Experts say these 6 baby names are dying out, but they feel like classics

It's the end of an era for these names, do you know someone with one?

baby names written on post-it notes on pregnant tummy
(Image credit: Getty Images)

These are the six baby names that experts predict will be extinct for 100 years, as they claim the names are simply dying out - but do you agree?

The ways in which parents search for baby name ideas for their little ones has changed over the years. Instead of looking back at some of their relatives for old fashioned baby name choices, many are searching for unusual baby names or using movie inspired baby names to compile their shortlist.

And according to one expert, there are six baby names that are close to going out of fashion - so much so that they might not be seen for another 100 years.

Sophie Kihm, expert at Nameberry explained, “Names tend to go out of fashion after they’ve been stylish for a while. Often, it can be measured in generations.

"Names tied to parents’ parents’ generation (the grandparents of the baby) are usually considered to be among the least fashionable choices one could use for a baby, like Brenda and Gary today.”

two babies with name tags on

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Generally, once a baby name starts to decrease in use, it tends to follow a 100-year rule - in which it takes a century to come back into fashion, much like the popular French names

Sophie told The Metro, "That means names of the great-grandparent generation are starting to sound fresh again. Sorry to be morbid, but a big influence is that there just aren’t that many people with these names around anymore.

"Names that were common for babies in the 1920s – think Olive, Felix, and Otis – feel youthful once again.”

Baby names heading for extinction

For girls

  • Stephanie - derived from the Greek word stephanos, meaning “crown” or “garland.” It was a huge hit in the 1970s and '80s and still has a decent presence on American babies' birth certificates, according to The Bump.
  • Ellen - a girl's name of Greek origin, means "sunray" or "shining light." Baby Ellen is "bound to be a constant source of light in any new parent's life and a beacon of limitless love".
  • Ashley - originally an Old English surname, derived from the Old English (Anglo-Saxon) words æsc (ash) and lēah and translates to "Dweller near the ash tree meadow".

For boys

  • Kieran - a boys name that goes by the meaning “little dark one” or “black-haired.” 
  • Steven - the name Stephen or Steven, is derived from Greek Στέφανος (Stéphanos), a first name from the Greek word στέφανος (stéphanos). And like the female version Stephanie, it means 'wreath, crown' and by extension 'reward, honor, renown, fame', from the verb στέφειν (stéphein), 'to encircle, to wreathe'.
  • Tony - meaning "priceless one". A boys name of Latin origin that was first uttered as Antonius. Family Editor Stephanie Lowe, tells us why she's not surprised her name is waning, "I've got to 41 and have only met four other Steph's in my life so this comes as no surprise. And, to be honest, I think 'Stephanie' going extinct is a kindness to future kids everywhere, trying to remember the order of nine letters when you're five years old is a challenge."

Meanwhile, Sophie explains why some boys names have stuck around longer than girls, “Names like James, Thomas, Henry, George, William, and Alexander have never left the top 30 in England and Wales. They still cycle up and down in usage, but these traditional (often royal) names feel evergreen because of tradition. Girl names were historically more ornamental, and thus more susceptible to trends.”

In other family news, if you're looking for more baby name inspiration there's baby names that are popular from last 100 years and if someone you know is having a baby, here's the best gifts for new mums.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)