Name That Decade!

Last month the New York Times noted that the first decade of the new century is just about to officially slip into history and wondered what the results of that “beloved and enduring parlor game known as ‘Name That Decade'” would be. Historians frequently chafe a bit at reductive labels such as the “Roaring Twenties.” Nevertheless, the urge to categorize is nearly irresistible, and since it is also virtually inevitable, we are asking AHA members to offer their suggestions–by posting in the comment section below–for a catchy phrase that can wittily sum up the decade. The best entries will be voted on and published in February’s Perspectives on History as well as on the blog. The person with the best phrase will have the distinction of having named the decade. Please be sure to use your real name and leave an e-mail address so that we can contact you for verification purposes.

Update: Submissions were compiled and on March 2, 2010, voting began for “Name That Decade.” The winning submission was announced on March 16, 2010.

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  1. Christopher Thompson

    The first decade of the twenty-first century will end at midnight on 31st December, 2010. The New York Times has made an error, alas.

  2. Jen Hassum

    I read the Times article. I doubt that any historian would be able to maintain that one decade was particularly “from Hell.”

    Decade of Audacity? Declaring war on the basis of lies, removing regulations and giving rise to sub-prime mortgages, the proliferation of ponzi investments, and finishing of the decade by having a presidential candidate running on change.

    This was a decade of audacious assumptions and personalities, where fearlessness led to neglect but also wide-eyed hope.

  3. Rodney Earl Walton

    For the purpose of American history periodization, I propose the label “Bush Decade.” I recognize that George W. Bush is highly unpopular among academic historians. Nonetheless, his decision to take action against first Afganistan and second Iraq in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attack dominated political discussion and American foreign policy during the decade. The enduring visual image of the decade will be the hijacked plane crashing into one of the World Trade Center towers. It would be going too far, however, to designate the 10 years as the “War Against Terror Decade.”

  4. Donald A. Ritchie

    Considering what connected us and defined so much of what occurred in this decade, I’d call it The Digital Era.

  5. Lavanya Vemsani

    Decade of Terrorism – for Terrorism is the dominant feature and will most probably continue to dominate the world scene for at least the next few years.

  6. Jim York

    It started with Y2K, While Two-Kays doesn’t work, tookies does! Yep, that’s it. THE TOOKIES!!! or ‘the why tookies’

  7. John Hench

    Let’s call it the Decade of Smoke, for the smoke arising from the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville; for the smoke from roadside bombs and military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan and from terrorist attacks in Mumbai; and for the smoke screens put up by countless government officials, cable network pundits, politicians, investment fund managers, Ponzi-scheme artists, corporation executives, philanderers, and reality-show “stars” and “wannabes.”

  8. Michael Hayse

    The Bubble & Burst Decade or the Burst Bubble Decade.

    Admittedly, this doesn’t roll off the tongue, but perhaps it captures not only the economic developments, but also the bursting of the bubble of national invulnerability and unilateralism.

  9. Jarrod Fredericks

    The Decade of Collapse. Didn’t it seem like everything collapsed? Buildings, economies, Ponzi schemes, and so much more.

  10. Patrick Clark

    I cannot decide which one I prefer the most, so I will suggest both.

    – I propose combining both major global events and their aftereffects that resonated throughout this decade, along with our technological advancements; the globally interconnected “Decade of the InFEARmation Highway.” Need I say more!
    OR – The “NOW” Decade, after all this is the time of the technologically immersed “Now Generation” that knows no other way.

  11. ryan guerra

    The Unies!! Uni is a Latin prefix that means one. The numbers between 0 and 9 are all one digit. Uni is also a prefix that means to come together to make one, like uniformity and university – a collection of colleges.

    Unies can be used to describe the decade as in the 20-00s (Twenty-Unies). It can be used to describe weather, “Temperatures are getting cold tonight in the low- to mid-Unies.” It can be used for ages too, I’m in my thirties and my little sister is in her unies.

    It can also be used to describe what this decade represented. This decade represented unification. Unification of the Unies. During this decade we saw the rise of social media sites like Youtube, Flickr, Myspace, Facebook and Twitter. We saw the birth of the Euro which unified the European currencies. We saw file sharing sites like Napster take over. Open source sites like Linux and Wikipedia grew. Google organized and unified the Interent. Even the worlds religion came together during September 11th memorials.

  12. Maggie LaNoue

    This past decade could properly be called the TwentiOs. There is a
    facebook fan page for the name, and a logo. The logo is a Cheerio. The naming convention
    will also work in previous and future centuries if you read the info on the page. Search
    on Facebook for TwentiOs.

  13. Rickey McDaniel


    Aught is a synonym of Zero.
    noun; A quantity of no importance. pronoun; Anything whatever.

    Oddities is ; Eccentricity that is not easily explained; A strange attitude or habit; Something unusual—perhaps worthy of collecting >noun

    Clearly the AUGHTITIES !