With names like Olivia and Charlie topping baby name trend lists this year, it’s safe to say that by the time your child enters kindergarten, they’ll already know a handful of peers sharing those popular names.
So rather than have your child identified as both their first name and family name for most of their life, parents might want to think about going the opposite direction and pull inspiration from a pool of less popular – or even disappearing – names.
Recently, parenting website BabyCenter released a list of 14 names that are on the brink of extinction.
The results are based on the data of 200,000 babies born and registered on BabyCenter so far this year.
According to BabyCenter, not one child was registered with these names so far this year.
So parents, if you want to avoid the popularity train, here is the list of names that you won’t see on the playground anytime soon.
Endangered girl names
Endangered boy names
Another way to ensure your child’s name stands out is by choosing from the list of names that are dropping in popularity rapidly.
According to BabyCenter data, the names registered to less than 20 babies are:
Girl names dropping most in popularity
Boy names dropping most in popularity
But if you’re a parent who wants to get a jump on future popular names but not sure how to predict which will rise in popularity, one study from 2012 may have found a method to foretell the future.
According to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, names that were more popular with the phonemes that make up the name were popular in other names the previous year.
(Phonemes are abstract units of the phonetic system that correspond to a set of similar speech sounds, Merriam-Webster says.)
For example, the name Karen became popular in 2000 because names that started with the “K” sound, ended with the “N” sound, or had “EH,” “R” or “AH” sounds in the middle of the name were popular in 1999.
“The similarity between cultural items influenced what became popular next,” Jonah Berger, lead author of the study, said in a statement. “If the name Katie was popular, similar sounding names like Karen, Carl and Katrina were more likely to become popular in the future.”
The same prediction method can be used for song and movie titles, researchers said.
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