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10 Most Popular Baby Names of All Time


5
Linda and William

As with Barbara and Susan, Linda is a trendy name from the mid-1900s that has quietly slipped away. The name is somewhat bipolar, meaning "pretty" in Spanish and "serpent" in German. This lovely snake had the top spot from 1947-52, and dabbled in other positions throughout the '40s up to 1960. Linda boasts several talented women like actresses Lynda Carter, aka Wonder Woman who made little girls want to be a superhero and Linda Blair who put the fear of God into viewers in "The Exorcist." Musically inclined Lindas include Rondstadt and McCartney, former wife of Beatle Paul.

William, on the other hand, is experiencing something of a comeback. According to the SSA, more than 3.7 million Williams have been born, primarily between 1927 and 1949, but the name hit the top five again in 2009 and 2010 thanks, in part to Prince William's popularity. A fitting name for a future king, since it means "resolute protector."

Other famous Williams include:

  • Historical figures: William Tell, William the Conqueror, William Wallace (portrayed by Mel Gibson in "Braveheart"), and Civil War general Sherman
  • Literati : Faulkner, Blake, Wordsworth and Shakespeare
  • Bad guys: Billy the Kid
  • Actors/Entertainers: Rogers, Shatner, and Hurt
  • U.S. presidents: Harrison, McKinley, Taft and Clinton