10 Baby Names That Have Gone Out of Style (and 10 That Never Will)

Baby names are a constant topic of conversation, with new names evolving and growing in popularity every year. However, while some older names have stood the test of time, there are plenty that haven’t. Based on their current-day popularity, we’ve compiled ten names that have gone out of style and ten that we think never will.

Amelia

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Though its surge in popularity is fairly recent, this beautiful female name has always been stylish. It is an English-language variant of the Germanic name ‘Amalia’ that now consistently ranks within the top ten girl names in the United States each year. Amelia’s timeless elegance indicates that it will remain popular for many years to come.

Nigel

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This male name is one of the most endangered names of modern times. Despite its quintessential Britishness, research by the Office for National Statistics showed that only 28 babies have been named Nigel in the UK since 2015. The name is equally unpopular in the US and Australia, with no hints that it will come back into style.

William

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There is a timeless appeal to William that has kept this male name popular for centuries. According to Nameberry, it has been the second-most popular male name since the 1700s. It has also spawned popular derivatives, like Will, Billy, and Liam, which are also strong independent names.

Carol

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Carol has been labeled extinct, and that doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon. Despite being a classic name for girls in the past, parents nowadays don’t have much love for Carol. The spelling ‘Carole’ is even less popular, with younger parents opting for trendier, more modern girl names.

Gerry

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Its history as a nickname for Gerald might be responsible for Gerry’s fall from grace, but it hasn’t fared well independently either. Not even the more modern spelling ‘Jerry’ or the female alternative ‘Geri’ have been able to save Gerry from its descent into unpopularity. Though it is still sometimes used, Gerry has become a rare name.

Oliver

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Oliver may be old-school, but it has remained a strong name for years and years, modernized thanks to its popularity with young parents nowadays. Nameberry has charted its growing fashionableness worldwide, from the UK to the US to a whole host of European and Latin American countries, and it isn’t slowing down.

Karen

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Karen was a very popular name back in the 1960s, but it has suffered exponentially in recent years. Meme culture has transformed it into a moniker for an unreasonable woman who makes entitled demands and inconveniences others in public. As a result, new parents in the 2020s are avoiding the name and its modern connotations.

Charlotte

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Charlotte is the epitome of a traditional, classic name; one that has also found itself at home in the current day. Though its male equivalent, Charles, sounds dated, Charlotte has evolved with time, spawning cute nicknames like ‘Charlie’ and ‘Lottie’, which have helped keep the full name current.

Stuart

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While other old names have found new life in the twenty-first century, Stuart is not one of them, and, despite being an inoffensive name that ages with a person, it has still gone out of style. It has been declining ever since the end of the twentieth century, overtaken by other traditional names that aren’t quite as old-fashioned.

Noah

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Noah may be biblical in origin, but it is still firmly in fashion. It’s short but sweet, constantly ranking highly on lists of popular US boy names. In fact, Noah secured the number one spot in 2022 and dropped down to second place in 2023, proving that, despite its age, it isn’t going anywhere.

Sally

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Sally is a sweet name that initially evolved out of Sarah, but while Sarah has stood the test of time, Sally has fallen behind. It peaked in popularity in the 1930s and saw another slight boost in the 1970s due to actress Sally Fields’ fame; however, the name hasn’t had enough lasting impact.

Elizabeth

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With a whole host of cute nicknames, including Beth, Lizzie, Ellie and Betty, it’s no wonder Elizabeth is still such a popular name for girls. According to the Social Security Administration, Elizabeth has been a top name in the US since the early 1900s, and it shows no signs of falling out of fashion.

Gary

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Gary is one dying name that many people have mourned. The Independent has charted Gary’s decline, with fewer than 450 American boys bearing the name in 2013, compared to the 38,000 that did in the 1950s. Even in its native UK, Gary has started to fade away and is close to extinction.

James

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James is one of the most common names in the English-speaking world, with new babies bearing the moniker every year. With former kings, presidents, and plenty of current celebrities also bearing the name, James has successfully stood the test of time and shows no signs of stopping.

Ethel

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Ethel is incredibly old-fashioned, which explains why it is no longer considered a stylish name in the twenty-first century. However, it actually started to fall out of style as far back as the 1940s, plagued by its traditional roots. The fact that most people haven’t even heard of the name that it evolved from, ‘Etheldreda,’ speaks to its age.

Olivia

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The female equivalent of Oliver, Olivia, was first popularized by William Shakespeare way back in the seventeenth century. It has consistently ranked highly in lists of popular US baby names, topping the list of top ten female names in 2022. And with famous faces like Olivia Rodrigo keeping it trendy, the name is unlikely to go out of style.

Cecil

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While its female alternative, ‘Cecilia,’’ has enjoyed renewed popularity due to its pretty, vintage sound, Cecil has fallen completely out of style. Cecil has suffered from the same old-fashioned curse as Bertha, Gladys, and Walter, all of which show their age and are now rarely used.

Elijah

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Often shortened to the trendier ‘Eli,’ Elijah has retained its charm and appeal over the years. Its rise up the American baby names charts coincided with the release of the Lord of the Rings films, starring Elijah Wood, in the early 2000s. Since then, the name has remained popular, cementing its status as a firm modern favorite.

Debbie

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Debbie is very much a name of the past, with modern parents shunning it due to how dated it sounds nowadays. The full version of Debbie, ‘Deborah,’ has fared even worse, and it’s now uncommon to meet a child who goes by either name. Not even its sweet meaning, ‘bee’, has been enough to bring it back.

Sophia

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This beautiful name is often seen high up on lists of the top baby names for girls in the US. It owes its popularity to its usage, with hundreds of new girls bearing the name each year. Sophia has aged well, with an unfaltering sophistication that suits both children and adults, and we can’t see it ever falling out of style.

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