Thursday, April 10, 2014

What's that Mary, traditional names are dying out?

What's that Mary, traditional names are dying out? - Telegraph

Cecil, Rowland and Willie have fallen so far out of favour that no one wants to use them for their child.

Notable men called Cecil include Cecil Beaton, the English photographer, who died in 1980
Notable men called Cecil include Cecil Beaton, the English photographer, who died in 1980 Photo: ALAMY
They are the names nobody wants.
Although Cecil, Rowland and Willie were once among the most popular names in Britain, they have fallen so far out of favour they have now became “extinct”.
Latest birth records show that not a single person was given any of the three names while girls' names Bertha, Blodwen or Fanny are also extinct.
Research carried out by studied birth records for 1905 and produced a “top 100”.
They then compared the names to those on the 2012 baby name list from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the most recent data available. The extinct names are those that did not appear on the 2012 lists at all.
The names Gladys, meaning princess, and Muriel, meaning sea-bright, have also disappeared as tastes change.
And although it is said to mean “strong spear” the name Gertrude has not been tough enough to last the test of time and is also on the extinct list, as are the two different spellings of Margery and Marjorie.
On the list of those declared "extinct" is Cecil, once heralded by famous characters including Cecil Beaton, the English photographer, who died in 1980, and Cecil Parker, the actor, who died in 1971.
Well-known Marjories include Marjorie Reynolds, the actress who died in 1997, and Marjorie Wallace, the British journalist, while Gladys Knight, the American singer known as the “Empress of Soul”, is probably the most well-know Gladys alive today.
The analysis also found a number of “endangered” and "at risk" names, which have fallen in popularity, despite being among the top 100 names in 1905.
They include Norman, Horace and Leslie for boys and Doris, Hilda and Edna for girls. Norman Wisdom, the comedian, who died in 2010, would have been horrified.
According to the research, far more girls’ names are disappearing or “at risk” than boys. This is thought to be because many men’s names are passed on from father to son whereas mothers’ names are more likely to be selected as middle names, rather than forenames, for daughters.
The study did find however, that a number of traditional names remain common. Among them are Lily, Hannah and Lydia for girls and Alan, Patrick and Joe for boys.
Miriam Silverman, from, 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.”
According to the ONS, the most popular baby names in 2012 – the most recent data available – were Harry and Amelia followed by Oliver and Olivia.
In that year, 7,168 children were named Harry in 2012, while there were 7,061 baby girls named Amelia.