15 Rad Baby Names That Parents Born in the '80s Will Love

Tanvier Peart | May 11, 2017 Pregnancy

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We don't need a time machine to relive the glorious days of the '80s -- and all the hair spray, neon hair accessories, ripped jeans, and shoulder pads the decade had to offer. It was a time of big hair and memorable shows and entertainers that inspired tons of trends ... and, of course, baby names. Sure, modern baby names are cool -- kind of -- but perhaps a retro baby name from the '80s is a more unique choice that is bound to stand out on the playground.

Laura Wattenberg, founder of the online baby-name destination BabyNameWizard.com, has created a list of unforgettable '80s-inspired baby names that both honors the decade and all of its stardom and detours from common names like Justin, Ashley, or Tiffany.

Searching for titles with a noteworthy "'80s purity score" -- meaning the percentage of ALL people with the name who were born during the decade -- Laura was able to identify names from the 1980s that truly reflect the era of neon and crimped hair.

These are all names that "mostly existed in that decade," explains Laura. "Some of the names were big hits, others were rarities, but all are loving tributes to their time." 

More from CafeMom: 20 Hottest Baby Names Set to Dominate 2017

So, fasten that fanny pack that we know is still hiding in the closet, as we take a look at some memorable baby names from the 1980s.


Sorapop Udomsri/Shutterstock

  • DeLorean

    1

    Unless you watched a certain cult classic about time travel back to the 1950s, you probably have no clue what a DeLorean is or why 62 percent of people with this name were born during the '80s.

    "The 1985 film Back to the Future cemented the ill-fated DeLorean sports car as THE emblematic '80s ride," Laura Wattenberg reveals. "No other vehicle so immediately summons the decade, from its style to its greed. Through the power of cinema and memory, the DeLorean truly has become a time machine."

  • Rambo

    2

    Oh yeah -- you know exactly where we're going with this name!

    Rambo is an ass-kicking title packed with guerrilla warfare feels wrapped in big gun ammunition and rippling biceps. "The way Rambo kept (victoriously) re-fighting the Vietnam War anchors the films firmly to their time," says Wattenberg. "First Blood and its sequels made muscular John Rambo, played by Sylvester Stallone, an action-movie icon."

    As BabyNameWizard.com notes, the name Rambo scores a 73 percent on the "'80s purity score," making this title one for the books.

  • Sheena

    3

    As Laura Wattenberg notes, the name Sheena, a Scottish Gaelic version of Jane that means "God is gracious," isn't one of "the purest of '80s names, but [it's] one of the very biggest" given 74 percent of kiddos donning this title were born during the decade.

    "A smattering of girls were named Sheena in the 1940s-70s thanks to various incarnations of the pulp character Sheena, Queen of the Jungle," Wattenberg adds. "But '80s pop princess Sheena Easton ushered in a decade of over 16,000 little Sheenas, with a notoriously bad 1984 jungle-Sheena movie pitching in."

  • Jarreau

    4

    "Can you hum the chorus of 'We're in This Love Together'?" Laura Wattenberg asks. "How about the theme song from the TV series Moonlighting? If so, you're in the capable '80s hands of singer Al Jarreau."

    Hailing from the Old French garra that means "crock or jar for oil," Jarreau earns a spot on this list of popular '80s baby names, as BabyNameWizard.com notes 76 percent of people with this title were born during the 1980s.

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  • Chimere

    5

    There's a good chance your mom and aunties were digging in their beauty drawer for Chimere, as it was a popular Prince Matchabelli perfume released in the late '70s -- reiterating its popularity, given 80 percent of babies named Chimere were born during the 1980s.

    Pronounced CHEE mere, Chimere is thought to be French for "dream" and has ties to the mythical creature Chimera, a fire-breathing monster in Greek mythology that makes this baby name hot, hot, hot! 

  • Jenilee

    6

    "Actress Jenilee Harrison ushered in the decade by replacing Suzanne Somers on the sitcom Three's Company in 1980," Laura Wattenberg of BabyNameWizard.com mentions. "She later boosted her '80s cred with a stint on Dallas, where her character had the distinction of being killed off twice: once before and once after the series' notorious 'it was all a dream' rewind." (Oof.)

    Multiple deaths aside, Jenilee was clearly a source of inspiration, as 82 percent of babies sporting this title were born in the 1980s. An alternative to the Welsh Gwenhwyfar that means "fair lady," Jenilee is a cute option for little girls that's packed with spunk.

  • Krystle

    7

    It's no surprise to see Krystle on this name of popular '80s baby names: BabyNameWizard.com says 84 percent of people named Krystle were born during the decade. A variant of the Crystal many of us are acquainted with, this remixed 19th century title gives a wink to a certain TV character who had her eyes on a Dynasty.

    "Linda Evans played Krystle Carrington, the innocent blond secretary who married into a nest of millionaire vipers," Laura notes. 

  • Jon-Erik

    8

    "Actor Jon-Erik Hexum was a rising '80s star and heartthrob," Laura Wattenberg, founder of BabyNameWizard.com, notes. "He died suddenly and tragically on the set of his TV series Cover Up via a self-inflicted wound from a prop gun."

    As sad and unthinkable as Hexum's tragedy was, the 26-years-young actor inspired many people during his life -- including parents looking for an awesome baby name. Combining the classic Jon ("God has given") and handsome Erik ("eternal ruler"), BabyNameWizard.com reveals 85 percent of children with this name were born in the '80s.

  • Travanti

    9

    Hill Street Blues was an Emmy award–winning cop drama that gave us life before Detective Stabler and Benson did on Law & Order: SVUTravanti honors actor Daniel J. Travanti, who played Capt. Frank Furillo on the show -- earning a whopping 86 percent "'80s purity score" on BabyNameWizard.com.

    Travanti is an edgy title that's thought to mean "tower" or "thunder." 

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  • Sammi Jo

    10

    Clearly, one simply cannot talk about the '80s without mentioning the TV show Dynasty. Sammy Jo, played by the illustrious Heather Locklear, moved to the beat of her own drum and often found herself at the epicenter of catfights and scandals -- making her a controversial but well-known character.

    As Laura Wattenberg notes, 86 percent of people named Sammi Jo were born in the 1980s -- and that doesn't really surprise us at all! Sammi Jo is a fiery character who inspired a catchy baby name.

  • Toccara

    11

    You know how the name Chanel is often associated with the classic perfume, Chanel No. 5? Well, this baby name has a story just like that. 

    "Avon introduced a perfume named Toccara in 1981, and a one-decade name was born," notes Laura Wattenberg. Thought to be a Spanish-inspired baby name, Toccara earns a spot on this list as 89 percent of people with this title were born during the decade -- including America's Next Top Model contestant-turned-actress Toccara Jones.

  • Ciji

    12

    Anyone whose parents watched Knots Landing -- aka the Desperate Housewives of its time -- probably remembers Ciji Dunne, a hopeful songstress with dreams of making it big. She moved to Los Angeles to pursue her endeavors, but let's just say that things didn't turn out well for Ciji ... at all. 

    On the positive side, Ciji did inspire a pretty popular baby name in the '80s that earned a 93 percent on BabyNameWizard.com's "'80s purity score." And, from what we hear, the name Ciji is commonly associated with persistence and leadership -- which are great qualities for a child to possess.

  • Jordache

    13

    It's not hard to believe Jordache would tie for the top spot on this list of baby names, as it was the preferred brand of jeans during the 1980s. Seriously, you'd find it really hard to navigate school halls during this decade without seeing anyone sashay to class in a pair.

    Jordache earns a perfect 100 percent on BabyNameWizard.com's "80s purity score," meaning all people with this name were born in that decade! Some circles believe Jordache is a nickname for Jordan that stems from the Hebrew yarden, meaning "to flow down" or "descend."

  • Yentl

    14

    Also earning a perfect 100 on BabyNameWizard.com's "'80s purity score," Yentl is a true '80s baby name. The movie Yentl was more than just your ordinary film of drama and romance, but one of determination and, in many ways, liberation. Barbara Streisand's character refuses to take no for an answer and disguises herself as a man in order to get an education during a time when women weren't afforded the opportunity to do so.

    As Laura Wattenberg of BabyNameWizard.com notes, Yentl "made its one and only impact on American baby names" in that decade. The Yiddish title is thought to be a variant of the French Gentille that means "noble" or "aristocratic." 

  • Cheetara

    15

    ThunderCats, hoooooooooo!

    One of the baddest cartoons to ever grace the airwaves is ThunderCats, which made its debut in 1985. Featuring Lion-O, Panthro, Tygra, and Snarf among other lovable characters, one who constantly stole the show was Cheetara. This lady cheetah not only put leotards back on the map, but was often the one to save the ThunderCats with her super-fast speed and agility. Yup, Cheetara was a badass with a name that also earns a perfect score on BabyNameWizard.com's "'80s purity score."

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