To paraphrase Yogi Berra, nobody chooses that name anymore, it’s too popular. As counterintuitive as it may seem, too much exposure can make even long-cherished names drop out of favor with new parents.
Each child is unique, especially in the eyes of doting parents. No one wants to shout a warning across the playground only to see five kids with the same moniker freeze in their tracks. Many popular names may have lost popularity just for that reason.
Despite some attempts by parents to differentiate names by customizing familiar ones through different spelling, the bloom is simply off certain names.
Names can lose their luster for other reasons, of course. Why saddle a kid with a name people struggle to pronounce? Pop stars, athletes, and public figures such as LeBron James and Kobe Bryant boost the visibility of certain names. But as careers wax and wane, naming fads fade along with them.
And parents are likely to avoid tagging their little ones with a handle associated with scandals or bad news. The popularity of the name Katrina declined after the hurricane by that name devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005.
To identify the names that are disappearing the fastest, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the change in popularity of boy and girl names between 2013 and 2017. We compared separately boy and girl names by calculating the annual average change in ranking for each name.
These names have the largest decline in ranking. Only names that were both inside the top 1,000 most popular names in 2013 and outside the top 200 most popular names in 2017 were considered. To be considered a name’s popularity ranking also needed to have decreased by at least 20 places between 2013 and 2017.
All data was obtained from the Social Security Administration, which publishes data for names with five or more occurrences. Different spellings of similar names were considered as different names.
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