Baby Names

2023 Baby Name Site Predicts Decline Of Classic, Popular Girl Names

Say it ain’t so, Emma!

Originally Published: 
Portrait of happy 4-months-old baby girl lying on the white sheet in bed at home. The girl has a hea...

There are many different places to find inspiration when deciding on a name for your baby. And like anything else, there are trends in baby names that shoot some names to the top of the baby list, and others fade into obscurity. As experts in the baby naming field look at the emerging trends we’re likely to see in 2023, the prediction is we’re going to come in with the new and go back out with the old.

Since 2003, the name Emma has always been in the top 3 of the most popular baby name lists, according to Social Security Administration. It’s a classic, unoffensive name with lasting power. But Nameberry, an online compendium of baby names thinks it might be on its way out. When Nameberry released its baby naming trends predictions, it hinted that Emma might be knocked off its top baby name place — along with a slew of other classic names.

Why? Perhaps because parents coming out of a politically tumultuous, pandemic-ridden few years are looking forward to turning a new leaf rather than to repeat the past. Translation: Instead of classic girls names, they’re looking for more unique baby girls names — to stand out and signal it’s time for a change.

RELATED: Looking For A Name? Here Are 1,001 Unique Baby Girl Names To Get You Started

For Nameberry, this means “that 2023 will see the start of a revival of 80s inspired names by ahead-of-the-curve admirers of this retro style. Even calling this trend category ‘Names So Out They're In’ is from the 80s.” Here’s some of what they spell out.

Top Baby Girl Name Prediction: “So out they’re in”

  • Carey
  • Chrissy
  • Heather
  • Jeanie
  • Julie
  • Laurel
  • Marcie
  • Robin
  • Sandy
  • Sloane
  • Suzie
  • Penny

“These names should be at the height of unfashionableness,” says Nameberry, “and yet, their nostalgic charm and countercultural appeal really speak to the current zeitgeist.”

Another trend we’re likely to see that points to the end of Emma's reign is what Nameberry calls “Grandpa names for girls.”

“Short and often nicknamey, these new old names feel sweet and in-step with the current fashion for all things retro and vintage, yet still a little edgy and subversive,” the site explains.

Top Baby Girl Prediction: “Grandpa names for girls”

  • Andie
  • Arlo
  • August
  • Billie
  • Bobbie
  • Clarke
  • Davie
  • Drew
  • Frankie
  • Gene
  • Georgie
  • Iggy

“The next generation of parents is all about playing with expectations, embracing incongruity, and reinventing tired trends in novel ways,” Nameberry adds.

With Emma being such a modern hit of a baby name, it certainly doesn’t fit in the “so old that they’re in” category. It’s also not a “Grandpa style” name, so it’s not looking good if Emma wants to keep its reign. But Emma had a good run.

You can find the full list of 2023 baby name trends at Nameberry.

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