Ready to take a look at history through the lens of names?
Welcome to the Baby Name Timeline, an ever-growing list of baby names that were influenced by historical events.
All of the names on this timeline saw sudden fluctuations in usage that can be correlated to specific moments in history — particularly pop culture history!
Here are links to each decade:
This timeline is a work in progress. Currently, it features more than 4,300 baby names, and over 45% of those names are linked to explanatory blog posts.
Finally, some specifics…
- The fluctuations I’m focusing on are:
- overall peaks (Jeannette, Coretta),
- spikes (Arlynne, Kijana),
- turnarounds (Angie),
- drops (Hillary, Isis),
- gender-switches (Kelly, Sutton),
- debuts, both overall (Orenthal, Shindana) and gender-specific (Dorie, Durelle), and
- Names that saw fluctuations over a span of several years are listed on the timeline once, under (what I thought to be) the most appropriate year.
- Names that saw multiple fluctuations due to different influences (Billiejean, Sheena) are listed on the timeline multiple times.
- I’m sticking to the original spelling of each name, except in cases where parents simply took plurals and made them singular (“Shirelles” into “Shirelle“).
If you know of a name that I’ve forgotten to include somewhere, please get in touch!