This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Why people over fifty are called *Boomers*

I watched a PBS documentary about *Boomers* last night. They were defined as being born between 1946 and 1964. It was a fascinating documentary, and included interviews with Billy Joel, who, being in his mid-sixties now, is a *Boomer*. And if you've heard it, and wonder what it means, it's short for *Baby Boomer*, and this is why:

The *Baby Boom* occurred after the end of World War II. Prosperity in the United States was the greatest that it had ever been, and so many babies were being born that it was considered a *boom*. In fact, the next concern was about over-population. So many babies were being born that there was concern that they would have to stand on each other's heads when they grew up, I guess.

I'm a fairly young baby boomer, and I would argue that extending it into the 1960s is just kind of strange. Most of the people of my age didn't have parents in World War II. In spite of my youth, my father was one of the young men who returned from World War II (he was a Marine at Okinawa), went to college with the GI Bill, bought his first home with a Federal Loan, and started a family. His family was still *booming* until 1967, when my youngest brother was born. Tom Brokaw's book called my parents the Greatest Generation. I'm just a baby boomer. By the way, after the Baby Boomers came *Generation X*, which applies to people born up through the early 1980s.

I guess it's OK to change the name from *Baby Boomers* to just *Boomers*. After all, Bill Joel has a lot of grey hair now (mostly on his chin), so these people aren't really babies. But that's where the name comes from.
Post a Comment