it doesn't get too popular again. She's the only one with a K in her school smile

Zhabr Thu 04-Oct-12 18:51:38

I know a baby Enid...

weegiemum Thu 04-Oct-12 18:54:39

Yay keep the Katherines special. She has no other folk with the same name in school and goes by Kathy right now (her choice). Its classic. It's Greek, means "pure".

weegiemum Thu 04-Oct-12 18:56:23

My Rachel was named after her 91 year old great-Grannie who died 2 weeks before her birth. Her middle name is my grans name! Born 1912/1922.

tobee Thu 04-Oct-12 19:03:46

When my dad was at school (born 1935) he says that there were 7 Brians in his class!( including him, sadly) When we were growing up my sister and I wanted him to change his name to Philip but he wouldn't hear of it. Also he was nearly called Keith.

MadBusLady Thu 04-Oct-12 20:00:03

I love this thread, it's made me want to reread all the Enid Blytons.

Exactly how horrified will I be at all the gender stereotype conditioning I innocently absorbed? grin

Allthegoodonesaregone Thu 04-Oct-12 20:14:25

My 20mo twin girls have the middle names Jean and Gillian after mine & DP mums. Both of them born in 1949/1950 - definately something in the name cycle thing.

This is almost making me want twin girls again to call them Maggie and Patsy.
steps away from baby name threads as 4 dc is enough & dp would think i had lost the plot

pixiepoopoo Thu 04-Oct-12 20:32:42

Please do not resurrect Lesley or Leslie!

CaseyShraeger Thu 04-Oct-12 20:42:06

DS wanted (actually, 'wanted' isn't putting it strongly enough) to name DD1 Lesley. I had to break it to him gently that that was Not Happening.

My DCs are called Nicholas and Kathleen- are they 50s/60s enough to be fashionable?

Still debating what to call DC3. I'll have to start quizzing my mum about the names of her classmates.

nappyaddict Thu 04-Oct-12 21:49:07

I like Sylvie, Jeannie, Anna, Patricia, June, Valerie, Susan, Margaret, Cynthia, Florence, Rosemary, Rita, Lillian, Wendy, Penelope, Tulip, Gillian, Daphne, Darrell, Sally, Gwendoline, Mary, Alicia, Mavis, Mabel, Minnie, Maggie.

CheerfulYank Thu 04-Oct-12 22:09:03

My aunt has an Emily, Claire, Katherine, and a Jane, (and Joseph and Benjamin) ranging in age from 8 to 23. I will tell her she is well hip. grin

krystianah Thu 04-Oct-12 23:54:15

Oh, god, please don't bring back JOAN! Have you people no taste? It's a horrible old bags' name and my mother-in-law's, and all of her old crone friends. Not glamorous.

ErrorError Fri 05-Oct-12 00:17:12

My mum's middle name is Joan, she hates it. Says she's "never felt like a Joan". I suppose it was a slight deviation as there's a trend of Jane, Janet, Janette, Jean, in her family. Even Jean 'the chip shop lady' is marginally better than Joan. (Sorry Joans and Jeans on MN!) I like Rita, that was the name of my Sunday School teacher.

ErrorError Fri 05-Oct-12 00:18:23

Joan Baez might make it every so slightly cool. Then what about Janis (as in Joplin) Not Janice.

ErrorError Fri 05-Oct-12 00:19:52


Pitmountainpony Fri 05-Oct-12 01:06:54

I am in the US and have met more than one baby Alison , several David's a Colin and a lot of Teagan/Harper/Maddison/Hunter type named kiddos.

LittlePJS Fri 05-Oct-12 01:09:44

I like Patricia and Blanche - I think Rosemary has been on the increase with the flower names over recent years - so many great names for girls - shame I have 3 boys never got to use any girls names - I suppose I could have gone for Shirley for one of the boys.
Godmother of one of my sons called her son - Mark - not many of those around these days as new babies
I thought my youngest sons name was more of a 50's name - Rex - thought he was going to be the only one locally and now it seems there has been another little one called it close by - hey ho

ErrorError Fri 05-Oct-12 01:22:25

LittlePJS I like the name Rex. Regarding the other Rex, it's true I think communities become inspired by baby names and copy others (so consider it a compliment to your good taste smile) In my area in the 90s there was a succession of female Tyler's born a few years apart.

There seem to be more attractive 50s revival names for girls than boys. Though one 50s boys name I really like is Scott. (You wouldn't think it was 'quintessentially 50s' but it was definitely around then.) Occasionally comes up these days.


mathanxiety Fri 05-Oct-12 04:48:28

Names from the 50s (in Ireland)

mathanxiety Fri 05-Oct-12 04:49:05

And Nuala and Fionnuala

nappyaddict Fri 05-Oct-12 09:03:20

I like Cindy, short for Cynthia or Lucinda, Cece short for Cecilia or Cecilly. Also like Joanie, Sandy, Lindy, Pamela, Marilyn, Marian. I like Catherine but shortened to Cassie, Kitty or Cady.

I love Dotty and Betsy, if I ever have girls that will be their names.

notsosqueakyclean Fri 05-Oct-12 09:42:08

We have a dog called Rita - I love the name and think it's equally suit a girl - Rita Ora has made it cool again I think. I'm Shirley and have never liked my name - I can't imagine it coming back into fashion again! I was the youngest of 4 girls - my sisters all have decent names - think my parents ran out of ideas! I half thought of changing it to my middle name, Helen but think my Mum would be a little put out. I suppose one saving grace is it's not too common (except among over 60s). Think Shirley Temple was the inspiration - she's got a lot to answer for in my opinion!

johnworf Fri 05-Oct-12 09:42:56

I considered Dorothy (Dottie) and Miriam for my DD#2.

pigletmania Fri 05-Oct-12 09:57:31

I have heard of an Elsie, myrtle and Paula, Victoria I am hearing more older names coming back

pigletmania Fri 05-Oct-12 09:59:24

Oh and someone I know had a baby called George, stanley

squoosh Fri 05-Oct-12 10:58:21

Hazel is another 1950's frump name.

Jusfloatingby Fri 05-Oct-12 11:31:51

Oh, I like Hazel.

What about Heather? And there was nearly always a Cynthia in those old boarding school stories.

Merida Fri 05-Oct-12 11:42:42

I named DS after my two grandads. If I'd had a girl I don't think I'd have had the heart/bottle/inclination to call her after my grandmothers... altho I guess there wouoldn't be too many Harriet Otilia's out there..!

squoosh Fri 05-Oct-12 11:47:04

For me Heather is more 1980's American cheerleader.

Cynthia is a bit frosty and stuck up, married to Bernard who has a good job at the bank. Bernard and his secretary Jean (oh Jean you're always such a trollop) spend a lot of time in his office doing 'dictation'.

Jusfloatingby Fri 05-Oct-12 12:17:59

Yes, Cynthia was always a snooty little cow, boasting about how well off her father was (self made, no background, from what I've heard).
As for Jean, I believe June and Colin don't even speak to her anymore since that incident at the Colin's birthday buffet.

squoosh Fri 05-Oct-12 12:30:19

I forgot the incident at Colin and June's buffet. It was the deviled eggs under the nest of tables that gave the game away apparently. Jean tried to cover it up with a doilie but everyone knew.

Jusfloatingby Fri 05-Oct-12 13:02:53

I believe June's hostess trolley has never worked properly since.

StellaNova Fri 05-Oct-12 14:29:32

Re: Joan, I can't help but think of Buffy losing her memory:

Dawn: You want me to name you?
Buffy: Oh, that's sweet, but I think I can name myself. I'll name me... "Joan".
Dawn: Ugh.
Buffy/Joan: What? Did you just "ugh" my name?
Dawn: No, I just... I mean, Joan, it's so blah.
Buffy/Joan: I like it. I feel like a "Joan".
Dawn: Fine, that's your purgative.
Buffy/Joan: "Prerogative".
Dawn: Whatever, Joan.

Tigerbomb Fri 05-Oct-12 14:47:54

Please don't resurrect Rita. People misread my name and call me that. It's vile

Joan always sounds glamorous, probably because I associate it with Joan Crawford but it is not a name I would inflict on a child.

When will all the new little Sharon and Tracey's appear?

squoosh Fri 05-Oct-12 15:08:44


a)Rita Hayworth
b)Rita from Corrie
c)Rita from 'Rita, Sue and Bob Too'

Jusfloatingby Fri 05-Oct-12 16:31:21

Rita is more a 'chip shop' 1950s name. If Rita had been at Malory Towers she would have been smoking out of the dormitory window and cracking open the beer at midnight feasts.

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