It’s no huge secret that I wasn’t terribly fond of my name growing up. After all, “PJ” is typically a boy’s nickname, and the only other one I knew was a guy a grade younger than me.
“Pamela,” my given name, reached its peak popularity in the 1950s and ’60s–several decades before I was born. The two girls I knew named Pamela — the mother of a friend and another friend’s older sister’s friend — both went by Pam, which always seemed very old fashioned to me.
As a child, I tried to convince my parents to call me by my younger sister’s name, Rachel, which I believed sounded way more modern. And in high school I begged them to let me change the “P” in PJ to Paige (despite not knowing anyone with that name!).
However, my go-to name when playing Barbies or make-believe in the 1980s was Stephanie. That name just seemed like the epitome of cool to me. Isn’t that random!
This fascinating gif highlights the most popular baby names for girls in the United States since 1960. (You must watch it!) Not surprisingly, “Pamela” doesn’t make the cut.
Also not surprisingly, “Jennifer” tops the chart for a solid decade-and-a-half. If you’re in your 30s or 40s, I’m sure you can validate the popularity of the name Jennifer!
How many of your classmates were named Jen, Jenny, or Jennifer? And besides Jennifer, what girl names were the most popular in your grade? I had quite a few friends named Jessica, Lauren, and Michelle when I was a kid!