Jennifer, the Name Fad

I named my website, blog and business Another Jennifer so that I wouldn’t have to constantly include my last name initial when I refer to myself, as I’ve had to all my life.

Think I’m kidding? A third of the girls in my high school class were named Jennifer. And until I started working for myself, I’ve always had co-workers named Jennifer.

Another Jennifer works for me. But it may only work for so long.

According to a recent article on Huffington Post, Jennifer is considered a Name Fad and destined to become and Old Lady Name. Lovely. 

From the article, “How to Name a Baby”:

Between 1965 and 1985, everyone named their daughter Jennifer, and now, no one does. So Jennifer was officially a Name Fad. What this means for all the Jennifers of the world is that while they’ve enjoyed spending most of their life so far with a cute, hip, young girl name, they are on their way to having a Your Mom’s Friend’s Name. A Your Mom’s Friend’s Name happens when lots of middle-aged people have a name that no young or old people have.

A few decades after that, Jennifer can look forward to having an Old Lady Name, which happens when a name belongs to lots of old ladies, but no one under 75.

photo source

photo source: huffington post

Is that a witch’s hat?

Read the article How to Name a Baby on the Huffington Post by Wait But Why and see if your name’s mentioned.

Do you have a popular name? Can you relate?

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  1. steph says

    I have a similar “fad” name – Stephanie. In fact, there were 3 of us named “Stephanie Nicole” in my graduating class.

    On a similar note, I read an article years ago I wish I had saved. It was written by a woman whose name is Stephanie, but people often mistakenly call her Jennifer. I get that all. the. time. Maybe it’s the 3 syllables or similar sounds? Or maybe because they are both “fad” names from the same era? Who knows. Do you ever find people wanting to call you Stephanie?

  2. says

    Michelle is a “witches hat” name as well. I hope it will be revived at some point. I wonder if my kids’ names are headed that way as well. All 3 of them have steadily climbed from their rank since I named them. They weren’t “popular” names when they were born. Unfortunately my daughter’s name was a top 10 name in 2012. Oh well, what will be will be, right?
    Michelle recently posted..#AskAwayFriday with Beth from Structure in an Unstructured LifeMy Profile

  3. says

    So true and I had so many Jennifer’s in my classes in school growing up each year that I started to get a bit jealous and even asked my mom back in the day, why she didn’t just name me Jennifer instead of Janine. No one had my name and teachers even sometimes couldn’t even pronounce it, so I totally wanted to be named Jennifer for a bit. Now, I do like my name, but back then I would have killed to be named Jennifer. Funny, how the grass always looks greener on the other side! :)
    Janine Huldie recently posted..Nails, Nails, Nails ~ Glitter PolishMy Profile

    • says

      That’s too funny. I can tell you that being named Jennifer was not easy in school. My high school English teacher actually commented on the post on FB noting that it was my class that gave her 7 out of 9 girls named Jennifer in one English class!
      anotherjennifer recently posted..Get Charged with RAVPowerMy Profile

  4. says

    There were always other Nicoles in my school, but my brother & husband have the same fad name. There were so many Jasons in my brother’s graduating class that they went by their last names instead. When we picked out our daughters’ name we wanted to go classic but not too popular, unique but not trendy. My oldest has a pretty popular name, but it fits her perfectly. My youngest’s name isn’t as popular, but I hear it more & more.
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Optic Nerve Clover Review and GiveawayMy Profile

  5. says

    I know lots of Jennifers, Stephanies, and MIchelles, but never knew another “Alexa” – at least not until I became an adult. I knew plenty of Alexia’s and Alexis’s, but not Alexa’s. However, more recently, I have been hearing it more.. so maybe my name is about to be a fad name? I hope not. I have always enjoyed having an original name. :-)
    Alexa recently posted..“New”My Profile

  6. says

    Don’t feel bad Jennifer, my name apparently peaked in 1940 … and I was born in the late 60’s. (What were my parents thinking?)
    Apparently I’m old before my time! Might be the reason that there never were any other Carol’s at school.
    Funny how names go, I disliked mine for so many years, but think I’ve kind of grown into it now. Best wishes to you Another Jennifer :)
    Carol Pearce recently posted..Reveal Yourself – ChrisMy Profile

  7. says

    Um, hello. My name is LISA…which is the only other name in that time frame that everyone was named—but nobody younger is ever named now. Blech.

    If I heard, “Hey, Lisa” in the halls in my high school I wouldn’t even turn around. Between me and that person yelling were probably 4 different Lisa’s. There were three Lisa’s alone on my varsity cheerleading squad. Ugh. Jennifer, Lisa, Michelle, and Stephanie seem to be those names of my generation. And people don’t name their kids any of those names anymore.

    Although I didn’t want to name my kids something super unusual, I didn’t want a name that HAD to be followed by a last name initial, either because I hated it so much. There are no other Lucy’s in Lucy’s classes and believe it or not, nobody is named Robert/Bobby any more either. So far so good!! –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted..Move Over Miley Cyrus…There’s A Dose Girl In TownMy Profile

    • says

      Robert is a name I haven’t heard in a while. Seems like it would be a classic. My son goes to preschool with a Lucy, but she’s the only one I know of. So I think you’re good!

      We had a Michelle and a Lisa but no Stephanie in our class. Everyone was named Jennifer. I feel like the people at the hospital should have put a quota on the amount of Jennifers being born in the area. It was insane!
      anotherjennifer recently posted..Ending an Amazing 2013 on Memory Lane in SyracuseMy Profile

  8. says

    My dad wanted to name me Kiris, but my mom thought I would be teased and kids would call me “Kiris the virus.” But they knew they wanted something different so they spelled the usual Ashley as Ashlee. In school, I would ALWAYS answer when teachers said actually. Drove me nuts!
    Ashlee recently posted..Why I No Longer Trust Johnson & JohnsonMy Profile

  9. says

    I do know a LOT of Jennifers.
    I don’t know where my parents got Tamara. It’s not popular, but I like it. I keep waiting for Scarlet to trend. It never really has broken out as one of the most popular ones. And I imagine Desmond might never!
    Tamara recently posted..This Is My Life.My Profile

  10. says


    Perfect timing for me to read this article, as I just completed a photo shoot for a local article about people with famous celebrity names. Not only am I named Jennifer, I have the middle name Lynn, a common first and middle name combination during that time. Additionally, I have the same first, middle and last name as the actress/singer.

    I always hated my name. As a kid, when I asked my mom why she had named me that, she said “It was popular at the time,” as if she could have been talking about a fashion trend or something equally as trivial. I also hate the nickname “Jenny.” I have considered changing my name for numerous reasons, but since I have had it for 34 years now, it seems a little late to do so.

    Thanks for the info that it’s about to get worse. 😉
    Jennifer L. Lopez recently posted..5 Tips for Winter Cleaning on the CheapMy Profile

    • says

      Sorry about that. At least we won’t be alone having an Old Lady Name! I also hate the nickname Jenny. Drives me nuts.

      And I can only imagine the stupid things people say to you when they hear your full name. Ugh.

  11. says

    Jen – I have an old lady name too – with an odd spelling to bat! Even my daughter said to me not long ago – only old women are named Ilene. What did you call yourself when you were a kid?

    • says

      The spelling thing is annoying. I know because I constantly had to spell my maiden name growing up. To the point where I just spelled it instead of saying it. Sometimes it was easier that way. I was Jen I growing up, which was confusing at times because my last name sounded like it started with a Y. My sixth grade teacher used to call me Jen I Knight. I guess he was a Star Wars fan. Funny guy.

    • says

      I’m wicked popular with the celebs, Chris. Didn’t you know that?

      It’s funny to hear it called a fab, but it does make sense. The majority of my friends growing up had the same name as me!

  12. says

    I wrote a post about my name, and the popular names for our age group. Jennifer is one of them, but I know a few Jennifers (Jennys actually) who are teenagers. My name is not unusual but it’s not very popular, so I’m hoping I won’t be one of a dozen Danas in the nursing home!
    Dana recently posted..My outside heartsMy Profile

  13. says

    Yes! I know how you feel. Except growing up I didn’t know a lot of Erika’s in school but as I got older there were a ton. But at least I can still stay “The Cool Erika” (at least in my mind) because I’m the only one that spells it with just a K.

  14. Ron says

    Many of the “fad” names of the ’60s and ’70s had already shown up in my HS class of 1974. We had a Jennifer, with an extremely common, almost anonymous, surname. Her friends called her “Jendy”. Good thing, too. I’ve met a myriad of Jennifers since, but never another Jendy. I found her rather quickly on Google using that.

    Her best friend was Sarah, another future fad. We also had two Amys (one actually Amelia), a fact which shocks my much younger wife, who associates the name with folks her age. And a Kevin, a Brian, a Scott, even a Jason.

    We also had a Shirley, an Evelyn, an Agnes and a Seymour, so “granny” names hadn’t quite died out. However, Daves, Mikes, Steves, Lindas and Debbies dominated.

    There is a young Jennifer in my neighborhood, born about 2001. But her family are Hispanic immigrants. The name would be 50-100 places lower without them!

    For some reason, Leslie is also a fad in Spanish-speaking countries. There are four, yes, four, Hispanic Leslies in my neighborhood, two on my street.

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