The top 10 post-war baby names making a comeback, and Karen is top of the list apparently

Baby girl names come and go - take a look at these post-war baby names on the brink of a comeback

top 10 post war baby names illustrated by black and white baby images
(Image credit: Getty images / Futue)

We have the top 10 baby names from post-war times that are on the brink of a comeback, and you're likely to recognise a few.

This list might just help those choosing a baby name - it can be one of the earliest challenges of parenting, which is why we do the research for you. Take a look through our most popular baby names, cool baby names, and unusual baby names lists. 

For many parents, factors like what will the initials be? How should we spell it? Has anyone we know chosen these names? all play a part. The last one’s a big deal breaker for lots of expectant parents - they don’t want a name that might be too common - though the founder of, Sherri Suzanne tells us that popular names are comfortable and recognisable; "Sharing a name with peers can make any child feel part of a community and a timid child might feel a little less different." 

Popular baby names aside, let’s take a look at the top 20 post-war baby names making a return to mainstream baby names.

Top 10 post-war baby girl names making a comeback

  1. Karen (meaning pure) 
  2. Carol (meaning joyful song) 
  3. Valerie (meaning to be healthy or strong) 
  4. Dawn (meaning the beginning of a new day) 
  5. Elaine (meaning shining light) 
  6. Sandra (meaning protector of humanity) 
  7. Sally (meaning princess) 
  8. Janice (meaning God has been gracious) 
  9. Shirley (meaning bright meadow) 
  10. Annette (meaning grace and favour)

top 10 post war baby names illustrated by black and white baby images

(Image credit: Getty images / Futue)

A new study from stairlift and home lift company Stannah, analysing ONS baby name data, reveals that a new wave of ‘Karens’ could be due in the UK based on generational trends and the meaning of the name.

The name ‘Karen’ – alongside the likes of ‘Valerie’ and ‘Carol’ – rose to popularity in the mid-1900s, following two World Wars and times of strife. Perhaps not so coincidentally, the names hold significance in their meanings, each symbolising hope, purity, and joy. 

The names dwindled in popularity towards the end of the century, and in more recent years, ‘Karens’ have made a bad name for themselves - typically assigned to an entitled or demanding white woman. However, the new wave of Karens is set to shake off the stereotype as the name becomes symbolic of its original meaning in Post-War Britain.  

Andy Powell, Head of Digital Marketing at Stannah, said: “It’s not uncommon for Brits to name their children after loved ones, and trends in baby name data suggest that we’re likely to see similar names crop up in the top 100 at least once per century."

If you still can't decide on a name, try our baby name generator. If you don't yet know the gender, and fancy some pre-baby fun, why not take a look through our gender prediction tests such as the boy or girl quiz, Chinese birth chart or the nub theory.

Stephanie Lowe
Family Editor

Stephanie Lowe is Family Editor at GoodToKnow covering all things parenting, pregnancy and more. She has over 13 years' experience as a digital journalist with a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to all things family and lifestyle. Stephanie lives in Kent with her husband and son, Ted. Just keeping on top of school emails/fund raisers/non-uniform days/packed lunches is her second full time job.