Just as we have baby girl names rising fast in popularity, so too do we have those losing the popularity race. Every year oodles of name lists are published that celebrate the most popular baby names of the year. Parents new and seasoned alike are curious to see if there will be a shake-up among the top names and/or which new trends are emerging.
In the most recent year, “Emma” was crowned as the reigning baby girl’s name taking the #1 spot for most popular in the U.S. We saw Olivia take second place, followed by Sophia and Ava. Isabella rounded out the top 5. Some parents consult these lists for inspiration, others to know what to stay away from, and others out of sheer curiosity.
Trends represent a tendency, a movement or a shift, which by their very definition suggests they aren’t permanent. As such, when trends reach their expiry date we expect to see new things move in. When this occurs with baby names, some names move up in the rankings and some move down, just as one would anticipate.
Here we discuss baby girl names that are losing out in the battle for popularity. For some names on this list, the reasons are obvious; for others, the reasons for their downfall can only be speculated. Regardless of the reasons, the list is quite fascinating and if parents were to choose any of these names, their baby girl would be unique. But of course, there are a few to stay away from for obvious reasons – especially #1!
The name Lexie is the first casualty of this list. While we think Lexie is cute and spunky, it is also a common short form for names like Alexa, Alexis, and Alexandra to name a few. Last year Lexie held spot #562 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #713, dropping 151 spots.
Perhaps this name is losing favor as parents see the value of choosing one of Lexie’s long-form names for their daughter’s given name, and then using Lexie as a short-form name if it fits.
What’s particularly interesting is that Lexie has been around as a given name since 1900, and while it never rose to mass popularity, it’s definitely not a new idea for a name. Regardless of what’s going on with “Lexie”, we do hope that it makes a comeback.
Riya is another baby girl’s name on its way out. Although in fairness, it never rose to mainstream popularity. The word “Riya” means “singer” in Sanskrit and is primarily Indian in usage. It is pronounced like Ree-yah.
Last year Riya secured spot #966 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #1117, dropping 151 spots. Its most popular year in the U.S. was 2005 but since then it has dropped out of favor somewhat.
We think it’s a pretty and simple name that doesn’t sound bizarre - but at the same time isn’t very common. Alternate spellings include Rhea, Ria, or Riyah.
Riya Sen, the beautiful Indian actress, may have helped to popularize this name to the extent that we see. It is still heavily used in India and this is likely to continue.
Kayden, for a little girl, is also rapidly tanking. Last year it held spot #710 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #879, dropping 169 spots.
Kayden is a much more popular name for baby boys. In fact it breaks the top 100 for baby boy names. Perhaps this is why Kayden is losing out for girls. It feels distinctly masculine so it’s possible parents are thinking better of it for their baby girls.
Kayden is Irish in descent and is derived from a surname. Kayden likely began to rise in popularity due to its fashionable suffix, shared with the likes of Hayden, Aiden, Raiden and Braiden.
We think the name Kayden is a solid choice, but not for a girl. Apparently America agrees.
Aryanna hits on a number of trends we are seeing when it comes to baby girl naming. First, it ends in an “a” and thereby joins the ranks of the ever popular likes of Emma, Mia, Olivia and Sophia. Second, it is packed with vowels which is another on-trend naming convention for baby girls today. Third, it represents an alternate spelling for the very popular name “Ariana”.
One way to breathe new life into a common name is to spell it differently than most. This is another trend we are seeing more and more lately. Sometimes this works well, but other times it can just cause confusion and frustration. We suspect “Aryanna” may have fallen victim to the latter group.
Last year Aryanna held spot #546 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #717, dropping 171 spots. Meanwhile, “Ariana” holds strong at spot #46.
Our point with alternate spellings is “why”? We say just avoid doing it. There really isn’t any point. Your child will be forever spelling their name out loud. Plus in reality, isn’t it the sound of the name that matters more?
If we are being honest, we are surprised this “name” was on anybody’s radar. It is a bit of an odd one with its difficult pronunciation, complicated spelling and foreboding sound. Low and behold, last year it held spot #592 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #766, dropping 174 spots.
It comes to us from the name of a mountain near Barcelona which was the site of a 10th century monastery. It means “jagged mountain”. Knowing this, we really don’t see the appeal of this name.
Its alternate (and more authentic) spelling “Montserrat” is only slightly more popular. That said, both versions of this name are more common in the Catalan region of Spain. Its popularity in the U.S. is likely preserved due to its cultural relevance.
Ayanna is a pretty girl’s name that hits on some girl name trends we’ve already discussed. First it ends in an “a” and second it includes lots of vowels. Multisyllabic names are also very popular right now so it also ticks that box. The combination of all of these elements gives it a very melodic sound.
That said, last year it held spot #895 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #1070, dropping 175 spots. It has been slowly losing favor since 1997 so we’ll be surprised if it makes any kind of comeback.
It means “beautiful flower” or “beautiful blossom” and it comes to us bearing African roots. Alternate spellings include Ayana or Ayanah. For parents who choose it, “Aya” or “Ana” are two great choices for nicknames.
The name Aubri is the seventh casualty of this list. Last year it held spot #831 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #1008, dropping 177 spots. This also marks an end to being in the top 1,000 for baby girl names.
We suspect we know exactly what happened to “Aubri”. It represents an alternate spelling to the name “Aubrey” which is a very popular baby girl’s name in the U.S. right now. Aubri is a spin on this latter name as a means to help a little girl stand out in some way.
Unfortunately, alternate spellings aren’t the best way to do that. Any little girl with an atypical spelling to her name will just be forced to spell it out her whole life.
The name “Aubrey” was typically a masculine name. It is derived from the German name Alberich. More recently it has surged in popularity for girls. Case in point, enter alternate spellings such as Aubri.
Lindsay is a solid example for a class of names we just aren’t hearing as much anymore. Parents are striving today to be unique and different and the names of our mothers, grandmothers and even our own names just aren’t chosen anymore with much frequency. Lindsay represents one of these old-school names.
Last year it held spot #658 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #846, dropping 188 spots. There isn’t anything wrong with it per se, it just isn’t deemed hip, trendy or different enough anymore. The irony is that if parents chose it today, their little girl would be one-of-a-kind.
Lindsay as a given name comes to us from the English and Scottish surname Lindsey. Before the 1970s, it was more commonly used for boys.
This strong and regal name is losing favor, and fast. It has never been uber-popular, but also hasn’t been this “unpopular” since 1968. Last year Kenya held spot #703 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #92, dropping 189 spots.
We certainly don’t need to explain the origins of this name. Naming babies after places is one trend that hasn’t gained mass popularity but we doubt will ever completely disappear. Other names that fit this bill include Asia, China, Aspen, Charlotte, Florence, Chelsea, India, and Savannah, just to name a few.
Kenya Bell and Kenya Moore are two famous women who bear this moniker. We are very interested to see what happens with “Kenya” next year. Our suspicion is that it might disappear from the top 1,000 altogether.
This name is basically a combination of the names “Audrey” and “Adriana”. It is pronounced awd-ree-AHN-a. We are actually really glad this name makes this list because it actually represents another trend we are seeing in baby girl naming, although clearly this name isn’t on-trend per se.
As more and more parents strive to be original, we are seeing an influx of “made-up” names. Audriana represents just that. It has no history or meaning and was likely the brainchild of some creative parent.
The benefit to making a name up is that it can perfectly meet all of parents’ name requirements. A drawback is that some parents get carried away and enter bizarro-land. Audriana doesn’t go there but it likely doesn’t have staying power either. Last year it held spot #872 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #1061, dropping 189 spots.
This pretty name is just like “Jasmine”, minus the “e”. Last year it held spot #691 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #885, dropping 194 spots.
Its primary usage is Persian or Arabic. Jasmine is, of course, the English word for a climbing plant whose flowers are used in making perfumes. This certainly isn’t a bad connection for a baby name. Plus we like that it sounds distinctly feminine.
The name certainly isn’t weird but definitely ticks the offbeat box. A little girl named Jasmin could be “Jazz” or “Minnie” for short. The version of the name that includes the “e” at the end is more popular than this spelling. Perhaps Jasmin is falling out of favor to a certain extend because the other spelling is more widely known.
This pretty, simple and sweet name is a Scandinavian and Welsh form of Helen but it too is falling from grace. Last year it held spot #724 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #920, dropping 196 spots.
It is pronounced E-lin with the “e” being pronounced in its long form. This is not to be mistaken for the similar looking “Ellen”.
One of the most famous Elins is the former wife of Tiger Woods. His massive fall from grace occurred in late 2009 and suddenly we saw the name “Elin” appear on the baby girl name charts in 2010. Coincidence? We think not. The name got great exposure as a result. Further, some parents may have chosen it as an act of solidarity towards this beautiful woman who was so thoroughly wronged by the pro golfer.
In any event, it is now disappearing into obscurity again in the U.S. likely in part to the Woods’ scandal doing the same.
Temperance makes us think of our foremothers. While this name feels sweet and gentle, it also has a very matronly energy about it. The fact that it doesn’t have a natural short form also works against it.
Temperance represents one of the virtue names and comes to us from the word meaning "moderation" or "restraint". Other names that fall into the “virtue name” category are more popular than Temperance and thus more familiar as names. Think about Faith, Charity, Grace, Hope and Destiny to name a few. Without a doubt, Temperance remains one of the more obscure virtue names.
Last year it held spot #855 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #1052, dropping 197 spots. We doubt we will hear much about Temperance as a baby girl name of choice again any time soon.
Mollie isn’t a name we hear much anymore and from the sounds of it, will be hearing even less of in the future. Last year it held spot #804 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #1001, dropping 197 spots.
Mollie is a diminutive of “Mary”, believe it or not. We always find it interesting when nicknames are actually longer than the full, given name. There is also suggestion that the name Mollie, on its own, means “wished-for child, rebellion or bitter”.
There is no clear reason why Mollie is falling out of favor. We could speculate that parents who might have considered Mollie, chose Molly instead. Further, the name itself isn’t the most inspiring or unique. As a result there are likely several contributing factors to explain why we see Mollie fading fast.
Taryn is a name we heard a little bit more of in the ‘80s and ‘90s but it never made waves in terms of huge popularity. That said, in the last 5 years or so, it has really fallen in popularity. In fact, last year it held spot #854 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #1062, dropping a whopping 208 spots.
There isn’t much history associated with the name Taryn but there is speculation that it represents the female version of “Tyrone”. Other sources suggest it was inspired by the name “Tara”. If the latter is to be believed, this means Taryn has Irish roots.
However you look at it, we are surprised to find Taryn on this list. It feels edgy and cool and not forcibly made up like some others on this list. We hope it re-enters the top 1,000 soon.
Bryn is short, sweet and simple and might be considered a welcomed relief from some of the long, vowel-packed baby girls’ names of today. But not everyone agrees! Bryn is tanking in the rankings. Last year, it was clinging to the top 1,000 by a thread but couldn’t hang on long enough.
Last year it held spot #968 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #1177, dropping a considerable 209 spots. Bryn has been on and off the baby name scene since 1999 (but mostly off) so we suspect it just never really caught on.
It means "hill or mound" in Welsh so it definitely isn’t equipped with the most inspiring of meanings but it also isn’t offensive either. It would pair nicely with a longer middle or last name.
Denise is a baby girl name that was very popular from the ‘50s through the ‘80s. Since then, it has been steadily falling out of favor. Within the past year, it took its biggest nose dive yet. Last year it held spot #778 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #991, dropping a considerable 213 spots in one year alone.
Denise is actually the female form of Dennis which originates from medieval French. We suspect Denise is falling fast because it just isn’t different enough which is the major criterion for name selection today. It simply doesn’t sound cool, hip, edgy or off-beat. And we can’t really say it’s all that pretty either.
Based on the trends we are seeing, we expect Denise will continue to disappear into oblivion which is a shame given the fond memories the following Denises conjur: Denise Crosby, Denise Richards and Denise Van Outen.
The name “Miley” rose to mainstream popularity courtesy of Miley Cyrus. Cyrus emerged onto the music scene strongly in the later part of 2007, using her own name as opposed to that of her character Hannah Montana. This was about the time the name “Miley” started to appear on baby name charts. The first year Miley appeared on the charts, it rose to spot #278 which is pretty remarkable.
That said, it was not a lasting fad. It’s been losing ground since 2009. Last year it held spot #795 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #1016, plummeting 221 spots.
We probably don’t need to spell out the reasons it is losing favor, but we will. Miley Cyrus as she exists today bears little resemblance to the good-girl character she played on TV. In fact, Cyrus has been involved in several controversial exploits such that we presume new parents don’t want their baby girls associated with her anymore.
Danika or Danica come to us from a Slavic word meaning "morning star or Venus". It has been used as a baby girl’s name in the West since the ‘70s.
That said, we don’t expect to hear too much of it in the future. Last year it held spot #785 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #1010, dropping 225 spots.
Danika is a somewhat pretty name and bears a beautiful meaning but it isn’t as soft as many parents are tending towards today. The most obvious short forms for Danika are “Dan”, “Dani” or “Danny”, all of which skew very masculine. That said, this didn’t stop Danica Patrick’s parents from bestowing her with the name. In case you don’t recognize her by name, Patrick is a professional stock car racing driver.
This name is a little confusing when you first see it. It seems like a name we know, but have we actually heard it before? If you rearrange the letters a little, you come up with the much more common (and more popular name) Kylie that is pronounced the same.
We assume some parent somewhere decided to get creative and confuse humankind. Our suggestion is, if someone wants to name their baby “Kylie”, then name her “Kylie”. The spelling of Kiley Is particularly off-putting because our minds first go towards the word “kill” before we elongate the “i”.
We are happy this name isn’t trending upwards. Last year it held spot #661 in terms of girl’s name popularity but in the most recent year it slipped to #896, dropping 235 spots.
Originally the name “Kylie” was born in Australia, where it means "boomerang" in an Aboriginal language.
Sherlyn is another example on this list of a made-up name. If we look all the way back to the ‘20s, we find the decade when the name “Sherry” was born. Since that time, there have been many variations and spin-offs of the name, of which Sherlyn is one.
It is in the company of the likes of Cheri, Cheryl, Cheri, Cher and Cherilyn to name a few. All of these names have a dated feel to them, and we suspect this is why parents are less likely to choose Sherlyn in the most recent year compared to the previous. Last year, it came in at spot #891; meanwhile more recently it settled in at #1142. This represents a 250 spot decline.
We suspect Sherlyn was inspired by “Cherilyn”, which has a very similar pronunciation. A few things work against Sherlyn. First, it sound like the male name “Sherwin”; and, second, it conjures up notions of Sherlock Holmes. Neither of these associations is particularly appealing for a baby girl.
Aranza is yet another made-up name. It appeared on the baby girl name charts for the first time in 2014, rising to spot #607. In the most recent year it dropped to spot #931. This means it fell 324 spots in one year. That’s huge!
What baffles us with some of these names is that more than one family actually chose them for their babies. Is it possible for multiple people to “make-up” the same name? Our data suggests so.
As far as Aranza is concerned, there were 289 baby girls named Aranza born in the most recent calendar year. It’s such a unique name we wonder how so many parents came up with it on their own in the same year or the year prior.
At the end of the day, it’s a pretty and feminine name and if it were the chosen name, any baby girl bearing it would still be quite unique.
The name Cindy is actually a diminutive of Cynthia but was brought into mainstream usage as a standalone name in the late ‘30s. That said, it has been falling out of favor since the late ‘70s.
Cindy represents another old-school name on this list that isn’t terribly popular today because it lacks spunk and originality. Case in point, it held spot #712 last year but in the most recent year it dropped to spot #1055. This means it fell 343 spots in one year. That’s a considerable nosedive.
Cindy doesn’t fit many of the popular girl name trends of today. For example, it doesn’t end in an “a”, it’s not particularly unique or pretty, and it feels a little old-fashioned.
One of the most famous Cindys of all-time is Cindy Crawford, the ageless beauty now in her 50s.
We’ve realized through our research that there are a lot of ways to spell this name with the same end game! Regardless of how you slice it, Annabell is on the “outs”. Last year it held spot #935 in the baby girl name ranking charts but in the most recent year it plummeted to spot #1435, meaning it fell a whopping 500 spots in one year alone.
Despite all of this, we think the name has a lot of appeal. It’s very pretty, it’s multisyllabic and it has several great nicknames including Anna, Annie, Belle, Bella and Mabel to name a few. For whatever reason, parents are choosing it less and less frequently.
This name was constructed by putting the two names “Anna” and “Belle” together. Perhaps parents are finding it too sing-songy which would be in contrast to some of the current naming trends in vogue such as choosing boy names for girls or even surnames as given names. Perhaps Annabell is just too pretty.
Believe it or not, Isis has been used as a baby girl’s name in the U.S since 1995. It actually has quite a romantic history. In Egyptian mythology, Isis was a goddess representing sky and nature.
It doesn’t take much thinking to understand why this name is rapidly falling out of favor. We can certainly attribute this to the terrorist, fundamentalist organization known by the acronym of the same spelling, ISIS. Most parents don’t want their beautiful baby girls associated with this group in any way .
What surprises us the most is that this name hasn’t completely disappeared. Last year, it came in at spot #705 but it fell a whopping 1,065 spots to settle in at spot #1770. The fact that it is still ranked indicates this name was bestowed upon some baby girls last year. No doubt it will soon disappear into oblivion but it hasn’t quite happened yet.