About 50 years ago, Australian parents had a sudden realisation. Jason is a bloody great name.
Up until the mid-1960s, almost no one called their babies Jason. It was all about the Johns and the Davids and the Peters. Then Jason arrived on the scene, and from 1971 to 1973, it was the number-one boys’ name in both NSW and Victoria.
In those three years alone, there were around 6000 Jasons born in NSW and 4000 Jasons born in Victoria. It was peak Jason.
And then parents started getting over it. Before the end of the 1970s, Jason was out of the top 10, and it was all downhill from there. It hasn’t been in the NSW or Victorian top 100 for years. Parents nowadays go for similar-sounding names like Jayden and Mason and Jaxon.
Of course, all names come in and go out, but no other boys’ name has come in so fast, reached such a dizzying height, and then disappeared again. The other number-one boys’ names of last century – John, Peter, David, Michael, Matthew, etc – were all massively popular for decades. (If you would like to see this information plotted in a colourful graph, go here or here.)
That’s why Jason can claim the title of Australia’s trendiest ever boys’ name (at least, as far as records go back). And that’s why we know lots of Jasons in their forties, and almost no old men or little kids with the name.
Of course, Australia isn’t the only nation to fall for Jason. Jason has previously been revealed as America’s trendiest boys’ name of the past 100 years.
But there, it didn’t reach number one. Americans didn’t love Jason quite as much as Australians did.
So why all this love for Jason? And what’s it like having the trendiest boys’ name?
Mamamia spoke to a Jason who was born on the early side of the Jason peak, in 1968. His Greek father named him after Jason and the Argonauts from Greek mythology, and he loves his name.
“My mother wanted to call me Dwayne – which, thank goodness, didn’t get up,” he says. “My wife tells me constantly that she wouldn’t have married me, had I been named Dwayne.”
Jason was one of only two Jasons at his school. But when his own child started school and he went along to a fathers’ get-together, it was a different story.
“Introducing, it was like Paul, Jason, and the rest of them were Jasons,” he remembers. “There were five Jasons, and we were all about the same age. It was hilarious.”