Names Riding Off Into the Sunset

November 19, 2008 Linda Rosenkrantz

We’re often asked to talk about and predict names that are on their way up, but recently someone posed the reverse question, about names that have peaked and are trending downwards.  So here are a few thoughts on some categories of names that have gone from cool to hot to lukewarm, and their possible replacements.

WESTERN PLACE NAMES: Adios to cowboys and girls Dakota, Montana and Sierra, hello to more distant and exotic locales such as Rio, Vienna, Geneva, Sahara, Peru, Kenya

JADEN & CO: Even if it hasn’t quite happened yet, parents are bound to rebel against the megapopularity of all the nouveau Aidan siblings–Jayden, Caden, Cayden, Brayden, Kaden et al–and go back to  the original (now spelled) Aiden, which is rising in popularity all the time.

BIBLICAL GIRLS’ NAMES: Rebecca, Rachel, Hannah  and Sarah may be eternal classics, but many parents feel they have been way overused during the past few decades, and are seeking out  less common examples in the Good Book–DinahJaelSalomeTamarMichal, anyone?–or choosing virtue names like Honor and Verity instead.  Biblical boys’ names, on the other hand, continue to thrive, with Jacob holding fast at Number One.

PREPPY SURNAMES: Upscale nineties favorites, such as the seriously striving Parkers and Porters, Carsons and Carters, seem to have lost their relevence in this changed economy, replaced by livelier, cheerier, unpretentious Irish family names like Sullivan, Brady, Reagan, Riley and Rafferty.  For what it’s worth, though, Cash is on the rise.