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Baby names that lost the most popularity the year you were born

  • Baby names that lost the most popularity the year you were born

    The first thing we usually learn about someone is their name—it’s one of the first things we ask about newborn babies, too. Those names hold meanings and send messages. Consistently popular decade after decade are names like William, Robert, John, and Michael for boys, and Mary, Elizabeth, and Emma for girls. Then are the names that burst onto the scene one year, and vanish the next.

    Sometimes the names bestowed admiration and respect. Babies were named Delano, Fitzgerald, Kennedy, and Anwar as leaders with those names took the world stage. War played no small part. Boys were named after MacArthur when the U.S. Army general was leading Allied forces in the Pacific and after Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier of World War II. From the stage and screen, babies were named for Rudolph Valentino, Fanny Brice, Tyra Banks, and Miley Cyrus. In sports, babies were named for Babe Ruth, Shaquille O’Neal, Angel Cordero, Deion Sanders, and Anfernee Hardaway.

    What can be even more interesting, however, is why names fell from favor. The name Harding plunged in popularity after the administration of President Warren Harding was engulfed in corruption. The number of little girls named after actress Ingrid Bergman fell amid her much-publicized affair with an Italian movie director.

    Consulting the Social Security Administration's historical baby names database for each year from 1920 to 2018, Stacker calculated the baby names for girls and boys from the top 1,000 most popular names that had fallen the most from the previous year. The ranks and numbers of babies for each name in each year are also included.

    Which names lost the most popularity the year you were born? Read on to find out.

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  • 1920: Wyatt (boys), Henry (girls)

    - Boys name that lost the most popularity: Wyatt (lost 289 places)
    --- Rank in 1919: #677 (84 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1920: #966 (51 babies born)
    - Girls name that lost the most popularity: Henry (lost 181 places)
    --- Rank in 1919: #712 (96 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1920: #893 (66 babies born)

    In the early 20th century, Wyatt Earp was a frontiersman of the American West whose exploits as a lawman (such as the gunfight at the O.K. Corral) captured American imaginations everywhere. Automaker Henry Ford, who invented the Model T and pioneered assembly line production, started using the Dearborn Independent newspaper he bought in 1918 to publish his anti-Semitic views. Henry never really caught on as a girls’ name.

  • 1921: Brady (boys), Neta (girls)

    - Boys name that lost the most popularity: Brady (lost 248 places)
    --- Rank in 1920: #653 (94 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1921: #901 (60 babies born)
    - Girls name that lost the most popularity: Neta (lost 189 places)
    --- Rank in 1920: #797 (82 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1921: #986 (57 babies born)

    Irish names like Brady, which means “spirited,” have enjoyed bouts of popularity in America. Neta Snook was a pioneering female aviator who became known for giving flying lessons to Amelia Earhart.

  • 1922: Harding (boys), Libby (girls)

    - Boys name that lost the most popularity: Harding (lost 278 places)
    --- Rank in 1921: #396 (235 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1922: #674 (92 babies born)
    - Girls name that lost the most popularity: Libby (lost 189 places)
    --- Rank in 1921: #717 (104 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1922: #906 (65 babies born)

    Ohio’s Warren Harding was elected president in 1920 and served until his death in 1923. His administration was rife with corruption, most notably the Teapot Dome scandal involving the secret leasing of federal oil reserves to industry tycoons. In England in 1921, future king George VI first proposed to Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon who would become the Queen Mother. Libby is a nickname for Elizabeth as is Beth, Betsy, and Liz.

  • 1923: Trinidad (boys), Trinidad (girls)

    - Boys name that lost the most popularity: Trinidad (lost 419 places)
    --- Rank in 1922: #486 (161 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1923: #905 (57 babies born)
    - Girls name that lost the most popularity: Trinidad (lost 303 places)
    --- Rank in 1922: #449 (231 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1923: #752 (93 babies born)

    Trinidad was popular as a name for both boys and girls in the early 1920s, a time of significant immigration to the United States from the British West Indies. Migrants were leaving economic hardship in hopes of finding better wages and job opportunities.

  • 1924: Dexter (boys), Eris (girls)

    - Boys name that lost the most popularity: Dexter (lost 278 places)
    --- Rank in 1923: #706 (84 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1924: #984 (51 babies born)
    - Girls name that lost the most popularity: Eris (lost 271 places)
    --- Rank in 1923: #457 (226 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1924: #728 (103 babies born)

    Elliott Dexter was a movie star of the silent film era in the late 1910s and early 1920s, appearing in such hits as Cecil B. DeMille’s “Something to Think About” alongside Gloria Swanson. Briefly popular as a name for girls, Eris is the goddess of discord in Greek mythology.

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  • 1925: Virgle (boys), Amalia (girls)

    - Boys name that lost the most popularity: Virgle (lost 256 places)
    --- Rank in 1924: #677 (92 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1925: #933 (52 babies born)
    - Girls name that lost the most popularity: Amalia (lost 204 places)
    --- Rank in 1924: #666 (124 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1925: #870 (73 babies born)

    Virgle was a variation of the name Virgil, based on the poet of the Roman Empire who wrote the epic “Aeneid.” In the 19th century, the adventurous Princess Anna Amalia of Prussia had a secret marriage (later annulled) and bore a child out of wedlock.

  • 1926: Dante (boys), Ruthe (girls)

    - Boys name that lost the most popularity: Dante (lost 273 places)
    --- Rank in 1925: #682 (88 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1926: #955 (51 babies born)
    - Girls name that lost the most popularity: Ruthe (lost 223 places)
    --- Rank in 1925: #698 (111 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1926: #921 (66 babies born)

    Dante was a popular name among Italian-Americans, millions of whom immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s. In the 1920s, home run king Babe Ruth was making baseball history with the New York Yankees.

  • 1927: Orin (boys), Jeannie (girls)

    - Boys name that lost the most popularity: Orin (lost 251 places)
    --- Rank in 1926: #699 (82 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1927: #950 (53 babies born)
    - Girls name that lost the most popularity: Jeannie (lost 199 places)
    --- Rank in 1926: #777 (86 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1927: #976 (61 babies born)

    Orin Helvey was a popular college football star from the University of the South named to the All-Southern all-star team in 1926. Jeannie was a variation of Jeannette, and Jeannette Rankin, a suffragist, was the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1916.

  • 1928: Valentino (boys), Lita (girls)

    - Boys name that lost the most popularity: Valentino (lost 304 places)
    --- Rank in 1927: #677 (90 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1928: #981 (49 babies born)
    - Girls name that lost the most popularity: Lita (lost 239 places)
    --- Rank in 1927: #696 (109 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1928: #935 (63 babies born)

    In 1927, fans were mourning of movie idol Rudolph Valentino, who died in August 1926 at age 31. Lita Grey was the second wife of Charlie Chaplin, and their two-year marriage ended in divorce in mid-1927. She was 16 and expecting a baby when they wed.

  • 1929: Glynn (boys), Charmaine (girls)

    - Boys name that lost the most popularity: Glynn (lost 231 places)
    --- Rank in 1928: #752 (73 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1929: #983 (47 babies born)
    - Girls name that lost the most popularity: Charmaine (lost 233 places)
    --- Rank in 1928: #420 (264 babies born)
    --- Rank in 1929: #653 (114 babies born)

    The name Glynn has its roots in Wales, where it means “valley.” The hugely popular song “Charmaine” was released by bandleader Guy Lombardo in 1927. It has been recorded many times since by artists like Mantovani and Frank Sinatra.

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