Last month I spotted an article about the decline of certain old-fashioned baby names in the UK.
(The first two words in the title were “Goodbye Gertrude.” Wait a minute, I thought. Hasn’t the UK already said goodbye to Gertrude? Hm.)
The article, drawing from a recent Ancestry.co.uk study, listed baby names that are now “extinct,” “endangered,” and “at risk” in the UK.
- Extinct Baby Names (no longer on the England & Wales baby name list)
- Cecil, Rowland, Willie
- Bertha, Blodwen*, Fanny, Gertrude, Gladys, Margery, Marjorie, Muriel
- Endangered Baby Names (fallen in prevalence by 99% since 1905)
- Clifford, Horace, Harold, Leslie, Norman
- Doris, Edna, Ethel, Hilda, Marion, Phyllis
- At-Risk Baby Names (fallen in prevalence by 98% since 1905)
- Arnold, Bernard, Clarence, Cyril, Ernest, Fred, Herbert, Percy, Roland, Sydney, Trevor, Walter
- Ann, Dorothy, Eveline, Freda, Gwendoline, Irene, Jane, Janet, Jennie, Lilian, Lizzie, Margaret, Mary, Maud, Mildred, Nellie, Rhoda, Winifred
I wonder how Derek fared in their study.
The article also mentioned that, over the years, some names have been outpaced by their diminutive forms — Alfred by Alfie, Frederick by Freddie, Archibald by Archie, Charles by Charlie, Alexandra by Lexi, Sophia by Sophie, Eleanor by Ellie, and so forth.