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12 Popular Baby Names From the 1960s That Need to Make a Comeback

The 1960s were a transformative time in history, marked by significant cultural, social, and political changes. This era of revolution and innovation also influenced the realm of baby names, with many names from this period reflecting the uniqueness and spirit of the time.

While some of these names remain popular, others have faded into relative obscurity. However, there’s a timeless charm to many 1960s names that makes them ripe for a comeback. Here are twelve popular baby names from the 1960s that are deserving of renewed attention in the modern era.

1. Deborah

Origin & Meaning: Hebrew, meaning ‘bee.’

1960s Popularity: Deborah was hugely popular in the 1960s, evoking a sense of classic charm and strength.

Why It Should Come Back: This name carries a simple elegance and a strong biblical heritage, making it both timeless and powerful.

2. Gary

Origin & Meaning: Germanic, derived from a word meaning ‘spear.’

1960s Popularity: Gary was a strong, straightforward name common in the ’60s.

Why It Should Come Back: It’s a sturdy, no-nonsense name that has a classic feel without being overly common today.

3. Sandra

Origin & Meaning: Short form of Alexandra, meaning ‘defender of mankind.’

1960s Popularity: Sandra was known for its feminine yet strong sound.

Why It Should Come Back: It strikes a beautiful balance between softness and strength, making it a versatile choice.

4. Bruce

Origin & Meaning: Norman name, possibly derived from a place name meaning ‘brushwood.’

1960s Popularity: Bruce had an air of quiet strength and became popular in English-speaking countries.

Why It Should Come Back: It’s succinct and robust, perfect for parents looking for a solid, one-syllable name.

5. Nancy

Origin & Meaning: French, diminutive of Anne, meaning ‘grace.’

1960s Popularity: Nancy was a darling of the ’60s, embodying a sweet yet spirited persona.

Why It Should Come Back: This name offers vintage charm and a friendly, approachable vibe.

6. Jeffrey

Origin & Meaning: Germanic, meaning ‘pledge of peace.’

1960s Popularity: Jeffrey was favored for its dignified yet approachable tone.

Why It Should Come Back: It’s a classic name that blends seamlessly into the modern era, offering both formality and familiarity.

7. Brenda

Origin & Meaning: Old Norse, possibly meaning ‘sword.’

1960s Popularity: Brenda combined femininity with a touch of strength.

Why It Should Come Back: It’s a name that feels both gentle and powerful, making it an attractive choice for a girl.

8. Keith

Origin & Meaning: Scottish, derived from a place name meaning ‘wood’ or ‘forest.’

1960s Popularity: Keith had a modern sound that made it popular during this era.

Why It Should Come Back: It’s a strong, single-syllable name that is both simple and memorable.

9. Carol

Origin & Meaning: Germanic, meaning ‘free man’ or ‘song.’

1960s Popularity: Carol was celebrated for its musical and joyful connotation.

Why It Should Come Back: This name has a lyrical quality and a sense of timeless elegance.

10. Craig

Origin & Meaning: Scottish, meaning ‘rock’ or ‘crag.’

1960s Popularity: Craig was appreciated for its strong, earthy feel.

Why It Should Come Back: It’s a name with a solid, grounded nature and a straightforward appeal.

11. Shirley

Origin & Meaning: Old English, meaning ‘bright meadow.’

1960s Popularity: Shirley was a hit in the ’60s, partly due to actress Shirley MacLaine.

Why It Should Come Back: It has a cheerful sound and a connection to nature, offering both brightness and depth.

12. Glenn

Origin & Meaning: Gaelic, meaning ‘valley.’

1960s Popularity: Glenn was favored for its smooth, one-syllable sound.

Why It Should Come Back: It’s a simple, yet strong name that conjures images of serene landscapes.


Names from the 1960s carry with them a unique blend of charisma, strength, and timelessness. They are reflective of an era that valued innovation and change, qualities that are still admired today. As we see a resurgence in vintage trends, these names offer a wonderful opportunity to embrace a piece of the past while giving your child a name that stands out for its classic appeal.

Whether you are drawn to the understated elegance of names like Nancy and Carol, the strong simplicity of Gary and Bruce, or the unique charm of Deborah and Sandra, these names provide a rich palette from which to choose. As we look to the past for inspiration, these names remind us that some things, like a good name, never really go out of style.

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