“Extinct” baby names and those at risk of disappearing
As trends change over the years, the popularity of baby names also changes and some are on the verge of extinction.
Names such as Olivia, Amelia, Muhammad and Noah have exploded in popularity over the years, but naturally some nicknames have gone the other way.
And some names have all disappeared from the lists, reports the Mirror.
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They cross-checked newly released data from 2020 to identify names that were once common – appearing in top 100 lists for newborns between 1914 and 1994 – but are now considered extinct (with no appearances in 2020) .
They also shared a look at some of the names that are “in danger” with 10 or fewer children receiving the name in 2020.
According to their research, the names missing since 1994 are Graeme, Horace, Iain, Leigh, Melvyn, Nigel and Royston for boys.
And for girls, the list includes Bertha, Beverley, Carol, Carole, Doreen, Gail, Gertrude, Gillian, Glenys, Glynis, Hilary, Jeanette, Jill, Kay, Kerry, Lesley, Lindsay, Lyndsey, Lynne, Lynsey, Mandy, Maureen, Muriel, Phyllis.
There were many more nicknames that Babbel considered “disappearing”, which were those that were in the top 100 between 1914 and 1994, but 10 or fewer babies with the name recorded in 2020.
The risk names for the girls were Annette, Beryl, Brenda, Carolyn, Cheryl, Dawn, Debbie, Debra, Denise, Diane, Donna, Doris, Edna, Freda, Geraldine, Gladys, Gwendoline, Hilda, Janet, Janice, Jean, Jordan, Kirsty, Lindsey, Lorraine, Lynda, Lynn, Marian, Marion, Marjorie, Marlene, Maud, Mildred, Norma, Pamela, Pauline, Sheila, Shirley, Suzanne, Thelma, Tracey, Tracy, Toni and Yvonne.
Meanwhile, for the boys, there were hardly any in 2020 named Barry, Cecil, Clarence, Claude, Clifford, Cyril, Dale, Donald, Gary, Garry, Glen, Glenn, Gordon, Graham, Howard, Keith , Leslie, Neville, Norman, Rodney, Stewart, Stuart and Trevor.
Discussing the results, Ted Mentele, didactics editor at Babbel, said: “Naming practices form the basis of all language as well as the basis of identity.
“The fact that the etymological roots of these names go back to different languages and cultures around the world shows how languages have influenced each other over time.
“We hope that by bringing attention to the overlooked roots and intriguing meanings of these endangered names, we can breathe new life into them for the next generation and prevent them from being forgotten.”
While Dr Harry Parkin, editor of the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain, added: “Exactly why certain names become particularly common and why certain names disappear is very complex.
“Sometimes a certain vocabulary will be used because it is perceived as prestigious.
“Popular culture is certainly a relevant aspect. Alternatively, certain vocabularies may be used in certain groups and communities. Vocabulary use (and indeed other aspects of language use) are therefore linked to a sense of identity.
“The Norman Conquest then had a huge impact on England’s stock of first names.”