Why is Nicholas so popular after 1977?
June 6, 2009 9:29 AM   Subscribe

Why was the name Nicholas suddenly so popular after 1977 in the US?

In looking here and here (you might have to type the name in here because of the Java platform), I noticed the name Nicholas exploded in popularity around 1977. Was there something in pop culture that precipitated this?
posted by chiababe to Society & Culture (8 answers total)
Nicholas Bradford from the family sitcom Eight is Enough.
posted by buzzbash at 9:37 AM on June 6, 2009 [2 favorites]

I don't know if this is the entire reason, but in 1977 the BBC put on a very popular television production of the Dickens novel Nicholas Nickleby, which led to many other productions of the play, both in England and in the US. I lived in NYC in 1977 and I think I heard or saw a mention of Nicholas Nickleby on a daily basis - there were posters everywhere for it. That and Three Penny Opera.....in my face every single day.
posted by iconomy at 9:41 AM on June 6, 2009

Data point: I have a friend named Nicholas and the name was suggested to the parents by his cousin, who loved Eight Is Enough.
posted by lunasol at 10:45 AM on June 6, 2009

It's my husband's name too, and Eight is Enough is the reason his mom gave for naming him that as well. I just didn't think that would be the larger reason for such a jump in popularity, but maybe it is. How strange.
posted by chiababe at 3:33 PM on June 6, 2009

I'd buy that Eight is Enough theory since I've seen a person who named himself after a character on the Brady Bunch. Lame, though.
posted by hal_c_on at 6:13 PM on June 6, 2009

I believe the Eight Is Enough reason too.

My sister is named after the Bionic Woman!
posted by orme at 8:29 AM on June 7, 2009

Don't forget this was pre-cable, when network TV was all there was. Eight is Enough was the #12 show in 1977, with 16 million viewers (out of 72 million people with TV). [source]
posted by smackfu at 12:59 PM on June 7, 2009

Being named Nicholas myself, in my case it had nothing to do with Eight Is Enough. Quite the contrary, my name came from the fact that my father is a huge fan of pop-culture portrayals of the Mafia, and wanted to name me a goombah sort of name, thus "Nicky". As far as it being a popular name for people my age (born late 70s-early 80s), I've only known maybe 3 or 4 other guys named Nicholas or Nick in my life.
posted by DecemberBoy at 5:46 PM on June 7, 2009

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