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Baby names that rocked the 1990s

Posted April 21

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A decade known for neon, cassette tapes and hair scrunchies, the 1990s were filled with special memories. Pass the spirit of this magical decade on to your little boy or girl by choosing a name that was popular during this time period.

Using data from the Social Security Administration, MooseRoots found the 20 most popular names for each gender during the 1990s, and ranked them from least to most popular based on the total number of babies bearing the name from 1990 to 1999. While some of the names, like Emily andDaniel, remain popular today, there’s nothing stopping you from bringing back an old favorite.

#40. Amber

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 115,587

Ranking No. 20 among baby girls in the 1990s, the name Amber was much less common in 2014, holding the rank of 309.

#39. Victoria

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 117,438

Defined as “victory,” the Latin and Romanian name Victoria ranked No. 19 among female newborns in the 1990s and held the same rank in 2014.

#38. Alexis

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 131,169

Alexis, an English, Greek, Latin and Roman name meaning “man of God” and “to defend,” ranked No. 18 among girls in the 1990s, but had tumbled to No. 64 by 2014.

#37. Nicole

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 136,078

The feminine form of Nicholas, Nicole is a French and English name that ranked No. 17 among female babies in the 1990s, but in 2014, it only held the rank of 129.

#36. Jennifer

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 147,997

A name of English origin, Jennifer was the 16th most popular name among baby girls in the 1990s, but ranked just No. 220 in 2014.

#35. Rachel

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 149,041

Rachel, a Biblical name meaning “ewe” in Hebrew, has English and Jewish roots. It ranked No. 15 among girls in the 1990s, but fell to the rank of 155 in 2014.

#34. Stephanie

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 149,788

Stephanie was the 14th most common name among female newborns in the 1990s, but in 2014, it ranked No. 205.

#33. Lauren

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 153,561

Though the English and French name Lauren ranked No. 13 among baby girls in the 1990s, it only held the rank of 94 in 2014.

#32. Kayla

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 155,873

A form of Kayley, the Yiddish name Kayla was the 12th most popular name among girls in the 1990s, but in 2014, it declined to the rank of 102.

#31. Hannah

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 158,744

Derived from the Hebrew name meaning “[God] has favoured me,” Hannah has English and Jewish roots. Landing the 11th most common name among girls in the 1990s, it ranked No. 28 in 2014.

#30. Megan

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 160,346

Megan, a Welsh version of the nickname for Meg, ranked No. 10 among newborn girls in the 1990s, but had plunged to the rank of 308 by 2014.

#29. Taylor

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 169,008

Defined as “to cut,” the name Taylor ranked No. 9 among female babies in the 1990s, but it ranked only No. 77 in 2014.

#28. Elizabeth

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 172,561

It was the eighth most prevalent name among girls in the 1990s, and the English and Swiss name Elizabeth was still very popular in 2014, ranking No. 14.

#27. Brittany

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 190,806

Despite ranking No. 7 for baby girls in the 1990s, Brittany fell to the rank of 456 in 2014.

#26. Amanda

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 191,015

Amanda, an English and Latin name meaning “lovable” and “to love,” ranked No. 6 among girls in the 1990s, but dropped to No. 314 in 2014.

#25. Robert

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 205,382

Defined as “bright,” “fame” and “famous,” the French, German, Germanic and Romanian name Robert ranked No. 20 among boys in the 1990s, but dropped to No. 61 in 2014.

#24. Anthony

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 216,152

A name of Latin origin, Anthony means “flower,” and ranked No. 19 among male newborns in the 1990s. By 2014, it had fallen to the rank of 21.

#23. William

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 217,722

William, an English name meaning “desire,” “helmet,” “protection” and “will,” ranked No. 18 among baby boys in the 1990s. In 2014, however, it was the fifth most popular name.

#22. Justin

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 220,071

Justin ranked No. 17 among boys in the 1990s, but this English, French and Latin name ranked only No. 96 in 2014.

#21. Samantha

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 223,979

A name of English origin, Samantha was the fifth most common name among female newborns in the 1990s, and in 2014 it ranked No. 33.

#20. Sarah

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 224,191

Meaning “princess,” the English, Hebrew and Jewish name Sarah ranked No. 4 among girls in the 1990s, but tumbled to the rank of 50 in 2014.

#19. Zachary

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 225,244

Although Zachary was the 16th most popular name in the 1990s, it only ranked No. 82 among male babies in 2014.

#18. Emily

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 237,206

A common name of English origin, Emily ranked No. 3 among baby girls in the 1990s and No. 7 in 2014.

#17. John

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 239,950

Ranking No. 15 among newborn boys in the 1990s, this English, Greek and Hebrew name fell slightly to the rank of 26 in 2014.

#16. Ryan

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 241,165

Ryan, a name or Irish origin, was the 14th most common name among boys in the 1990s, but in 2014, it dropped to the rank of 37.

#15. James

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 244,862

It ranked No. 13 in the 1990s, but James, a name with English and Hebrew roots, surged to the ninth most popular spot among male newborns in 2014.

#14. David

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 253,475

Meaning “darling,” David, a name of English, French, Hebrew and Romanian origins, ranked No. 12 among baby boys in the 1990s. By 2014, it had fallen slightly to No. 18.

#13. Brandon

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 259,372

Brandon means “broom," "gorse" and "hill,” and while this English name ranked No. 11 among boys in the 1990s, it tumbled to the rank of 71 in 2014.

#12. Joseph

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 260,574

A name with English, French and Hebrew roots, Joseph was the 10th most popular name for male babies in the 1990s and was still common in 2014, ranking No. 20.

#11. Tyler

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 262,254

Defined as “covering” and “tile,” Tyler reigned as the ninth most popular name among baby boys in the 1990s, but only ranked No. 72 in 2014.

#10. Daniel

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 272,067

Daniel, an English, French, Hebrew, Jewish and Romanian name meaning “God is my judge,” ranked No. 8 among male newborns in the 1990s. By 2014, it had moved to the rank of 10.

#9. Andrew

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 272,759

Andrew was the seventh most popular choice among boys in the 1990s, but in 2014, this English name meaning “man” and “warrior” only ranked No. 22.

#8. Nicholas

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 275,267

Meaning “people and victory,” the English name Nicholas ranked No. 6 among male babies in the 1990s, but by 2014, it had fallen to the rank of 57.

#7. Jacob

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 298,219

The fifth most popular name among boys in the 1990s, Jacob was even more common in 2014, ranking No. 4.

#6. Ashley

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 301,773

The English name Ashley, defined as “ash” and “wood,” ranked No. 2 among female babies in the 1990s. In 2014, however, it only ranked No. 87.

#5. Jessica

Gender: Female
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 303,053

Jessica was the most popular name among newborn girls in the 1990s, but by 2014, this English and Hebrew name had dropped to the rank of 179.

#4. Joshua

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 329,072

Joshua, an English name meaning “God is my salvation” in Hebrew, ranked No. 4 among baby boys in the 1990s, but had tumbled to No. 25 by 2014.

#3. Matthew

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 351,569

A name with English roots, Matthew means “gift of God,” and ranked No. 3 among male newborns in the 1990s, falling by 2014 to the rank of 16.

#2. Christopher

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 360,170

Christopher was the second most common name among boys in the 1990s, but this English and Greek name meaning “Christ” only ranked No. 30 in 2014.

#1. Michael

Gender: Male
Total Babies Born With This Name in the 1990s: 462,265

The English form of the Biblical name meaning “Who is like God?” in Hebrew, Michael was the most popular choice among baby boys in the 1990s and ranked No. 7 in 2014.

See More Baby Names on MooseRoots

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