What’s in a name? Trending and Endangered names

By Efrosini Costa

What’s in a name? Trending and Endangered names
What's in a name? We take a look at the names that will be heard at playgrounds of the future and the ones that won't.

Trends in baby names come and go, but for those who bear them they are an everlasting snapshot of what was trending when they were born.

‘Hipster names’ (Currently, the spotlight remains on particular group, hipster parents and their ‘trendy’ offspring)

Female — Briseida, Farrah, Inez, Liora, Minnie, Odette, Pandora, Romy, Suzette, Tessie, Wren, Zola

Male — Auden, Byron, Enoch, Gulliver, Ignatius, Lennon, Murray, Nico, Orson, Roman, Salinger, Zane

‘Creative baby names’ (Choosing an unusual baby name is also on the rise.)

Female — Wren, London, Phoenix, Logan, Indigo, Genisis and Blue – inspired by Beyoncé’s daughter, Blue Ivy.

Male — Prince, King, Junior, Hendrix, Braxton and Apollo – the name of Gwen Stefani’s son.

‘Celebrity trend names’ (Parents have also been influenced by celebrity name choices.)

Eric, the name Simon Cowell chose for his son, increased by 314 per cent in the UK alone.

David and Victoria Beckham’s children’s names have also prompted a trend, Harper is a new entry in the top 100 this year, while Romeo is up 67 per cent and Cruz is up 400 per cent.

Ariana entered the top 100 girls’ names for the first time, with singer Ariana Grande topping the charts this year.

From Game Of Thrones, the name Emilia was a new entry at number 53, with parents also registering the names Daenerys and Tyrion for the first time this year. The name Piper was up 267 per cent, thanks to popular TV series Orange Is The New Black.

The TV show Breaking Bad also saw Skyler, Jesse and Walter increase in popularity.

But parents are wary of names associated with celebrities who exhibit bad behaviour. The name Miley has fallen, thanks to Miley Cyrus, as have Amy and Nick, following the release of the mystery thriller book and movie Gone Girl.

Of course the fanfare for children’s film Frozen has meant Elsa, the name of the ice queen, has shot straight into the top 100 at 75. Even the films friendly snowman Olaf and leading man Kristoff have both been picked by new parents for the first time.

‘Arabian influence’ (the popularity of Arabic names continues to rise)

Male — Mohammed is the UK’s most popular name with Omar, Ali, Ibrahim and Kian, following behind.

Female — Nur and Maryam.

Out of touch

The analysis of millions of birth records from 1905 to today shows some first names are disappearing or on the verge of being virtually extinct

According to the report released by family history site Ancestry, many of the most traditional names are at risk of dying out.

Interestingly the analysis also showed far more girls’ names disappearing or ‘at risk’ than boys  names. This is thought to be because many men’s names are passed on from father to son, whereas mothers’ names are more likely to be selected as middle names, rather than forenames, for daughters.

However there is some good news, many of the most popular names of 1905 still remain commonplace today. This could be driven by the fact that one in three parents (34 per cent) choose their child’s name to honour an ancestor. Such names include Lily, Hannah and Lydia for girls and Alan, Patrick and Joe for boys.


‘The Alfie Effect’ (Many popular names from the early 20th century have also evolved to their shorter form, which has replaced their previous name in popularity.)

Male — Freddie replaces Frederick, Archie overtakes Archibald and Charlie become far more popular now than Charles.

Female — Lexi is replacing Alexandra, Sophia making way for Sophie and Ellie overtaking Eleanor.


‘Extinct’ (None recorded in latest birth records)

Male — Cecil, Rowland & Willie

Female — Bertha, Blodwen, Fanny, Gertrude, Gladys, Margery, Marjorie & Muriel


Endangered (have fallen in prevalence by 99% since 1905)

Male — Clifford, Horace, Harold, Leslie & Norman

Female — Doris, Edna, Ethel, Hilda, Marion & Phyllis


At risk (have fallen in prevalence by 98% since 1905)

Male — Arnold, Bernard, Clarence, Cyril, Ernest, Fred, Herbert, Percy, Roland, Sydney, Trevor & Walter.

Female — Ann, Dorothy, Eveline, Freda, Gwendoline, Irene, Jane, Janet, Jennie, Lilian, Lizzie, Margaret, Mary, Maud, Mildred, Nellie, Rhoda & Winifred


Booming traditional names (risen in popularity since 1905)

Male — Christopher, Harry, Sam, Samuel, Louis, Evan, Owen, Louie, Michael, Reuben, Benjamin, Matthew, Lewis, Jack, Alexander, Daniel, Isaac, Jacob, Charlie, Oliver

Female — Amelia, Charlotte, Daisy, Eleanor, Eliza, Emily, Eva, Grace, Harriet, Isabel, Isabella, Leah, & Lucy


‘Retro resurgence’ (1970s names are making a comeback too!) 

Angela, Karen, Joanne and Maria



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