The ten popular names that are at risk of extinction
As a teenager, I never particularly liked the name Rebecca. I found it calm, overly formal, and always felt like I was about to be denounced when someone used it to address me.
While this slight dislike of my first name has faded in recent years, especially since I started using it professionally, I still ask people to call me Becky instead.
However, it didn’t leave me any less saddened by the state of affairs for us Rebecca when I found out he was one of the names in danger of extinction in the UK.
The name Rebecca has declined by 59% over the past decade, making it one of the most endangered baby names in the UK, according to a new study.
Looking for today’s best stories in one place? Subscribe to our newsletter here.
Data compiled by the manufacturer of nominal labels My name tags analyzed over 1.5 million first names in 10 years and ranked the top five male and female first names at risk – Rebecca came in fourth.
The three names that have edged out Rebecca in serious unpopularity are Gemma, Tia and Aimee.
On the male side of business, the names Kieran, Scott, Kyle and Ross have performed equally poorly over the past decade.
Somerset Live reporter Ross Millen was also unhappy to see his own name appear on the list.
“It’s sad that parents don’t call their kids Ross anymore,” he said.
“I would like to think that when I retire, people will no longer think of Ross’s name as a senior’s name like we do with Harold’s, Frank’s, John’s and more.
“I hope one day we have a Ross resurgence and don’t have to label them under threat of extinction!”
While the likes of Me and Ross have names that are on a treacherous downward trajectory, others are on the rise and on the rise.
The same research revealed that a number of names have grown in popularity over the past ten years.
The first two were Aria for girls and Albie for boys, indicating a trend towards more unusual names, partly inspired by popular culture with characters such as Arya Stark from HBO’s hit show Game of Thrones.
Another apparent trend from this research is the growing popularity of the use of nicknames as first names, with the name Albie up 282%, Bertie up 143% and Teddy up 211%, replacing their traditional counterparts Albert and Theodore.
This change in baby naming behavior was evident in 2019, when Harry and Meghan decided to name their son Archie, as opposed to the more formal Archibald.
However, despite the growth of new and shortened names, research has also shown a continued appetite for more nostalgic and “ old-fashioned ” names – but not Rebecca.
Mabel, Flora, Florence, Rupert and Arthur are among the names that have grown significantly over the past 10 years and join the list of the 50 fastest growing names.
Lars B. Andersen, chief executive of My Nametags, said the analysis found that names once popular with baby boomers, such as Gemma, Kieran, Hannah and Ryan, are experiencing a sharp decline in popularity overall.
He said: “These names are being replaced with new favorites, and we have seen with interest that modern parents tend to fall into three separate camps when it comes to naming their children.
“The data shows a strong trend for modern names influenced by pop culture, returning vintage names and shortened versions of more traditional names.
“We hope our list can provide some inspiration for future parents – and maybe even help save Gemma and Kieran from total extinction!”
So, future parents, I implore you to consider the name Rebecca for your sweet bundle of joy – it’s a solid name meaning “to tie tightly”, which ranked among the top 10 baby names in the 1980s and with a biblical cry to boot (just ignore the marital betrayal).
Do you have a tip or a story to tell? Email me via [email protected] contact.