Revealed: The baby names that are going extinct
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The next extinction-level event is upon us, and thankfully, this one doesn’t include tidal waves or meteors.
But you can kiss goodbye to Berthas, Nigels and Gillians, because according to new research, those names are barely ever given to babies anymore.
In a study published earlier this year, language-learning platform Babbel learned that since 1994, many monikers have gone ‘extinct’.
Names that used to frequently appear among the top 100 most popular monikers between 1914 and 1994 are now on their way out, and you’ll probably be glad to see the back of some of them (we’re looking at you, Royston).
What’s more, some names have disappeared altogether - not a single Nigel or Bertha was recorded in the last 12 months of data.
According to Babbel, the following boys' names have become ‘extinct’ since 1994:
Meanwhile, the list of girls names goes as follows:
Speaking to The Mirror, Dr Harry Parkin, Editor of The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain, explained that pop culture plays a part in the popularity of names, which could be why certain monikers have fizzled out.
Parkin said: “Exactly why certain names become especially frequent and why certain names die out is very complex. Sometimes, certain vocabulary will be used because it is seen as prestigious.
"Popular culture is certainly a relevant aspect. Or, certain vocabulary might be used in certain groups and communities. Vocabulary use (and indeed other aspects of language use) is therefore linked with a sense of identity."
Babbel’s research also noted that some names are at risk of becoming ‘endangered’ because they’re not being selected as much.
For girls, those include the likes of: 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.
Dr Parkin’s sentiment was echoed by recent data published by the Office For National Statistics (ONS) that showed certain names prominent in popular culture had surged in popularity.
For example, the number of little boys registered with the name Luca jumped from 1,323 in 2020 to 1,807 in 2021, while 251 girls were called Raya in 2021, a significant increase from the 110 girls given the name in 2020.
Disney aficionados will have no doubt seen last year’s coming-of-age film Luca, and Raya and the Last Dragon was another of 2021’s best kids’ films.