I listed these names as most popular in my graduating class:
[name]Jennifer[/name], [name]Christine[/name] or [name]Christina[/name] (sometimes [name]Chris[/name], occasionally [name]Tina[/name]), [name]Lisa[/name], [name]Amanda[/name], [name]Andrea[/name], [name]Jessica[/name], [name]Patricia[/name] (most always [name]Patty[/name], one [name]Tricia[/name]), [name]Melissa[/name], and [name]Amy[/name]. Also (always) [name]Cathy[/name] for [name]Catherine[/name].
I really don’t know where [name]Jennifer[/name] came from. I know it is derived from [name]Guinevere[/name] - I remember looking it up in the “Name your [name]Baby[/name]” book my mom took out when she was pregnant with my sister, [name]Jennifer[/name] was not listed in it as a proper name with its own heading. However, it was the same book she had from me, the list was still in it. My name was almost [name]Linda[/name] [name]Kay[/name]. I tend to think [name]Jennifer[/name] was very popular on account of [name]Christopher[/name] actually (which also accounts for Christines and Christinas), except for the fact that all were known as [name]Chris[/name]. Jennifers were Jennifers, no Jennys, some were [name]Jen[/name] if you were friends with them. There really didn’t seem to be a cultural precedent to it otherwise, it seemed totally new when it arrived.
Things that sound nice “in a style” are often tweaked and altered, so you get sort of a tone of what’s fresh in each era. [name]Melissa[/name], [name]Alicia[/name], [name]Marisa[/name], [name]Serena[/name] - it kind of evolves. [name]Amanda[/name], [name]Melanie[/name], [name]Amelia[/name]. People are still making names from these names because the names are nice but we need something newer. [name]Christine[/name], [name]Kristen[/name]… and that one kind of went away and names with more [name]Anna[/name] and [name]Ella[/name] were revived evolving from a change from -issa/-icia and -elle to a newer sound. [name]Madison[/name] and [name]Brittany[/name] kind of came from nowhere.
The [name]Kayla[/name] and [name]Aidan[/name] sort of roots that bred what is most common today. I have to say that I like [name]Kayla[/name], but it’s weird how it seems derived from [name]Michaela[/name], which spelling nobody uses, probably because [name]Michael[/name] isn’t being used as much anymore, so it’s [name]McKayla[/name] (so authentically Irish, right?) but not Rakayla or DiCayla. Instead, it’s names like [name]Calla[/name], [name]Lila[/name], [name]Lilac[/name], [name]Isla[/name]. Except for [name]Lila[/name], never heard any of those names before. Yeah, so I digress.
I knew 2 Annas in school, one was a tool, and the other one went by her middle name, [name]Lisa[/name]. I knew one, literally one [name]Anne[/name], and she was not very popular but she was ok and funny if you have a weird dorky sense of humor. Later on, the nickname [name]Annie[/name] caught on, so that really brought it all back, formal names to call her [name]Annie[/name], and now there’s not so much [name]Annie[/name], but the formal names still hang around. They’ll go away too.
I also knew one [name]Britt[/name], she was of Danish or Swedish descent, and that was the second half of her hyphenated full name which was Danish or Swedish. At least on her account, I would hesitate using a name from another country if you don’t actually live there or actually did immigrate, unless it’s friends with our American names. Nothing in my contemporary world was even close to her name at that time, and she did eventually go by just [name]Britt[/name] (by late elementary school or junior high), which was neither here nor there, but it was cooler than her full name. Another strange example of the immigrant or 2nd generation contingent was that a number of students at my school were from parents who came from [name]India[/name], who all had [name]Indian[/name] names they used in school. I only remember one getting made fun of, and some of the girls, like [name]Britt[/name], managed to fix on a nickname like [name]Sunny[/name] or Preet, which I don’t know was from common practice or from trying to fit in. Kids whose parents were Chinese often seemed to pick out a nice American or English name - with a good 20-40 year lag in what was fashionable. [name]Alice[/name]. [name]Lena[/name]. [name]Vivian[/name]. [name]Winston[/name].
I think names like [name]Patricia[/name] aren’t really so hot anymore because of nicknames [name]Pat[/name] and [name]Patty[/name] or [name]Patsy[/name] are not as hip as [name]Poppy[/name] or [name]Penny[/name], and [name]Tricia[/name] is like [name]Alicia[/name], etc., out right now, but it will come back. [name]Katherine[/name] and [name]Elizabeth[/name], by comparison, have more variations and nicknames, even if sometimes they are [name]Katelyn[/name] and [name]Bethany[/name], so will always appeal, plus they are in the safe zone. People don’t use the C-[name]Catherine[/name] as much now because [name]Kate[/name] starts with a K! It doesn’t have to, but that’s a form of preference based on what’s current.
I think it’s always “safe” to stick with a classic rather than an invented variant ([name]Katelyn[/name] is from [name]Caitlin[/name], which originally hit the US as [name]Kathleen[/name], which is closer to how it’s supposed to be pronounced), but in a long time from now, [name]Brittany[/name] will be revived. It might even have a longer-lasting appeal because at that point, it will be historic, and it has so many variations and offshoots, it will probably sound like a fresh idea someday. [name]Madison[/name] itself need not be current to have started a trend that’s still very trendy, and which will be recalled at a future point in time. Since there were no Ellas or Lilys in my school, I would have to say those are technical “old lady” names that came back and will go away again, whereas names like [name]Madison[/name] and [name]Brittany[/name] will grow up and have children, those will be “mom” names, and then “old lady” names, just like anything else. Like [name]Danielle[/name] and [name]Melissa[/name].
Yeah, some more rambling. RAMBLING! I can tell you something, after reading these boards for a few weeks, I have been probably looking for an outlet to say some of these things.