What defines the 鈥80s?聽There鈥檚 breakdancing and the Rubik鈥檚 Cube, leg warmers and Pac-Man, Prince William instead of Prince George.聽But how about the baby names?聽Thirty years ago, the most popular baby names for boys included Jason and Joshua, Michael and Christopher, Andrew and聽Ryan 鈥斅爐he dad names of 2015.聽But rewind that VCR in your head to the names of movie characters, popular singers, actors and more. A surprising number of those names have become among the most stylish choices for baby boys聽born today.

Take Lucy Liu鈥檚 new son: Rockwell Lloyd. The new mom hasn鈥檛 shared how she chose the name, but Lucy graduated from high school in 1986. That鈥檚 two years after Rockwell scored a major hit with the single 鈥淪omebody鈥檚 Watching Me,鈥 and three years before a young John Cusack won our hearts as the boombox-holding Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything鈥β燚id all of those Tiger Beat magazines and re-runs of our favorite movies influence the names we chose for our sons?


Let鈥檚 take a look at nine baby names from the 1980s that are making headlines in 2015.

1.聽Rockwell聽鈥斅燬inger Rockwell鈥檚 real name is Kennedy Gordy, and he鈥檚 the son of Motown founder Berry Gordy. His stage name was meant to imply that the young singer could 鈥渞ock well,鈥 and for his smash hit 1984 single, he certainly did. Today the name fits right in with other surnames like Maxwell, as well as names like Rocco and Rocky. It was given to 68 boys in 2014 鈥 a new high. With a celebrity birth announcement, chances are we鈥檒l hear more of Rockwell.

2.聽Lloyd聽鈥斅燙lyde is back in the US top 1000. Howard, too. What other early 20th century favorites are ready for a comeback? I nominate Lloyd, as in Lloyd Dobler. The image of Lloyd holding up a boombox outside of Diane鈥檚 window is among the most romantic and iconic of 1980s images. It鈥檚 definitely time for this name to make a comeback.

3.聽Westley聽鈥斅燜ew movies have as devoted a following as 1987鈥檚 The Princess Bride. A young Cary Elwes played the farm boy聽Westley, who was madly in love with the beautiful Buttercup. You probably know the rest. As a given name, Wesley 鈥斅爃old the 鈥渢鈥 鈥 was big in the 1970s, thanks to a television miniseries. But Westley has been climbing again in recent years, showing remarkable resilience for a name that once seemed like a pop culture phenomenon. Credit to the fractured fairy tale? Maybe.

4.聽Elliott聽鈥斅E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was a 1982 blockbuster. It made more money than Star Wars, and held the record for eleven solid years. Elliott would have been an unusual choice for a ten-year old boy in 1982. But in 2015? Elliott is leaping up the popularity charts. When combined with the one-t Elliot, it鈥檚 becoming a very familiar name indeed.

5.聽Knox聽鈥斅燘efore Brad and Angelina were household names, Robin Williams starred as an unconventional teacher at an elite New England prep school. The year was 1989, but the movie was thirty years earlier, in the 1950s. One of the students was named Knox Overstreet. While the name seemed like an overnight sensation after the arrival of the Jolie-Pitt twins, there was a rise in boys named Knox throughout the 1990s.

6.聽Maverick聽鈥斅燢nox, Lloyd and Elliott were all the given names of fictional characters. But in 1986鈥檚 Top Gun, Maverick wasn鈥檛 a name at all. It was the call sign of naval aviator Pete Mitchell, played by Tom Cruise. There were 19 newborn Mavericks in 1986, 44 in 1987. And the numbers have gone straight up ever since then, with more than 1,800 boys named Maverick in 2014.

7.聽Teddy聽鈥斅Stand By Me was a standout coming-of-age movie in a decade known for coming-of-age movies. Young actors聽Will Wheaton, River Phoenix, Jerry O鈥機onnell聽and Corey Feldman played four friends in 1950s Oregon. Their names were just right for the era: Gordie, Chris, Vern聽and Teddy. While Gordie, Chris聽and Vern are in style limbo today, Teddy 鈥斅爁ull name Theodore 鈥斅爄s quite stylish. After sliding through the 1980s and 90s, Theodore is just outside the US Top 100 today.

8.聽River聽鈥斅燬peaking of Stand By Me, the 1986 classic was the first big role for actor River Phoenix. By 1991, Phoenix had scored an Academy Award nomination. And two years later, he died of a drug-induced heart failure. Despite the young actor鈥檚 tragic end, the name River has become a favorite for boys, reaching number 287 in 2014.

9.聽Wyatt聽鈥斅燱yatt tends to lean cowboy cool, thanks to Wyatt Earp. But back in 1985, Wyatt was one of the nerdy teenagers longing for a girlfriend in Weird Science. The movie remains a favorite all these years later, and it鈥檚 rumored that a remake is in the works. As for Wyatt, the name rose all through the 1980s and then was catapulted into the top 200 by a Wyatt Earp biopic in 1994.

Do you have any 80s-inspired baby names you love? Share your faves in the comment section below.

This post was originally published on Nameberry by Abby Sandel.