Baby name trends have always fascinated me. Around this season, I like to take a look at the most popular and unpopular names of the year and try to predict what the next year might look like.
There are some names that have been dying out for quite some time. Classics like Barbara, Beulah, and Hyland are almost nowhere to be found nowadays outside of our older family members. After taking a look at some of the least popular names in the last few years, I think it's safe to say that these names are on the verge of extinction!
The top 3 names for girls in 2017 are Sophia, Olivia, and Emma. The top 3 boy names of 2017 were Jackson, Liam, and Noah. Lovely names! By the time these babies are having kids, those names will probably be unpopular. Some other interesting names have been rising up, as parents are taking to naming their kids after colors. The boy name Red rose 16% according to BabyCenter. Blue, Hazel, Lavender, Ivory, and Ebony have gone up as well.
Whether they were overused for a few years, or just not unique enough for moms today, these 20 names are on their way out. Are you going to save them by naming your next baby one of the names from this list? Or are these all no-go's for your sweet little bundle of joy?
Cynthia is a beautiful name on the verge of disappearing forever. It's the Latinized form of Κυνθια (Kynthia) which means "woman from Kynthos". This epithet belonged to the Greek moon goddess, Artemis, given because she and her twin brother Apollo were born on the mountain Kynthos. It was not used as a name until the Renaissance, and even then, it did not really become popular until the 19th century. One notable pop-culture figure, 51-year-old Cynthia Ellen Nixon, played Miranda Hobbes in Sex and the City.
Cynthia's name ranking has been dropping more and more as the years go on, coming in at number 561 in the United States in 2016. In 1980, the name Cynthia ranked 197th most common name. If no one names their daughter Cynthia in next few years, you may never meet a new woman with the name again in your lifetime.
The name Roger is of Germanic origin, derived from the elements hrōd ("fame") and gār, gēr ("spear"). So, essentially the name means "famous spear". It was brought to England by the Normans. Roger was a common name in England during the middle ages, but it's popularity dwindled by the 18th century. The name was revived in the years following, but it seems to gain and lose popularity like a yo-yo. Since 1880, records indicate that over 436,000 people have been named Roger.
The most popular year for the name Roger was in 1953, where over 13,000 people were given the name. Those people are now 64 years old, and the name is becoming less and less popular. It ranked 870 in 2016 according to BabyCenter, the lowest ranking the name has ever seen.
Todd is an English name that means "fox". It was rarely used until it gained popularity around 1950, when the name seemed to suddenly see a big boom. In 1964, over 15,300 people were named Todd in the United States, the biggest year for the name in history. By the late 1970's, Todd slowly started to taper out, and now barely anyone under the age of 40 has the name. In 2017, BabyCenter reports that the name Todd ranked number 2,501, which is a huge drop compared to the previous year, with the name coming in at 1,062.
There are quite a few famous people who bear the name, most notably (in my opinion) Todd Barry, a stand-up comedian, actor, and voice actor, and Todd Rundgren, a musician, album producer, and songwriter.
Colleen, what a gorgeous name! I've only met one woman named Colleen, but it's a classic name that everyone seems to know, but no one uses anymore. It's derived from the Irish word, cailín meaning "girl". It's actually not a very common name in Ireland at all (go figure), but it's been used in North America since the early 20th century. In 1964, the most girls were named Colleen. 4,538 to be exact! But since then, the name has dropped in popularity significantly. In 2017 the name Colleen ranked 2,822 in the world, which is 990 lower than the previous year! Yikes! Someone, quick, name your kid Colleen so we don't lose this beautiful name! Colleen Camp is one of the most famous women named Collen. She's an American actress, comedian, and producer. She's now 64-years-old.
The name Brent is derived from the Celtic word meaning "hill". It's such a classic that I'm sad to see decreasing in popularity. Actually, in 2017 it ranked 53 higher than the previous year, but I don't have high hopes for the name. On the whole, it's still decreasing, and it's gone through a few little bumps like that.
Brent has only been used in North America since the 1930's according to SheKnows, which is super crazy to me! And it wasn't even until 1969 that the name made it to the top 100 favorite baby names. Strong, single-syllable male names were prominent in the 1970's, which is when the name gained the most popularity. It was a time of Mark's, Keith's, Chad's, and Troy's. I'm sad to think that this strong name is on the way out, and I may even name my next child Brent if I have another boy!
This unisex name is such a classic, and I'm honestly surprised it hasn't been used as much the last few years. It was the most popular in 1992, where 1,395 people were given the name. It's Greek, and it actually means "thorny tree". The Kasey spelling with a "K" is the Americanized version of Casey, derived from the old Irish name,“Cathasach” (which is Gaelic for "vigilant").
It's been commonly used in Ireland for centuries, but it was brought to America after a 20th-century song called "The Ballad of Casey Jones". It's a well-known ballad that raised Casey Jones to "folk hero status" across America. Many Gaelic names that start with a "C" are changed to a "K" in America, so many parents in the US spell it this way. The name is used for both genders, though Casey is more popular for boys, while Kasey is more commonly used for girls. It's been steadily decreasing in popularity in the last few decades, and it ranked number 1,092 in 2017.
The name Shannon comes from the river Shannon, the longest river in Ireland. It's also associated with the goddess Sionann, though many believe she was named after the river. It first became common in America after the 1940's, and it's been used for both boys and girls. The most babies were named Shannon in 1970, then it dropped for a few years, until 1976, when it shot up again. Since then, it's been steadily decreasing in popularity, and in 2017 it ranked number 1,603. The name enjoyed the top 100 status for 30 years in a row, but since the late 1990's it's not used nearly as much.
I don't know about you, but I haven't met anyone my age named Shannon before, and it's a total bummer. It's a lovely name, and I'd love to see it make a comeback! It's still in the top 100 in North Ireland though!
Tara is a female Irish name derived from a sacred place near Dublin. Tara was the name of the plantation owned by the O'Hara family in "Gone With The Wind", which is when the name really started to pick up speed in the US. Tara also means "star" in Sanskrit, as well as a female Buddha deity. It's still popular in Ireland and Northern Ireland, and it does well in the Slavic nations of Croatia and Slovenia. However, in America, the name Tara has been decreasing in popularity since 1972. That was the most popular year for Tara, with 7,228 people given the beautiful name. The name was on the list of top 100 baby names for 20 years (from 1970-1990). Tara is no longer popular, and since the 21st century, the name is dropping at a crazy rate. What a shame!
Caitlin is the Irish equivalent of Catherine. It was brought to the British Isles in the Middle Ages, and it means "pure". It first appeared in the United States in 1975, believe it or not. By 1985 it was in the top 100 baby names! Once it made it to the top 50 list, people started playing around with the spelling of the name, such as Caitlyn, Kaitlyn, Katelynn, and Kaitlin. In 1988, 7,237 people were given the name, and it hasn't seen a year that popular since. In 2017, it ranked 1,046. Yeesh! Let's hope it starts to make a comeback because there's absolutely no reason it should die out so soon. It's only been around for a few decades! I've only met a few Caitlins myself, but I've always loved the name.
Shaun, Shawn, Sean, however you want to spell it, this adorable baby boy name is losing popularity. It's the Americanized version of the Irish name, John, and it first started getting popular in 1950. Between then and the mid-1970's, the name blew up! It's best ever year was 1978, when 6,099 people in the US were given the name. Sadly, it's not doing as well now, and it ranked number 708 in 2017. Actually, that's 134 higher than the previous year, but I still don't have high hopes for the name. It's seen a few boosts like that over the years, but it hasn't seemed to stick. Hopefully, it will gain popularity again because I love it. We'll see what 2018 holds for Shaun, but I don't expect it to suddenly blow up. What do you think?
Chad comes from the old English name, Ceadda. Some websites claim that the meaning is unknown, while others say that it means defender and protector. It's been used for both boys and girls, but it is primarily a boy name. It was pretty rare until the 1960's, and by 1972, it ranked number 25 in popularity! 13,392 people were given the name that year. Sadly, it's dropped significantly. In 2017 it was ranked number 1,203. So why is the name Chad losing steam? Who's to say, but if we don't start naming some babies Chad, it might disappear! Ever since 1975, it's been ranking horribly, but it can still be saved! Other than Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I've only known two Chads in my short lifetime, and I hope to meet more!
Deanna is considered a feminine, modern-day equivalent to Dean. It was popularized by Canadian singer and actress Deanna Durbin. It shot up out of nowhere in 1936, and even that wasn't the most popular name for the year. 1970 was the year of Diana's, with 4,328 people given the name in the United States alone. It remained popular through to the mid-1990's but it hasn't been very successful in the 21st century. Deanna has dropped down by 500 positions since 2000. It's considered outdated, but I beg to differ! It's a gorgeous name that needs to make a comeback! There have been quite a few famous Deanna's in our lifetime. If you're a Star Trek fan, you may remember Commander Deanna Troi, and there's also Deanna Russo from Knight Rider. And we can't forget Deanna Lund from General Hospital! The name is still kicking it, but it might die out soon.
Janice is a name that was actually created by an American author named Paul Leicester Ford in 1899. The book was about a woman named Janice Meredith, who assisted George Washington and Paul Revere during the American Revolution. His novels were extremely successful, which introduced the name Janice to a wide audience.
It's based on the name Jane, which is the female equivalent of John. It steadily increased in popularity, reaching its peak in 1951, when almost 16,000 babies were given the beautiful name. It ranked number 21 that year, and it's been slowing down since then. By 2017 it dropped all the way down to number 1,448. Ouch! It's another one of those 50's names that has totally fallen to the wayside. I hope 2018 shows a better future for the name, but it's honestly not very likely.
Sheila is a Latin name, and it means blind, interestingly enough. It's the Irish form of Cecilia. The name first appeared in America's Top 1000 baby girl names in 1917, and it steadily increased in popularity until it reached the top 100 by 1942. It remained in the top 100 for thirty consecutive years! The highest ranking the name achieved was in 1962 when it was ranked number 52. Over 8,000 people were given the name that year!
2007 was the last year that Sheila remained in the top 1000 baby names, and it doesn't seem to be looking up. In 2012 only 144 babies were given the name. By 2017, it came in at number 2,197. I don't have high hopes for the name making a comeback, but only time will tell! Maybe it will come back into style, but the numbers don't look good.
Steve, the short version of Steven, which means "crown". It's not as popular as the longer version, but it's still done really well! Steve was in the top 200 favorite boy names in the United States and finally, in 1943, it made the top 100. Steve stayed on that list for well over twenty-five years before falling off in 1970. In fact, in the late 50's and early 60's, the name landed a spot in the top 50 list of most commonly used boy names in America! The best year was 1959, when 11,063 people were given the name. Those men are now 57 years old, and when those people are no longer with us, the name may go with them. In 2017, Steve ranked number 1,045 in the US, a far cry from where the name once stood.
In Spanish, Anita means grace. In Hebrew, it derives from the name Hannah, which also means grace or graceful. The most popular year for Anita was 1957, when 5,807 girls were given the beautiful name. Every year seems to be worse than the last since then, and by 2017 it ranked number 1,069 in America. It really doesn't make any sense, since it's such a pretty name, and as far as I can tell, there's no old or negative connotation attached to the name. Maybe our children will bring the name back, but again, the numbers don't look good.
Anita Baker is one of the most famous Anita's out there. She's a retired American singer-songwriter who has won eight Grammy awards! She's pretty dang amazing. Let's not allow this unique name die! It has a history of belonging to some very strong ladies, and I'd love to see that continue.
Donna is the Italian word for "lady", and it has a history of being used as a term of respect among the upper class and nobles. It dates back to the nineteenth century, but it's really lost its popularity this century. The most popular year for the name was 1959, when over THIRTY-SIX THOUSAND girls were given the name. Good gravy! It now ranks all the way down at number 1,762 in 2017.
When I think of Donna, all I picture is Laura Prepon's character in That 70's Show. It's not too far off base, as the name was still pretty popular in the 70's, but that was when it was starting to go downhill. Only 50 girls are named Donna every year now. Hopefully, our kids will appreciate the name and bring it back up into fame.
Karen is the Danish equivalent of Katherine, and it means "pure". It didn't become common in the English-speaking world until the 1930's, and its most popular year was 1957. A whopping 40,588 people were given the pretty name that year. Those people are now 60-years-old. How crazy is that?!
The name has fallen off the charts a few times, but it's at an all-time low this year, ranking number 826 in the list of most popular baby girl names. How it's gone from number three to number 826 is beyond me, but it's such a classic name. It would truly be a shame if it died out completely in the next few years.
Possibly the most famous Karen of our time is Karen Gillan, for her role in the BBC science fiction series, Doctor Who. There's also Karen Carpenter from the Carpenters! I wonder if any other Karens will rise to fame.
Ricky comes from the name Richard, and like Steve, its done well for itself outside of it's longer form. It's typically a boy name, though girls have been named Ricky as well. It means "strong power". It first appeared in US naming charts in 1940, and just twelve years later it was in the top 100 names in America! In the 1950's and 60's Ricky was in the top 40, probably due in part to Ricky Nelson. In 1958, over 13,000 people were given the name, putting it at number 34.
It hasn't been that high since then, and the only small upswing the name has seen since was when Talladega Nights came out. Whether people wanted to name their kid after Ricky Bobby, or the movie simply brought the name back to their attention, it did a little better for a couple of years before dropping back down again. In 2017, Ricky comes in at number 721.
Lindsay! I can hardly believe that this one even makes the list! Growing up there was always at least one or two Lindsays in my class, and I know I'm not alone on that. It was a super popular name, and the fact that it's now ranked number 2,515 in America is just nuts to me.
It's used for both boys and girls, and it first appeared in the 1950's. It didn't stick at the time though, and it wasn't revived until the mid-1970's. Lindsay Wagner was a pretty big deal around that time so that probably played a part in it. By 1978 it was in the top 100 names for baby girls. It stayed in the top 100 for sixteen years, and things aren't looking up. In 2017 it dropped down by 465! Jeez!
Sources: behindthename.com babynameshub.com babycenter.com ohbabynames.com
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