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The Brand-New Names of…1969…

If it’s in the zeitgeist, it’s in the names.  Every cultural shift, every hot trend, every new societal understanding leaves lasting footprints in the form of baby names.

When it comes to the tumultuous times of the late 1960s, those footprints may look faint from a distance. Top-10 girls’ names of the year of Woodstock included Lisa, Kimberly, Amy and Tammy – not exactly the sound of revolution. But if you dig deeper, you find reflections of the unique spirit and events of the era.

I searched through historical data for names that registered in the stats for the first time ever in 1969. The signs of the times are clear, from the silly to the profound. Here’s a name-based snapshot of what was on parents’ minds in 1968-69.

Barbarella, Che Guevara. Images: Wikimedia Commons

World Events

Aldrin (M): 1969 moon-walking astronaut Buzz Aldrin

Che (F): Latin American revolutionary Che Guevara (Che debuted in the boys’ column a year earlier)

Tuesdee (F): Jockey Tuesday Testa, who became the first woman to win a race at a major U.S. racetrack in 1969

Pop Culture

Barbarella (F): Cartoonishly sexy 1968 science fiction film Barbarella

Cassidy (F): Acclaimed 1969 western film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Chastity (F): The birth name of a child born to singers Sonny & Cher in 1969

Tige (M): TV’s Mod Squad star Tige Andrews

Trevino (M): Upstart 1968 U.S. Open Golf champion Lee Trevino

Spirituality and the Age of Aquarius

Dharma (F): Term with varied important meanings in Buddhism and Hinduism

Shalom (F): Hebrew word for peace

Uranus (F): In astrology, the ruling planet of Aquarius

Zen (M): A school of Buddhism emphasizing meditation

African Pride

Africa (F): The whole continent

Biafra (F): Secessionist state which fought for independence from Nigeria, 1967-70

Ghana (F): The West African nation

Nubia (F): Historical Nile region, home to early African kingdoms

Taganyika (F): East African territory that was a sovereign state in the early 1960s, now part of Tanzania


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