Nameberry in 1971

Imagine this very site 50 years ago. [name_f]Jennifer[/name_f] and [name_u]Michael[/name_u] reigned supreme in the US charts. Names like [name_f]Emma[/name_f] and [name_f]Sophia[/name_f] were still considered grandma names. The most popular names were still used on 3%+ of children of that sex. Except you can’t imagine it…the internet wasn’t available for public use yet.

Nameberry is a monthly magazine aimed at mothers-to-be, linguistic enthusiasts, and whomever else may be interested. Articles created by professionals are published about name trends, best names for upcoming holidays, celebrity baby names, and more. Photos of newly-born babies and their names are available. However, the crowning jewel is the call feature. For however much it costs you to call the US, you can add your commentary about certain columns. Here are some examples from the [name_u]February[/name_u] 1971 version. Subject first, then body.

“Alternatives to [name_u]Lisa[/name_u]?
I really like it and [name_m]Elvis[/name_m], but ever since he named his daughter it, it’s gotten far too popular. I was considering [name_f]Liza[/name_f], but is that too Minnelli? As in [name_f]Judy[/name_f] [name_u]Garland[/name_u]’s daughter. Any suggestions?
-[name_f]Dorothy[/name_f] B., 26, [name_u]Kansas[/name_u]”

“Names for [name_u]Valentine[/name_u]’s [name_u]Day[/name_u]?
[name_m]Hi[/name_m], my baby’s due date is the week of [name_u]Valentine[/name_u]’s and also near my husband and I’s anniversary. We want to honor these occasions. Here are some I’m considering.
[name_f]Valerie[/name_f] (too popular?)
[name_f]Valentina[/name_f] (too weird? Would she automatically be called [name_f]Tina[/name_f]?)
[name_f]Amanda[/name_f] (getting too popular?)
I’d like some suggestions, please.
-[name_u]Evelyn[/name_u] T., 24, [name_u]New[/name_u] [name_m]York[/name_m]”

Call-in comments would look like this.
“[name_f]Dorothy[/name_f], have you considered [name_f]Elizabeth[/name_f] with the nickname of [name_f]Liza[/name_f]? It’d still be unique and not as tied to Minnelli.
-[name_f]Kathy[/name_f] L., 19, Illinois”

“[name_u]Evelyn[/name_u], what about [name_f]Aimee[/name_f]? It’s the [name_u]French[/name_u] version of [name_f]Amy[/name_f], or is it too close for your liking? If so, how about [name_f]Amada[/name_f]? It’s Spanish and similar enough to [name_f]Amy[/name_f] and [name_f]Amanda[/name_f] to not be weird.
-[name_u]George[/name_u] T., 31, Maryland”

Oftentimes, the original asker would respond in a later edition with what they ended up doing.
“I have to thank [name_u]George[/name_u] for his suggestion of [name_f]Amada[/name_f]. It ended up being too harsh for me, but I decided on the similar [name_f]Amata[/name_f]. It’s a great way to honor love and my husband’s Italian heritage.
-[name_u]Evelyn[/name_u] T., 24, [name_u]New[/name_u] [name_m]York[/name_m]”

Now it’s my turn to ask you all, what would a hypothetical edition of the March 1971 edition look like? What columns and entries would be there? What advice would you give to the parents-to-be of the 70s? How else would this Nameberry magazine differ from the website we know and love?

12 Likes

Wow this is great. I’ll be back later :joy:

1 Like

“Is [name_f]Jessica[/name_f] getting too trendy? It recently entered top 100 and I don’t want my child to have ten other Jessicas in her school.”
Joan

“[name_m]Hi[/name_m] [name_u]Joan[/name_u], I doubt it will ever be so popular. Might get slightly more popular in the near future considering how many people like it, but it definitely won’t be the next [name_f]Linda[/name_f].”
Gertrude

7 Likes

“[name_f]My[/name_f] husband and I are delighted to announce the birth of our son, [name_m]Nixon[/name_m] [name_m]William[/name_m] [name_m]Jack[/name_m], who will be called both [name_m]Nixon[/name_m] and [name_u]Billy[/name_u] [name_m]Jack[/name_m].”

  • Paulette, 34, from Wisconsin
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“[name_f]My[/name_f] name isn’t my name!?
Hello, my whole life I thought my name was [name_u]Evelyn[/name_u]. It’s what my parents called me, I always signed with [name_u]Evelyn[/name_u] and it’s in my driver’s license. However, when friends recently asked me to become their baby [name_f]Sabine[/name_f]’s godmother, I pulled out my christening certificate and was shocked to see it actually says [name_f]Evaline[/name_f]. I called my mother about it, she told me that my grandpa thought [name_u]Evelyn[/name_u] wasn’t a name for a [name_m]German[/name_m] girl so when he registered my birth he changed it to [name_f]Evaline[/name_f], and only told my parents about it afterwards. They ignored this though and proceeded to use [name_u]Evelyn[/name_u], and over the years kind of forgot this wasn’t my name? What do I do now? [name_f]Do[/name_f] I change it legally? [name_f]Do[/name_f] I start going by [name_f]Evaline[/name_f]?”
Evelyn, 31, Munich

1 Like

Also obviously this:

“A big Thank You to [name_m]Robert[/name_m], who suggested the name [name_f]Karen[/name_f] for our daughter! She was born in [name_u]February[/name_u] and is such a delightful baby girl, and the name fits her perfectly. It makes me happy every time I say it, I can’t even imagine it in a hurtful or angry tone!”
Jean, 25, [name_f]Chicago[/name_f]

6 Likes