20 Groovy Baby Names From the 1970s

Laura Wattenberg | Oct 29, 2018 Pregnancy
20 Groovy Baby Names From the 1970s
Image: Fertnig/iStock

70s baby names
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The top baby name of the 1970s was Michael, but meeting a man named Mike does not immediately conjure up the "Me Decade." Michael was too diffuse of a hit, encompassing half a century in its popularity wave. For a pure, potent dose of the '70s, you need names concentrated in that decade. Whether these names are from the music, television shows, or other areas of popular culture, the 1970s definitely had a vibe of their own and with that comes a lot of unusual baby names that parents-to-be probably never even thought of! Most of these are so versed in the '70s that kids today wouldn't even understand the references. 

When meeting someone named Kojak, Chakakhan, or any of the other names on this list, we can be pretty confident they were born in the 1970s -- and that their parents were steeped in the events of their time. And even though these names are not exactly ones we would come across often in 2018, that does not mean we can't bring them back! Some of these names may have some serious potential for revitalization. Especially for those parents who were born in the '70s or are heavily inspired by that era, these baby names may be worth some consideration! We have identified 20 names with pure '70s power that are totally groovy, far out, and basically an embodiment of all the things young people in the '70s adored. The vintage vibes of these names are real, and they may be just the name inspiration new parents need to come up with something cool different. 

  • KOJAK

    1
    Kojak baby boy name
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    The police drama Kojak starred Telly Savalas as the titular NYC police detective. His trademark style of bald head and lollipop made such an impact in the '70s that the names Telly and Savalas could also qualify for this list ... Telly for boys and girls alike.

  • CHAKAKHAN

    2
    Chakakhan baby girl name
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    Once upon a time, a young aspiring singer named Yvette Stevens was dubbed Chaka by a Yoruba elder. She then married a man with the surname Khan, and under the bold new name Chaka Khan became the Queen of Funk. The name Chaka is heavily '70s in her honor, and the extended name Chakakhan is as pure '70s as they come.

  • DRUMMOND

    3
    Drummond baby boy name
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    The most common memory of the sitcom Diff'rent Strokes is of young Arnold, played by Gary Coleman, saying "What you talkin' 'bout, Willis?" But the character who sparked a '70s baby name wasn't Arnold or Willis but Mr. Drummond, the wealthy white man who took in the two orphaned African-American boys.

  • SACHEEN

    4
    Sacheen baby girl name
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    When the 1973 Academy awards announced Marlon Brando as Best Actor for The Godfather, Brando sent Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather to the stage on his behalf to refuse the award. Two lasting impacts: Oscar winners are no longer allowed to appoint proxies to receive their statuettes, and more than 100 American women were named Sacheen.

  • TRAVOLTA

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    Travolta boy name
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    A scattering of boys were named Travolta in the wake of John Travolta's star-making turn in polyester in Saturday Night Fever.

  • AYATOLLAH

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    Ayatollah girl name
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    There was a lot more to the '70s than sitcoms and disco. In 1979, when the Ayatollah Khomeini led the revolution that overthrew the Shah of Iran -- and before the extended Iran hostage crisis cemented Khomeini as a villain in the eyes of the American public -- the name Ayatollah briefly caught on.

  • DARTH

    7
    Darth boy name
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    Yep, that would be the ultimate helmeted, hollow-voiced bad guy, Darth Vader. The name Darth popped up for a few years after the original Star Wars came out in 1977. Once the prequel trilogy appeared, parents opted for Vader's birth name, Anakin.

  • SHAFT 

    8
    Shaft boy name
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    The biggest name of the "blaxploitation" film genre, private detective Shaft was one tough dude with one catchy theme song.

  • CHARO

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    Charo girl name
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    Actress and flamenco guitarist Charo was a ubiquitous TV guest star in the '70s, known in the US for her catch phrase "cuchi-cuchi."

  • AMITABH

    10
    Amitabh boy name
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    Amitabh Bachchan was a towering superstar of 1970s Bollywood. Amitabh was one of the first Indian film star names to make a mark on US name stats; today, top Bollywood stars and characters regularly register on the top-1,000 name charts.

  • STARBUCK

    11
    Starbuck boy name
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    Before Seattle's Starbucks Coffee conquered the world (and long after chief mate Starbuck tried to counter mad Captain Ahab in Moby Dick), Starbuck was a swashbuckling space pilot in the 1970s TV series Battlestar Galactica.

  • COMANECI

    12
    Comaneci girl name
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    Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci was a breakout star of the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

  • STARSKY

    13
    Starsky boy name
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    The police detectives of the action series Starsky & Hutch tore around the mean streets of Southern California in a flashy Ford Gran Torino.

  • KIZZY

    14
    Kizzy girl name
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    The most popular name on this list, Kizzy was the daughter of Kunta Kinte in the 1977 miniseries Roots, a show which left behind a powerful legacy in American baby names. Kizzy was a nickname for Keziah, a biblical daughter of Job.

  • BENJI

    15
    Benji girl name
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    Why were girls suddenly named Benji in the '70s? The answer walks on four paws. The title dog of hit film Benji won hearts with his winsome manner and crime-fighting acumen.

  • THALMUS

    16
    Thalmus boy name
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    Thalmus Rasulala may not be a well-known name today, but the actor was a staple of 1970s African-American productions from Blacula to Roots to What's Happening!!

  • SOSSITY

    17
    Sossity girl name
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    For a dose of the earnest, weighty folk-rock that helped define the spirit of the early '70s, cue up the Jethro Tull song "Sossity: You're a Woman."

  • COFFY

    18
    Coffy girl name
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    The 1973 film Coffy starred Pam Grier as a vigilante, "The baddest One-Chick Hit-Squad that ever hit town!" Grier's most famous role of the period, "Foxy Brown," also inspired a handful of Foxy namesakes.

  • SNAPPER

    19
    Snapper boy name
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    Heartthrob doctor Snapper Foster of the soap opera The Young and the Restless was played by a young David Hasselhoff, before he took on the mantle of Knight Rider.

  • TENNILLE

    20
    Tennille girl name
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    Songs like "Love Will Keep Us Together" and the rodent ode "Muskrat Love" made the duo Captain & Tennille one of the biggest musical acts of the mid' 70s.

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