No more Waynes: these are the most unpopular baby names of 2016 so far

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Moya Crockett

What’s in a name?

When you think about it, there’s something a little strange about our fascination with baby names. Even those of us with an ambivalent attitude to actual babies can still find ourselves oddly interested in what other people decide to call their children.

But maybe it’s not that weird, after all. Names tell us a lot – about the parents, of course (who could forget the Swedish couple who called their son Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116, saying it was “a pregnant, expressionistic development that we see as an artistic creation”?), but also about broader social trends, cultural influences, and public opinion.

Now, a new study has revealed which names are falling out of fashion around the world in 2016.


German chancellor Angela Merkel: her name is fast falling out of favour.

To track which names are losing popularity, Baby Centre analysed name registration data and compared the most common names of yesteryear to their current popularity.

And if their analysis is correct, meeting a woman named Angela will soon be as rare as discovering a Snorlax on Pokémon Go…

The most unpopular girls’ names of 2016

1. Angela

2. Beverley

3. Carol

4. Debra

5. Diane

6. Donna

7. Doris

8. Elaine

9. Joanne

10. Maureen


Doris Day: the name Doris has been left behind, despite the growing trend for old-fashioned baby names.

11. Paula

12. Sally

13. Sandra

14. Sharon

15. Sheila

16. Tracey

17. Wendy

18. Yvonne


Society photographer and fashion artist Sir Cecil Beaton: fashionable man, unfashionable name

The most unpopular boys’ names of 2016

1. Bertram

2. Cecil

3. Clarence

4. Clive

5. Cyril

6. Dean

7. Dennis

8. Derek

9. Duncan


Blue's Duncan James: unfashionable.

10. Ernest

11. Geoffrey

12. Horace

13. Leonard

14. Malcolm

15. Neville

16. Nigel

17. Roy

18. Wayne

wayne rooney

Would you name your child after this man?

Crucially, these aren’t the most uncommon names – according to data from the Office of National Statistics, 2015 still saw the arrival of 75 British baby girls called Angela and 22 boys named Bertram.

But relative to their previous ubiquity, these are the names that have seen the biggest drop in popularity. It makes sense: your dad’s probably got at least one mate called Malcolm, but it’s hardly a name you can imagine being shouted across the playground today, is it?

The most popular baby names in 2015 were Amelia, Olivia and Isla for girls, and Oliver, Jack and Harry for boys. But if you’re in the market for a truly uncommon baby name, the above list might come in handy. Welcome to the world, baby Sharon...

Images: iStock, Rex Features


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Moya Crockett

Moya is Women's Editor at, where she is currently overseeing the Visible Women campaign. Carrying a tiny bottle of hot sauce on her person at all times is one of the many traits she shares with both Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton.

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