Baby Names: Nineties Names Return!

Twenty years later and these 90s baby names have made a comeback


Listen, anything nineties I'm on board with. I wear flannel and Docs and I look like a cross between Electric Circus and an extra on My So-Called Life. So why should any of us be surprised that nineties names are back like they mean it? Here's proof: because I care about this decade and about all of you, here are ten nineties baby names you can expect to hear over the next decade or so.

Obviously, Kurt Cobain is #1 (in my heart).

1. Aaliyah
Frankly, it's been 13 years since Aaliyah's life came to a fast-and-tragic end, so to pay homage to the R&B queen would be more than ideal — especially since her influence is still being felt and heard in music today.

2. Michael
Maybe it's Fassbender, maybe it's Maybelline, but "Michael" — the number one baby name in the 1990s — came in at number seven last year. This isn't shocking: the name is classic, traditional, and ages well. And considering names of the 1920s and forties are staging a comeback too, we shouldn't be surprised at anything with religious or royal connotations coming back. Which, arguably, are one in the same.

3. Emily
She's ba-ack! Not that anyone can blame her: meaning "hard-working" and "striving," the name Emily has seen a place in almost every decade, which makes sense since it dates back to Latin origins (and was taken from the name "Aemilia," by the way).

4. Elizabeth
When you think about how many celebrities are going under variations of "Elizabeth" (Elisabeth Moss, Elizabeth Banks, Lizzy Caplan, etc.) we shouldn't be surpised that this royal-rooted name is taking the baby circuit by storm. Dating back to the Old Testament, it translates to "oath" — and you could probably take an oath that Elizabeth will still be kicking around in 20 years and not be lying.

5. Jacob
Blame it on parents who want to avoid the "Tiffani" craze of the 1980s — baby names are going centuries back in time. Case in point: Jacob, which was one of the biggest names of the nineties and clocked in at number three in 2013. Shorten it to "Jake" and you've got yourself a middle/high-school heartthrob on your hearts (according to John Hughes movies, anyway).

6. Kurt
You know what? I'm just going to go for it. Parents now are familiar enough with Nirvana to respect the band, but won't pain over saying Kurt day in and day out. I mean, yes, Cobain was born in the 1960s, but lest we forget the "Kurt" boom of 1994, in memorium. (And nobody blames you, not even a little bit.)

7. Alexander 
All of us knew no less than 42 boys named Alex in elementary school, and now those Alexs have grown up to name a new generation after themselves. Or so I assume, considering the definition of Alex is actually "defender of men." So, in this case, those men are named Alex.

8. Hannah
This name meaning "grace" was big in the nineties, but is back in full force thanks to Lena Dunham, Girls, and the character, Hannah Horvath, who not only reminds us not to make terrible decisions constantly, but that Hannah is a great, timeless name. (Honestly, it has to be. If Horvath's first name was something like [insert trendy name here], I don't think we'd forgive her so easily.)

9. Topanga
Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but considering Boy Meets World has spawned Girl Meets World, and all of us are still obsessed with Topanga a.k.a. Danielle Fishel, it wouldn't exactly be a crime if more babies were named after this TGIF icon. Kind of like how, 20 years from now, they'll be a lot of babies named North West.

10. Chandler
This is less wishful thinking and more fact — except Chandler, unlike the Friends character, is positioning itself as a unisex baby name, working just as well for girls as it does for guys. Just don't tell Chandler Bing. He seemed to be really touchy on the subject.

What are some baby names you think are coming back? Or even more importantly, ARE?

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