When parents search for baby names, they often consider several names with the same theme, such as ethnic names, religious names–or names that sound alike or have different spellings. Here are some themes and choice clusters that explain the rapid decline in popularity of 76 girls’ and boys’ names in 2013, as reflected in the official Social Security popularity data.
Girls’ Names That Declined in Popularity
Religious & Faith-Based Names: Names that reflect religious or faith-based themes are on the decline for girls. The most common examples of this trend are the declining popularity for Faith, Trinity and Nevaeh (Heaven spelled backwards).
Spanish Names: Perla is the 13th fastest-falling girls’ name. Others include: Mercedes, Fernanda, Paola, Estrella, Marisol, Raquel, Carmen, and Esmerelda. (Spanish boy’s names are also in a deep decline, even though the Spanish-speaking population in the U.S. is rising.)
Jasmine, Variations & Sound-Alikes: Jasmine became popular in 1992 when Disney produced the blockbuster movie, “Aladdin.” (If you saw the movie, you’ll recall that Princess Jasmine was Aladdin’s love interest.) Jasmine quickly became the most popular name for both African-American and Hispanic girls. Jasmine has been declining steadily since 2006, Now Jasmine is sliding more rapidly; it has just fallen off the top 100 girls’ list.
Kayla/Makayla: Kayla and Makayla tied for the largest decrease in popularity on the top 100 list. Also declining rapidly was Kaylee. (This trend might be connected to the decline in popularity Katherine, the root name for Kay, Kayla and Kaylee.)
Boys’ Names that Declined in Popularity
Jayden Sound-Alikes: Jaidyn is the 4th fastest declining boys’ name. I counted more than 15 sound-alikes that were declining rapidly, before I stopped counting: Jaeden,, Aydan, Bradyn, Braeden, Aidyn, Jaydon, Aaden, Braden, Aidan, Kaden, Hayden, Braydon, Brayden, Jaiden, Jaden, Ayden and, most importantly, Jayden (which slipped from t#7 to #9 (a drop of 22%). (I think this is the beginning of the end for the long list of names that rhyme with Aiden–which is probably why they became popular, in the first place)
Spanish Names: Carlos, Jose, Juan and Luis are all top-100 names that have declined at the same time as the Hispanic population of the U.S. is rising. Other Spanish decliners include Pedro, Alejandro, Joaquin, Javier, Angel, Fernando, Jorge, Andres and more. (This suggests that Spanish-speaking parents are more interested in assimilating than in celebrating their ethnic identity by giving their boy a Spanish-sounding name.)
Giovanni & Variations: Giovanny, Jovani, Giovani and the original Italian root name, Giovanni, are in a state of rapid decline.
Brandon & Variations: Brennen is the 7th fastest declining boys’ name followed quickly by Brendon, Brenden, and Brenton. Even sound-almost-alike Landyn is falling.
Amare & Sound-Alikes: Damari is the fastest-declining name that sounds like Amare. Others include: Jabari, Kamari, Jamari, Jamarion, Jamar, Amari, and Omari. Even sound-almost-alike Armani is declining.
Tristan & Variations: Trystan is the 19th fastest-falling name. Also declining are variations Tristian, Tristen, Triston, and the original (legendary) name, Tristan.