Special Report

25 Names That Are Going Extinct

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What’s in a name? William Shakespeare posed that question more than 400 years ago and it’s still pertinent today. Names go in and out of style, and it’s not always clear why. Using data going back more than a century, 24/7 Wall St. set out to identify once-popular names that have been falling out of favor.

Some of the names on this list, such as Homer, are thousands of years old. Others, such as Latoya, are of recent origin but already declining in popularity. Some seem decidedly dated and possibly headed for total extinction. How many Deweys or Velmas do you know? Other entries might come as a surprise. Everybody knows an Ed and a Bob, and can probably name some famous ones, too, but both names are going out of style.

We also discovered some interesting quirks and coincidences. Several of the names we identified are also characters on the television show “The Simpsons.” One, Grover, was the first name of an American president. Another, Garfield, was the surname of a president. Both names peaked in popularity when these presidents were in office in the 19th century.

Some names have acquired negative associations entirely by chance. One of the most destructive hurricanes in history was called Wilma, which can’t have helped the popularity of the name. Similarly, Bertha, was the nickname of one of the most destructive weapons in World War I.

To determine the baby names going extinct, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 100 most popular boy and girl names each year between 1880 and 2017 from the Social Security Administration. We took the 1880-2010 average ranking of each name appearing on any of the SSA’s top 100 lists between those years. These names were highly popular for some significant period of time. We compared this earlier average level of popularity to the 2011-2017 average ranking of those same names.We selected the 50 names with the largest declines in average ranking between those two periods. The names are ranked by the drop amount.The SSA only collects data on names with at least five birth certificates. Alternate spellings of similar names were treated as discrete names.

Click here to see the 25 names that are going extinct.

50. Homer
> Drop in popularity: -4,119
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 81 (462 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 4,200 (25 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1893

The name Homer has been with us for thousands of years. The ancient Greek poet Homer, author of the “Iliad and the Odyssey,” had an enormous influence on Western civilization. The most famous contemporary Homer is the cartoon character Homer Simpson, from the television show “The Simpsons,” whose laziness and stupidity may explain why the name is on our list.

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49. Wilbur
> Drop in popularity: -4,356
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 95 (431 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 4,451 (23 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1913

The name Wilbur peaked in popularity in 1913, a decade after Wilbur and Orville Wright flew the world’s first successful airplane. There have been some famous Wilburs since then, including the pig in E.B. White’s children’s book “Charlotte’s Web,” and the current U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross.

48. Glenda
> Drop in popularity: -4,421
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 91 (1,007 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 4,512 (33 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1944

The name Glenda originated in Wales and means “holy and good,” which may have inspired the variation Glinda, the Good Witch, made famous by the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz.” Perhaps the best known bearer of the name today is Glenda Jackson, the English actress and politician. Jackson has won the Academy Award for best actress twice — for “Women in Love” in 1970 and “A Touch of Class” in 1973.

47. Bertha
> Drop in popularity: -4,482
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 33 (1,583 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 4,515 (33 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1883

Bertha peaked in popularity more than a century ago. The name’s decline in popularity since then may have been accelerated by its use as a nickname for a large, ungainly machine. During World War I, a siege cannon used by the Germans was nicknamed Big Bertha. The average number of babies born each year between 1880 and 2010 named Bertha was 1,583. That annual average sank to 33 between 2011 and 2017.

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46. Dewey
> Drop in popularity: -4,589
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 44 (274 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 4,633 (23 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1898

Dewey is better known as a surname than a first name. The Dewey Decimal Classification, or Dewey Decimal System, named after Melvil Dewey, has been used to classify library books for more than a century. In the 1948 presidential election, Democrat Harry S. Truman won an upset victory over his Republican challenger Thomas Dewey.

45. Debbie
> Drop in popularity: -4,783
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 48 (1,549 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 4,831 (30 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1959

Debbie is better known as a nickname than a given name, which may help explain the name’s decline in popularity. The two most famous Debbies began life with other names. Actress Debbie Reynolds was born Mary Frances Reynolds and was given the name Debbie by studio boss Jack Warner. She was one of the biggest movie stars of the 1950s. Debbie Harry, lead singer of the group Blondie, was born Angela Trimble. She was adopted and renamed Deborah Ann Harry.

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44. Tracey
> Drop in popularity: -4,844
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 73 (1,165 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 4,917 (29 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1970

Tracey is another entry on our list better known as a surname than a first name. The name has been declining in popularity since 1970, despite becoming urban slang for an attractive and intelligent woman. This usage may have stemmed from the Katharine Hepburn character Tracy Lord in the 1940 movie “The Philadelphia Story.”

43. Dianne
> Drop in popularity: -5,073
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 86 (989 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 5,159 (29 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1945

It may be surprising that Dianne has been declining in popularity as there have been some strong role models with the name. Dianne Feinstein has been a U.S. senator from California since 1992, and she is rarely out of the headlines. Dianne Wiest won the Academy Award for best supporting actress twice for “Hannah and her Sisters” in 1986 and “Bullets Over Broadway” in 1994.

42. Tonya
> Drop in popularity: -5,086
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 61 (1,501 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 5,147 (27 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1973

The popularity of this name was likely hurt by the Tonya Harding affair. In 1994, the figure skater was banned for life from the U.S. Figure Skating Association for her involvement in an attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan. The scandal was back in the news with the release of the 2017 biopic “I, Tonya,” in which Margot Robbie plays Harding.

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41. Wanda
> Drop in popularity: -5,098
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 63 (2,144 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 5,161 (26 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1933

The name Wanda originated in Poland — the country was ruled by a Princess Wanda in the eighth century — and it’s still popular there. Perhaps the most famous Wanda in the U.S. today is actress and comedian Wanda Sykes. The name Wanda has dramatically fallen out of favor. The average number of children named Wanda born each year between 1880 and 2010 was 2,144. The annual average between 2011 and 2017 was 26.

40. Wilma
> Drop in popularity: -5,138
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 77 (1,065 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 5,215 (27 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1930

Track star Wilma Rudolph won three gold medals in the 1960 Olympics. The 60s also introduced cartoon character Wilma Flintstone, wife of Fred Flintstone, to American households. But perhaps the most famous Wilma ever wasn’t even a person — it was a tropical cyclone. In 2005, Hurricane Wilma caused widespread damage in Mexico and Florida — and probably did damage to the name’s popularity as well.

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39. Kristi
> Drop in popularity: -5,259
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 98 (1,073 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 5,357 (25 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1972

Kristi has been declining in popularity since 1972, but that didn’t deter rock group Soundgarden from writing a song called Kristi. The song may have had some issues of its own; Kristi was recorded in 1996 but wasn’t released on an album until 2014.

38. Sallie
> Drop in popularity: -5,314
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 80 (379 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 5,394 (25 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1881

Perhaps the most famous Sallie isn’t even a person — it’s Sallie Mae, originally known as the Student Loan Marketing Association. People generally don’t like having debts, so the link to the lending institution probably didn’t help the name’s popularity.

37. Sheena
> Drop in popularity: -5,387
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 86 (325 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 5,473 (25 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1984

Sheena peaked in popularity in 1984, only seven years after the Ramones released their iconic song “Sheena is a Punk Rocker,” and three years after Sheena Easton topped the Billboard Hot 100 with “Morning Train (Nine to Five).”

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36. Rhonda
> Drop in popularity: -5,620
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 57 (2,187 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 5,677 (24 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1965

Rhonda, another Welsh name on our list, has been declining in popularity since 1965. That’s somewhat surprising as that same year The Beach Boys had a No. 1 hit with “Help Me, Rhonda.”

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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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.

30. Marsha
> Drop in popularity: -6,079
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 81 (1,029 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 6,160 (21 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1950

The name Marsha derives from Mars, the Roman god of war. Despite its powerful derivation, Marsha has been declining in popularity since 1950. It’s a variation on the name Marcia, which doesn’t appear headed toward extinction.

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29. Jo
> Drop in popularity: -6,150
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 67 (1,385 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 6,217 (24 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1954

Jo can be a shortened form of many names, including Joanna and Josephine. And while it’s not often seen these days in the U.S., it remains popular in some non-English speaking countries, including Norway (Jo Nesbo) and Brazil.

28. Peggy
> Drop in popularity: -6,331
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 50 (2,250 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 6,381 (20 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1937

Peggy, a diminutive version of the name Margaret, is itself sometimes shortened to Peg. It has been declining in popularity since 1937, notwithstanding the success of the Buddy Holly song “Peggy Sue.” The song was released in 1957 and has since been covered by The Beach Boys, John Lennon, and others.

27. Phyllis
> Drop in popularity: -6,437
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 50 (2,460 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 6,487 (20 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1929

The name Phyllis dates back to ancient Greece. Perhaps the best known Phyllis in recent times was Phyllis Diller, the zany comedian and actress. In the 1970s, conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly played a critical role in stopping the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

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26. Bob
> Drop in popularity: -7,059
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 86 (709 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 7,145 (13 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1934

Bob is a short form of the name Robert, which certainly doesn’t appear to be going extinct. Its appearance on our list is surprising given the many famous Bobs in popular culture, including Bob Dylan, Bob Hope, and Bob Marley.

25. Delores
> Drop in popularity: -7,111
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 73 (1,005 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 7,184 (18 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1932

Delores is a variation on the name Dolores, which remains popular in Catholic countries. It’s short for La Virgen María de los Dolores, Virgin Mary of Sorrows. American actress Delores Taylor wrote and starred in the hit “Billy Jack” movies from the 1970s.

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24. Bert
> Drop in popularity: -7,120
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 74 (255 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 7,194 (12 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1880

Bert is a short form of a number of names, including Robert, Gilbert, and Herbert. For millions of children, the most famous Bert is Ernie’s sidekick on “Sesame Street.”

23. Traci
> Drop in popularity: -7,174
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 100 (800 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 7,274 (18 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1970

Traci is one of several variations on the name Tracey, which is a surname as well as a unisex first name. Both versions of the name peaked in popularity in the 1970s. Traci Abbott was a fictional character in the popular 1980s soap opera, “The Young and the Restless.”

22. Ethel
> Drop in popularity: -7,291
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 30 (2,126 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 7,321 (18 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1894

Ethel is an Old English word meaning “noble.” Famous Ethels have included Ethel Barrymore, who was known as the “First Lady of the American theater;” the fictional Ethel Mertz from the “I Love Lucy” show; and Ethel Kennedy, widow of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

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21. Gail
> Drop in popularity: -7,456
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 59 (1,550 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 7,515 (17 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1951

Gail is a short form of the name Abigail. While generally thought of as a female name, there have been some prominent men called Gail, including Gail Halvorsen, who became famous as “The Candy Bomber” during the Berlin Airlift.

20. Patsy
> Drop in popularity: -7,596
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 69 (910 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 7,665 (16 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1936

Patsy is sometimes used as a short version of the names Patricia and Patrick, and it remains popular in Ireland. Perhaps the best known American by that name was country singer Patsy Cline. In informal usage, a patsy is someone who is easily deceived.

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19. Sue
> Drop in popularity: -7,927
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 76 (1,102 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 8,003 (15 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1946

Sue is used as a short form of a number of names, including Susan and Suzanne. It is less common as a given name. One prominent Sue was Sue Grafton, the best-selling author of detective novels.

18. Vicki
> Drop in popularity: -8,063
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 67 (1,578 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 8,130 (15 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1954

Vicki, Vickie, and Vicky are often used as short forms of the name Victoria. Vicki peaked in popularity in 1954, just a year after a film of the same name was released.

17. Margie
> Drop in popularity: -8,074
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 99 (807 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 8,173 (14 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1933

Margie is often used as a short form of the names Margaret and Marjorie. An even shorter form is Marge, the name of the wife of cartoon character Homer Simpson. Margie Stewart was the official U.S. Army pin-up girl during World War II. Millions of her posters were distributed to troops during the war.

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16. Maude
> Drop in popularity: -8,125
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 50 (347 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 8,175 (14 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1882

While the name Maude has been declining for more than a century, it has made some high-profile appearances in popular culture. The cult movie classic “Harold and Maude” was released in 1971. It was followed by a TV series called “Maude” — an “All In The Family” spinoff — that ran from 1972 to 1978. The peak year for children named Maude was 1882, when 1,089, or 1.01% of all babies born than year, were given that name.

15. Kim
> Drop in popularity: -8,160
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 98 (374 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 8,258 (10 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1955

Perhaps the most famous Kim of all was the character created by Rudyard Kipling. The novel of the same name was made into a movie starring Errol Flynn in 1950. There was also an infamous Kim — the British spy Kim Philby, who defected to the Soviet Union in 1963.

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14. Beulah
> Drop in popularity: -8,284
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 82 (557 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 8,366 (14 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1901

Beulah is an ancient Hebrew name and appears in the Bible, in the Book of Isaiah. The name entered popular culture with the 1933 movie “I’m No Angel,” when Mae West uttered the famous line, “Beulah, peel me a grape.”

13. Sherri
> Drop in popularity: -9,028
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 88 (1,070 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 9,116 (13 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1963

Sherri is yet another name in decline that is featured in “The Simpsons.” Sherri Mackleberry, twin sister of Terri Mackleberry, is in the same class as Bart Simpson at Springfield Elementary School. A different spelling of the name Sherry was the title of the first No. 1 song of the Four Seasons in 1962.

12. Terry
> Drop in popularity: -9,294
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 90 (896 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 9,384 (12 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1955

Terry is both a male and female name and it may surprise some to see it on this list as there have been quite a few prominent people named Terry since it peaked in popularity in 1955. These have included Terry Gilliam, the Monty Python member; Terry McAuliffe, the former Virginia governor; and Terry Bradshaw, the former NFL quarterback turned actor and broadcaster.

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11. Garfield
> Drop in popularity: -9,492
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 88 (42 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 9,580 (08 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1881

The name Garfield has been declining in popularity since 1881. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that in that year James Garfield took office as the 20th president and was assassinated. The name’s popularity also probably wasn’t helped by the comic strip Garfield, which features a large, lazy, and cynical cat.

10. Nettie
> Drop in popularity: -9,502
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 75 (376 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 9,577 (12 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1881

Nettie is one of the more obscure names on our list. There haven’t been many prominent people called Nettie, although the name has made a few appearances in popular culture. The 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Carousel” included a character called Nettie Fowler, and the 2006 Bob Dylan album “Modern Times” included a song called “Nettie Moore.”

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9. Vickie
> Drop in popularity: -9,656
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 78 (1,088 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 9,734 (13 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1956

Vickie, along with Vicki, is a short form of the name Victoria, which peaked in popularity in 1954. Vickie had a bit more staying power, topping out in 1956.

8. Bessie
> Drop in popularity: -9,792
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 36 (1,297 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 9,828 (12 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1889

Bessie peaked in popularity in the 19th century, but the 20th century produced a number of role models with the name. One was aviation pioneer Bessie Coleman, the first civilian licensed African-American pilot. Another was the singer Bessie Smith, who was known as the “Empress of the Blues.” The peak year for the name Bessie was 1889, when 2,343 babies, or 1.31% of all babies born that year, were given that name.

7. Ed
> Drop in popularity: -10,088
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 71 (199 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 10,159 (08 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1885

Ed is the shortened version of the name Edward, but there have been many famous people known simply as Ed. These have included actors Ed Asner and Ed Harris, television personality Ed Sullivan, director Ed Wood, and most recently, singer Ed Sheeran.

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6. Velma
> Drop in popularity: -12,150
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 93 (661 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 12,243 (09 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1907

Velma is a variation on Wilma, a diminutive of Wilhelmina. Velma has been in decline since 1907. Wilma, which also appears on our list, peaked in 1930. There have been some fictional Velmas, including the quirky Velma Dinkley in the animated series “Scooby-Doo” and the deadly Velma Kelly in the musical “Chicago.”

5. Carole
> Drop in popularity: -12,187
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 57 (1,073 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 12,244 (09 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1942

The name Carole peaked in popularity in 1942. That was the year acclaimed actress Carole Lombard (born Jane Alice Peters) died tragically in a plane crash. Also that same year, Carole King was born. King is one of the most successful singer-songwriters of all time and inspired the Broadway hit, “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.”

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4. Blanche
> Drop in popularity: -12,514
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 64 (666 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 12,578 (08 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1884

Blanche is possibly unique in that the most famous people of that name are fictional characters. The best known of all is Blanche DuBois, who appears in Tennessee Williams’ play “A Streetcar Named Desire.” There is also a character called Blanche Devereaux in the TV series, “The Golden Girls,” and a Blanche Hunt in the British soap opera “Coronation Street.”

3. Myrtle
> Drop in popularity: -14,612
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 45 (1,146 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 14,657 (06 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1895

Myrtle is related to the flowering shrub of the same name. It was popular in the Victorian era but has been on the decline since then.

2. Maud
> Drop in popularity: -15,647
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 78 (131 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 15,725 (05 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1882

Maud isn’t a very common name so it is not surprising to see it near the top of our list. There have been some famous Mauds, however. Irish revolutionary Maud Gonne inspired poet William Butler Yeats, while Swedish actress Maud Adams appeared in three James Bond movies.

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1. Willie
> Drop in popularity: -16,995
> Avg. rank 1880-2010: 75 (1,198 names given in avg. year)
> Avg. rank 2011-2017: 17,070 (05 names given in avg. year)
> Year of peak popularity: 1910

Willie is one of several shortened versions of the name William. It might come as a surprise to see it at the top of our list as there have been many famous — and some infamous — Willies since the name peaked in popularity in 1910. The former include Willie Mays, the baseball player; Willie Nelson, the singer; and Willie Pastrano, the world light-heavyweight boxing champion. The latter include Willie Sutton, the bank robber.

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