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Despite Mad Men's Success, Donald and Betty Haven't Been Popular Names Since the 40's

mad men, don draper, betty draper, mad men premiere, baby names, boy baby names, girl baby names, old-fashioned baby names

Don and Betty: fashionable characters, but unfashionable names.

Did everyone watch the Mad Men Season 5 premiere last night?! I didn’t, so don’t tell me anything – I still have to get Season 4 on DVD! If, like me, you love Don Draper (both because you can’t resist a narcissist and he reminds you of what your grandpa probably looked like when he was sexy), you might be surprised to note that despite the enormous fan following Mad Men has accrued over the years, the show hasn’t inspired any baby naming trends. In fact, the names Donald and Betty, which used to be quite popular, “have now fallen the farthest from favor since 1940,” according to genealogy site FindMyPast.com.

Research derived from social security records shows that “Donald was the ninth most popular name for American boys born in 1940 but now ranks just 377th, while Betty was the fifth most popular name for American girls born the same year but no longer even makes the top 1,000!” What other baby names were popular in the 40s? And which are virtually obsolete today? Take a look:

Most Popular Girls’ Names In 1940, Ranked By Size Of Fall Since 1940

1. Betty – 5th in popularity in 1940 – Not in top 1000 in 2010

2. Carol – 6th in popularity in 1940 – Not in top 1000 in 2010

3. Shirley – 9th in popularity in 1940 – Not in top 1000 in 2010

4. Judith – 4th in popularity in 1940 – Ranked 879 in 2010

5. Barbara – 2nd in popularity in 1940 – Ranked 710 in 2010

6. Linda – 8th in popularity in 1940 – Ranked 624 in 2010

7. Patricia – 3rd in popularity in 1940 – Ranked 615 in 2010

8. Nancy – 7th in popularity in 1940 – Ranked 521 in 2010

9. Sandra – 10th in popularity in 1940 – Ranked 517 in 2010

10. Mary – most popular name in 1940 – Ranked 109 in 2010

 

Most Popular Boys’ Names In 1940, Ranked By Size Of Fall Since 1940

1. Donald – 9th in popularity in 1940 – Ranked 377 in 2010

2. Ronald – 10th in popularity in 1940 – Ranked 342 in 2010

3. Richard – 5th in popularity in 1940 – Ranked 127 in 2010

4. Charles – 6th in popularity in 1940 – Ranked 63 in 2010

5. Thomas – 8th in popularity in 1940 – Ranked 62 in 2010

6. Robert – 2nd in popularity in 1940 – Ranked 54 in 2010

7. John – 3rd in popularity in 1940 – Ranked 26 in 2010

8. James – most popular name in 1940 – Ranked 19 in 2010

9. David – 7th in popularity in 1940 – Ranked 15 in 2010

10. William – 4th in popularity in 1940 – Ranked 5 in 2010

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