Generation names are simply names for a specified Generation that was shaped by cultural changes, political climates, new technologies, and new ways of life. This makes each Generation unique with a name for each that attempts to highlight the main ethos of certain ones attached.
We’ll take a look at the most current Generation names and trace them back all the way to the dawn of the 20th century. We will share with you the Generation names and years for each along with popular baby names for those born at the time. It’s funny how so much changes while much still remains. Take a look at these Generation names and facts for each to learn about those who came before you and the younger ones that are currently on the rise!
Check Out the Generation Names and Years Below Along with Some Interesting Facts for Each!
Generation Alpha or Gen Alpha (2013 – 2025)
Gen Alpha is a distinction which can be summed-up as the children born to millennials. These children were born with the ubiquity mobile device use, smartphones, and access to the internet. The oldest children in the Alpha generation are not yet 10 years old, so we will need to put a pin in this generation to learn even more about them as adults.
Characteristics of Gen Alpha
In a piece for The Atlantic, Joe Pinsker writes that we should expect Gen Alpha’s to be the wealthiest and most educated among us after they finish their education and join a profession.
Most Popular Generation Names from (2013 – 2025)
Well, we’ve got the data from the Social Security Administration to inform what names parents are picking for the Generation Alpha babies. Here are the three most popular:
- Olivia – a perennial favorite that comes from Latin and means “olive tree”
- Emma – another classic, but from German, meaning “universal”
- Liam – An English diminutive form of William, Liam means “resolute protector”
Gen Z or iGen (1995 – 2012)
According to ScaryMommy, a majority of members of Gen Z are the children of Gen X and elder Millennials or Xennials. Most in this generation are computer and social media literate. It’s likely the first generation that has roundly had to deal with cyberbullying.
More About Gen Z
Members of Gen Z range in age from the youngest, 9 (in 2021), to the oldest who is 25. This means that these babies were born after the 9/11 attacks and have never known the USA to be not at war.
Popular Generation Names for Gen Z Babies
What generation names are most popular among those in the Gen Z generation?
- Jacob – a name from Hebrew origin, meaning “supplanter”
- Michael – another name from Hebrew, meaning “who is like God?”
- Emily – A name of Greek origin that means “rival”
Millennials or Gen Next or Gen Y (1980 – 1994)
Millennial has emerged as the most popular generation names for babies born in the 1880s and early 1990s. The distinction for this generation is that they are the first generation to reach young adulthood in the 21st century.
Even More About Millennials
Gen Y and Millennials likely remember where they were on 9/11. They also inherited a poor job market after finishing college thanks to their (mostly) boomer parents whose basements they had to live in until they found steady work. The youngest Millennials are upwards of 25 today and some “Elder Millennials” are pushing 40.
Popular Generation Names for Baby Millennials
What are the most popular baby names for Millennials? It turns out Michael was popular for both Gen Z and Millenial babies. It was the most popular name for boys in both generations. Let’s take a look at some other names they might have gotten.
- Christopher – the second most popular name for Millenials was for boys, Christopher, a Greek name that means “bearer of Christ”
- Jessica – After Michael and Christopher, Jessica was the third most popular Generation name for Millennials, meaning, “He sees,” from Hebrew origin
- Matthew – Another name from Hebrew, Matthew means “gift of Yahweh”
Xennials (1975 – 1985)
The Xennial Generation is a micro-generation that consists of young Gen X members and Elder Millennials. These individuals share a mix of traits found among both groups. The one thing most in this Generation likely played? The Oregon Trail and thus is often referred to as “The Oregon Trail Generation.”
More About Xennials
If you’re too young to remember Voltron but too old for Power Rangers, you are likely a Xennial. Were flip phones the hottest tech when you were coming of age? You’re in this category.
Most Popular Generation Names at the Time
Xennials range in age from about mid-thirties to mid-forties, so what were the hottest generation names from the late 1970s and early 1980s?
- Jennifer – becoming a mega-hit name in the 1970s, Jennifer comes from Cornish and Welsh origins, meaning “white wave”
- Ashley – an English habitational name, meaning “from the ash tree meadow”
- Jason – a classic name from Greek, meaning “healer”
Generation X (1965 – 1979)
Generation X or Gen X are the Generation names used for those born in the late 1960s through the 1970s. These would be the “latchkey kids” who found both their parents working, leaving them with little supervision and plenty of independence.
More About Gen X or the ‘MTV Generation’
When folks were trying to make a term stick for this Generation, the “MTV Generation” as they were sulking teens who loved MTV when it first arrived. They’ve come a long way, in fact. It’s time for them to seriously make sure they’ve got a retirement plan put in place as they are likely well into the forties to fifties.
Most Popular Generation Names for Gen X-ers?
Michael and Jennifer were the biggest names at the time but you will also find some new arrivals to the top of list for X Generation names from this time, most popular in the late 1960s.
- David – a name from Hebrew, meaning “beloved”
- James – an English name from Hebrew, meaning “supplanter”
- Lisa – another name from English and Hebrew, meaning “God’s promise”
Baby Boomers or ‘Boomers’ (1946 – 1964)
Baby Boomers are so-called because their Generation is a result of a boom in the American economy following WWII which produced a huge tide of new babies. This means that there are a whole lot of “Boomers” among us.
How Old Are Baby Boomers Today?
Boomers vary in age more so than other generations with most (not all, of course) in retirement today. The youngest Baby Boomers are in their mid-fifties to mid-seventies today.
‘Boomer’ Generation Names
What are the most popular Generation names for Baby Boomers?
- Robert – a name from German, meaning “bright fame”
- Mary – a name from Aramaic, meaning “bitter”
- John – a name from Hebrew, meaning “graced by God”
The Silent Generation (1925 – 1945)
The Generation with the fewest born into it was the “Silent Generation.” Those born between 1925-1945 were born into The Great Depression and then WWII.
More About The Silent Generation
Today, those born at this time are between about 76 and 96. They lived through the McCarthy Era which is why they are partly considered “silent” as they knew that voicing an opinion could prove dangerous.
The Silent Generation Names
The most popular names of the Silent Generation babies are James, Michael, Robert, John, and Mary. Let’s look at some other still-popular options from the time:
- Linda – a name from Spanish and German, meaning “pretty”
- Patricia – from a Latin family name, meaning “noble”
- William – an English name from German, meaning “resolute protector”
- Ronald – from Old Norse and Old English, meaning “decisive ruler”
The Interbellum Generation (1901 – 1913)
The Interbellum Generation describes those born between the two World Wars. They were too young to serve in active duty for WWI and too old for the front lines in WWII.
More About the Interbellum Generation
The Interbellum Generation got to experience the Jazz Age in youth. Further, many were members of the movement for Women’s Suffrage. Those born to the Interbellum Generation were born between 108 and 120 years ago!
Interbellum Generation Names
What were the popular Generation names over a century ago?
- Helen – from Greek, meaning “shining light”
- Margaret – from Old French and ultimately Hebrew, meaning “pearl”
- George – a classic appellation from Greek, meaning “gardener”
- Edward – from Old English, meaning “wealthy guard”
The Lost Generation (1890 – 1900)
The Lost Generation refers to those who were given some of the direst circumstances to survive in American history. They returned from war only to be met with depression. Food insecurity, homelessness, and many other hardships were faced.
More About the Lost Generation
Revered novelists like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and T. S. Eliot all came from this Generation. Folks born during this time were birthed some 121 to 131 years ago!
Lost Generation Names
What were the most popular names at the turn of the 20th century? Aside from John, William, Mary, and Margaret:
- Anna – from Hebrew, meaning “grace”
- Charles – from French and English, meaning “French man” or “free man”
- Elizabeth – from Hebrew, meaning “pledged to God”
- Ruth – from Hebrew, meaning “friend”
There you go! We hope you learned more about the Generation names and years that go with each along with some popular baby names born within each Generation. It’s interesting how world events, emerging technologies, and new ways of living influence how each Generation sees the world. We can’t wait to find out what’s next for these Gen Alpha kiddos!
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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