17 Surprising Baby Names That Are Going to Disappear in 2018

Genny Glassman | Nov 29, 2017 Pregnancy

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Alisa Kolesnikova/Shutterstock

We all know that trends come and trends go -- this applies to fashion, nail polish colors, and even kids' toys. But what most people forget is that the same ebb and flow of what's in and what's out can be applicable to baby names. Although some vintage names totally can withstand the test of time and get new life in later years, some names practically all but disappear. Think about it: How many Gertrudes, Melvins, or Alberts are seen stomping around the playground today? Not too many. And even though it's always helpful to know which trends will be leading baby names for the next decade, it can also be pretty enlightening to see which names have been slowly disappearing.

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What does it mean when a name is starting to slowly fade into obscurity? CafeMom spoke with baby naming expert Laura Wattenberg from Baby Name Wizard, who shared a little insight into how name popularity has changed in the past year. She tells CafeMom, "Most [names that are disappearing] are '60s-'80s hits that have entered the dreaded 'mom/dad name' valley, though a few like Kasey and Caitlin are more recent hits."

Additionally, she tell us, "The name fashion lifecycle is growing shorter, as parents focus more and more on the fresh and new." That means that although it's sad that old favorites are starting to become passé, new names are being created so rapidly that there is a lot of name turnover. Or to put it more simply, people like what is unique and novel! Read on to see which names Laura highlights as the most likely candidates to disappear in the upcoming year.

  • BRENT

    1

    Brent is a name that almost everyone is familiar with. Derived from the English surname that means "to burn," Brent reached its peak popularity in the '70s, coming in at #82 out of the 1,000 most popular baby names in America. Since then, the name has steadily become less and less popular as it's replaced by newer, trendier monikers. But it's not too late for this classic to make a comeback.

  • BELINDA

    2

    Belinda was THE name of the '50s and '60s. In the 1950s the name came in at #166, which is perhaps how '80s singer of the Go-Gos, Belinda Carlise (born in 1958), received her name. Although Belinda held on to her popularity well into the '60s, the name has since been forgotten. Perhaps the meaning of the name is to blame -- Belinda means "serpent" or "snake" in German. But it's such a lovely, classy title that we hope it doesn't fade completely.

  • CAITLIN

    3

    Caitin (and its various spellings) was the "it" name for decades, but unfortunately this baby name has been losing steam over the years. Peaking in the '80s at #87, the name last ranked at #609 in 2015. Maybe the name will get a revival due to Game of Thrones character Catelyn Stark?

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  • CHAD

    4

    We all know a Chad. A variant on the Old English name Caedda, or "Cad," meaning "warrior," the name Chad has always has an '80s preppy vibe. In the 1970s, it was the 30th most popular name in the country and continued to be popular into the '80s, peaking at #55. These days, there aren't as many new babies being named Chad, which could make it the perfect time to give a boy this now-unique title.

  • COLLEEN

    5

    The name of everyone's favorite aunt, Colleen is a surprising addition to this list. Derived from the Irish word for "young girl," the name peaked in the '60s, just squeaking by the top 100 and landing at #96. Today, it's decidedly not on the most popular name lists, but that makes it all the more attractive. The name has a vintage flair that quirky and classical parents alike can love.

  • DEANNA

    6

    Originally a name meaning "the divine," Deanna has unfortunately started to slip in popularity. In the past the name was VERY popular, perhaps due to the fact that Deanna is a female variant of the name Dean. The name last ranked on the top baby names list in 2013, where it only reached #911. Sorry, little D!

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  • JANICE

    7

    Janice is a modern variant of Jane, meaning "God is gracious." In the 1940s, the name was all the rage, peaking at #23. Just think of rock musician Janis Joplin (born in January 1943). Though, come to think of it, we definitely know which Janice put the kibosh on this name. "OH. MY. GAWD," it was definitely Janice from Friends!

  • KASEY

    8

    Kasey, a variant of Cassie or Cassandra, rode a wave of popularity for decades before it slowed down. The name first caught on in the 1970s, and as it traveled from #551 to #243 on the most popular name charts in the '90s, it was seemingly everywhere. Today the name has fallen off the charts, but perhaps the nicknames Kay, Kase or Kae will bring this name back in style in the future.

  • Katrina

    9

    This name fell out of favor following the horrific hurricane that swept the gulf coast in 2005. Though the name had its heyday in the '80s (where it came in at a respectable 101 on the most popular US baby names chart), Katrina slunk through the rest of the 2000s, barely cracking the top 1,000 baby names. It comes from the Dutch or German name Katrine, meaning "unsullied," but it's hard to say if the name will outlast its reputation.

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  • LINDSAY

    10

    Lindsay was truly a name of the '80s -- at one point the name was the 44th most popular in the country! But as of the late 2010s, it has dropped to be #846 on the top 1,000 baby names. Luckily for parents who love it, that means it is not as popular as it used to be and it's the perfect time to bring it back. 

  • SHANNON

    11

    Say it isn't so, Shannon! Shannon is a name that works for both boys and girls, though for girls in particular, it seems to have run its course. In the '70s and '80s, the name Shannon was everywhere. Just think of actress Shannen Doherty (born in 1971) and '90s starlet Shannon Elizabeth (born in '73). Though the name did rank as one of the most popular names in Ireland in 2012, for us here in the States it seems like Shannon has stalled out.

  • SHAUN

    12

    Despite the popularity of Olympic snowboarder Shaun White, Shaun has slowly become less and less in demand. Derived from the ever-popular John (seriously, John is EVERYWHERE) and the Irish Seán, it seems that only this particular spelling has lost its footing. Sean is still trending pretty strongly, though Shawn seems to have fallen as well. Stay strong, Shaun! 

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  • SHEILA

    13

    Sheila was uber popular in the '50s and '60s, and will always get an appreciative smile from an Australian using the name as a slang term for "young girl." But for now, the name is not very trendy here in the States.

  • STEVE

    14

    So many cool men have been named Steve: Steve Carell, Steve McQueen, Steve Jobs! But alas, Steve is no longer the baby boy name staple that it used to be. In 2015, the name ranked at #937, whereas the full version, Steven, ranked #154 the same year. Derived from the Greek word for "crown," this name will surely one day be back on top. 

  • Tara

    15

    Meaning "hill" in Gaelic, Tara became popular due to its association with the novel Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. It had small blips of popularity in the '70s (rising to #43) and '80s (rising to #53), but lost favor in the '90s and '00s. I guess one could say that this name is almost ... gone with the wind! (We'll show ourselves out now.)

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  • TODD

    16

    Todd comes from the Middle English word for "fox" (think Tod from The Fox and the Hound!) and has unfortunately completely fallen off the baby name map! The name peaked in the '60s, coming in at #31 of the most popular baby names but was not able to maintain that heat. Still, it's a cute name for modern parents who want something off the beaten path.

  • TYRONE

    17

    Though this name does follow the trend of exalted baby names, Tyrone just hasn't been able to catch on in the new millennium. The name is derived from the word for "king" or "sovereign" in Greek, Turannos. It was incredibly popular in the '60s (at #170) but couldn't hang on to its lead. Sorry, Tyrone.

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