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These once-popular names are going extinct

Is your name about to disappear?
/ Source: TODAY

Baby names, just like fashion trends, have a shelf life. Just look at what happened to Carole with an "E."

“Carole was one of the defining names of the 1930’s and 40s, and it completely vanished in 2021,” Laura Wattenberg, creator of Namerology, told TODAY Parents

According to Wattenberg, a name is considered statistically “gone” when it is given to fewer than five boys or girls in a year. Pat and Bob fall into that category.

“One-syllable nicknames like Jim and Dave used to be really popular given names,” Wattenberg said. “But that whole style is falling rapidly out of fashion."

She predicts that Bill is going the way of Bob and will disappear in the near future. What’s interesting is that William is still a top 10 name, and Liam, which is a short form of William, is the No. 1 name. 

“It’s very much about that style of the sort of blunt, cheery nickname,” Wattenberg explained. "What we're turning away from is names that are sort of like a trimming of a longer name."

Wattenberg noted that politicians used to go out of their way to run under “friendly and approachable” nicknames. 

“You had an election between Bill Clinton and Bob Dole, not William and Robert,” she said. “Ted Cruz was born Rafael, Michael Dukakis was always Michael until he started running for president and then he became Mike.”

In a similar vein, girls' nicknames that are completely gone include Sue and Debby. 

Mid-century nicknames for girls ending in “I,” (think Sandi) dominated in the 1950’s and ‘60s, but are now either gone or on the brink.

“Names of the 1960s are sort of on this accelerated decline,” Wattenberg said. “So we’re about to see nobody named Shelley or Jill or even Brad.”

“Brad isn’t even in the top 3000 names for boys,” she added. 

Extinct girls' names:

  • Carole
  • Sue
  • Debby
  • Vickie
  • Terry
  • Staci
  • Geri/Gerri
  • Cyndi/Cindi
  • Nicki
  • Sandi

Endangered girls' names:

  • Kerri
  • Sheri/Cheri
  • Kristi
  • Wendi
  • Judi
  • Loni
  • Kimberli
  • Tobi
  • Tricia
  • Kris
  • Rhonda
  • Shawn
  • Tonya
  • Shelley

Extinct boys' names:

  • Bill
  • Jim
  • Pat

Endangered boys' names:

  • Ed
  • Stan
  • Mitch
  • Bert
  • Rod
  • Curt
  • Lorne
  • Dirk
  • Brad

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