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These 100 baby names totally rocked the 1980s

  • #5 Boy: David

    - Rank in the 1980s: #5
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 383,723
    - Rank in 2018: #22 (9,697 babies born)

    David Bowie rocked the ‘70s and ‘80s with songs like “Let's Dance” in 1983 and “Dancing In The Street” in 1985, so it's no wonder that the name “David” spiked in popularity during this time. David Copperfield, the American magician, also kept the name popular in the ‘80s with his memorable illusions throughout the decade.

  • #5 Girl: Sarah

    - Rank in the 1980s: #5
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 272,613
    - Rank in 2018: #67 (3,734 babies born)

    American jazz singer Sarah Vaughan remained active in her career through the 1980s and could be responsible for keeping the name popular between the ‘70s and ‘90s. Sarah Jessica Parker starred in the trendy movie “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” in 1985.

  • #4 Boy: Joshua

    - Rank in the 1980s: #4
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 396,590
    - Rank in 2018: #41 (7,364 babies born)

    A Hebrew name that appears in the Old Testament, Joshua means “God is my salvation.” Josh Brolin appeared in the hit 1985 movie “The Goonies” as his breakout role, and continued to maintain his popularity with the TV show “Private Eye” in 1987.

  • #4 Girl: Ashley

    - Rank in the 1980s: #4
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 352,187
    - Rank in 2018: #129 (2,267 babies born)

    Ashley reached its peak in 1987 and went down from there. That same year, the sitcom “Full House” debuted Ashley Olsen and her twin Mary-Kate as the character Michelle.

  • #3 Boy: Matthew

    - Rank in the 1980s: #3
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 458,976
    - Rank in 2018: #20 (9,924 babies born)

    Matthew means “gift of God,” and stems from the biblical name for the writer of the first gospel in the Old Testament. Actor Matt Dillon became somewhat of a teenage icon in the 1980s, starring in popular films like “My Bodyguard” and “Little Darlings” in 1980 and “The Outsiders” in 1983.

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  • #3 Girl: Amanda

    - Rank in the 1980s: #3
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 369,721
    - Rank in 2018: #369 (844 babies born)

    The name Amanda first showed up in England in the 1200s and appeared in several plays and novels throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. The name continued to stay popular through the ‘80s and ‘90s due to the characters from popular shows such as “Dynasty” and “Melrose Place.”

  • #2 Boy: Christopher

    - Rank in the 1980s: #2
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 554,904
    - Rank in 2018: #42 (7,261 babies born)

    While Christopher Reeve's intensely-popular “Superman” debuted in 1978, the three sequels that followed all came in the ‘80s. His stardom likely inspired some of the decade's parents in naming their child.

  • #2 Girl: Jennifer

    - Rank in the 1980s: #2
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 440,871
    - Rank in 2018: #345 (915 babies born)

    Believed to have originated from the name Guinevere, the wife of King Arthur, Jennifer as a baby name peaked in 1972 and maintained popularity throughout the next two decades. Actress Jennifer O'Neill starred in several films and expanded her modeling career during this time, and Jennifer Grey stole the show in the 1987 classic “Dirty Dancing.”

  • #1 Boy: Michael

    - Rank in the 1980s: #1
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 663,742
    - Rank in 2018: #14 (11,620 babies born)

    The 1980s were full of famous Michaels. Michael Jackson’s hit song “The Way You Make Me Feel” came out in 1987 and continues to be one of the most popular MJ songs of all time, George Michael gained an obscene amount of success after going solo, Michael J. Fox stole everyone’s hearts in “Back to the Future” and “Family Ties,” and Michael Jordan dominated the basketball court.

  • #1 Girl: Jessica

    - Rank in the 1980s: #1
    - Average annual babies born in the 1980s: 469,487
    - Rank in 2018: #312 (1,057 babies born)

    One of the most famous Jessicas of the 1980s was Jessica McClure, born in 1986, who fell down a 22-foot, 8-inch-wide well in 1987 at just 18 months old. She was trapped for a harrowing 58 hours as emergency workers tried to reach her and Americans watched the drama unfold live on CNN—the only 24-hour news network at the time.

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