What's In A Name?

The Baby Names At Risk Of "Extinction" In 2024 Are Shockingly Trendy

Experts at BabyCenter put together a list of baby names going extinct — and many of them will surprise you.

Young female with tatoos holding her baby in hera arms. Baby is sleeping.
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Baby-name trends define generations. While you may not encounter a baby Linda, Karen or Robert all that often, you probably know one of them — except they’re likely AARP members or collecting Social Security. And while running into an adult Liam isn’t exactly rare, finding a kid named Liam is like finding a piece of hay in a haystack. Popular names wax and wane over decades. Even “evergreen” names like Elizabeth and Michael have become less popular, as current baby-naming trends favor uniqueness over tradition.

The folks at BabyCenter — a website devoted to pregnancy and baby names — have looked at the data and identified 20 baby girl and baby boy names that are at “risk of going extinct in 2024.”

Baby Girl Names At Risk of Extinction

While it’s hardly shocking that classic Gen X/Millennial names, such as Amanda, Michelle, Diana, and Angela, are fading fast, some of these endangered names are quite surprising.

Gender-neutral names like Sawyer, Finley, and Blake — BabyCenter calls them “last names turned first names” — are all, in theory, on-trend, but the names themselves are on the way out. And it’s curious to see the name Norah at risk of extinction, especially since the alternate spelling of the name, Nora, is experiencing a popularity boom.

  1. Brooke
  2. Blake
  3. Mckenzie
  4. Brooklynn
  5. Charli
  6. Raegan
  7. Mckenna
  8. Finley
  9. Amanda
  10. Michelle
  11. Adelynn
  12. Ariah
  13. Gracelyn
  14. Cali
  15. Diana
  16. Sawyer
  17. Alaya
  18. Angela
  19. Oaklee
  20. Norah

Baby Boy Names At Risk Of Extinction

Similar to Nora/Norah, all the common spellings of the name Jaiden (Jaden, Jayden) are reportedly falling out of favor.

Meanwhile, names that you would think would be popular, given current baby-naming trends that favor short, vowel-ridden names, are not: Bo, Eden, Aidan, and Reid are all dropping off the radar, according to BabyCenter, as is Orion — which is a surprise, considering the popularity of space names like Aurora.

  1. Julius
  2. Jaiden
  3. Johnny
  4. Raiden
  5. Reid
  6. Brady
  7. Nasir
  8. Ronan
  9. Bradley
  10. Clayton
  11. Hendrix
  12. Princeton
  13. Bo
  14. Eden
  15. Aidan
  16. Orion
  17. Preston
  18. Maximus
  19. Baylor
  20. Raphael

To gather and analyze the data, the BabyCenter experts rely on their own data: Parents submitted the baby names they picked for their babies in 2022 and 2023 — the research team looked at the top 500 names in each gender category. They then analyzed the names that saw the steepest decline in popularity in one year.

If these names do, in fact, fade out into extinction, they’ll join the likes of Willard, Cecil, Myrtle, Minnie, Willie, and Viola — names that, according to the language-learning app Babbel, have gone officially extinct. In their 2023 report, Babbel defined extinct baby names as those that had been ultra-popular a hundred years ago but that couldn’t be found on the Social Security Administration’s list of the top 1,000 most popular baby names for at least the past three years in a row.

When it comes to baby names, however, the flip side of obscurity is opportunity: If you value your kid having a name that stands apart, above all else, extinct names — or names at risk of extinction — may be a great place to start workshopping.

After all, even the names that you’re hearing out and about that you may think are very unique may not be as unique as you think. As Jennifer Moss, the CEO of BabyNames.com put it to Fatherly: “It’s funny, because a lot of people you see online are like, ‘Oh, I have this really unique name,’ and it's Owen: ‘We're going to name him Owen. We've never heard of that.’ And yet I'm looking at the data and I'm like, ‘Oh, yeah. That's going to be top-five in two years.’ By the time that you hear a name in the general public and you think, ‘Oh, that's cool,’ so has everybody else.”