Special Report

25 Names That Are Going Extinct

Source: L. Waldorf / Evening Standard / Getty Images

35. Mamie
> Drop in popularity: -5,631
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 65 (592 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 5,696 (23 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1888

Mamie has been sliding in popularity for quite some time, having peaked in popularity in 1888. There have been some prominent Mamies since then, including Mamie Eisenhower, wife of President Dwight Eisenhower, and Mamie Van Doren. The actress, model and singer was born Joan Lucille Olander but adopted the first lady’s name when she signed with Universal Studios.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

34. Thelma
> Drop in popularity: -5,642
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 45 (1,758 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 5,687 (24 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1911

Thelma has been sliding in popularity since 1911. Even the success of the 1991 road movie “Thelma & Louise” didn’t help it gain popularity, nor the release of the horror film “Thelma” in 2017.

Source: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

33. Latoya
> Drop in popularity: -5,890
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 78 (925 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 5,968 (22 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1984

There have been several successful singers with variations on the name Latoya, including La Toya Jackson, the fifth child of the famous Jackson family; LaToya Rodriguez, the R&B singer; and LeToya Luckett, an original member of Destiny’s Child.

Source: National Archives / Newsmakers / Getty Images

32. Grover
> Drop in popularity: -5,913
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 58 (204 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 5,971 (18 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1885

Grover peaked in popularity in 1885. Coincidentally, that’s when Grover Cleveland was first elected president. Cleveland is the only U.S. president to have served two non-consecutive terms (1885 to 1889 and 1893 to 1897). The name has been declining in popularity since then, despite the popularity of the “Sesame Street” character Grover.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

31. Gertrude
> Drop in popularity: -6,079
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 36 (1,349 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 6,115 (23 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1896

There have been famous Gertrudes throughout history, including the archaeologist and spy Gertrude Bell, the writer Gertrude Stein, and the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926, Gertrude Ederle. There has also been an infamous Gertrude in literature — the mother of Hamlet. The Shakespeare play was written more than 400 years ago, so it obviously didn’t hurt the name’s popularity.

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