Mother and Baby

Experts Warn ‘Old-Fashioned’ Names Like Doris And Harold Are Dying Out

Section: Girls baby names

Hands up who knows a Bernard. Or an Edna? A Trevor? A Doris or Phyllis? Well, chances are, all the people you know with those names are well into their seventies and eighties.

The latest birth records have shown that certain names are in danger of dying out – and some are even ‘extinct’, meaning no babies with those particular monikers have been registered recently.

Of the available boys names out there, no parent has named their little one Cecil, Rowland or Willie, according to the data released by – and of the girls, not a single baby has been registered as a Gertrude, a Bertha, a Gladys, Marjorie or Muriel, a Fanny or a Blodwen.

These were some of the most popular baby names in 1905, so it is quite shocking to see how tastes have changed in the last century.

However, some ‘old-fashioned’ names have started coming back into popular culture, such as Ethel – the name Lily Allen gave her baby daughter. This could be because parents are seeking inspiration from their grandparents’ generation.

Lily Allen choose the name Ethel for her daughter

The research found far more girls’ names are at risk of disappearing than boys, possibly because fathers are more likely to pass on their name to their son, whereas mothers might choose their own name to be their daughter’s middle name.

Miriam Silverman of the family history research website said, ‘Of course, no first name can truly become extinct, as it can easily be resurrected, but it’s fascinating to look at the list from 1905 and see which have thrived and which have faded into obscurity.

‘We also know that people appreciate a rare or unusual name in their family tree and as more people join the family history revolution we believe that such endangered names will be protected by concerned descendants.’

How do you feel about old-fashioned names? Would you ever choose one for your child? Let us know in the comments below.

Related content: